Bar with lots of drinks and lights and chairs and mirror
We check in to the Principe di Savoia, a palace hotel offering grandeur and glamour for anyone visiting Italy’s fashion capital, Milan
outside of a hotel with green plants and blue sky and balcony

Le Principe di Savoia is a grand palace building in central Milan

The trend among contemporary hotels to integrate the bar (and sometimes a dance floor) into the main reception lobby area was started by the original boutique hotelier Ian Schrager back in the 1980s. It accelerated with the development and corporatisation of hotels like the W hotel group, in the ’90s and 2000s, and now whether you are in the Alps or LA, you are likely to be greeted by a receptionist standing next to a bartender.

And while this works for a certain category of oriented hotel, where the vibe is more important than the room and everyone is invited, a good hotel bar needs its own space and should be a unique and compelling concept, not a funky alcoholic addendum to a reception desk.

red and yellow sofas under wood ceiling in lavish, carpeted room

The presidential suite encapsulates the classic grandeur of this Dorchester Collection property

Nowhere makes this more clear than the Principe di Savoia in Milan. We arrived after a delayed flight and a traffic-filled entrance into Italy’s biggest city. It was too late to go for dinner, but we did crave a little atmosphere, rather than just room service. A quick change in the room, and then we went into the Principe Bar, a grand room located in pride of place at the centre of the ground floor at this Milanese palace.

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A luscious sweep of a room, with perfectly dimmed lighting, the whole place is focused on the showpiece bar counter. We were immediately swept into another world, a universe where everyone is glamorous, drinking a Bellini makes you Sophie Loren. Not that you should really drink a Bellini, with a list of decorative gastronomic cocktails at your disposal: a particular favourite was an Indian Summer 22, with Chrysanthemum gin, Monin Paragon White Penja Pepper cordial, homemade cordial, Teapot Bitter, and a garnish of flower powder.

Bar with lots of drinks and lights and chairs and mirror

Le Principe Bar is a place in which to get lost with friends and disappear into a world of gastronomic, cocktail-inspired glamour

The Savoia is a proper palace, an imposing building right on the edge of the old city centre of Milan. Arriving there, whether it is the cocktail hour or not, is dramatic as you sweep up a flower lined driveway and are whisked into the hotel by a phalanx of door people. And across the big square in front of the hotel is the city’s finest park.

Read more: Hotel Crans Ambassador, Crans-Montana, Switzerland Review

Our suite had rich art deco panelling, high ceilings, dark floral drapes, a marble-clad bathroom and a sense of utter still in the heart of a great city. Walking down into the lobby from your suite, you feel you need to be imperious, as if this hotel expects a certain standard of style – although the attentive and delightful staff (this is a Dorchester Collection hotel) certainly wouldn’t bat an eyelid if you came down in a onesie.

But if you’re that kind of person, maybe you won’t appreciate the classic chic of this true Grande Dame.

Find out more: dorchestercollection

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Reading time: 2 min
colourful dining room interior
colourful dining room interior

A dining room interior by SKIN. Image by Andrew Miller Photography

Founded by interior designer Lauren Lozano Ziol and graphic designer Michelle Jolas, SKIN is a luxury interior design studio that offers its clients the opportunity to accompany designers to furniture markets, design shows and antique shops. Ahead of the studio’s London launch, we speak to Lauren Lozano Ziol about the business concept, her inspirations and designing spaces to promote positivity
two women in contemporary interior

Lauren Lozano Ziol (right) with Michelle Jolas

LUX: How did the concept for SKIN first evolve and who’s your target customer?
Lauren Lozano Ziol: Since Michelle and I first met over a decade ago, we have succeeded in pushing each other out of our respective comfort zones of graphic design and history of art, allowing us to continually challenge style boundaries. When we founded SKIN in 2017, we bonded over our love for materials that can be used in design. There are so many exciting and interesting ways to use materials such as cowhides, shagreen, snakeskin, leather, fabrics, veneer and so much more. Wallpaper is another critical consideration for us, in the past, we contemplated creating a wallpaper line, and the name ‘SKIN’ was a fun play on all of the above. As we considered what SKIN as a company meant, we realised the meaning is profound – it’s your outer layer, what you show to the world, it’s inner and outer beauty, it’s diversity – this led us to name our website skinyourworld.com.

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Our target customer is a discerning client who appreciates the beauty of high-end, quality interiors and materials, with a shared interest in art and furniture history, who isn’t afraid of mixing period pieces and jumping out of their comfort zone to create unique, elegant and sophisticated interiors. Also, a client that likes to have fun with the process.

