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Travel

Natures Beauty in the Pearl of the Indian Ocean “Mauritius”

Mauritius is famous for its beautiful white sandy beaches, and a welcoming atmosphere that is famous for honeymooners and families alike. Besides this Mauritius has some exceptional natural sites and protected forest that will surely win the heart of nature lovers who want to get closer to nature.

The Pamplemousses Botanical Garden is a famous spot in the island, where nature enthusiasts and travelers definitely add it to their itinerary when they’re in the island. Also known as the Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Botanical Garden, this wonderful garden created over 300 years ago, houses a multitude of native and endemic plants and the famous giant water lily ponds.

For nature lovers, Pamplemousses garden is the ideal place to stroll with family or partner along the paths bordered with greenery. One might get a chance to experience a marvelous phenomenon of seeing a Talipot tree blooming – it only happens every 30 to 80 years, before the tree dies, truly a wonderous sight. The famous ponds with giant water lilies are surely worthy of a visit, and is a place where a lot of visitors take souvenir photos.

The Black River Gorges National Park is a lush forest, house to a great variety of native and endemic trees, but also treasurable animal species, such as the Pink Pigeon and the Mauritian Parakeet or the Paradise Flycatcher, which are highly monitored protected birds. Visitors are always impressed by the size of the Mauritian Bats that go out in broad daylight above the trees. The park is also one of the favorite places for nature enthusiasts and trail amateurs, it is perfect for family hikes, with marked trails and information center to learn more about the flora and fauna of the region.

Mauritius has a pleasant climate with a mild temperature all year round, and its currently summer season. Summer in the island starts from October till April, but the heat peaks are felt between December and February, and is always accompanied by a high humidity level, it is definitely a warm weather in the island right now.

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Accessories Women Accessories

TORY BURCH | VALENTINES DAY CUPSULE COLLECTION

Categories
Fashion

ROI DU LAC – The Pharaoh Tribute

As part of the Spring/Summer 21 collection, Roi Du Lac introduced the Pharaoh print in tribute to Egypt and the Middle East culture.

The print is developed and hand painted in-house using water colors and with an advanced high-technology practice is then printed on fabric.

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Fashion

PRETTYLITTLETHING PRESENTS NEW CONTOUR COLLECTION

Stay home and join the cosy club with this edit. From comfy casual clothes to activewear and beauty goodies to pamper the day away, chilling out has never looked so good. Keep your ‘stay home’ outfits super comfy with a matching brushed rib top and joggers lounge set. Or nail that effortless off-duty combo with an oversized sweater and sporty side stripe leggings. From casual but chic to super cosy essentials, find a selection of stay at home outfits in this edit. Amp up your heart rate and insert a quick sweat session into your day at home with our selection of activewear. Whether you prefer to stretch or sweat it out in style, find the perfect workout clothes to wear at home this season. Whether you’re enjoying a well-deserved break or working from home, keep your look on-point with this edit.

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Fashion

A PERFECT DATE NIGHT FOR VALENTINE’S DAY WITH OLIVIA VON HALLE

A comprehensive collection of best-selling styles, triumphant modern classics, and transitional pieces, The Visions of the Future Collection also nods to resort-wear in several playful, lightweight crêpe de Chine styles, such as the Casablanca Queenie Contessa, Indya Sienna, Casablanca Sienna, and the Casablanca Jet Black. This is what Olivia von Halle presents; an opportunity for the wearer to celebrate, be uninhibited, confident, unrestrained, and free. There is hope that 2021 has newfound freedom; there is hope this freedom can be found, in part, within Olivia von Halle’s SS21 collection.

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Beauty

This Valentine’s Day, it’s all about games and fun

Faces Beauty Stores is inviting you to Play the Beauty Game where you can win a variety of offers from the bottom of our heart. So now is the time to get your most cherished beauty items and try your luck!

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Jewelry

Declare your love this Valentine’s Day with Garrard

Garrard’s pink diamond Aloria jewels are the personification of romance. Perfect for mixing and matching, these striking designs make the most precious Valentine’s gifts.

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Accessories Women Accessories

BALLY LAUNCHES B-ECHO FOR SS21

Bally is delighted to announce the launch the new B-Echo collection for Spring/Summer 2021. The collection furthers Bally’s commitment towards a better future through innovative design and recycled materials.

