LuxeBook October 2022

O C T O B E R 2 0 2 2 Are intimate weddings here to stay? Tequila’s new-found reputation The latest concept cars RISE IN LUXURY RETAIL Luxury brands look over to India’s rising affluent class

T H E G I S T O C T O B E R 2 0 2 2 India has close to ten lakhmillionaires,a number expected todouble by2026. Luxury brands, right on cue, have their eyes set on the rising love for luxury goods amongst India’s upcoming swish set, and the luxury retail sector is evolving to accommodate their needs. Gone are the days of 2,500 sq ft stores, as brands open 10,000 sq ft plus ‘experience centres’. The pandemic hooked many customers with disposable incomes onto retail therapy, and 2022 has been all about matching that energy offline. Brands are willing to upgrade with unboxing experiences,retail staff ready to provide a seamless experience. This issue we take a look at India’s luxury retail forecast on the one hand, and audiences finally straying from the Big Fat Indian Wedding on the other. The number of attendees might be down, but the spending is not, as wedding planners whisper of the constant hunt for new ideas and exclusive affairs. Payel Majumdar Upreti Spending season S O C I A L M E D I A www.mediascope.co.in www.luxebook.in ADVERTISING SALES Mumbai (022 - 6846 8500) Regional Manager (West) — Katty Gia (+91 98705 32295) • Senior Manager — Lamont Dias (+91 91674 14988) Delhi (011 - 4562 5810) Sr. General Mgr. (North) — Asha Augustine (+91 98182 80431) Kerala (+91 94140 69321) — Sanjai Krishnan Manager Mktg. Services — Salim B • Client Servicing Manager — Reshma Malvankar Founders — Marzban Patel / Anita Patel • Director Publishing — Indu Joshi • Chief Marketing Officer — Apeksha Mehta Editor — Payel Majumdar Upreti • Writers — Arushi Sakhuja, Schenelle Dsouza, Jade Crasto Creative Director — Muhammad Jaan Faruqui This magazine is printed by and produced by Mediascope Representation (India) LLP. Opinions herein are the writers’ and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Mediascope. Editorial enquiries concerning the reproduction of articles, advertising and circulation should be addressed to: LuxeBook, Mediascope Representation (India) LLP., 51, Doli Chamber, Arthur Bunder Road, Colaba, Mumbai 400005, India. Email: [email protected] Material in this publication may not be reproduced, whether in part or in whole, without the consent of the publisher.

SEASON TO CELEBRATE Kick back and celebrate those magical moments in the picturesque #QueenOfHills with your loved ones. Stay exquisitely in one of our elegant rooms and suites, explore our culinary rendez-vous, indulge in holiday pampering rituals and revel in a stellar line up of events curated just for you. To create such memorable moments with us, please contact our vacation expert at 0135.2635700, +91 7060211017 or email at [email protected] Village - Siya, Kempty Fall Road, Tehri Garhwal, Uttarakhand - 248179, India. C M Y CM MY CY CMY K CONTENTS 04 Trending 08 Weddings 2.0 22 Preserving Art 36 Heirloom Piece 30 Take-a-Shot 42 Luxury Retail 16 Time Collectors 48 Inner Sanctum 56 Sustainable Sparkle Photo Courtesy: 7-10 Photographer: Amit Mali O C T O B E R 2 0 2 2 2|L U X E B O O K|O C T O B E R 2 0 2 2

COMPILED BY JADE CRASTO Ritu Kumar Set of 3 – `1800 labelritukumar.com When it comes to planning a look or an outfit, whether it is a large celebration or a simple outing, we’re always brainstorming what piece of jewellery fits the outfit. The first thing you would decide on would be your earrings, then your necklace, and finally h nd accessories. But the one accessory that is always an afterthought is our hair. Styling your hair may help you look more beautiful but accessorizing it will elevate your outfit as well. Many Indian hairstyles look stunning with jewellery on it. There are plenty of options to choose from when it comes to hair accessories, from brooches to chains to flowers and more. LuxeBook has curated a list of some of the best hair accessories for the upcoming wedding season. 1. Anayah: Charlie A contemporary, festive brand with classic costume jewellery that swiftly reflects your personality, Anayah is a stunning collection of handcrafted contemporary jewellery that draws inspiration from India’s traditional jewellery art and employs time-honored methods to bring to life pieces for the modern woman where she celebrates her femininity with ease, while juggling various tasks in her life. Charlie is a kundan and faux pearl hair accessory, and will be the prettiest addition to your jewellery box. It is made with gold polished brass metal and cultured pearls. Price: `17,300.00 2. Opalina: Afsaneh Set Opalina’s designs are a handcrafted opus of cultures and traditions from the lands of Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and the Western World, evoking the coexistence of the past and present, indelibly shaping its brand’s identity. They are inspired by the tales of the royal eras and the allure of nature. The headpiece includes a hair band made of 22k rose gold plate with Persian tulip designs and beautiful stone and pearl details, as well as a pair of 22k rose gold plate “estere earrings” with folded leaves decorated with cubic zirconia and Swarovski crystals. Price: `21,000.00 3. Anita Dongre: Humera Mathapatti Anita Dongre believes that fashion plays a defining role in enhancing a person’s confidence and sense of self. Whether it is a bridal lehenga, a sherwani or a well-cut jacket, the brand’s intention is to always offer the customer a piece that they will love and wear for many years. Anita Dongre also pays homage to Indian craftsmanship by designing and creating unique handcrafted jewellery. The Humera Mathapatti is a gold-plated silver mathapatti encased with zircon crystals and is a creation that screams modern classic. Price: `30,500.00 Glam up your hair with these eye-catching accessories 1 5 6 Statement hair accessories for the wedding season 4|L U X E B O O K|O C T O B E R 2 0 2 2 TRENDING