LUX: What’s your creative process when you start on a new interiors project?
Lauren Lozano Ziol: Firstly, we learn about the client, who they are, what they like and what inspires them in their daily lives so that we can understand their needs. The creative juices then start flowing. We create vision boards, art collection ideas and materials. We lay out the floor plans and make sure the scale is perfect, we then select potential furniture, sketch ideas and pull it all together with renderings to show the client. We love being in the client’s space with all the materials. Colour and texture, lighting and luxurious material all play a synchronised role in the complete design. When we present to a client, we love to collaborate with them, it sparks creativity and new ideas.

luxurious home interiors

A private residence project by SKIN. Image by Andrew Miller

LUX: In terms of the design side of the business, is it important to have a style that’s recognisably yours?
Lauren Lozano Ziol: Yes, and no. Yes, in terms of being refined, elegant, timeless, classic and chic – whether the interior is modern or traditional. However, every client is different, so we like to explore what that means to the project and not box ourselves into one look. We want each project to be unique.

Read more: Two new buildings offer contemporary Alpine living in Andermatt

LUX: Is there a design era that you’re particularly drawn to or inspired by?
Lauren Lozano Ziol: French 40s and Art Deco in terms of style and materials. We also adore Maison Jansen.

luxury library

Library design by SKIN. Image by Andrew Miller

LUX: How much of a consideration is sustainability?
Lauren Lozano Ziol: Very much so, our environment has never been more important, so we work together with architects and contractors to bring the right materials that are long-lasting and good for the planet. Now more than ever the need for healthy communities, clean air and non-toxic environments is paramount.

LUX: Why do you think lifestyle services have become more desirable in recent years?
Lauren Lozano Ziol: We firmly believe that environments influence how you feel. They have the potential to promote creativity and help make you your best. If you like the space you’re in, you feel happier amidst the disruption of Covid-19. The well-being achieved from a well-thought-out, organised home can have long-term positive effects on the whole family.

Read more: Three top gallerists on how the art world is changing

LUX: Are your excursions designed to inspire or educate, or both?
Lauren Lozano Ziol: Both! We make a list, head off to explore and see what catches our eye. We love talking about the history of pieces when we go on an excursion, but ultimately, we settle on what speaks to us and inspires our project goals. The day can end very differently to what we set out to accomplish because there are always hidden gems and treasures to find along the way.

LUX: Should good design last forever?
Lauren Lozano Ziol: Yes, our philosophy is “timeless, classic, chic with an edge” which allows us to create an ageless design yet pushes us to look for new and exciting trends.

LUX: What’s next for you?
Lauren Lozano Ziol: Our London launch, which we are so excited about. We are ready to meet new and interesting clients and breathe life into amazing projects. Again, our environments have never been more critical, and we are ready to take on our new adventure.

Find out more: skinyourworld.com

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Reading time: 4 min
Model posing with large contemporary artworks
Model wearing a large necklace with blue stones

The Équinoxe necklace with an octagonal yellow sapphire at the centre

Move over minimalism, Cartier’s latest high jewellery collection is an adventurous exploration of magnified dimensions

Magnitude by Cartier is as much a statement of size as the collection’s name suggests. At the centre of each piece sits a remarkably large stone in its original form, showcasing unconventional, semi-precious crystals alongside more traditional jewels and diamonds.

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The most striking example of this adventurous new design approach for the French maison is the Zemia cuff bracelet, featuring an immense 77.27-carat matrix opal circled by violet sapphires, spessartite garnets, and brilliant-cut diamonds. The 68.85-carat rutilated quartz of the Aphélie necklace possesses similarly impressive proportions, set in a pink gold pendant with cascading morganite beads, orange and white diamonds, and flashes of coral and onyx.

Model posing with large contemporary artworks

Model wearing the Zemia cuff bracelet from Cartier’s Magnitude collection

Cut out image of an elaborate necklace with a huge stone centrepiece and beads

The Aphélie necklace

Whilst working with a variety of sizeable and seemingly unrefined stones, the collection retains the subtlety and elegance of the wider Cartier portfolio in the smaller, surrounding details of contrasting yet complementary colours and textures. For example, electric blue beads of lapis lazuli are interlaced in an openwork constellation design of the Équinoxe necklace with an octagonal yellow sapphire at the heart.

Read more: Ruinart x Jonathan Anderson’s pop-up hotel in Notting Hill

An overall talismanic effect is achieved through the earthy tones and natural aesthetic of the rudimentary colouring of each centrepiece, reminiscent of Cartier’s earlier work with ornamental stones in decorative objects during the Art Deco period.

