The superbly unconventional Christmas tree is the work of the fashion pack darling, the elegant Siem Reap-based designer Eric Raisina, whose textiles are favoured by Yves Saint Laurent, Loulou de la Falaise and Christian Lacroix.
Inspired by the Lotus flower (valued for its beauty and for being a Buddhist religious offering), Raisina worked with multi-coloured Cambodian silk to fashion the wonderfully flamboyant creation, which reflects the cycle of the lotus bloom from bud, to blossom and finally withering.
“The lotus represents purity and is associated with spiritual bloom,” explained Raisina, “when I arrived in Siem Reap, I felt so much energy coming from the temples. And I love the silk process in this country; the dyes and patterns are all made in a very ancestral way, which I find incredibly inspiring.”
Raisina’s shirred, fringed and tassled frocks feature regularly on the runways of New York and Paris Fashion Weeks. His atelier in Siem Reap is now a must-visit alongside the mysterious temples of Angkor. Originally from Madagascar, Raisina incorporates natural materials such as silk, raffia, sisal, linen and cotton in his work and his collections are showcased across Asia, Africa, Europe and the United States.
Last year marked Raisina’s first Christmas creation for Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor. Made entirely from hand-woven fishing implements, the tree made international news as a unique statement on Cambodian culture.
This year Raisina’s piece was celebrated with a tree lighting ceremony this week, heralding the start of festivities throughout the hotel, which will culminate in the glamorous poolside New Year’s Eve Gala, where 1,000 lighted candles and a huge firework display will see in the New Year in style.
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ABOUT RAFFLES GRAND HOTEL D’ANGKOR
The elegant French Colonial period Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor is a sophisticated retreat only steps away from Siem Reap’s bustling market and a mere eight kilometers from the Angkor Temple ruins. Distinguished as one of the grand hotels of Asia, it was originally built in 1932 and provided accommodation during the golden age of travel. Now restored, it has 119 guest rooms including four individually designed Personality Suites, six Cabana Suites and two Villa Suites set within the hotel gardens.
ABOUT RAFFLES HOTELS & RESORTS: Raffles Hotels & Resorts is an award-winning, luxury international hotel company with a history dating back to 1887 with the opening of Raffles Hotel, Singapore. The portfolio currently comprises nine luxurious properties, from secluded resorts to chic hotels in key locations around the world: in Singapore, Cambodia, China, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles and Paris, each one is an oasis of calm and charm. The company is embarking on a new phase of expansion, with openings in Istanbul, the Maldives, Indonesia, the Philippines and China scheduled over the next two years. With a compelling mix of cultures and styles, every hotel in the Raffles family has its own individual personality, with its own story to tell and its own sense of place. However, each one is proud to draw on the timeless essence of Raffles – to deliver thoughtful, personal and discreet service to well-travelled guests.
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