What: Opening of the new Lladró Boutique. Where: The Dubai Mall, followed by a party at The Lounge. When: December 11.
As I sat cosied up to a warm fireplace in frosty, blustering England during my Christmas visit, I flicked through my pics of the recent Lladró event – it felt like ages ago, but it soon flooded back. The iconic Spanish Lladró porcelain empire is part of the Chalhoub Group, and was finally opening its first much-anticipated boutique in this region. I recalled how, after hurtling through The Dubai Mall, I’d arrived just in time to witness the ribbon cutting, before being led up to The Lounge, a special venue for events in Fashion Avenue, for a party.
As I entered, I was struck by the atmospheric low lighting that acted as a jazzy backdrop for the saxophone player weaving among the guests. The crowd mingled while admiring the Lladró pieces on show. I’ll admit that in the past I hadn’t been hugely familiar with Lladró, so was particularly intrigued. A white porcelain stallion caught my eye: I was blown away by its intricacy.
I then met Havas communications manager Shereen Saifudeen, who had invited me to the event. Shereen was charismatic and warm, and we had a chat about art and illustration. As I flicked through my pics, I reached the one I’d been waiting for: Shereen in her striking red dress, among the Lladró pieces. Perfect – my first inking was sorted.
Shereen introduced me to the brand’s vice-president, Angeles Lladró, who was wearing a beautiful full-length dress with a dramatic gold necklace. Angeles is the daughter of Juan, the eldest of the three founding Lladró brothers, and was there to represent the family.
Finally, the grand finale had arrived: the unveiling of The Falcon, a sculpture specially created for Dubai, unveiled by Angeles Lladró and Anthony Chalhoub, the CEO of Chalhoub Group. They posed next to The Falcon: I quickly took some snaps of the moment and knew I’d found my second inking.
After enjoying the food, mingling with a new crowd and being properly introduced to the world of Lladró, I headed home full of inspiration. For more of Hatty’s sketches and blog, see www.hattypedder.com.