Van Cleef & Arpels Presents Balanchine’s Jewels By Hong Kong Ballet

an Cleef & Arpels announced the 
sponsorship of the classic ballet Balanchine’s Jewels, by Hong Kong Ballet, as part of French May Arts Festival 2021 program. Jewels was created through the acquaintance of Claude Arpels and famed choreographer George Balanchine, co-founder of the New York City Ballet. Their shared passion for gems and dance blossomed into an artistic bond that produced Jewels, a ballet celebrating the beauty of precious stones. This masterpiece consists of three acts dedicated each to a gem and a composer: Gabriel Fauré for Emeralds; Igor Stravinsky for Rubies; and Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky for Diamonds. Since its premiere in New York in 1967, Jewels has become a significant work of the twentieth century.

Over the decades, Jewels has been interpreted many times by international companies such as the Ballet de l’Opéra National de Paris, the Mariinsky Theatre Ballet in Saint Petersburg and the Miami City Ballet. In 2007, it was performed in full at the London Royal Opera House, with the support of Van Cleef & Arpels.

The longstanding bond between Van Cleef & Arpels and the world of dance dates back to the 1920s, when Louis Arpels, a fervent ballet and opera lover, often took his nephew Claude Arpels to the Opéra Garnier, just a short walk from the Place Vendôme boutique. In the 1940s, the first ballerina clips were created at the prompting of Louis Arpels.

These creations featuring graceful dancers have since become one of the Maison’s stylistic signatures. Characterized by their vivacious lines, precious tutus evoking fluidly draped fabrics and elegant compositions, the jewels are crafted in three dimensions, sometimes displaying a delicate openwork. They showcase a wide palette of gems, orchestrating dazzling stories suffused with poetry and wonder.

Hong Kong Ballet’s new creation of Jewels will be 
staged for five performances from May 21st to 23rd at The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts’ Lyric Theatre.



B: Tell us more about your collaboration of the SERPENTI Capsule Collection with BVLGARI. 

MK: “SERPENTI: through the eyes of Mary Katrantzou”, is a limited-edition accessories collection consisting of bags, minaudières and silk scarves, all revolving around the idea of Metamorphosis. Since ancient times the Serpenti holds powerful symbolism in Roman mythology. Drawn to the idea of metamorphosis, my intention was to highlight the Serpenti as a symbol of femininity, transformation and rebirth. My first instinct was to highlight all the different facets of Serpenti: the head, its body and its skin and to give each new meaning through the designs. As a starting point, I wanted to create a minaudière that was inspired by BVLGARI’s much adored Serpenti watch. Bringing the iconic Serpenti head to the forefront of the design, I wanted to use its shape to define the silhouette of the minaudière. Coming in two sizes, the mini clutch is to be worn as a piece of jewellery that opens to reveal a small vanity mirror and comes in shades of light and dark gold. The larger version has enamelled scales and is offered in black and white, crystal rose and a multi-colour harlequin edition. The form of the head and the colouration is inspired by a watch from 1968 that I was drawn to when I visited the historical BVLGARI archive in Rome. For the puffy bags we designed, my intention was to have a specially designed piece of jewellery be part of the bag. We not only created our own head clasp adding to the Bulgarian accessories existing collection, but we also designed a unique handle for the bag in the shape of SERPENTI, drawing inspiration from the Serpenti necklaces BVLGARI produced in the 1960’s. The Serpenti handle curves and dives into the bag and can be replaced by a chain to give the bag dual functionality. The bag itself comes in a variety of colours inspired by jewel tones; Ruby, Turquoise, Onyx, Pearl and Crystal Rose. All precious stones used in BVLGARI high-jewellery collections. The idea of Metamorphosis inspired the creation of the printed embellished bags, as well as the artwork on the scarves. The Serpenti starts coiled, with its scales forming a spiral, slowly breaking apart and transitioning into wing-like shapes that ultimately turn into butterflies. In the scarves the Serpenti experiences one more stage of metamorphosis as the butterflies transition into a bouquet of flowers. The embroidery is a mosaic of crystal beads, gold thread work and custom laser cut paillettes, developed by Montex in Paris, where all the Bjeweleed bags are hand embroidered over the bespoke printed leather. The silk scarves feature the metamorphosis print that is highlighted on the bags but instead of the transformation of the Serpenti into a spiral of butterflies, the Serpenti that has already transformed into being part butterfly, transforms again into a colourful bouquet of flowers in bloom. 