jewellery collections and styles that are catered to the varied tastes of different age groups and nationalities. This delicate maang tika, has 18 KT of gold and 379 diamond pieces. Price: `2,40,694.00 7. Tyanni by Karan Johar: Garbina Polki Maangtika Tyaani is a Pret line of fine jewellery that makes exquisite pieces of jewellery out of natural diamond polkis or uncuts and 22kt gold. Each item of jewellery at Tyaani has a unique narrative to tell, each one compelling enough to captivate you to buy jadau jewellery online. Tyaani focuses on the unique attraction of uncut diamonds. This delicately curated maangtikka has over 109 pieces of uncut diamonds and it’s gold weight for 22kt is 5.6 grams. Price: `2,78,256.00 and distributing the joy that results to everyone. With a simple gold centre and three distinct strands, this classy Maang Tikka by Kalyan Jewellers is made according to tradition. Flowers and semi-precious stones are used to embellish the centre chain. Price: `1,40,888.00 6. Malabar Gold and Diamonds: Christian Bride Mine Diamond Maang Tikka The Malabar Group is a well-known, diverse Indian corporate group, with Malabar Gold & Diamonds serving as its flagship firm. Malabar Gold & Diamonds has everything, from sophisticated cuts for the contemporary lady on-thego and bespoke designs for custom-made creations to intricate and magnificent wedding jewellery collections for today’s brides. The company offers a wide variety of 4. Glow by Maheep Kapoor This collection by Maheep Kapoor in collaboration with Tyanni by Karan Johar is filled with glamorous jadau jewellery to compliment you. The Ijaya Jadau Polki Maangtika has gold, diamonds and Zambian emeralds, 14.1cm in length and 4cm in width. This maang tikka is a certified Diamond Polki jewellery handcrafted in 22kt And 18kt Gold. Price: On request 5. Kalyan Jewellers: Kasiga Mudhra Gold Mang Tikka Kalyan provides a variety of traditional and modern jewellery designs in gold, diamonds, precious stones, and other precious metals. The company has a thorough awareness of regional tastes and preferences. Their mission is to comprehend and enchant the world by interpreting each person’s dream and individuality into exquisite Indian jewellery 7 4 3 7 2 6|L U X E B O O K|O C T O B E R 2 0 2 2

The wedding industry in India is one of the biggest in the world. Honed for grand celebrations, A Big Fat Wedding is often an attraction for many overseas. Weddings account for the fourth biggest industry in the country according to some estimates, second only to banking, infrastructure and finance. A staggering 1 crore of weddings take place in India every year. The wedding industry is growing at 25-30% annually, and India is estimated to have about 40 crore weddings in the next 15 years. “Big fat weddings will always be a part of our industry, it’s just that people are more conscious of the experience they want to create today,” said Anika Dhawan, Founder, Rani Pink and Rani Pink Gifts. While the wedding industry accounts for around 15-20% of the overall clothing industry sales, weddings constitute around 60% of jewellery sales and for cosmetics companies, it is the most crucial period. According to a survey by WeddingWire India in August the per month earnings of nearly half of its wedding vendors (42.5%) have gone up in 2022 as compared to 2019 and around 31% of vendors in the wedding industry have increased their charges due to high product and labour costs across categories. In light of the pandemic, guestlists are getting smaller, ensembles are getting more wearable, and sustainability is being championed above all for some; and for others, Big Fat weddings continue to be the way to go. “The incredibly restrictive nature of the pandemic sparked a wave of small and intimate weddings. Celebrating BY ARUSHI SAKHUJA Looking at how the Big Fat Indian wedding has evolved post the pandemic. Are intimate weddings here to stay? JW Marriott New Delhi Under a flower canopy Photo Courtesy: Beyond Photos 8|L U X E B O O K|O C T O B E R 2 0 2 2 WEDDINGS 2.0 O C T O B E R 2 0 2 2 |L U X E B O O K| 9

