Cover Story: Ipohites in Amber Land – A whirlwind F1 Weekend

By Tan Mei Kuan & Ili Aqilah

Ipoh Echo sent two of its young reporters to Singapore during its Grand Prix weekend to check out the swanky, star-studded soiree hosted by Amber Lounge. Like the proverbial Alice in Wonderland, it was a whirlwind of many firsts for this wide-eyed duo, one of whom had never stepped out from Malaysian soil before. Here is the personal account of their visit to this adrenaline-fuelled event in the city of Merlion.

Celebrity entertainment and world premieres and enough ‘star gazing’ to make Galileo jealous.

As we made our way to the purpose-built venue near The Marina Bay Street Circuit on Saturday, September 19 for Singapore’s most exclusive Grand Prix™ soirée and original F1 experience, perceiving the audible roar of drifting prowess from the neighbouring floodlit circuit for ourselves was just a prelude of our adrenaline-fuelled journey into the glamour of Formula One.

During the two ultimate nights of celebrity entertainment and world premieres, there was so much ‘star gazing’ that it would make Galileo jealous. The epic stories of chance sightings of rap superstar Eve, LMFAO’s Sky Blu, model Jessica Button, fashion icon Lisa Crosswhite, from the newly reformed The Black Eyed Peas and F1 drivers coupled with our roller-coaster emotions during the magical moments would stay with us for a long time and provide us with tales to tell our children and grandchildren.

Premiere of Chi Chi von Tang

Now in its eighth year, Amber Lounge Singapore 2015 organised by Amber Lounge kicked off its after-party with the exclusive launch of Singapore’s newest contemporary label: Chi Chi von Tang inaugural SS16 collection.

It is designed by local fashion icon, founder and CEO of Gnossem, Lisa Crosswhite who had this to say about her collection: “Instantly Asian. Sexy, Mysterious, and a woman of the world. Chi Chi is for the exotic warrior princess in you. She succeeds in a man’s world, while building her own. She is aware of her ethnic roots. She intrigues.”

Silk and rare fabrics are melded with Chinese traditional design using luxurious workmanship creating a modern sport-inspired style. In front of a star-studded crowd of A-list celebrities, F1 fraternity, Singaporean social elite and international media, international models armed with a forge-ahead demeanour, a fierce strut and an amped-up, ultra slick, sky high ponytails, hit the runway dressed in sharp tailored pieces with striking turquoise and teal accents, mandarin collars and in-season fringe detail creating sophistication plus contemporary slants.

We especially adored the Warrior Bomber jackets with its handwoven oriental style buttons made in 100% silk with sleek structured front and oriental print. These pieces are a total luxury, distilled into a ready-to-throw-on bomber style.

Gnossem is pleased to offer the Warrior Bomber ahead of the market in five styles for pre-order this Fall 2015. With limited pieces, the pre-order comes with a complimentary embroidery of your initials or favourite mantra, how much cooler could it be?

The rest of the SS16 collection will become available for Chinese New Year 2016.

Introduction to the World’s Most Expensive Perfume

With a vision to showcase some of the Group’s masterpieces during the Formula One period in Singapore, the WORLD OF DIAMONDS, one of the largest privately held diamond mining corporations that has directly catered to billionaires as well as members of royal descent, was the Official Diamond Partner.

Besides adorning the Chi Chi von Tang models in over $10 Million USD worth of glittering masterpiece diamonds, the second-to-none evening also saw the debut of The Royalé Dream, one of the world’s most expensive fragrances with a price tag of S$190,000 that was bought by a VIP Amber Lounge client at the end of night!

The Royalé Dream is comprised of three different scents. “Earth”, encased in a bottle covered in 10 colourless diamonds weighing 0.41 carats, was created for men. “Celestial” was created for women in a bottle polished in six vivid purplish pink diamonds. Meanwhile, “Enlightenment” was created for both sexes with a sphere holding 24-karat gold leaves.

A story about artistry, glamour and unattainable luxury at a whole new level, the three gems are stored in a unique palladium-plated, lambskin-lined Fabergé egg. Not only that, these bottles are accompanied by an elegant blue diamond and white gold ring with a stone weighing 0.85 carats!

Karan Tilani, Director of the WORLD OF DIAMONDS Group, stated, “We envisage that having multi-million dollar jewellery pieces, coupled with one of the world’s most expensive perfume collection on display, elevates Grand Prix to a whole new level. Being a part of the glamorous parties which Amber Lounge hosts also reinforces our global presence.”

Ted Baker x Formula One Grand Prix Drivers

Soon after the launching of Chi Chi von Tang collection, the handsome Formula One drivers merged on the runway, donning the latest collection of Ted Baker’s 2015 Autumn and Winter collection. Known to the world as a stylish yet classic menswear label, Ted Baker has successfully delivered a collection that is guaranteed to grab the attention of those who love to mix the traditional quintessential British ‘stiff upper lip’ with an irreverent sense of humour.

Among drivers who were on stage were Esteban Gutierrez for Ferrari, Adrian Sutil from Williams, Red Bull’s Pierre Gasly, Raffaele Marciello from Sauber, McLaren’s Staffel Vandoorne, Fabio Leimer from Manor and Lotus’ Joylan Palmer and Carmen Jordan. Carmen, who is currently the development driver for Lotus F1 team, stole the spotlight from her male peers as she gracefully appeared on the stage wearing a beautiful skin coloured dress.

Unveiling of Miss Singapore

Aside from enjoying the fashion show by Chi Chi von Tang and Ted Baker, attendees of Amber Lounge Singapore 2015 were introduced to Lisa Marie White, the 2015 Miss Universe Singapore who will represent the Lion City at the upcoming Miss Universe competition. Lisa Marie, 22, who appeared on stage wearing the exclusive designed and crafted crown with a dangling 16 ct fancy yellow Pear Cut stone and 5.4 ct white Pear Cut Stone by ORRO Private Collection is an aspiring actress of Malay, Indonesian, French, Irish and New Zealand ethnicity, and speaks fluent English and Malay.

Former winners of Miss Universe Singapore, Rathi Menon (2014), Lynn Tan (2010), Rachel Kum (2009) and Nuralisa Osman (2002) were among the list of celebrities who attended the party alongside Bodnie Koehler, former Miss Universe Puerto Rico 2012.

The Perfect Ending

As Sebastian Vettel from Ferrari grabbed first place while team mate Kimi Raikkonen won second runner up, the celebration continued at Amber Lounge on its glorious second day. from Grammy-Award winning Black Eyed Peas did a great job DJ’ing for both where he sang Black Eyed Peas’ 2009 hit, I Gotta Feeling during the opening act. Together with Vettel and Raikkonen celebrating were Fernando AlonsoPastor MaldonadoCarlos Sainz Jr.Nico Hulkenberh and Will Stevens to name a few. Aside from international celebrities who attended the party, the power duo from Indonesia and Malaysia, Bunga Cinta Lestari and husband Ashraf Sinclair were also seen mingling with VVIP guests and others.

As the crowd continued dancing and enjoying themselves, Amber Lounge has proven once again that its title as the premier party destination for the Formula 1 fraternity is well deserved. The celebration will continue at the Mexico Grand Prix (October 31, November 1 & 2) and to the final race on the F1 calendar, the exotic Abu Dhabi (November 28 & 29).

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