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True Tales of Luxury

Author: Harrods

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Where did Bottega Veneta come from? How do you build a crystal chandelier? What is the secret ingredient in the elixir of long life? 

Join Harrods Editor in Chief Tiffanie Darke as she mines the world’s greatest luxury emporium for its most precious and fascinating finds. Joined by Fashion and Beauty Editorial Directors Stacey Duguid and Katie Service, each week the girls try to outdo each other with their bid for Harrods’ most desirable objects. With guests ranging from Indian jewellers to renowned aesthetic surgeons, they bring to life the extraordinary stories behind the things that really make us want to go shopping.
42 Episodes
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What is the future of fashion? As a new show season gets underway, we have partnered with SHOWstudio to tackle the big conversations affecting the fashion industry in this new world.  Join us, whether it be via the live conversations, our immersive windows or a host of in-store experiences – stay tuned for the full roster of unmissable events.
6: Simone Rocha

6: Simone Rocha

2020-08-1237:15

It’s the season finale and Tiffanie, Stacey and Katie have saved the best for last. Their finds from around the store include deliciously decadent patisserie that just so happens to be vegan; a keep-forever accessory that promises to compliment every outfit in your wardrobe and a beauty product that both relieves stress and revitalises hair.    In the second part of the episode, Tiffanie catches up with Irish designer Simone Rocha, who makes her Harrods debut this season. She speaks to us about growing up as the daughter of designer John Rocha and her own journey to becoming one of the leading lights of the London design scene. “My father has had a huge influence on my silhouettes and love of textiles,” she says. “But I’ve translated that into my idea of femininity, which is where we differ. For me, femininity is about being strong, about being thoughtful and being interesting. It doesn’t have an age or size range.” She tells us about why her Irish heritage means so much to her, how she maintains her status as an independent designer and she talks through her latest collection – which was based on the Irish Renaissance play Riders to the Sea – and why her love of pearls was inspired by the politician Mary Robinson.
5: José Pizarro

5: José Pizarro

2020-07-0336:28

In today’s episode, Tiffanie, Stacey and Katie reveal the rare and recherché finds they’ve unearthed from inside Harrods. Prepare to be inspired by esoteric fragrances; intrigued by a piece of jewellery with talismanic properties and compelled by three superlative pairs of sunglasses which are not just aesthetically pleasing but altruistic too.  In the second part of the podcast, Tiffanie speaks to the celebrated Spanish chef José Pizarro – credited with bringing authentic tapas to London – about his unlikely road to becoming a restaurateur. “I studied dentistry,” he says, “and while I was waiting for a job I took a cookery course. A month in, I knew this was it.” He tells us why Jamón Ibérico should always be eaten with your hands, why his customers are family and he also lets us in on the secret ingredient in his recipe for success (hint: it’s all about provenance).
4: Sameer Lilani

4: Sameer Lilani

2020-06-2539:07

Tiffanie, Stacey and Katie talk through the treasures they’ve truffled out from Harrods this week, ranging from delicious – and rare – cheeses to dream bags and the very latest in futuristic foundations (if you thought 40 shades was impressively inclusive, try 72,000).                 Their guest this week is Sameer Lilani, EMEA director for jewellery powerhouse Amrapali. Founded in the 1970s, by cousins who shared a passion for traditionally-made jewellery, Amrapali has risen to become one of India’s most renowned design houses and Amrapali’s jewels (known for their exquisite craftsmanship and eye-catching deigns, are loved by stars of both Hollywood and Bollywood: both Angelina Jolie and Sonam Kapoor are fans). He fills us in on the evolution of men’s jewellery (thankfully the days of bling are far behind us) to the talismanic powers of precious gemstones. “It’s about connecting with your emotions,” he says, “I really do believe in the power and the energy of stones.”   He also talks about the Amrapali Gem Bar, available exclusively at Harrods, which allows clients to select rare, precious and semi-precious loose stones sourced from around the world and experiment with creating their own bespoke piece of jewellery. “We have everything from an amethyst at £1,500 to a pink diamond that’s almost a million pounds,” he says. “And it’s a real collaboration, you can actually design your own piece of jewellery.”
3: Dr Maryam Zamani

