L'Heure du Thé event at Sofitel Melbourne on 21st July - A luxurious French High Tea in style and glamour

Le Style is hosting our next much anticipated, glamorous French High Tea event on 21st July.  We have shared with you French style from around the world through our lenses on our blog and magazine.  Now we'd like to spend the day with you in a luxurious setting full of French indulgence.

Set with French musique at a contemporary 5-star destination, Sofitel Melbourne on Collins, we bring to you perfect Opera slices created by the well-known French pastry chef Gaston Lenôtre, beautiful spread of patisseries, freshly made gourmet sandwiches including warm delights that balance your taste buds with French tea and coffee.  A specially curated menu just pour vous.

Feast your senses on a divine petite emporium of fashion, beautiful lingerie collections, amazing valuable antiques, artistic cake displays and exciting surprises leading up to the event day.  A lucky door prize winner and best-dressed winner will be spoilt with a delightful prize.

Date: 21st July 2012, Sat

Time: 1 to 6pm

Venue: Sofitel Melbourne on Collins

Dress Code: Parisian Chic

Early Bird Promotion:

We are giving you the opportunity to book your tickets at a discounted price to attend L'Heure du Thé!  Book your seats now for only $65 and enjoy all of the above by purchasing your tickets on the link here or call 0430 375 564.  Offer last till 21st June.  Standard ticket price of $90 will commence thereafter.  Hurry before tickets sell out!  

Social Links:

Join us on our social links to be informed on prize giveaways, exhibitors, surprises and so much more.  Click on  L'Heure du Thé Facebook | Le Style Facebook | Twitter | Tumblr | Instagram.

Tchaikovsky On The Road Through the Eyes of French Director Bertrand Normand

The conductor, much like a mad scientist, bold and stern like most middle-aged Russian men, instantly stops the entire orchestra to a complete silence, and zeros in for the attention from one. He looks directly into the eyes of a cellist and demands, “inspire the orchestra!” This is a scene from French director Bertrand Normand’s Tchaikovsky On The Road documentary of a European tour of the highly-acclaimed Russian Mariinsky Theater’s orchestra lead by the great conductor, Valery Gergiev. Admirer of classical music or not, Normand’s film enlightens us of the remarkable orchestra’s passion, dedication and often painstaking journey with nightly performances after a day filled with rehearsals.

“Maybe the most important thing that I have learned is what a conductor brings to a piece of music and how differently an orchestra can play according to the conductor, the venue, the mood,” states Normand of his latest film. “It was amazing to hear each symphony of Tchaikovsky sound differently every day.” Normand dedicated two weeks of filming on tour with the orchestra from cities such as Amsterdam, Brussles, Toulsous and Cologne just to name a few. “When you can listen to the same piece of music over and over within a short period of time performed differently each time, a world opens to you, a world of variety, of nuances, of emotions, and you can’t help but compare, relate, be more attentive and more sensitive to the music.”

I’m highly impressed with Normand who graduated with a degree in Business Management but realized it was not his calling. “I needed to do something I was passionate about,” he admits, “I did some acting for a few years, in short films and on stage, but I realized that I didn’t care much for the life of an actor and that my true means of expression was directing, meaning being behind the camera.” Normand’s other impressive documentary Ballerina released in 2006 showcases five female dancers also from the Mariinsky Theater (commonly known as the Kirvo). Although Normand wants to direct feature films, he has worked on several documentaries. “It allows to convey something truthful, although to some extent personal as well, to the audience,” explains Normand of documentary type films.