Chloe Frost-Smith

For more information visit: cartier.co.uk

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Campaign for Alsara by Damiani jewellery collection inspired by Kazakh traditions
Jewellery campaign for brand Damiani starring Aliya Nazarbaieva

An image from the first Alsara by Damiani campaign with Aliya Nazarbayeva wearing earrings and ring with turquoise and black-and-white diamonds

How does a historic Italian jewellery brand come to dedicate an entire collection to the traditions and culture of Kazakhstan? Through a little bit of serendipity, and some inspiration from one of the world’s ancient nomadic cultures, as LUX Editor-at-Large Gauhar Kapparova discovers
 Guido, Silvia and Giorgio Damiani of Italian jewellery brand Damiani

Guido, Silvia and Giorgio Damiani

Italian fine jewellery brand Damiani first opened stores in Almaty and Astana in 2005, following the brand’s strategy for global expansion under the leadership of third-generation Damiani family members, Guido, Giorgio and Silvia. The brand’s sensuous Italian style and commitment to hand-crafted detail quickly captured the attention of Kazakh women, whilst the Damiani siblings, who travel frequently to the country on business, became increasingly fascinated and enamoured by the culture and traditions there. A deep and mutual affection grew organically between brand and country, leading to the idea of a cross-cultural collaboration.

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To create Alsara, a collection inspired by and dedicated to Kazakhstan, the President’s youngest daughter Aliya Nazarbayeva teamed up in 2011 with Zhanna Kan, the owner of Damiani Kazakhstan and the driving force behind the new line. The name Alsara is a portmanteau combining Aliya and her mother’s name Sara, and pays tribute to the influence of not just them but also all the Kazakh women the jewellers have met.

Traditional Kazakh style necklace by brand Damiani

Unique necklace ‘Tumar’ with blue sapphires, rubies, diamonds and semi-precious stones

The collection began as a conversation between Aliya and Damiani’s Italy-based designers, during which Aliya educated the brand on ancient Kazakh ornament, such as the traditional tumar necklace and bilezik cuff. These styles were reimagined and transformed by expert craftsmen in Damiani’s historic ateliers in Valenza, where Enrico Grassi Damiani opened his first goldsmith’s laboratory in 1924. The result was a collection of intricate gold and precious stone pieces, marrying refined Italian craftsmanship with Kazakh heritage. Following a sold-out range, the collection broadened to include silver and semi-precious stones, such as onyx and turquoise, typical of Kazakh jewellery.

Read more: Meet the new creative entrepreneurs

Bridging two distinct cultures, the Alsara collection melds tradition with contemporary fashion. “Alsara pieces became not only stylish accessories for modern Kazakh women but also perfect gifts for weddings and kudalyk, which are the engagement ceremonies,” comments Zhanna Kan. “They are regarded as family jewels to be preserved and handed down.”

Campaign for Alsara by Damiani jewellery collection inspired by Kazakh traditions

The Alsara by Damiani campaign with Gulnara Chaizhunussova wearing silver earrings and a bracelet and ring with green agate, citrine and diamonds

Alsara’s most recent designs reveal a striking modern look for the collection, reflecting the evolving cosmopolitan culture of Kazakhstan. Colourful gemstones have been replaced with black and white diamonds, producing a pared-back aesthetic with hints of Art Deco and oriental motives. The Kazakh heritage has not been lost, however, and neither has the craft; the collection continues to be entirely handmade in Italy whilst the influence of traditional Kazakh jewellery remains in the threads of delicately curved silver, drawing on artisanal methods of filigree.

Discover the collections: damiani.com

This article was first published in the Winter 19 Issue.

Luxury fine jewellery earrings by brand Damiani

Earrings with wings motif in white and yellow gold with smoky quartz, garnet and icy diamonds

 

 

Ornate necklace by Italian brand Damiani

Jewellery from Damiani’s Alsara collection, including necklace in white and yellow gold with black and white diamonds and pearls, inspired by Art Deco and Kazakh ornament

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Reading time: 3 min
Watercolour design sketches of buckles and clasp fittings by luxury brand Moynat

Watercolour design sketches of buckles and clasp fittings by luxury brand Moynat

Each year, Parisian luxury brand Moynat selects one aspect of their craft to spotlight. This year the focus is clasps, buckles, closures, hooks and rings, as LUX discovers at an exclusive preview in the brand’s Mount Street Boutique in London
Moynat's famous Gaby handbag in green with a gold fastening

The Mini Gaby in Leaf

Artistic director Ramesh Nair‘s most recent designs for Moynat explore the mechanisms of the luxury brand’s bags with the aim of both creating seamless function, ease and elegance.

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Bright yellow handbag with a metal bull dog clasp and chain

The Esquisse Clip bag in Mandarine

Admiring one especially exquisite Art Deco inspired clasp, we’re told that the design is based on the pattern of an architectural arch that Nair was drawn to and photographed. Other closures have been developed for their movement, practicality and playfulness, taking inspiration from classical buckles and locks, or everyday objects. The clasp on the Esquisse Bag, for example, is a bulldog clip on a thin silver chain.

The collection also plays with materials. Encased in very thin layers of stone, the Mini Vanity bags are amongst the most innovative with versions available in sandstone, slate, and granite.

To view the full collection visit: moynat.com

 

 

 

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