The range of multi-functional bags and accessories is made from environmentally-friendly materials, including regenerated leather, repurposed PET mesh and recycled nylon, certified by the Global Recycled Standard (or GRS). This lightweight and durable material is water-resistant, making the collection as ideal for travel as it is for everyday business and leisure use.

All the styles are truly versatile with enhanced functionality and a contemporary aesthetic. The collection includes classic shapes and small accessories that are elegant everyday options in black or lipstick red, each with top handles and shoulder straps for alternate ways to carry, and organized internal compartments.

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Interview Jewelry

Jewelry pieces that are steeped in marvels of nature!

By Nagmani

The art of jewelry making is always believed to be a highly individualistic journey. It reflects the unique vision of a person who finds absolute pleasure in creating nothing ordinary but only exquisite pieces of jewelry women love and often seek to own as per their sophisticated taste.
In that case, the designs created by a renowned Hong Kong-based artisan jewelry designer Wallace Chan really stand out for that exceptionally high attribute whenever connoisseurs of jewelry come across his work.


Chan’s love of jewelry became obvious when he started learning the craft of gemstone carving at the age of 16. So the first stone that he found himself in contact with was a piece of malachite known for its healing wonders. From here on, his incredible journey with gemstones began rolling. “My curiosity increased through time, and I started to explore the properties of different kinds of gems. Nurtured in the generosity of Mother Nature, gemstones often tend to narrate stories of the universe’s past and present,” he says.
What makes Chan’s success story even more riveting is that he didn’t attend any prestigious design school because his family couldn’t afford a formal education. Even if he couldn’t and spent only a few years in school, he showed steely determination to change the challenging circumstances in his favor. “My study on Western sculptures began when I showed my courage and entered a bookshop one day,” he says. “The first book that came my way was a book on Michelangelo’s sculptures. I was overwhelmed by the dramatic expressions of light and shadows, the tensions of muscles and the compelling contours.”

Moreover, what he discovered in them was way too different from the Chinese carvings he was familiar with. In order to find more about Western sculptures, he did the insanely impossible when he spent some nights sleeping in the cemetery just to observe the Western marble sculptures there.

By and large, he finds solace in the colors, crystal structures, textures and forms of gemstones as they reveal the invaluable relationship between humankind, nature and the universe. “Be it carving, sculpture or jewelry, gemstones are the best medium that I love to use to interpret life, express resonance and get in touch with the future. They inspire my creativity from ideas and forms to craftsmanship and inventions. I like to embrace the flow of constant changes in my path,” he says. “This entire thing is an exciting journey for me as it keeps motivating me to explore the various facets of the unknown.”
While there are so many established brands competing head-to-head to entice the consumers with their products, he doesn’t feel fazed by it. Rather he proudly supports the imminent competition and says gently, “I’m delighted that my designs happen to draw in a lot of people. That’s good to know. I find it really rewarding.”


According to Chan’s clear-cut insight, people who collect jewelry art pieces are cultivated persons highly knowledgeable in the field of gemstones and jewelry. Artistic values and refined craftsmanship appeal to them immensely. They also prefer jewelry pieces that are unique. “The way I see it, they aren’t confined by the so-called hyped traditions and trends, but they do feel engaged with pieces that contain stories and have deeper meaning,” he says. “In essence, each piece of mine is what it’s here for.”
Today he holds such a big influence in the world of fine jewelry simply because of his one-of-a-kind technique “Wallace Cut” that is often talked about by the jewelry industry. It’s a carving technique which creates an illusion in transparent materials by combining medieval 360-degree intaglio into 3-dimension engraving. The resulting quintuple reflection unifies these features with precise calculation and angle casting and forms a 3-dimension and multi-line reflection. Chan achieved this milestone not in days or months. It took him eight years to master the technique constantly experimenting on titanium.