3: Dr Maryam Zamani

2020-06-2539:34

In today’s episode Tiffanie, Stacey and Katie talk us through a game-changing – and sustainable – new skincare line so advanced that it’s based on research by a Nobel Laureate; a chandelier bar, where a storied crystal brand helps clients create a custom-made chandelier made from a possible 15,000 combinations, and an Oxford brogue created by a bespoke shoe-maker to the stars.  The guest this week is leading oculoplastic surgeon, facial aesthetics doctor and MZ skincare founder Maryam Zamani. She speaks to Tiffanie about why she prefers ‘tweakments’ over treatments (“the idea is that you’re doing something that doesn’t necessarily change you,” she says, “it just improves what you already have”) and why good skin starts at home. She likens having treatments to having a personal trainer: “If you have a trainer once a week, that’s great, but then you have to maintain it. It's not like you can gain muscles or definition with just one treatment.”   The award-winning skincare founder talks about the process of adding a dose of luxury to her doctor-led line, MZ skin, and why lockdown might actually have been a good thing for our complexions.
2: Bartosz Ciepaj

2: Bartosz Ciepaj

2020-06-2538:23

Tiffanie, Stacey and Katie delve deep into Harrods to unearth crystal-studded Koi, an elixir of rare fungi known as Himalayan Gold – and an ingenious, fuss-free and sustainable, solution for wardrobe maintenance, which will make sure you never need a drycleaner ever again.   Later they’re joined by Harrods master roaster, Bartosz Ciepaj who spills the beans on how Harrods create the perfect cup. As judge in the global cup of excellence; a global competition to find the world’s best coffees, Ciepaj is well-versed in the art of selecting the crème de la crème of blends. He takes editor Tiffanie Darke through the process: from the roasting (Harrods roasts over 1,000 kilos a week) to how to brew it to best bring out the delicate nuances in the blends.
1: Russell Young

1: Russell Young

2020-06-2537:03

In the first episode of the new season, we join editor-in-chief Tiffanie Darke, fashion editorial director Stacey Duguid and beauty editorial director Katie Service as they talk us through a show-and-tell definition of modern luxury: prepare yourself to hear about the most beautiful, brilliant and downright bonkers things Harrods can offer.  We also hear from Russell Young, an American-British artist best-known for his large-scale silkscreens of legendary cultural figures including Brigitte Bardot, Marilyn Monroe and David Bowie. Born in the north of England, Young spent time living on the streets before making it as a music photographer. His big break came when “probably more than half the pictures you’ve seen of George are mine,” he said, “we had a great relationship over the years". The album – which sold 25m copies – catapulted Young to international attention and by the ‘90s he’d shot everyone from Bruce Springsteen to Bob Dylan. In the 2000s he reinvented himself as a fine artist and quickly found fame for his diamond dust portraits, which – in January ­– became the first artworks in Harrods’ history to takeover the Brompton Road windows. “I inherited Warhol’s printing press, and the first diamond dust paintings I ever created was from a bag of Andy Warhol’s diamond dust,” he says. “I’ve always said that I pin the paintings on my studio wall at night and put a huge pile of diamond dust and at night Tinker Bell comes and spreads it around.”   Visit Russell Young’s FAME exhibition at the Harrods Halcyon Gallery, 3rd Floor and online at fame.halcyongallery.com
Season 6 is coming!

Season 6 is coming!

2020-06-1801:40

Where did Bottega Veneta come from? How do you build a crystal chandelier? What is the secret ingredient in the elixir of long life?  Join Harrods Editor in Chief Tiffanie Darke as she mines the world’s greatest luxury emporium for its most precious and fascinating finds. Joined by Fashion and Beauty Directors Stacey Duguid and Katie Service, each week the girls try to outdo each other with their bid for Harrods’ most desirable objects. With guests ranging from Indian jewellers to renowned aesthetic surgeons, they bring to life the extraordinary stories behind the things that really make us want to go shopping.
5: Margaret Dabbs

5: Margaret Dabbs

2019-12-1227:09

In the last episode of the season, we put our feet up for an exclusive chat with Margaret Dabbs. Blurring the lines between science and beauty, Margaret Dabbs is an esteemed podiatrist and entrepreneur. Put your feet up and listen as she tells Mariella how she made her beauty breakthrough.  "I’ve got a big level of compassion in me, but also I’ve got that fight which says pick yourself up and go for it."  “There isn’t a foot we can’t help,” says entrepreneur and podiatrist Margaret Dabbs. Proving that there is a place for hands, legs and feet treatments in the luxury market, Dabbs and her team combine chiropody and pampering while you ensconce yourself in a reclining chair.  This ‘medical pedicure’ – a term coined by Dabbs – doesn’t stop there. The aesthetician has concocted a life-changing line of ultra-moisturising products that will rehabilitate your worn-out tootsies. And guess what? There’s even a vegan range.
4: Dr. Marwa Ali

