Sunday August 22, 2010
A class apart
SENSE OF STYLE
By DZIREENA MAHADZIR
HOW’S your Puasa been so far? I spent the first day of Ramadhan in Monte Carlo, and I must say it was certainly an experience!
I was there for the Islamic Fashion Festival (IFF) Charity Gala Night and spent six days enjoying fabulous weather in an amazing country.
Only the super rich live in Monaco; the front of Hotel Du Paris and Casino Royal was littered with cars the average person only sees in movies and magazines! Rolls Royces, Bentleys, Lamborghinis and Ferraris were so commonplace!
Leonardo Di Caprio was in town, but sadly, I didn’t see him, I did, however, see Adnan Kashoggi in front of the hotel I was staying in. And Michelle Yeoh was also around for the charity gala.
I spent my first day in Monaco near the area where the yachts were, and we watched the Sarawak Tourism Board (one of the main festival sponsors) hold a cultural performance.
Everyone loved it – there were tourists dancing on stage with the performers. I must say it was a bit surreal being in Monte Carlo listening to the strains of traditional music from Sarawak!
During the cocktails, held at the Grimaldi Forum, where the dress code was red and white, we went to an exhibition called Kyoto-Tokyo Exhibition – From the Samurai to Mangas. Incidentally – this must have been sheer coincidence – the furniture at the cocktail area was the same colour as the guests’ outfits.
It was quite interesting moving from exhibits on ancient Japan to anime! We ended in a room filled with life-sized dolls of anime characters and glass cases of Transformers figurines.
The dinner, which was held at a private residence in Key Largo, also had cultural performances by Sarawak Tourism. I am now familiar with the tune of Puteri Santubong!
The following evening was the charity gala night. It was held at the Monte Carlo Sporting Club and the decor was beautiful – white on white with lots of white orchids and candles. By the way, Bentley’s Entertainments were responsible for that; it did the wedding of David Beckham and Victoria Adams, as well as many other celebrity events.
There were a lot of beautiful dresses and jewellery on display, and the fireworks at the end was the perfect finishing touch.
Since we couldn’t get back on an earlier flight – I think everyone wanted to get back in time for the first day of Ramadhan – we were pretty much stuck in Monte Carlo for two extra days. Yes, that’s such hardship isn’t it?
I did get to see Cannes, but the auditorium where they hold the Cannes Film Festival is just an ordinary place with a red carpet down the front of the stairs and a banner announcing the stars who had been there at the festival.
That didn’t stop the tourists (including yours truly) from taking a photo anyway; after all, how many times am I going to stand on the same red carpet as Angelina Jolie?
In terms of fashion, the women in Monte Carlo certainly set the standard for resort chic, with tasteful and elegant simplicity. They wore beautiful kaftans (didn’t I say kaftans are the way to go in my last column?), gorgeous dresses and tunics with a touch of embroidery in an assortment of colours, ranging from pastels to striking shades.
Birkins were everywhere, as was Chanel. Everyone was tanned and beautiful, but what I liked the most was the way they wore their wealth, discreetly, with class and a lot of taste.
They know what to wear and how to wear it; in fact any one of them could have been models for a photoshoot for resort wear. There was a family standing in front of Hotel Du Paris who looked like an advertisment for Ralph Lauren. I loved looking at how they dressed and carried themselves.
Money, as the saying goes, cannot buy any class, style or manners. If you don’t have any of the above, no amount of designer clothes, bags or jewellery will help.
You can, however, “buy” a lot of people to tell you how fabulous you look. As always, style is a personal statement and a reflection of an individual. Therefore, everyone is free to dress as she pleases.
However, class and manners are two different things. And I believe they are more important than whether you’re carrying the most expensive Birkin or wearing the biggest diamonds.
Dzireena Mahadzir will now have to watch ‘Casino Royale’.