“I invented a gemstone-setting technique. In order to minimize the appearance of metal claws, this technique uses gemstones to function as claws. In simple words: Function is beauty. Titanium is light, hard, colorful and bio-friendly, but it’s also stubborn. It takes a long time to communicate with titanium so as to have it tamed the right way,” he says. “To be able to use titanium the way I wanted to has solved a lot of obstacles in jewelry making, thus expanding the canvas for my creativity, and it also allows me to create jewelry pieces that are ergonomically correct.”
His creations are designed and adorned with utmost attention to detailing to make sure women wearing them feel on top of the world. This is when Chan tends to focus on visualizing a woman’s figure. “A jewelry piece should not only be wearable, but it should also be comfortable. This conviction frequently leads me to study the human figure and understand how the bones, muscles and skin work in tandem,” he says. “It’s not intuition, but a lot of hard work involved. But through constant practice you start to believe it’s intuitional. I try my best to make my pieces universal, so they aren’t confined by a particular body type, and they’re able to accommodate all happily.”
Always pushing the envelope to enhance a woman’s beauty, his muse can only be someone special — a cultivated and confident soul who is passionate about life and arts. Chan’s multiple works speak volumes about his engaging philosophy to be reckoned with at the international level and for that reason he is graciously invited by TEFAF (the world’s leading art fair) to show his collection there every year. “I feel absolutely honored to be invited to participate at TEFAF. When art lovers of different cultural backgrounds gather at a high-profile event like this, it’s not just cultural exchanges that take place but also I get a chance to establish mind-to-mind connection with different individuals. I take this in my stride as a process of art practice,” he says.
It comes as no surprise that all his pieces are inspired by his experiences from different periods of his life journey, including his reflection on the mysteries of life.

While Asian jewelry especially from India and China is the most sought-after style in the world and it has had great influence on the West, inspiring jewelry creators who traveled far into the East and studied the history of the East, it would be wrong to say that there is one culture more unique than the other as he puts it, “Today, the world is so globalized that cultures inspire and borrow from one another, creating an environment where soon it may not even be necessary to distinguish jewelry pieces geographically anymore.”
However, Chan takes pride in ancient Asia jewelry as it tells us about the emotional functions of gemstones. All these materials have become a source of inspiration at present. “In the Middle Eastern culture jewelry commands a lot of respect and because of it I’m always fascinated by the colorful stories emanating from this region as a whole,” Chan says.
He has certainly blown everybody away with one of his creations titled “Fish’s Whisper” which is shaped in the form of a bangle. To bring it to life, he used intaglio to carve two pairs of fish on the inside of the crystal, following the curve of the bangle. One gets an illusion of the fishes as if they’re looking out at us from a bowl. “The world they see and the world we see are both twisted and we tend to assume each of our versions of the twisted world as something close to reality. Nothing is real, and nothing is unreal. Everything is a matter of perception,” Chan says. “But I feel that it’s a bit heartrending for the fish to live in a bowl, so I created jeweled corals for them; where they’re entitled to feel contented in their own universe.”

This time, Chan has gone one step further by doing the impossible. He has developed 20 jewelry pieces which are crafted in porcelain, a material that is five times harder than steel. As a patent to his pioneering invention, this method has been named “The Wallace Chan Porcelain.”
Although women lust after his remarkable jewelry sold at mindboggling prices, many collectors of his great work are men too and they’ve been wearing his jewelry with fervor for quite some time. “Whenever they wear the designed pieces of mine, they appreciate the pieces’ sculptural, carving or other qualities,” he says. “Many of my collectors are not celebrities. I look for collectors who appreciate the spirit of my work. We need to share the same vision. Resonance is the key word in our friendship.”
As the world gets hooked on his breathtaking jewels and art installations, Chan plans to have more exhibitions in years to come so that he can bring his creations to a wider audience and promote the spiritual values of jewelry art.

It’s no wonder why his night time appears to be so enigmatic. “Every night when I go to bed, I imagine myself going through rebirth, and when morning comes, I’m a newborn person again, curious about everything I see or sense. I’m constantly inspired and I absorb like a sponge,” he says.  

 

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Fashion

Irthi-Bvlgari panel emphasises importance of preservation and documentation of cultural heritage

As part of its mission to preserve and protect Emirati cultural heritage for future generations, Irthi Contemporary Crafts Council has joined hands with Italian jewellery brand, Bvlgari, to explore and analyse practices surrounding the curation and documentation of cultural heritage and to share this knowledge through a series of virtual sessions with experts in the field.

Accordingly, Irthi, an affiliate of the NAMA Women Advancement Establishment, recently organised its second panel in the series titled ‘Cultural Sustainability through Intangible Heritage and Architecture’, in collaboration with Bvlgari.