4: Dr. Marwa Ali

2019-12-0526:251

Aesthetic doctor and sought-after skincare expert, Dr. Marwa Ali is known for her artistic yet subtle approach to cosmetic surgery. Here, she tells Mariella how she earned the trust of famous faces around the globe.    “If you want something enough and work hard enough, you will be able to achieve it.” There’s a new revolution among us in the world of cosmetic surgery, and it’s called baby botox – a less-is-more procedure practised by the master of ageless beauty – Dr. Marwa Ali. Believing that aesthetic medicine is not only a science, but an art, the esteemed skin doctor tailors her treatments to her clients, working to enhance their natural features rather than change them completely. Her advice? Use the right skincare for you, always do your research, and most importantly, prevention is better than cure.
3: Alexis Mabille

3: Alexis Mabille

2019-11-2828:14

You’ve seen his hyper-feminine styles on your favourite celebrities – now world-renowned designer Alexis Mabille tells Mariella how he made his mark in the fashion industry.   “Step by step I rediscovered that my motif was elegance. It’s not just about beauty; it’s more about charisma and attitude.” Starting as a six-year-old with big dreams and a sewing machine, Alexis Mabille has gone from an aspirational costume designer to an haute couture titan. With a knack for making things beautiful, he studied at the esteemed Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne before working with John Galliano at Dior, and finally starting his own label. With a design ethos aimed at making the wearer feel as good as they look, it’s no wonder his creations are loved by famous faces across the globe.
2: William Curley

2: William Curley

2019-11-2129:32

Having trained under the likes of Raymond Blanc and Marco Pierre White, William Curley knows a thing or two about sweet treats. Mariella meets the country’s most-accoladed chocolatier.  “When you have something that’s made the right way and the pure way…you probably won’t want to go back.” Having grown up in a small town near Fife, Scotland, William Curley followed an unlikely path to become a Master of Culinary Arts – the highest accolade for chefs in the UK. Opting for cookery classes at school, he would discover a passion for his craft, going on to shape his skills under Raymond Blanc, Marco Pierre White and Pierre Koffmann before becoming the youngest chef pâtissier in history when he joined The Savoy at 27 years old. With extraordinary and tantalising flavours from Japanese black vinegar to rosemary and olive oil, his couture chocolate creations in our Food Halls are something to behold.
1: Norma Kamali

1: Norma Kamali

2019-11-1431:22

Age is but a number for Norma Kamali. Five decades at the centre of the fashion industry has neither slowed nor dimmed the 74-year-old designer’s passion for her work and the causes she champions, as Mariella discovers.   “I don’t see a lack of opportunity for myself. I have plans for things I’m doing next; I met my soulmate at 65 years old! I still have the spirit I want.”   In 1976, a young Farrah Fawcett – then on the cusp of Charlie’s Angels fame – was snapped by Hollywood photographer Bruce McBroom. The effect was instant. Everything from Fawcett’s flicked tresses to her scarlet Norma Kamali bathing suit (now a permanent exhibit of the Smithsonian) was immortalised in fashion’s hall of fame. Yet Kamali is so much more than a swimwear designer. Feminist trailblazer, woman’s woman; her ‘Stop Objectification’ campaign is on a mission to empower women from the inside out, starting with self-esteem.
Season 5 is coming!

Season 5 is coming!

2019-11-1100:52

Join Mariella as she returns for a new season of Harrods' True Tales of Luxury, delving once again into the worlds of designers and innovators at the top of the creative industry. In this season, she meets top chocolatier William Curley, the aesthetics doctor, Dr. Marwa Ali, designer Alexis Mabille and she talks feet with celebrated podiatrist Magaret Dabbs. The season kicks off with legendary designer Norma Kamali. Tune in this Thursday for more.  True Tales of Luxury is a Harrods podcast.
6: palmer//harding

