I don't have the luxury of a secretary which means I have to do myself things, like making and answering calls and organising my diary of activities. And since the invitations for an editor-in-chief can number more than a dozen a day, I am happily surprised that I have hardly ever turned up on a wrong day or at a wrong venue. Shows I am actually quite a well-organised person, even if I say so myself. However, last week I almost wasted hours fighting the traffic to get to the Thailand Cultural Centre for a concert that never happened. It was supposed to have been for a member of royalty who could not make it at the last minute, resulting in the cancellation (or postponement) of the event but the message didn't reach me. If I hadn't mentioned the event in passing to a friend on the day itself, who told me it was off, I would have gone for naught. Which would not have made me at all happy as you can well imagine.
A Monday Michelin Lunch
Anyway, my week started off on a roll. Deepak Ohri, CEO of lebua Hotels and Resorts, had called up to invite me for lunch on Monday. Thinking it was going to be a casual gathering for a small group, I found a grand affair to celebrate Mezzaluna winning two stars in the TAT-sponsored Michelin guide. The restaurant's chef Ryuki Kawasaki was joined by his mentor chef Koji Shimomura (also with two Michelin stars in Tokyo), to create a seven-course gourmet menu not only paired with wines including lebua's own label, but also different small bread varieties for each course. Seventh heaven for a bread-lover like me! Pernod Ricard also joined in to mark its years-long collaboration with lebua.
A Phantom In The Evening
In the evening was the launch of Rolls Royce's new eighth generation Phantom at Park Hyatt. At almost 60 million baht, it's a vehicle that screams luxury. Guests enjoyed a nice dinner together with entertainment by the operatic Fivera as executives Sunthornpan Dechathet and Sven Grunwald introduced the car to the first group of people in Thailand to see it.
Wednesday began with a morning book launch...
In the Kingdom is the story of B Grimm and the Link family from the company’s founding in 1878. According to publisher and B Grimm CEO Dr Harald Link, it took almost 10 years for the author Yuwadee Tonsakulrungruang to finish the book. From Mandarin Oriental, where the event was held, I made a quick dash to Park Hyatt for a lunch hosted by Audemars Piguet to present its SIHH highlight collections, including the first Royal Oak Concept model for women. I enjoyed chatting with the new CEO for Southeast Asia, Jonathan King, who is based in Singapore.
That evening there were two more events.
First, the opening of Atelier de Prestige, a perfume house by Prestige Products at EmQuartier specialising in seven niche fragrances for the lady who wants to smell unique. Prestige CEO Vinod Dadlani welcomed brand ambassador Pimdao Panichsamai. Then at the next-door Emporium, Montblanc unveiled its Muses Edition pen honouring Marilyn Monroe. Guests were served Piper-Heidsieck champagne in tribute to this icon of glamour and style.
The next day I met an old acquaintance...
...Aldo Lipari, a Somalian-Italian who used to head Bally in Asia but has now launched his own men's shoe brand, ALODD. The products are available at Takashimaya in Singapore, and Aldo is looking for an outlet in Bangkok. The venue for the lunch was a new private dining restaurant hidden away in Sukhumvit Soi 49 called Mighty. Founder Renzo Ambrosini explains that like a chef's table concept, private dining is an eatery with one table but instead of the chef deciding the menu, guests select their courses but in advance. His co-founders are chef Kongsak Likhitchanyakul and Tanasit Chaiyaporn.
Lotus Arts de Vivre X Italasia X Motif
From food to plates on which they are served. Three brands worked together to come up with two stunning dining sets: lotus leaf and bamboo. Lotus Arts de Vivre, Italasia and Motif showed off their collaboration at the Motif showroom in a party that started from 4pm to 11pm—or so I was told by Akarat Vanarat of Motif. Italasia's Fa Benedetti and Lotus's Sri and Niklas Von Buren were no doubt there as well, but I am not sure if father Rolf stayed until the end.
A Royal Fashion Show
Before going to the Sirivannavari fashion show, I stopped by Siam Discovery for the presentation of Huawei's Y9, a smartphone with dual front and rear cameras aimed at a younger market. Then the evening's highlight, the presentation of HRH Princess Sirivannavari's spring/summer collection. The Royal Paragon Hall had been set up with a huge circular stage in the centre decorated with red flowers that rose in a huge column to the ceiling. The RBSO was installed in the middle playing original music throughout composed especially for the occasion. A long lineup of models presented stunning designs at the end of which HRH took well-deserved bows as she walked the runway.
Opening Of Fendi Kiosk
Still on fashion, the next day was the opening of Fendi Kiosk stores for men and women installed right in the centre of Siam Paragon and created to resemble a Roman piazza with a band playing and a flower corner. Fashionistas were there to check out the new collection although at times it got to be so crowded that one could hardly move. Hosts Andrea Crippa and Clara Goh from Fendi’s regional office in Singapore were no doubt pleased with the turnout. The Kiosks will be open until the end of June.
The week ended with a bit of culture.
I went to the play Red Line, the first production ever by the students of Chulalongkorn University’s Faculty of Economics. From the writing of the story, script and songs to the costumes, production and marketing, everything was done by the students themselves. I must say it was a very impressive job, considering the play staged at the Siam Pic- Ganesha theatre ran almost three hours long. So why was I there? To support my nephew, Chulnop Burusratanaphan, who had one of the leading roles in the musical-cum-murder mystery. After spending long hours for months in rehearsals, I figure it was the least I could do to show up. And I must say I was glad I did as it turned out to be rather enjoyable.
(Previously: Naphalai's Diary: March 5-12)