I am thrilled to be part of another beautiful issue by Vault Magazine, which this time pays homage to classic style for men. (Why there isn’t a local magazine of this caliber for women, I seriously don’t know.)
The cover features a handsome pair of Carmina brogues (photographed by either Ocs Alvarez, Pat Mateo, or Philip Sison) and was designed by Vault’s young-but-brilliant art director, Karl Castro. In his introduction to this great piece of work, editor-in-chief David Celdran writes:
“… Those looking for the latest trends in menswear fashion won’t find it in this guide. Instead, this special issue of Vault is dedicated to the building blocks of classic style–elements of a man’s wardrobe that are neither dated nor fashion forward. In other words: timeless.”
In working on this issue, I had the privilege of going inside Singapore’s ultra-exclusive shops, Malmaison by The Hour Glass (on Orchard Road, fronting the Paragon) and Uomo Collezioni (in Marina Bay Sands), and learning about such brands as Cire Trudon, Lorenzo Villaresi, Charvet, Rubinacci, Pal Brioni, Zilli, and Stefano Ricci, among others. There I learned what set the truly timeless and classic pieces apart from those that simply come and go with the waves of fashion trends: an unflinching adherence to artisanal traditions and to meticulous craftsmanship. Most, if not all, of the brands mentioned in this issue know the true value of bespoke luxury wear and have helped to define consumers’ definition of “luxury.”
So here, without further ado, are excerpts of my mini-features in this issue.
Named after Chateau de Malmaison, the French castle that became home to the Emperor Napoleon and his wife Josephine, Malmaison by The Hourglass pays homage to luxury and elegance through pieces that are timeless, indulgent, and exquisitely crafted by the world’s finest artisans and craftsmen. Owned by the Tay family, long known for their love of exceptional timepieces, a focal point of the 6,000-square-meter boutique is its collection of the world’s foremost names in watchmaking–including TAG Heuer and Tudor, Panerai and Piaget, Harry Winston and H. Moser & Cie., and, of course, Rolex and Patek Philippe. [excerpt ends here]
Known in Europe for over 20 years of tastemaking in men’s fashion and luxury items, Uomo Collezioni comes to Southeast Asia through its flagship store at the prestigious Marina Bay Sands in Singapore. Whether one is looking for pieces to uphold classic tradition or to make a bold statement, Uomo Collezioni has a wide range of products to meet every discerning gentleman’s wardrobe need. [excerpt ends here]
Villoresi: The world of heightened senses
“A perfume should provide a privileged insight into your own personal essence, a clue to your innermost thoughts and journeys of the soul; a door which can either be kept locked or left wide open, leading to opportunities, games and seduction.” — Lorenzo Villoresi
Seduction was indeed a large part of the Lorenzo Villoresi story, as perfume-making was never in the Florentine perfumer’s lineage or intentions. A student of philosophy at the University of Florence, Villoresi was traveling to the Middle East and Africa, researching about the philosophy of religion, when he discovered exotic spices and essences in Morocco, Egypt, Israel, and Sudan. He was captivated by the sensual alchemy of spicy scents and essential oils, and not long after, felt compelled to experiment with his own customized scents.
From philosophy and religion, Villoresi’s attention switched to the creation of powerful sensory experiences that could, in many ways, alter a person’s state of consciousness. His bespoke fragrances soon garnered the attention of society’s crème de la crème, and in 1990, his eponymous perfumery was born. [end of excerpt]
The only candlemaker that can claim an illustrious heritage of wax-making through the centuries, Cire Trudon was established in 1643. It has since been the preferred wax-maker of royalty from the likes of Louis XIII and Napoleon. In 1811, on the occasion of his son’s birth, the Emperor Napoleon gave a single gift: a Trudon candle encrusted with three pieces of gold featuring his head. Even when the Napoleonic Empire crumbled, Cire Trudon candles shone on and, in 1889, won for France a prize at the World Exhibition. [end of excerpt]
Perfumes for Men
In the olfactory world, there are fragrances, and then there are sensory experiences–those that make a dramatic impact on both the wearer and the people around him.
Made with a strict adherence to the traditions of Italian perfume-making, Lorenzo Villoresi perfumes have been dubbed “Haute Couture for the Senses” because of the richness of the ingredients, the exotic blend of scents and spices from East and West, and the intense energy that comes with every scent. [end of excerpt]
This special issue of Vault Magazine features sections on footwear, suits & jackets, formal wear, neckwear, outerwear, shirts, pants, hats, bags & wallets, jewelry & accessories, eyewear, desktop, grooming, and watches. It is available in Powerbooks, Fully Booked, National Bookstore, and Filbar’s outlets.