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Crème de la crème, first serving

WRY BREAD - Philip Cu-Unjieng (The Philippine Star) - April 6, 2014 - 12:00am

Back in the 18th century, the discovery that Limoges in France was a steady source of a particular type of white clay called kaolin —  and combined with the proximity of forests and a fresh water source — transformed this town into a veritable hot bed of porcelain makers. Among the family-owned porcelain factories that call Limoges home, Bernardaud is among the most renowned.

Established in 1863, the current president du directoire Michel Bernardaud counts himself as one of the fifth generation that have steered this brand through 151 years of unchallenged supremacy, and unrivaled creativity and quality.

Here in the Philippines, Bernardaud is exclusively carried at Rustan’s; and a recent visit by Michel highlighted the strong partnership that exists between these two strong family-owned institutions. After an intimate press lunch held at the Old Manila of The Peninsula, a grand launch at Rustan’s Makati’s  Home section brought Michel face-to-face with that discerning set who have his fine porcelain in their homes. Lifestyle and corporate events host Issa Litton readily gushed over the limited edition sets of dinnerware that were collaborated on last year, in honor of Bernadaud’s 150th. Bernardaud approached filmmakers, photographers and artists to create special edition chinaware that would showcase the connection to art, and that porcelain can be “living, luminous, sensual and inspiring.”

Among the exhibit’s highlights: Film director David Lynch made a story in 12 plates, while Jeff Koons entitled his set Banality, and one plate featured Michael Jackson and his pet monkey. Sophie Celle had an intriguing set where the pristine white was offset by a single line of text running through the center of the plate. Sarkis celebrated the 16th-century Japanese art of kintsugi, where repairs are made visible via a mix of lacquer and gold, bestowing “character” on the plate. Rustan’s and Zenaida Tantoco invited Paing and Mely Hechanova to cut the ceremonial ribbon to the outstanding display of Bernardaud ware. Not just brides, but any discriminating homeowner should have a set of Bernardaud to celebrate life! And the meals that come with it.


Crème de la crème, second serving

When it comes to audio equipment and related products, the brand Bang & Olufsen will always conjure up magic for me. Back in the 1970s, when we would travel to Europe, my late mother would whip out the names, like some talisman, as the very ultimate when it came to combining design with quality sound reproduction. To my then young (and already not so 20/20) eyes, the store windows of B&O looked like a glimpse into the future, with sleek streamlined products gleaming back at me, daring me to inquire about the prices! Yes, back then my mother would say the B&O stereo player and speakers would be reserved for their room or den; and I would be happy just to know it would be there...at our family home.

Founded in Copenhagen, Denmark in 1925 by Peter Bang and Svend Olufsen, the company now has none other than Sir Paul McCartney as one of its brand ambassadors. Talk about the crème de la crème of the contemporary music industry, and you can’t get much more royal than one of The Beatles, right? And you can surmise that Sir Paul really believes in the brand, and he wouldn’t be treating this like some financially-motivated endorsement deal. Carried by Ferdie Ong’s Living Innovations, B&O unveiled its new flagship store at the East Wing of Shangri-La Mall. With Issa Litton as host, we were treated to a quick tour of B&O’s history, and the new 2014 collection.

Back in the 1920s, B&O was among the first to develop a radio operating on AC current, not dependent solely on batteries. So it is a full circle of sorts to see the new collection hinged on wireless products that naturally, still carry the B&O commitment to sound excellence. The iconic pencil-shaped speakers (part of the BeoVox and BeoSound line) also gets a 2014 facelift, with oak accents and a 180-degree sound fidelity range; i.e. you don’t have to stand precisely between the two speakers to enjoy the optimum in sound. A visit to said showroom will be the best way to explore B&O’s enhanced world of sound — whether as a home theater experience, headphones for one’s favorite music, or even in the comfort of one’s car. B&O, still with one step in the future.

AMP BERNARDAUD DAVID LYNCH EAST WING OF SHANGRI-LA MALL FERDIE ONG ISSA LITTON RUSTAN SIR PAUL
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