their ‘I dos’ with a close-knit circle of the nearest and dearest wove a magical charm and is here to stay for a longer haul,” said Shubham Gupta - Founder & Creative Head - Beyond Photos. But on he said... “ Yet there is no denying that there are couples still dreaming and waiting to host the big fat Indian wedding. A lavish affair or intimate nuptial ultimately should be a day you can look back upon fondly with nostalgia. The wedding season is booming in 2022.” The pandemic has forced the Indian market to re-think one of its most grand affairs —A Big Fat Indian Wedding. According to a survey conducted by WedMeGood in 2021, only 60% want to plan large weddings with over 200 guests. But that’s not all, according to a report by WeddingWire India, there has been a paradigm shift in how Indians are planning a wedding in the new normal. From intimate and micro, civil and digital weddings to e-invites and customized wedding websites, and with as many as 76% of couples (compared to the year before) opting for non-saaya dates, the approach has become more modern and practical. The wedding industry has seen a drastic change during the pandemic that is continuing to live on even after. In today’s world of weddings, “.. everything is more minimal and more detailed,” said Anika Dhawan. “Along with lavish weddings, it is in trend to have intimate pre-wedding functions. It’s also quite in vogue to have glitzy cocktails and bachelor parties. An upcoming trend is having theme-based pool parties,” points out Ajit Singh Garcha, General Manager, of The Park Hyderabad. Intimate weddings, elaborate events, same spending power A small guest list with close-knit people, that initially started as a mandate for weddings to contain the spread of COVID, seems to have carved a niche for itself in society. Small-scale, intimate weddings are becoming a preferred choice for many, no matter what the socio-economic status of an individual might be.“I feel like there’s been a huge shift inmindset.People aremore about unique personal details post-pandemic. People are enjoying the concept of smaller intimate weddings where they can concentrate on the details. It’s also much more personal. People are choosing more fun destinations, their own homes and smaller gardens to host their weddings,” says Anika Dhawan, Founder of Rani Pink and Rani Pink Gifts. But does that mean the luxury aspect of weddings is eliminated? We’d say no. While guests list, luxury and opulence remain a central theme for many wedding celebrations. “Intimate soirees as far as I have witnessed are based on individuals’ choice of how many guests they would want. And yet, their events are quite elaborate,” shared Manish Malhotra. For Anika, weddings have changed in terms of scale, but the spending power remains the same. The key change she has noticed is a change in their priority list that is redefined on things that matter more. “The scale is definitely smaller but I don’t think that luxury is defined by it, and so that hasn’t been affected. People are spending on things that matter most. I don’t think that aesthetics or experience is defined by budgets, so people are still spending, but more thoughtfully. She goes on to say....”The budgets aren’t changing immensely, but the concept of design has changed today. The idea of luxury consumption is a lot more understood because people want to pay attention to the smaller details. For me, it’s all about storytelling today.” Weddings and sustainability Yet another noteworthy outcome of the pandemic, is rising conversations around sustainability in terms of weddings – from couture to décor, jewellery and more. While some brides are upcycling old sarees carried down over generations, others are using ancestral jewellery. Anika also pointed out that there has been a change in the use of materials pre, and post covid... “everyone is more aware and less wasteful.” Anuja Joshi, Founder of luxury flower company, Interflora India, further validated this point saying that sustainability is at the root of their philosophy when organizing special occasions, especially weddings. She says, “We upcycle flowers after events to create floral candles and diffusers and we use floral waste to turn it into biofuel post.” But at a deeper level, not only is the material sourced ethically but they also follow cold chain solutions at every stage from sourcing to delivery to ensure minimal wastage. However, the idea of slow and thoughtful living is today intrinsically interwoven into every aspect of our life. People are more conscious and there’s a new understanding of slow living and luxury as per wedding designer Anika Dhawan. Today, people want luxury which is more valued and brings more happiness versus large sets,bignumbers and lavishwasteful concepts.The idea is toworkwith the Mumbai Event Decor The Big Fat Indian Wedding Photo Courtesy: Beyond Photos Dhol Night Destination wedding Rajasthan set up Photo Courtesy: Beyond Photos N A Mehendi Anika Dhawan, Founder Rani Pink and Rani Pink Gifts 10|L U X E B O O K|O C T O B E R 2 0 2 2 O C T O B E R 2 0 2 2 |L U X E B O O K| 1 1

surroundings rather than trying to create over-the-top designs,” says Anika. Coming to the other side, the hospitality industry is scaling up on its green promises. While JW Marriott New Delhi sanitizes reusable glass bottles and diverts more than 1.M plastic bottles from landfills in a year, making sure all the rooms use these water bottles. Ajit Singh Garcha, General Manager, The Park Hyderabad says, “After the wedding festivities are over, we encourage our guests to distribute the leftover food among underprivileged children and old-age homes to spread the joy. We encourage fresh flower décor and completely avoid single-use plastic during festivities. And the live food stations like chaat, golgappas etc do not endorse the use of plastic; rather we use thermocol or cardboard.” This points to the change in the use of material making it an eco-friendlier choice. Changing wedding attires and décor Less is more in 2022, and bride and grooms have shifted their focus to what they really want as opposed to societal norms. From wedding apparel to beauty and jewellery, fashion designer Varun Bahl believes that modern brides have started opting for more unique colour palettes, embellishments, and embroideries for 2022 weddings. “Today’s confident and powerful brides are no longer looking at the traditional bridal attire, but opting for a more modern, minimal and powerful look. Brides and grooms want a fusion between traditional and contemporary wear now. Earlier it was just a classic red lehenga for the bride and a sherwani for the groom. Now brides go for colours and different styles and so do grooms. I think all brides should be able to enjoy their wedding as much as their guests and that is why I truly believe in transformative attire.I also believe in going for something comfortable for the wedding so that there has to be no transformation.” Further, Manish Malhotra states, “ We see a change in the scope of events; brides want more meaningful soirées, so they opt for versatile and personalized attire Couples are rewriting weddings and celebrating that define their persona so that many personal touches will be added to their wedding trousseau. Modifying old classics with a modern touch adds emotional value.” This creates not Mr. Ajit Singh Garcha Area General Manager, The Park Bangalore Beachside wedding S&K Wedding Day Welcome 12|L U X E B O O K|O C T O B E R 2 0 2 2 O C T O B E R 2 0 2 2 |L U X E B O O K| 13