B: How did this collaboration first come about and what is the inspiration behind it? 

MK: In 2019, I was fortunate to collaborate with BVLGARI on my first couture show that took place at the Temple of Poseidon, in Sounio. The collection itself was inspired by ideas that were birthed in Greece around 450 BC, the same time the temple was built. It felt very natural to collaborate with BVLGARI because of their Roman-Greek heritage. BVLGARI was an intrinsic part of the collection with one-of-a-kind pieces from their high jewellery and incredible archive pieces dating back to the 1960s. Working together, we both felt there was a creative connection and a mutual appreciation which we both wanted to continue exploring with a collaboration on accessories. The inspiration behind this collection was to interpret Serpenti through my eyes. I wanted to highlight the importance of its symbolism, which dates back to Ancient Roman and Greek mythology. Drawn to the idea of metamorphosis, my intention was to highlight the Serpenti, as a symbol of rebirth, transformation and healing.

B: What did you want to express through the SERPENTI Through the Eyes of…? 

MK: I wanted to first think about what Serpenti meant to me; a symbol of femininity, transformation and rebirth. The snake sheds its skin to allow for further growth. This concept fascinates me and the journey of evolution became the centre point of the designs with the idea of metamorphosis. The story of metamorphosis is showcased in the embellished bags, where the serpent clasp is visually experiencing the process of transformation. The Serpenti head is central to a spiral created by the snake’s body and its skin transforms into wings of a butterfly to then fully transition into a spiral dance of butterflies, symbolic of the act of transformation and rebirth. This idea is felt throughout the collection with the transformation of the Bulgari Serpenti head from a 1960s watch to a minaudiere, a Bulgari first. I wanted to explore this motif in a completely different scale and create a direct link between the world of high jewellery and watches and that of accessories, even down to the mechanism of the minaudière which opens like the watches do from the snake's tongue. The transformation of the snake into a handle for our puffy bag is also a nod to the idea of metamorphosis.

B: How would you describe the concept of metamorphosis? 

MK: Metamorphosis refers to transformation, it is the process of rebirth and evolution - adapting to continue evolving and growing. Everyone experiences their own journey of growth and we all go through some type of metamorphosis through life, which is why the Serpenti has a lot of meaning to me. The fantastical metamorphosis of the SERPENTI into a butterfly which is embellished on our bags is one of the truest examples of metamorphosis, given the symbolic nature of the Serpenti and the four-stage life cycle of the butterfly. This idea is felt throughout the collection with the transformation of the Bulgari Serpenti head from a 1960s watch to a minaudiere by exploring this motif in a completely different scale and the translation of the snake body into a handle for our puffy bags which also focuses on the idea of metamorphosis with form and function being at the core of this transformation. 

B: What do you try to communicate through your creations? 

MK: My work is about filtering beauty through design and I try with each collection to build a vocabulary that can become a means for self-expression. I use color freely and boldly in my designs as a wellness tool and I believe fashion can be very empowering for its wearer. My work has always been about the importance of the word idea. It is also the reason I enjoy working with Bulgari so much because they have such an incredible archive and history with so many different and unique ideas that the creative challenge is to decode all their symbols and offer a new perspective.

B: What inspires your creativity when making the SERPENTI mini handbag? 

MK: I was inspired by the Serpenti high-jewellery bracelets and watches BVLGARI designed in the 1960’s and the incredible movement that was achieved with all the Serpenti designs. I wanted to recreate that movement in the form of a bag handle and we designed our own Serpenti handle and clasp to add to their collection. The shape of the bag itself is inspired by the curved lines of the Serpenti body and I wanted to accentuate the femininity of the lines, working closely with the incredible leather craftsmanship of the Bulgari artisans.