“Before directing my own films, I have worked as an assistant on several films made by other directors,” Normand recalls. “The most memorable experience was on Russian Dolls, directed by Cédric Klapisch, with Romain Duris and Audrey Tautou, on which I worked as second unit director.”
As for Tchaikovsky On The Road, “making that film has allowed me to better grasp what some call the ‘Russian soul’,” Normand explains. “What distinguishes the Mariinsky orchestra from most Western orchestras is that it plays in a more emotional way.” Normand shows us how and why commendable conductor Gergiev “seems to go through great torments or ecstasy!” You see this in Gergiev’s eyes as he stand proud in front of his orchestra. That is, if his eyes are open. Other times with eyes shut, Gergiev is lost in an apparent trance. His baton flutters like that of the wings of a hummingbird while the other hand is directing another group of musicians a different tempo. I became completely fascinated with Gergiev, his hair a tattered mess tosses beads of sweat onto his jacket; his mellow dramatic full body gestures surely needed in leading the orchestra to its greatness. Through Normand’s eyes, we see and feel the maestro’s passion as he ignites the musicians to a most memorable performance. “Some of the musicians, and above all Gergiev himself, are certainly passionate about what they are doing,” describes Normand.   “Observing them gives a lot of energy and a will to devote oneself to something one is passionate about.”
“Tchaikovsky is our daily bread,” explains French Horn musician, Yuri Akimkin in the film. While on the road with the orchestra, Normand was able to make certain observations of this ensemble. “It was amazing to witness how an orchestra functions from inside, moreover a Russian orchestra.” While some musician are back home in St. Petersburg performing at the Mariinksy, “those taken on tour by Gergiev are supposed to be the best and most energetic ones, and young ones cope with tiredness better than old ones,” Normand explains.

By: Slavica Monczka


A piece of the French Riviera fit for a Princess

For those of you looking to splurge on a vacation home, look no further. Have I found a place for you! Let’s just say, it is located in paradise, a.k.a. the French Riviera. Luxury does have its price so for the 21 million Euros, which is nearly $28 million USD today, you shall receive a home fit for a princess, literally. “The owner is one of the most famous and beautiful princesses,” states Irina Alekseeva of Sadaka Exclusive Realty agent representing the majestic villa off the glorious Côte d'Azur.
First thing first, I wanted to cut to the chase to know why the princess, who shall remain nameless for the sake of privacy, would sell such a beautiful property minutes away from world-renowned Monte Carlo. In the back of my mind I envision a stunning young lady, resembling Eva Green dressed in an evening gown in Casino Royale, sipping champagne off the terrace during sunset, overlooking the sparkling sea and twinkling city lights. “She is very involved with charity work,” explains Alekseeva, “she wants to invest her money in one of her charity projects.” 
If you are not writing out that check yet to purchase the home after learning of such a generous deed sure to accept the princess into the sanctity of sainthood, then allow me illustrate for you more. This palatial estate includes the basics you would expect, such as original marble fireplaces, numerous large and spacious rooms, a pool with a guest house, and a private beach, just to name a few. From any one of the picturesque terraces or patios, the views are breathtaking! 
Views from the Villa
“It would be paradise,” Alekseeva declares in her charming French accent when asked what it would be like to live in this elegant manor. “You wake up in the morning in your room to views of a blue, peaceful sea,” Alekseeva continues illustrating for me what you can expect for a typical day in this prestigious locale. “You enjoy breakfast on the beach, later plans with friends for a barbeque. For the evening, you put on a beautiful dress and invite your business partners to champagne. Later, accompanied by your driver, you are off to the famous Monte Carlo Casino where you enjoy the most famous opera in the world. Near midnight, a beautiful table in the best restaurant is waiting for you.”
I suddenly think of Eva Green once again, only this time I am she and my driver is the 007 agent himself dressed in a tux as we race down the winding seaside drive! “You have a great image of Monaco, and you are right,” Alekseeva laughs! “It is the most famous place in the world for the exceptional people and for a unique life style.”

Located in the one of the most exclusive communities in the French Riviera, Domaine Prive du Cap-Martin, this historic villa was built in the late 19th century by prominent architect Hans-Georg Tersling. Well known for much of his work on the French Riviera of that time, Tersling was commissioned by European aristocrats and elitists for his designs from mansions to hotels you find scattered across the highly desirable coastline.  