only an emotional value but also a touch of sustainability. Hence, it’s safe to say that even styling norms have changed too with a focus on comfort and movement. While Anika believes that today’s generation of brides and grooms have changed with a desire to look like themselves, they want their fashion to be an expression of who they are.Along with a change in fashion choices, she also has noted some key changes in wedding décor. One of the most distinguishable ones is the focus on more detail and storytelling. “I believe in oldworld nostalgia and slow-living luxury, so honestly, I’m having the best time creating these stories and experiences. It is a huge change. For example, if I were to create a charming mehndi afternoon, now I can create old-school polo tents in checks and stripes, with rattan garden furniture and layered trees and pots with tangerines and hanging wildflowers. Instead of multi-coloured loud gimmicky elements. I design the table linen and do hand-painted menu cards instead of printed ones. The change is that now people will appreciate this attention to detail unlike before where these things weren’t paid attention to.”Adding to this Shubham says, “Prices have skyrocketed postpandemic and bloated wedding expenses to soaring levels. The persistently rising inflation has pushed average people to crush the guest list, shaving down extra frills on the décor and menu. Swapping the dates to leaner wedding periods or merging different events, e-invites versus invitation cards are also gaining popularity. Yet those with a luxury wedding budget are still pursuing their fantasy and going for upscale, glamorous events filled with drama and glitz.” Destination weddings “Big fat Indian wedding is the way to go, and we say why not!” says Mr Ajit Singh Garcha, General Manager, THE Park Hyderabad. While farm and hotel weddings in cities have their charm, destination weddings have seen a drastic boom in the post-pandemic world. It’s not to say that they didn’t exist prior, but the numbers have definitely scaled up. “The pandemic has redefined the concept of a destination wedding. It’s no longer just about scrumptious menus, flashy decors, and extravaganza events, rather it’s about thoughtfulness, personalization, and celebrating with loved ones. A place with scenic or ancestral significance, and India has many such locations,” says Manish Malhotra.With Rajasthan being one of the most popular destinations, the advantage is a smaller guestlist and more attention to detail, customization, and integration. However, Ajit has also noted an increase in the number of destination weddings in South India. “Popular for its mesmerising Hussain Sagar Lake Views and an infinity pool it is apt to plan a dream wedding which is bright, beautiful and full of joy. Even Vizag is an upcoming destination for its pristine beaches and crystal-clear waters make for a beautiful backdrop.” Summing this up Shubham says, “ An experiential destination is a buzzword in the current times, one that focuses on exuberant experiences throughout the entire event.” The bottom line Although 2020 and 2021 were slow for the wedding industry in 2022 the business for wedding vendors is on the rise. With people becoming more sustainable and digital in their approach Ajit Singh says, “we have more events coming which are technology driven. “However, the new buzzword for Shubha is flexibility.“Bookings, contracts and deposits should be fine-combed and have the ability to pivot around, viewing the rear view of the past years.” While there is a change in the kind of weddings from scale to materials used and new techniques. As the covid curve is flattening out, people are also keenly awaiting to get back to the big fat Indian weddings. “As things are flattening out, to pre-pandemic levels, we see a resurgence of fairy tale weddings. Fresh and improved, they are back with a modern makeover, with couples having the final say in the events: gay and dazzling parties but a week-long saga cutting short to two to three days affairs. The pandemic-led shift is there, but subtle with the quintessential celebrations back in force,” says Shubham. Adding further,Malhotra feels that the big fat Indian wedding will always be a mainstay.“India as a country is huge and communities diverse, and rituals are as varied as the religions, castes, and people who host them. But the big fat Indian wedding—a combination of traditions and Bollywood influence— does have fascinating stability. Even through economic turbulence, social reform, modern technology, or a pandemic, the big fat Indian wedding remains a mainstay.” A&V S&K Dhol Party Varun Bahl, Fashion Designer The D-day Photo Courtesy: Beyond Photos Team bride Photo Courtesy: Beyond Photos Destination wedding set up Photo Courtesy: Beyond Photos 14|L U X E B O O K|O C T O B E R 2 0 2 2 O C T O B E R 2 0 2 2 |L U X E B O O K| 15

The saying goes – It takes a brave man to delve into the depths of the ocean – or a very well-built watch. Many call themselves watch collectors, but only those who genuinely like to go above and beyond know the value of a luxury dive watch. Much like the name suggests, diving watches are suited for the depths of rivers and oceans making them the toughest mechanical gadget out there. But the reality is that most people don’t use diver watches for their functional purposes, but rather as a style statement. Diving timepieces continue to be highly popular choices when it comes to men’s luxury wristwatches. Aside from looking fantastic, dive watches have special features for underwater exploration that tell you how long you’ve been underwater, very crucial if you’re a scuba diver or even an amateur diving for pleasure. Sporting one of the best dive watches on your wrist can elevate your experience. But before we get to the best luxury dive watches, let’s understand the key features of a dive watch. What are dive watches? With an uber-luxe visual appeal, dive watches were originally used by divers to calculate the amount of time spent underwater. It needs to be a watch that can withstand a minimum water resistance of 10 atm (the equivalent of around 100 metres).However, over the year with technological advancement, some dive timepieces The best luxury dive watches to get your hands on! Take your aquatic adventures to the next level with these luxury dive timepieces. BY ARUSHI SAKHUJA today can reach depths of 200300 meters and some can even go as deep as 20,000 feet below the surface of the sea. Distinctive characteristics of a dive watch One of the key standout features of a dive watch is the rotating bezel, which is responsible for allowing divers to keep a track of the duration underwater. Another design element that is common amongst these watches is a rubber strap and a rugged case that makes them more durable. But reading time underwater isn’t always easy, hence the watches have luminous (or glow in the dark) indices to make it readable. And the more you’re willing to splurge, the fancier the features and more rugged your watch is to dive deeper. It’s needless then to say what characterises a good dive watch – waterproof and one that can withstand pressure underwater. From Rolex to Omega, LuxeBook has curated a list of the best timepieces worth the splurge. Richard Mille RM032 Les Voiles de Saint Barth If you are looking for a radically designed and executed timepiece that backs up its looks with performance, the buck stops at the Richard Mille RM 032 Voiles de Saint Barth. Characterised by its impressive two-tone combination of Caribbean blue and white Quartz TPT® the watch is limited to just 120 pieces, making it more exquisite. At 50mm in diameter, the watch has an unusual aesthetic and has an automatic winding movement. The crown is interesting with the ability to lock both itself and the pushers with the twist of a ring. A coloured index indicates the position – green is unlocked, and red is locked. Encrusted with sapphire crystals front and back, a unidirectional bezel and water resistance is rated at 300 meters, this is a true statement maker backed with performance. Price: US$ 245,000 Carl F Bucherer Patravi Scubatec Black Black never goes out of vogue, and Carl F Bucherer’s timepiece proves that. Following the success of the brands Blank Mantra Special Edition, the Patravi ScubaTec in matte black is one of the best dive watches. The 44.6mm watch is slick with an ultra-light titanium case coated in blackened titanium, and has a unidirectional rotating bezel. Adding a luxe quotient is the sapphire crystal with an anti-reflective coating on both sides that shines blue in the dark. With 16|L U X E B O O K|O C T O B E R 2 0 2 2 O C T O B E R 2 0 2 2 |L U X E B O O K| 17 TIME COLLECTORS