The discussion was led by HE Noura Al Kaabi, UAE Minister of Culture and Youth; HE Reem BinKaram, Director, NAMA; Jean-Christophe Babin, CEO, Bvlgari; Nora Aldabal, Arts and Culture Programming Director, Royal Commission Saudi Arabia; and Noura Al Sayeh – Holtrop, Head of Architectural Affairs, Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiques (BACA). Fatema Deemas, Senior Executive Projects Research and Documentation, Irthi, moderated.

Reviving and modernising traditional crafts

Commenting on the UAE’s efforts to preserve and sustain its heritage for future generations,HE Noura Al Kaabi, said: “The UAE has been keenly promoting its unique heritage globally through well-designed initiatives, policies and legislations. Our efforts have led to elements representing Emirati heritage being added to the UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Heritage of Humanity, and we are working closely with local and international partners to ensure that more are recognized in the future.”

Noura Al Kaabi added: “What is most fascinating about these traditions is that they are being preserved through ongoing cultural practices, rather than been confined to a museum setting. In the UAE, entities such as Irthi are playing a pivotal role in fostering a dialogue between contemporary design, traditional craftsmanship and cultural heritage, and thereby transcending the goal of just preserving it.”

HE Reem BinKaram highlighted Sharjah’s strategy of investing in human capital to create the necessary infrastructure for preserving its cultural heritage. She said: “Irthi has taken forward the UAE’s and Sharjah’s vision by creating synergies between contemporary and traditional elements that help retain the distinctive Emirati identity of our crafts while also enhancing their international appeal. Additionally, commercial collaborations with global designers and local artisans are inspiring new ways of incorporating these into our daily lives.”

She continued: “At Irthi, a 360-degree approach governs its efforts in preserving our tangible and intangible heritage. When we first began, our artisans were mostly in the 50-65 age group. Today, we are attracting artisans as young as 24 years, and their craft practice is empowering them socially and economically.”

Enabling knowledge transfer

Describing the lack of focus on manual skills in the western world as the inspiration behind the evolution of the Bvlgary Academy, Jean-Christophe Babin said: “Every year, we train around 120 talents who are passionate about learning the lost skills of crafting exquisite pieces of jewellery. These handcrafted pieces evoke strong emotions and help preserve our cultural heritage.”

“The only way to revive a dying craft is to involve and train the youth,” added BinKaram, elaborating on Irthi’s strategy of enabling knowledge transfer to the young generation. “We collaborate with sister entities and other organisations that support youth to nurture their interest in the crafts. We also created custom design programmes such as Design Labs, to enable them to experiment with different mediums and craft practices.”

Cultural programming

Nora Aldabal offered an insight into the AlUla region, an archaeological treasure at the heart of Saudi Arabia’s heritage programme. Describing AlUla as “an open living museum”, she said: “We are currently developing Madrasat Al Deera, an exciting new project and the first girls’ school in AlUla that was abandoned around 20 years ago. The school is being renovated as a cultural hub and will focus on upscaling artisans’ skills in everything from ceramics and jewellery making to design foundation.”

She added that under the programme, when elderly women infused newly learnt contemporary elements into their crafts, it attracted the attention of both youngsters and hospitality and development projects who are keen on incorporating these into their projects. 

Preserving art and architecture

Citing the example of Bahrain’s conservation project, Pearling Paths, Noura Al Sayeh – Holtrop elaborated the role of architecture in resolving the issues of tangible and intangible heritage which, she described as being “two sides of the same coin.”

She said: “Pearling Paths is a tangible heritage that we are safeguarding and conserving and is very much the product of an intangible heritage of the pearling economy. These two aspects are intimately linked.”

Holtrop further explained: “The buildings are the physical testimony of a thousand years of the pearling economy that is largely intangible. To conserve them, we needed to understand its varied intangible elements, specifically the stories behind the buildings, how they were used, the crafts used to build them, and how and by whom they were built. This process was essential to not disrupt the intangible connections that the local community had forged with these buildings and the city.”

Babin emphasised why Bvlgari – a 136-year-old Italian company, felt duty bound to pay tribute to the city of Rome and help preserve its monuments by making them accessible to the public. He said: “We believe that cultural heritage has real value only when it is shared by people and made accessible to all. For instance, Bvlgari is funding the restoration of Largo di Torre Argentina in collaboration with the City Council of Rome and the Ministry of Arts and Culture of Italy. Dating to 4th century BC, this historical site once housed temples and theatres and is the site of Julius Caesar’s assassination. Although the site was excavated about a century ago, it was not maintained or opened to the public.”