Monte-Carlo Casino

The accomplished architect knew that the cultured and wealthy holiday homeowners on the French Rivera demanded quality, as evident in the exposed stone structure and the room layouts that captures the natural light gleaming from windows throughout this chateau, a must on the Mediterranean Sea.
Alekseeva is well experienced in representing these luxury properties for her high-profile clients from Paris, to Monaco and even to other cosmopolitan cities like Geneva, London and our very own Miami. Again without mentioning names, most of her clients are on the Forbes list. Due to the high priced residential properties, the savvy and sophisticated Alekseeva chooses to represent only the distinguished to be able to give them her full attention in the process. Alekseeva has built relationships within each location for an irreproachable experience for the sale and purchase of her client’s properties. Currently, Alekseeva’s listings range from a 1 million Euro pied-à-terre in Paris to a 100 million Euros mansion near Monaco she calls “a piece of art.” Gasp!  

These pictures can try, but do not do the lavish villa the justice it deserves. Often purchased as a secondary home, Alekseeva explains of the properties on the French Riviera, “it is not only the villa you buy; you buy your social position and a security which is the best in the world.” The down or volatile global economy does not affect her listings much at all. “Monaco is the most secure place in the world for you and your finances, and for the life of your family,” Alekseeva confidently states. “The highest level of education for your children, great climate, entertainment all year round from the Grand Prix to the best restaurants, art galleries and events,” boasts Alekseeva.

If the best location is key in real estate, then the French Riviera is the place to be. However, if you are already fortunate enough to have a villa there, no worries as Alekseeva has more to offer at www.sadakarealty.com.
By: Slavica Monczka


A Day in Paris With Composer Eric Serra

Photo Courtesy of Eric Serra

Music mogul Eric Serra has a wealth of experience from composing his own music for his band RXRA to being the founder of the EuroVoice competition to, what he is most commonly known for, his long list of music scores for blockbuster films. From his studio in his home inParis
, I spent a day with Eric Serra curious about his beginning that led him down this path of success, and where it will taking him next! 

The Fifth Element(1997), The Professional (1994), andLa Femme Nikita (1990), Serra has composed music for all but one of Besson’s films in his entire history as film director. Further impressive is that young Serra at that time did not consider himself a composer, explaining to Besson, as if almost not accepting the job, "well, I’m not a composer, I am just a musician." Luckily, Besson was so impressed with Serra that he encouraged him to give it a try, leading to this marriage made in heaven where the two have collaborated their film and music for well over two decades now. 

"Luc knows exactly what role he wants the music to play in the movie, for each scene. And that is probably why we work well together, because he talks about emotions. The way I work with music, even the way I listen to music, to me is emotional," explains Serra of composing for director Besson. "That is my only concept of music. When I compose I am just expressing emotions." 

Believe by Criss Angel and Cirque Du Soleil on stage at the Luxor Hotel in Las Vegas. The Cirque illustrates how "Serra takes the listener on a thrilling, dreamlike exploration beginning with sounds of vintage children-inspired melodies to rock and gothic moments with heavy, industrial, electronic beats to classical and operatic influences." 

Serra has composed music for a variety of movie genre, such as action/adventure 
Golden Eye (1995) of the James Bond mega hit film series, or animations Arthur 3 and Tarzan
 where he had the opportunity to work with the legendary Phil Collins. "I’m good friends with Peter Gabriel, and so it was nice to meet the other Genesis," jokingly stating since he knows the two "now I know all the secrets of the original Genesis." 

We sit in front of his monstrous digital recording soundboard and discuss how he has come a long way in his career, yet Serra is humble when reminiscing with me his fascination with music as a child. Serra is not sure when it all began for him as he does not have much memory before age seven, when his mother unexpectedly died. 

Assia Ahhatt. Serra will also be starting to work on his new album for RXRA this year as well.  Need more Serra? Visit EricSerra.com and EuroVoice.tv. For a show you have to see to Believe, go to Criss Angel Believe at Luxor in Las Vegas. 

RXRA You make my mind wonder, go astray In a trance, I fade away For Serra’s music, I am the prey 
By Slavica Monczka


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