an automatic helium release valve, the watch has 500 metres of water resistance. While it does feature as one of the best dive watches in the market, its undeniable masculine and luxurious appeal also makes it a watch that can be worn on the red carpet. Price: US$ 7,900 Omega Seamaster Diver 300m James Bond 007 Edition When it comes to luxury dive watches, no one does it better than Omega. Being the pioneers of dive watches back in 1932, the brand was the first to create a diving watch, the rectangular Omega Marine with a patented double sliding and removable case. And ever since, year after year new iterations of dive watches have left us in awe. From the Seamaster to Planet Ocean, Aqua Terra, and the newest Seamaster Diver 300m James Bond 007 Edition. Identical to 007’s watch in ‘No Time To Die’ this 42mm Seamaster, is strong yet lightweight. Made with Grade 2 Titanium, it sports a brown tropical aluminium unidirectional bezel ring and dial. Guaranteeing the Swiss industry’s highest standard of precision, performance, and magnetic resistance, it’s waterproof up to 300 metres. Price on Request Rolex Sea Dweller The Rolex Sea Dweller is ideal for deep-sea exploration with water resistance of 1,220 metres. While the first iteration was launched in 2008, with every passing year the luxury giant has created editions better than the previous. Impeccable technology is combined with design aesthetics to create a timepiece that can withstand the toughest underwater expeditions. Being the archetype diving watch, the Sea-Dweller now comes in a bi-metal version with a bezel, crown and bracelet centre links in gold and the case and outer links in steel. Thanks to original developments such as the D-blue dial, large luminescent hour markers, Oyster case and helium escape valve, unidirectional bezel and numerals and graduations coated in platinum, this handsome 44mm timepiece is amongst the ultra-resistant divers’ watches engineered by Rolex for deep-sea exploration. Price: US$ 13,242 Breitling Superocean Automatic 44 Outerknown Breitling partnered with sustainable clothing brand Outerknown to create a dive watch that is not only a limited edition but also sustainable. In a unique Khaki colour, the Superocean Automatic 44 Outerknown features an Econyl yarn strap made from recycled nylon sourced from discarded fishing nets. Featuring a stainless-steel case and a rugged strap, the watch is a 44mm model with a unidirectional bezel and green dial with three hands that like the hour markers, are coated in Super-LumiNova that glows in darker conditions. Being water resistant up to 100 meters, this is a heavenly addition for any underwater adventure and watch collector. But the sustainable promise doesn’t end there, each watch is presented in packaging made entirely of recycled materials. Price US$ 3, 950 Montblanc 1858 Iced Sea At Watches & Wonders Montblanc debuted their first ever sports diving watch, the Montblanc 1858 Iced Sea Dive Watch.... and the crowds were captivated at first sight courtesy of its icy dials. The eye-catching watch features a glacier pattern dial that gives the impression of looking into the depths of a glacier, almost making it look like a dream. This blue glacial pattern dial is inspired by the Mer de Glace - Sea of Ice - the main glacier of the Mont-Blanc Massif. And its texture was achieved using an almost-forgotten ancestral technique called gratté-boisé. The watch is water resistance is up to 300 meters, comes with a unidirectional bezel, and the pristine blue colour makes it worth the hype. Price: US$ 3,190 Panerai Submersible PAM00973 A watch you can take everywhere – even under the waterline. The Panerai Submersible PAM00973 dive watch features an anti-clockwise rotating bezel with a graduated scale and Super Luminova markers and hands, so you can measure your timing whatever the environment. The rubber strap adds an athletic touch, while the steel case and black matte dial elevate it to a contemporary and classic accessory. With the properties of a traditional diver’s timepiece, it is waterproof up to 300 metres. Price on request O C T O B E R 2 0 2 2 |L U X E B O O K| 19 18|L U X E B O O K|O C T O B E R 2 0 2 2

Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Barracuda Minimal yet statement-inducing.Blancpain FiftyFathoms Barracuda is a seamless marriage of technical refinement and aesthetic purity, that sets apart this ultra-slim watch. The elegant watch boasts an understated array of grey tones making it slick with a distinctly elegant finish. The lightweight case of grade 23 titanium is complimented with a brushed ceramic bezel that underlines the tough-guy charm. A 300m depth rating tells you that it’s perfectly suited for your rugged underwater adventures. Price on request Tag Heuer Aquaracer Professional 1000 Superdrive Classic, yet minimalist; the Aquaracer Professional 1000 Superdrive is the perfect accessory for decisive modern styling. And if you wish to have a companion for your 1000-meter aquatic explorations, this polished piece in gleaming silver-tone steel won’t disappoint. The 45mm grade 5 titanium case has a crown protector and helium escape valve and is made to endure any conditions. Featuring a bracelet strap, a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal case and a contrasting dial, a faceted case and 12-sided bezel horizontally engraved dial, the watch exudes sophistication with timeless appeal. Price: US$ 6,650 Mumbai | Delhi | Chennai | Bangaluru | www.mediascope.co.in | T +91 22 68468500 Taking India to the world! Since 1979. D I G I T A L | P R I N T | T V | E V E N T S | C O N T E N T | L U X U R Y | P U B L I S H I N G | E X P O S I T I O N India’s leading international media services & content creation company. 20|L U X E B O O K|O C T O B E R 2 0 2 2