6: palmer//harding

2019-10-1034:42

In episode six, Mariella meets the palmer//harding duo credited for reinventing the classic shirt — listen in as they trace their success back to the humble beginnings of Harding's childhood bedroom.  “We always said that we didn’t want to build a business if we couldn’t build it in the right way and treat people right.” Today, affectionately known as "the shirt boys", Central Saint Martin graduates Levi Palmer and Matthew Harding were working out of Harding's childhood bedroom when they launched their ready-to-wear label. Seven years on, and the appeal of palmer//harding's power shirts has reached the likes of Michelle Obama — the new uniform of accomplished women the world over. With a perfect balance of structure and fluidity, a forward-thinking aesthetic and an inclusive size range, the duo has become the ultimate gatekeepers of the staple shirt.
5: Vineet Bhatia

5: Vineet Bhatia

2019-10-0332:01

Almost single-handedly revolutionising the Indian food scene in Britain, Vineet Bhatia is one of the most esteemed chefs of our time. Listen as Mariella meets the man who brought chocolate samosas to Harrods.  “I cook from my heart and I cook from my mind. That’s the way I put food down.” After arriving in London in 1993, Vineet Bhatia set out on a mission to transform Indian cuisine in the UK. Eight years later, he became the first Indian chef-proprietor to be awarded the industry's highest accolade — a Michelin star. Spearheading a cuisine that combines the authentic food of his mother country with modern, innovative twists, Bhatia joined the Harrods family in 2019 with a new restaurant in The Dining Hall — Kama by Vineet. Come for the signature thali, stay for the chocomosas.
4: Jenny Packham

4: Jenny Packham

2019-09-2633:25

One of the UK’s most successful and independent fashion brands with global recognition, Jenny Packham has become the design house of choice when it comes to social dressing. Red carpets the world over are graced with Packham’s designs worn by the most iconic and influential women of our generation including: Taylor Swift, Uma Thurman, Angelina Jolie, Emily Blunt, Kate Winslet, Dita Von Teese, Kate Hudson, Oscar winner Adele Adkins and The Duchess of Cambridge.
3: Amy Powney

3: Amy Powney

2019-09-1928:39

Amy Powney of British label Mother of Pearl is on a mission to change how we think about sustainable fashion. She tells Mariella how we can overturn the bad habits of fast fashion — without compromising on style. "By 2050, the fashion industry is set to make up 25% of the carbon footprint on the planet, which is harrowing." The latest buzzword in fashion and more relevant than ever, sustainability is Amy Powney's gospel at Mother of Pearl. Creative Director at the British brand, her commitment to ethics and the environment takes form in transparent supply chains, organic materials and social responsibility — without compromising on creativity. The result? Fashion-forward, affordable pieces that perfect the balance between style and substance. From the ready-to-wear collection to the fully sustainable 'No Frills' diffusion line, her pieces are designed to make you look great, and feel great about the story behind your outfit.
2: Greta Bellamacina

2: Greta Bellamacina

2019-09-1232:00

Something of an artistic polymath at the age of 28, poet, actress and filmmaker Greta Bellamacina is Harrods’ first poet-in-residence. In episode two, Mariella meets the woman of many talents. “I think poetry and all good art should be for the people – it shouldn’t be reserved in dusty old books and art galleries.” Popularising poetry for a new generation, 28-year-old Greta Bellamacina is our first poet-in-residence here at Harrods. At the age of 23, she was shortlisted as Young Poet Laureate, before going on to edit three internationally-loved books including Smear, a powerful feminist anthology for young women. Not to be confined to pen and paper, Bellamacina first dipped her toe into the world of cinema on the set of Harry Potter, and has since co-written, directed and starred in an award-nominated new film Hurt By Paradise.
1: Sam McKnight

1: Sam McKnight

2019-09-0533:26

Since his very first Vogue cover in 1977, hair stylist Sam McKnight has been behind some of the most iconic fashion shoots of all time. Here, he tells Mariella how he found himself in the vanguard of the most glamorous industry in the world.  "I wanted to be part of that world — it looked so luxurious and glamorous, a kind of world I had never seen before."   "Hair is transformative", so says Sam McKnight. Captivated by the pages of glossy magazines as a teen, the now-lauded hair stylist moved to London from the small mining town of New Cumnock to find himself landing a job in the capital's most illustrious hair salon and styling Vogue shoots by 1977. After four decades of iconic covers, catwalk shows and celebrity clientele (he was personal hair stylist to Princess Diana for seven years), he marked his star-studded career with the launch of an eponymous line of hair products in 2017.
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