Co-presented by Belle magazine and Coco Republic, the leading name in furniture, property styling and interior design services, last week’s Belle Coco Republic Interior Design Awards brought together Australia’s best interior designers to celebrate the spectrum of their creativity working across residential, commercial and hospitality projects over the past year.
The seventh industry awards night featured two new categories: the Rado Emerging Design Star and Best Work With Colour. The winner of the Rado Emerging Design Star award at the Belle Coco Republic Interior Design Awards 2017 was Yasmine Ghoniem (Amber Road Design, Sydney), who said of her accolade, “The talent [tonight] was absolutely immense, which makes our Emerging Design Star win even sweeter.”
Rado has long championed rising design talent, so it was great to see the watch brand’s support of Australian design circles. The brand has a longstanding involvement with design events and the promotion of inventiveness through the Rado Star Prize France, Italy, US and Switzerland, which showcases the work of fledgling designers.
Yasmine was also nominated in the category Best Work with Colour and was definitely one of the most vibrantly attired at the event. Green is her favourite colour but among her prizes was a chic Rado True Open Heart, with a translucent mother-of-pearl dial 0.02mm thick.
Rado had seven watches in display cases as guests arrived at Coco Republic’s Alexandria headquarters. The stars of the creative night were the latest True Designers collaboration series creations: Rado True Phospho, co-designed by Big-Game product and interior design studio (Switzerland); Rado True Blaze, co-designed by interior designer Sam Amoia (USA); and Rado True Stratum, co-designed by industrial designer Rainer Mutsch (Austria).
The innovative Swiss brand’s commitment to design is also, of course, reflected in their timepieces, namely their pioneering use of ceramics. With strong lines and gently curved silhouettes, plus a matt grey scheme, the new Ceramica unveiled at BaselWord is ideally pitched to minimalists. The starkly geometric Ceramica line has also been given the special designer treatment in recent years. The iconic 1990 Ceramica was reinterpreted by renowned German industrial designer Konstantin Grcic in 2016, to claim the prestigious 2017 Red Dot Product Design Award.
I’ve always admired Rado’s sleek 2002 V10K watch, but for the event I wore the new diamond-studded Rado DiaMaster Quartz Lady, proving that diamonds work marvelously well with high-tech ceramic, thank you very much. The Rado True Blaze takes it a step further with a dial that evokes a disco ball with what resembles a sprinkle of diamond powder; a cool feat from a design mind with an interest in tactile appeal and semiprecious finishes.
There was a lot to covet, from the watch cases to the footage of the award nominees’ design work, traversing coolly pared-back aesthetics to warmly hued, cosy surrounds. It was relief, then, to hear Tanya Buchanan – editor of Belle and someone with the country’s design gurus on speed dial – admit in her opening speech that she still doesn’t have her dream home.
In case you’re wondering, the Interior Designer of the Year went to Jonathan Richards and Kirsten Stanisich, from SJB in Sydney.