A designer’s quest to preserve an age-old craft heritage Designer Anjul Bhandari talks about preserving the authentic craft of chikankari. BY SCHENELLE DSOUZA Like many celebrated crafts in India, chikankari is an art with an understated charm. Delicate, hand-stitched embroidery tracing patterns on soft material, chikankari often makes for an elegant ensemble that is timeless. The art today is widespread and celebrated among designers. However, it has caught on with the modern trends and technology that while delivering the same results often takes away from the authenticity of the craft. One of the renowned names in the industry, Anjul Bhandari has been named among the handful of designers who stay true to the originality of chikankari that strays far away from modern interpretations. Her eponymous label, launched in 2010, champions Chikankari in its purest, most undiluted form. “Sadly, unadulterated hand embroidery is a dying art form and has been diluted by machine and computer embroidery. This furthers our motivation to conserve Chikankari,” says Bhandari. Everything from the embroideries to the motifs, all stay true to their traditional etymology. “The vision is to preserve, not reinvent.” A brush with the Mughals A traditional form of embroidery, chikankari is an art that involves intricate hand stitched embroidery on delicate materials like cotton and muslin. While the art belongs to Lucknow, it is believed to have been popularised in India by Mughal Emperor Jahangir’s wife Nur Jahan during the 17th century. Having developed an interest in the art, Emperor Jahangir went on to establish several workshops to perfect this craft in India. Chikan, in the literal sense, means embroidery. Chikankari eventually developed overtime, where karigars worked with new materials and techniques. Earlier, Anjul Bhandari Ensemble Anjul Bhandari present ‘Gulah-e-Rang’ 22|L U X E B O O K|O C T O B E R 2 0 2 2 PRESERVING ART O C T O B E R 2 0 2 2 |L U X E B O O K| 23

chikankari was only done on white or colourless muslin cloth. However, due to the lack of availability of muslin, chikankari was later carried out on materials like georgette, chiffon, cotton, silk, organza, etc. The colours used also changed with time, going from plain whites to pastel shades with light coloured threads. Additionally, the use of embellishments like sequins, beads and mirror work was also incorporated to enhance the appearance of the craft. While a handful of designers work with traditional craftsmen and women in Lucknow, modernization of the chikankari has brought in modern techniques like machine operated designing and stitching, which some would say has completely taken away from the authenticity of the craft. Anjul Bhandari is one of the few Indian designers maintaining the traditional practice of handto my personality and my style,” Bhandari said. “The versatility of the embroidery and the way it can look regal yet understated and contemporary is what makes it so special to me.” Bhandari had been designing couture for over 10 years before launching her eponymous label in 2010. Her label, she said was an ode to her mother-in-law’s legacy. “My label is an endeavour to continue her legacy by marrying my love for fashion, art and Chikankari with designs that stands for the spirit of our time and celebrate the labour of love.” Preservation over reinvention The art form of chikankari, Bhandari believes, is extremely unique because it isn’t practised anywhere outside Lucknow. “As is common knowledge, the government has geotagged the Awadh Chikankari. In that sense, it is original chikankari, only if it is done within the marked 200 kilometres.” In any case, chikankari by itself is such a unique craft; the beautiful thread embroidery gives it a certain versatility making it wearable for any occasion, even without embellishments. Talking about the process, Bhandari says that chikankari is a time-consuming art form. The designer shares that it often takes anywhere between 6 months to 2 years to complete one piece of clothing; that often depends on the intricacy of the embroidery and the karigar’s skills. “It is a lengthy process. The garments go through a lengthy process that begins with printing and continues through sampling, embroidery, jali, washing, stitching chikankari from the traditional karigars of Lucknow. A labour of love A self-taught artist, Anjul Bhandari’s long-standing love affair with the craft of her land was the reason behind her inclination to champion it through her designs. Bhandari spoke about her mother-in-law being the inspiration for her love for chikankari. Hailing from Lucknow, Bhandari’s mother-in-law was a social worker who worked for the upliftment of women in the rural parts of Lucknow. Working with craftsmen in the area, Bhandari was exposed to the craft of chikankari and fell in love with the aesthetic – intricate white thread embroidery and delicate stitches that brought a design to life, resonated with her. “The way in which different stitches came together to make a design come alive really resonated with me; and the classic aesthetic really spoke Ensemble Anjul Bhandari present ‘Gulah-e-Rang’ Ensemble Anjul Bhandari present ‘Gulah-e-Rang’ 24|L U X E B O O K|O C T O B E R 2 0 2 2 O C T O B E R 2 0 2 2 |L U X E B O O K| 25

Surkh Lal by Anjul Bhandai Surkh Lal by Anjul Bhandai and finally, embellishment and then stitching.” A relevant art form even today, Bhandari claims that the use of machinery has taken away from the originality of the craft. While it is very much relevant today, the artisans are seldom given credit for their skills. “Chikankari is a very relevant art form thanks to its widespread use which gives it recognition worldwide. The only issue with it is that we desperately need to preserve the craft form and support the artisans,” says Bhandari. The designer further adds that the use of machinery has commercialised the craft of chikankari. “I personally believe that designers need to go the extra mile to create heirloom pieces in the form that they were in at one point of time. The artisans involved in the process must be recognised. We owe it to them to ensure that the craft remains relevant and gets its due recognition.” Supporting Awadhi artisans As of today, the Anjul Bhandari label supports the highest number of Chikankari and Kamdani craftsmen in the Awadh, with Bhandari being the only female entrepreneur to have taken on this massive responsibility singlehandedly. The Geographical Indication Registry (GIR) accorded Geographical Indication (GI) status for chikankari in December 2008, recognizing Lucknow as an exclusive hub of chikankari. All of the label’s chikankari comes from these regions to ensure there is no compromise on quality. The label’s 1,500 artisans are a fourth26|L U X E B O O K|O C T O B E R 2 0 2 2 O C T O B E R 2 0 2 2 |L U X E B O O K| 27