B: How did you merge your identity with BVLGARI’s DNA? Are there any similarities? 

MK: My mother always used to wear Bulgari jewelry when I was growing up and she would allow me to play dress up with her pieces, so I was very familiar with their aesthetic at a very young age! I didn’t realize until much later that the founder of BVLGARI, Sotirios Voulgaris, was a Greek silversmith who moved to Rome, where he founded BVLGARI. I can see in the designs his dual origins and that aesthetically is very unique. Looking at their archive and getting to decode the symbolism behind their heritage, I think we share a similar aesthetic in many ways. There is a common appreciation of harmony and balance, a focus on timeless elegance whilst being daring at the same time and of course an affinity to bold color. Working with Bulgari felt like a seamless creative marriage because we share a similar vision and appreciation for the women we design for.


A|X Armani Exchange Introduces SS2021 Sneakers Edit

A|X Armani Exchange introduces its SS2021 Sneaker Edit collection and returns to its roots with a current, contemporary twist, offering a collection imbued with the brand’s DNA, yet increasingly cross-gender and tied to urban street culture.

With its clean and sharp features, it’s the perfect wardrobe for those who live a metropolitan life.


RADO Presents New Version True Square Open Heart

RADO True Square has attracted a great deal of attention over the last year with its premiere. Its gently rounded corners, scratch-proof high-tech ceramic and smooth feel effortlessly combine apparent opposites. The Open Heart version also grants a sophisticated glimpse into its mechanical heart – which is now also presented with silver-grey accents.

The black dial of the new True Square Open Heart with an automatic movement has large cut-outs and features rhodium-coloured bevelled edges. The skeletonisation allows the finely decorated Swiss-made movement, which offers a power reserve of 80 hours and is a work of art in itself, to be seen. The hands and indexes are also rhodium coloured and filled with white Super-LumiNova®. It is not just the intricate movements inside the watch that draw all eyes to them. The polished black high-tech ceramic case is equipped with a titanium case back with black PVD coating and sapphire crystal. Its monobloc construction is created using injection moulding, which demands meticulous precision in manufacturing – a technique that we have perfected. This is actually the first square watch with a monobloc case made from high-tech ceramic. This timepiece is completed with a magnificent bracelet made from polished black high-tech ceramic.

The True Square Open Heart with an automatic movement combines everything that makes Rado what it is: unmistakable design, innovative materials, a sensual feel, maximum scratch resistance and Swiss precision. It carries this and much more in its heart. Feel it.


Beautiful People SS2021 Collection - mylifestylenews' Top 10's Pick

Beautiful People SS2021 Collection Side-C Vol.5 motional

The situation the world lives is discumbulating. Like pieces in a museum, we have been stuck inside our homes, unable to move yet endlessly moved by storms of emotions. What if the clothing becomes our habitat? What if what we wear entices motion and emotions, elating the spirit while suggesting a reassuring cozyness, the pleasurable comfort of staying inside?

Side C, the transformative look at classics that focuses on the layers and the in-betweens of clothing, finds another dimension: a flowing, dynamic one.

By creating an interconnecting system of pockets inside the garments, and filling them with small beads, movable silhouettes are created. The beads flow as the body moves, sits or stands, allowing for endless reconfigurations.

A skirt turns into a couch, a dress into an armchair, only to revert back to what it was. The bustle-like shapes - an homage to the New Look as a signifier of optimism and rebirth - keep an appearance of sculptural poise that is fluidly and endlessly dematerialized in the use.

Silhouettes that might belong to history and as such to the cases of a museum are brought back to life, moved by the motion of the little beads.

Volumes are big, flowing, emotive; trapped by smock and then released. Motion follows emotions.

Domesticity is in the details: in the hats shaped like pillows; in the bed linens, cushions, tablecloth inspiring the choice of fabrics; in the striped patterns and the toile de jouy.

The message is one of optimism. In the accompanying movie, beads flow everywhere, mixed in color as to represent the spread of malaise, only to finally glow in pure white as a symbol of hope, joy and restart. Just like waking up in broad light after a bad dream, going out in a nightgown.