Monaco is evolving constantly, making it an unfailing draw for the world’s most recherché and valued couture houses, jewellers and watchmakers. We visit the new One Monte-Carlo district.
In an ongoing bid to capture the undivided attention of global fashionistas and deliver the world’s most exclusive shopping experience, the Principality regularly welcomes new international brands. For its first Monaco shop, Fendi called in interior designers Britt Moran and Emiliano Salci, who have delivered a skilful blend of vintage furnishings and contemporary design pieces set off by artworks, making these unique retail premises feel like a luxury apartment. Over three floors customers can browse all the various lines, from the womenswear and iconic furs through leather goods to the men’s collections in the basement. The fitting rooms deserve a mention, one being decorated with panels inspired by the scenery on Chinese ornaments, hand-painted and finished with gold leaf.
There’s more masterly decoration over at Saint Laurent, sporting marble everywhere from floor to stairs to shelves – in fact it’s virtually the only decorative element save for the clothes and accessories! If you’re on the track of dream heels, head to Gianvito Rossi, the famed Sergio’s son, who is upholding the family tradition with collections of luxury footwear adopted by the Kardashians, Kate Middleton and Beyoncé.
Cartier hasn’t left its historic address but has configured a more spacious store for its fans, plush in styling, decked in noble materials and spotlighting its famous panther. The Louis Vuitton boutique features windows dressed with gigantic fluor banana palms plus a brand new multi-coloured version of the iconic Cocoon chair. In a nod to the Principality, an historic trunk that belonged to Princess Charlotte sits on the mezzanine. At Céline we admire the figures of style dear to creative director Hedi Slimane, and give in to temptation in the form of the well-loved 16 bag. Coming from Hôtel Hermitage Monte-Carlo, Dior invites us to discover pastel-hued collections as it showcases a distinctly couture wardrobe all pinks, whites and flowing fabrics, plus accessories upstairs.
The clothes displayed on stylised rails share the billing with the jewellery and timewear, while the decor is completed by artworks including a Martin Kline painting. Men aren’t forgotten, with the basement given over to Kim Jones’s creations. Lanvin presents a two-floor store in which Bruno Sialelli’s collections sit proudly in a soft, understated decor. Chanel’s double store takes customers into its celebrated founder’s world by means of numerous references to her life, with the clothing, jewellery and timewear sharing the limelight. The jewellery department is made warm and welcoming by ivory-hued gloss walls while high tweed-upholstered stools invite you to sit at the display cases to discover the house’s iconic lines: Camélia, Coco Crush,
Comète and the rest, J12, Boy.Friend and Code Coco watches. Sonia Rykiel’s decoration inspiration is more literary, with books scattered around to accompany the latest fashion products.
At Alexander McQueen an imposing stone table welcomes visitors seeking the structured dresses and other new creations designed by Sarah Burton. Akris woman as imagined by Albert Kriemler struts her stuff a few steps further on, while Ralph & Russo flaunts a decor of marble, gold and glitter as the backdrop to stunning evening outfits and innumerable precious accessories.
Prada’s feminine fashion occupies 470m² no less, all black-and-white marble floor and minimalist shelving, with colour provided by the clothes, shoes and bags on display. High-society butterflies will appreciate the exclusive line of evening gowns, while gentlemen must walk on to appreciate the store devoted entirely to male fashion, from ready-to-wear to accessories. At its iconic address on Promenade Princesse Charlene, Boucheron displays its necklaces, rings and timewear, subtle, feline and clad in precious stones. A little further on we come to Art in Time, a new concept thought up by Chopard co-president Karl-Friedrich Scheufele. This unique gallery brings together eight watchmakers who turn timewear into artworks and shake up horology with gusto. Alongside, HRH Joaillerie honours the latest creations by founder and creative director Hind Rafik Hariri; jewellery inspired by women of today: creative, modern, audacious and defying tradition by playing with innovation. Jeweller Fred has a Monaco showcase too: amazing contoured premises, historic creations and a Vincent Darré wall painting depicting the goddess of light. It displays all the collections, including the re-issue of the iconic feline Ombre.
Conceived as a contemporary iteration of brand style, the new Piaget salon is announced by two imposing windows; inside, the bespoke furnishings feature marble-topped oval discovery tables,
domed elliptical display cases inlaid with patinated gold, and gold-trimmed medallion chairs. Before entering the Hôtel de Paris’s patio, Bulgari tempts us to admire its latest creations, while Buccellati is more eye-catching than ever as it celebrates its centenary this year with dream bracelets, engagement rings and other goldsmithing surprises. The experience continues in the Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo’s light-bathed patio adorned with majestic palm trees, as Graff opens the ball with a showcase in which diamonds rule, with one-off creations and collections featuring dazzling precious stones. Similarly, Harry Winston displays necklaces,
rings and bracelets that impose their style with consummate ease. Last but not least, Monegasque jeweller Stardust has treated itself to a showroom on a par with its prestige. Driven by the goal of offering the loveliest jewellery to Monegasque and international clients seeking exclusive creations, the name has been evolving with unstinted passion for three generations now.
By Caroline Sempé