generation master craftsmen, belonging to families that enjoyed the patronage of the royal court of the last Nawab of Lucknow. “We are fortunate to be able to help a large number of chikankari artisans both directly and indirectly. And of course, the journey hasn’t been easy. We helped our artisans through the pandemic because even though most people were out of work at the time, they were able to continue working and providing for themselves and their families. Supporting our artisans is our prime focus to keep the craft alive.” As a brand policy, Anjul Bhandari never rejects garments with minor defects, instead the brand works towards beautifying the piece further to reflects the essence of the hand work and effort put in by the artisans, who spent months to create that piece. “That is our way of acknowledging their effort. We always maintain that the artisans come before the designers because it is them who bring our vision to life. Our only motto is to ensure that there will always be more artisans engaging in this practice and we strive to encourage new generation artisans to continue the craft form.” Bhandari’s label aims to ensure that chikankari as an art form always remains relevant. The brand does this by adding new embellishments, silhouettes and styles to their collections. “Our artisans are eager to join us because they know their efforts will be recognised and valued and we’ve developed unwavering respect for their craft over the years,” adds Bhandari. Ensemble Anjul Bhandari present ‘Gulah-e-Rang’ Regal red Stepping into new waters, Anjul Bhandari experimented with bold hues in her latest collection titled Surkh Laal. A beautiful festive collection, Surkh Laal takes a radical departure from the signature pastels and mellow monochromes. Instead, bold shades of regal red took the centre stage as they made their bold debut into Bhandari’s realm of Chikankari. The vibrant hues of the collection, Bhandari claims, originated from the city of Kannauj. During the Covid-19 lockdown, Bhandari was forced to travel from Delhi to Lucknow by road. During her journeys, the designer would come across the beautiful town of Kannauj, located in Awadh near Lucknow. “Kannauj always had a wonderful rosy scent, and the roses had this mesmerising aura about them,” Bhandari adds. “Sometimes, we would purposefully drive through the village to see what was going on, and there were roses drying on the road.” Having included colours like “old rose” in her pastel selections, Bhandari decided to design a collection that featured a deep red hue inspired by the roses of Kannauj. The collection featured tradition pieces like lehengas, salwars, shararas and sarees, along with a few modern pieces fit for modern bride. “The asymmetrical jacket with a bustier and pants was the hero piece, in my opinion, because it was something that could be worn by a millennial or Gen Z bride who wants to be comfortable while still looking bold in red and having fun throughout the occasion. Also, being an Indian handicraft, this asymmetrical jacket has a traditional touch, but its contemporary style makes it ideal for today’s brides.” 28|L U X E B O O K|O C T O B E R 2 0 2 2 O C T O B E R 2 0 2 2 |L U X E B O O K| 29

A conversation about tequila is incomplete without at least one person talking about a terrible hangover post their encounter with the tipple. For a very long time now, tequila has been referred as the “hangover drink” – a fun tipple for a wild night out. But come 2022, the beverage has been a part of a revolution that gave the drink its newfound reputation – a versatile drink that is fun to experiment with for cocktails, or even savoured with a splash of water or on the rocks. Yes, like any celebrated single malt, tequila has become a drink that can be enjoyed (responsibly). And while we know that tequila is enjoyed widely in the West, we do know that the spirit is finding its way in the Indian liquor industry as well. That’s right, moving the spotlight from gin, tequila is having a revolution of its own, and our experts Ishaan Bahl – Founder of 145 Cafe & Bar, Nilesh Patel – Business Head West at Impresario Handmade Restaurants and Nikhil Agarwal – CEO & Founder of All Things Nice, couldn’t agree more. The beginning of tequila First of all, what is tequila? A region-specific name, tequila is a distilled beverage made from Blue Agave, a plant that is grown on rich volcanic soils. It is often spoken about in context with mezcal, where the two are sometimes mentioned synonymously. However, while all tequila is mezcal, not all mezcal are tequila. The main difference between the two is the infamous blue agave, BY SCHENELLE DSOUZA TEQUILA 2.0 Not just a party drink It’s not just a hangover drink anymore; here’s how tequila earned a newfound reputation according to our beverage experts Purple Haze- Nilesh Patel TAKE A SHOT 30|L U X E B O O K|O C T O B E R 2 0 2 2 O C T O B E R 2 0 2 2 |L U X E B O O K| 31

which is used in making tequila, whereas mezcal can be produced using any kind of agave. Exploring the sudden rise in tequila calls for a look at its origins. One of the oldest drinks in the world, the origins of tequila can be traced to 200 A.D. Known back then as “pulque”, the earliest version of the agave spirit was prepared by the Aztec Indians who uses fermented sap of the agave plant to prepare the drink. Pulque was first documented via pictograms on stone walls around 200 A.D., however, experts believe that the spirit was likely used by the Olmecs, a civilization going as far back as 1000 B.C., based in the lowlands of Mexico. Despite its popularity in the ancient world, pulque caught on with the rest of the world after the Spanish invasion of the Aztecs in the 1500s. This marked the beginning of the distillation of tequila.When the Spanish invaded Mexico around 1519, they were without their favourite brandy, and didn’t appreciate the fermented agave drinks much. And so, they set out to experiment and create something more palatable which led them to distil fermented agave and mud to create what they called Vino de Mezcal. The first large scale distillery – Tequila, Jalisco, was built in the early 1600s by the Marquis of Altamira after the Spanish government opened a trade route between Manila and Mexico in the mid-1500s. Commercial distillation of tequila began in 1758, after the Cuervo family opened the Fábrica La Rojeña. Following the Cuervo family, the Sauza family also got into the tequila business in 1873. Don Cenobio Sauza is credited with identifying blue agave as the best option for making tequila. Today, in order to be classified as tequila, the spirit must be made specifically from blue agave. Types of tequila Tequila, like a single malt, has its variations. These are spread across five major categories, namely Blanco, Reposado, Añejo, Extra Añejo, and Cristalino. Blanco tequila is often referred to as silver tequila because of its crystal-clear appearance. Blanco is said to be the purest form of tequila since it foregoes the ageing process, meaning it goes straight from the still to a stainless-steel tank to the bottle. This unique process is what gives blanco a clear, transparent hue giving it the name silver tequila. The flavour profile begins with sharp notes that emerges into spicy, citrus notes, finishing Ishaan Bahl Caliente- Ishaan Bahl with sweet touches of vanilla and honey. The best way to enjoy a blanco is with light and citrusy cocktails as opposed to a neat drink or a shot. One of the predominant tequilas, reposado is usually aged in barrels for anywhere between two to twelve months. Distillers take blanco tequila fresh from the still and store it in American or French oak barrels.The shorter distillation period helps the liquor develop a unique flavour with losing younger notes from the original agave juice. Reposado has all the flavours of blue agave, minor barrel notes, along with complex notes of dry chocolate, chilies, vanilla and cinnamon. In comparison to blanco, reposado is said to have a smoother finish that is easier on the palate, which can be enjoyed neat or with ice. Aged for a little longer than a reposado, añejo (meaning old) is aged for one to three years in American or European oak barrels, the barrel size being limited to 600 litres. While any type of wooden barrel can be used, ex-American whiskey and French oak barrels are ones more commonly used. The longer aging process gives the tequila a woodier flavour, which is intense and supposedly harsh for some, but carries a variety of flavours including vanilla and brown sugar which are often associated with bourbon. Introduced in 2006, extra añejo is tequila that has been left to age for more than three years. It is often referred to as the ultra-premium tequila thanks to its intense flavour palate and rich amber hue. Extra añejo must be cut with water to temper the proof, which smoothens out the final product even more. Due to the extensive ageing process, extra añejo has deep notes of caramel, chocolate, cinnamon and vanilla which resembles an aged whiskey or cognac. Cristalino tequila is aged tequila – usually made using añejos and extra añejos which are filtered through charcoal to remove the tannins, leaving behind more floral and fruity notes with a clear blanco-esque appearance. Cristalino is a fairly new category for tequilas displaying a softened approach to a reposado, añejo, or extra añejo. These are far less complex with a sweeter palate of caramel and vanilla, giving it a lighter mouthfeel. A new reputation As known to every soul across the globe, tequila was called the hangover drink for the longest time. But what was it that led to this harsh reputation? And how did that Nilesh Patel Freaky Tikki - Nilesh Patel 32|L U X E B O O K|O C T O B E R 2 0 2 2 O C T O B E R 2 0 2 2 |L U X E B O O K| 33

