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December 3, 2017

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A perfect pairing: fine wine and fine fashion

ALEXANDRA Petit Mentzelopoulos and Thibault Pontallier, both based in London, tour the world promoting Château Margaux — one of the four French wine estates to earn Premier cru status in the Bordeaux classification of 1855. They spoke to Shanghai Daily about their jet-setting lifestyle representing one of the world’s finest wines.

Thibault Pontallier

Thibault Pontallier has been global ambassador for Château Margaux since March 2017, after a period of seven years as the ambassador to Asia. He began his career in 2007 working for the United Nations in Rome. Currently based in London, he is working to continuously strengthen the estate’s image with wine lovers all over the world.

My personal style is quite classic, easy going, natural and relaxed. I don’t think we should take life or ourselves too seriously.

The best outfit I’ve ever worn for a special occasion was a beautiful tailor-made tuxedo that I wore for an amazing Chateau Margaux dinner on the Great Wall of China.

I don’t follow fashion trends so much. I always love a very timeless and elegant style. Same for music, art and wine.

If I had to limit my shopping to one neighborhood in Shanghai that would be the city center where you can find the small boutiques. I also like K11, where we can find a lot of nice design and art products.

My favorite fashion brand is Loro Piana — classic and amazing quality.

The designer I most admire is a friend of mine called Abhishek Advani in London. The Mumbai-born fashion designer mixes very beautifully the Indian and European styles. I love this bridge between East and West.

The last item I added to my wardrobe was a beautiful Valentino jacket.

The fashion item I’m eyeing next is a very nice coat for the cold winter in London.

I collect great wines and as many nice friends as possible all over the world.

My grooming staples are Elizabeth Arden creams.

My signature perfume is HE by Armani and Guerlain.

The best souvenir I brought home have been so many amazing memories with my father during the last eight years in Asia.

My most memorable trip was an amazing safari in Botswana, it was so wild and so beautiful, and we could hear lions from our tent when we went to bed.

The best thing about living in Shanghai is the balance between the amazing energy of the city and the people, the stunning architecture, hotels and views around the Bund, the great food, and of course the cultural heritage and “art de vivre” vibe. 

Except London, I would love to go back to the beautiful city of Bordeaux in the long term.

Alexandra Petit Mentzelopoulos

Alexandra Petit Mentzelopoulos has been Château Margaux’s deputy general manager for communication and brand Image since 2016 after four years in Great Britain as ambassador for the estate. She joined the Château Margaux team in 2012, launching the first vintage of Margaux du Château Margaux 2009. Based in London, she also started a wine bar, “Clarette,” in the district of Marylebone in 2017.

My personal style is casual chic. I usually wear a pair of jeans and sneakers on an “off day,” a more proper suit for work and evening gowns for events. I think you can wear very simple clothes and just add nice accessories, like a bag, scarf or pair of shoes, to upgrade any outfit.

The best outfit I’ve ever worn for a special occasion was a Christian Dior dress. I was lucky enough to have the Christian Dior House allow me to borrow one of their amazing dress for a Vanity Fair event. This dress was entirely embroidered and it was stunning.

I follow fashion trends in fashion magazines and on social media.

I usually shop for clothes and accessories at fashion boutiques. I was raised in Paris and always thought that the best is to shop in different places as each shop has their own style. I usually tend to go to high-street shops for clothes and higher brands for accessories. My favorite fashion brand is Sézane. It’s a French online brand

The designer I most admire is Yves Saint Laurent.

The last item I’ve added to my wardrobe was a black cashmere sweater dress which I think is a very important basic to have in your wardrobe.

The fashion item I’m eyeing next is a pair of pumps from Aquazzura.

My grooming staples are Bioderma Micellar water, Shu Uemura cleansing oil, YSL false lash effect mascara and I think adding a nice lipstick to everyday make-up is enough to upgrade it to an evening one.

My signature perfume is A la rose from Maison Francis Kurkdjian

The best souvenir I brought home was a jade Buddha necklace I bought a few years ago in Beijing.

The most memorable place I’ve traveled in the past was the Taj Mahal in Agra, India.

The last book I’ve read was Ken Follett’s “Pilars of the Earth” trilogy as I love historical novels.

Except London, the city I would love to live in would be New York City.


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