really change? Nikhil Agarwal credits the quality of the tequila for its newfound reputation. “The recent surge in tequila is because of the creation of high-end tequila that is meant to be savoured,” says Agarwal. “There is a huge difference between the young tequila drinkers who is looking to get wasted vs the quality tequila drinker who is looking to savour.” Agreeably, Ishaan Bahl talks about a good quality tequila that it is essentially just distilled agave juice with no additives. “It has incredible flavour and seldom requires any additions or changes,” he adds. One thing our experts agree on is the complexity of tequila. While it always has been a fun drink for all, it is now a favourite among mixologists who are exploring good quality tequila instead of simply grabbing silver and mixing up margaritas. “It is more than just a shot; tequila cocktails are diverse and a lot of fun to explore,” Nilesh Patel adds. “You can mix up the original margarita or enjoy it in a variety of flavours.” According to Bahl, tequila has always been a bartender’s favourite tipple thanks to its ability to be mixed with a variety of ingredients; it is versatile and refreshing in cocktails. As for the revolution of tequila, Bahl believes, it’s only the beginning. “I think the tequila revolution has only just begun with a lot of new-age mixologists all over the globe constantly experimenting with the spirit. There is still a lot to be discovered in the tequila cocktail segment.” While tequila cocktails are all the hype right now, tequila shots do continue to have a prominent space in the liquor industry. The people driving tequila consumption on an artisanal level do enjoy drinking tequila in multiple ways, be it a cocktail or a neat drink, and of course an occasional tequila shot as well. Bahl believes that even though there is plenty of experimentation with tequila cocktails, tequila will always be enjoyed as a shot amongst the younger populace. Tequila without a doubt has become what it is because of the attention it receives in the United States through mass media like TV, Hollywood and celebrity Villa One by Nick Jonas Rosa, Tequila Codigo 1530 Rosa - Tequila Codigo 1530 - Nikhil Agarbuy Tequila brands. Tequila in India The position of tequila in the liquor industry has never been in question. Tequila has always been thriving internationally, however, its presence in the Indian liquor industry has been on the rise post pandemic. “Post the pandemic, tequila has been thriving and has been the number one spirit for over the last 3 years,” says Patel. Exposure to good quality tequila in India might’ve started through a number of ways, according to Agarwal. “...people travelling to the states for business, tourism or even education could have triggered an exposure to tequila,” he says. “And then there are the higher-end tequilas which became available in India leading to the consumption and increase in demand of the spirit. Once a leading bar catches on to the trend, other bars take it up quickly.” Tequila has been finding its way amidst the gin revolution and popularity of single malts in India. It has been fighting it out for second spot with whiskey leading the way, while gin continues to be a current favourite, especially when it comes to cocktails. “I think the gin revolution is slowing down and agavebased spirits are the new trend; I believe these will get stronger in the years to come. The tequila revolution, on the other hand, has already begun to have a massive effect,” Agarwal adds. When it comes to tequila, India is hardly spoilt for choice. Because of the limitation the number of brands available, tequila was only considered as a shot as far as its position in the industry is concerned. However, it has certainly grown in markets both in India as well as internationally. A minor contributing factor would be the rise in celebrity owned tequilas. From Dwayne Johnson’s The Rock tequila to Nick Jonas’ Villa One, celebrity owned tequila has certainly helped amp up the reputation of the fine spirit. “The celebrity-owned brands have created enough hype for tequila, popularising it across the globe,” adds Bahl. “And now you even have new options like low calorie and sugar-free tequila which makes it a hit among all groups!” To sum it up, the popularity and growth of the global tequila industry has been on an extreme rise, credits to its premiumization and novel experimentation by mixologists and bartenders. In fact, the tequila market worldwide has increased by 22% since 2014 and is expected to reach a whopping USD 14.35 Billion The Rock Tequila 34|L U X E B O O K|O C T O B E R 2 0 2 2 O C T O B E R 2 0 2 2 |L U X E B O O K| 35

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