Tag Archives: Interview

Meeting Arnaud Wittmann, The Designer of De Greef

De Greef-Arnaud Wittmann-Interview-1-Photo ©Mademoiselle Le K

When I received the pictures of the collection Designed for Men by De Greef, I really liked the modern mix of black ceramic, white or pink gold, diamonds and nautical rope. And I wanted to meet Arnaud Wittmann, the talented designer of the house De Greef who captured our desires in this unisex collection (photos below). This collection’s alreay been a huge success just one month after its launch. 

How did you conceive this collection Designed for Men by De Greef?

– I draw first and then I select the materials. I designed jewels for men in leather and gold ten years ago. But the leather ages and I was looking for a material that resists everything and comfortable to wear, as the matt black ceramic. Designing a unisex collection, it was a little tickle the codes of a tradition house like ours.

De Greef-Arnaud Wittmann-Interview-Designed for Men by de Greef-3-Photo ©Mademoiselle Le K

– We’ve also had a great demand from our customers looking for fine jewelry for men for many years. A bracelet to wear with something else.

What inspired you and inspires you in general?

– The contrast of materials. I like the strict side, very pure. I draw from what works, not with the trends. We feel things. It is important to reinvent the wheel for creating new jewelry. I like working around the stone already cut. And I use fairly simple combinations of colors.

Arnaud Wittmann gets up to find two yellow diamonds, one of them sparkles a lot:

– The architecture inspires me too, the combination of lines and shapes. The work of the architect Santiago Calatrava who realized the station of Liege. 

De Greef-Arnaud Wittmann-Interview-Designed for Men by de Greef-1-Photo ©Mademoiselle Le K     De Greef-Arnaud Wittmann-Interview-Designed for Men by de Greef-2-Photo ©Mademoiselle Le K  De Greef-Arnaud Wittmann-Interview-Designed for Men by de Greef-4-Photo ©Mademoiselle Le K

Photo above (left): A ring in weirdium (metal invented by a company based in Liège, composed of silver, platinum and copper), mounted on pink gold.

Photos : © Mademoiselle Le K – Tous droits réservés

Many thanks to Arnaud Wittmann and his team. 



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Rencontre avec Arnaud Wittmann, designer de la maison De Greef

De Greef-Arnaud Wittmann-Interview-1-Photo ©Mademoiselle Le K

Designed for Men by De Greef

Lorsque j’ai reçu les visuels de la collection Designed for Men by De Greef, j’ai tout de suite aimé ce mélange très moderne de céramique noire, d’or blanc ou rose, de diamants et de corde nautique. Aussi je tenais à rencontrer Arnaud Wittmann, le talentueux designer de la Maison De Greef qui a su capter nos envies dans cette collection mixte (photos ci-dessous). Collection qui rencontre un franc succès un mois à peine après son lancement. 

Comment est née cette collection Designed for Men by De Greef?

– Je dessine d’abord et je choisis ensuite les matériaux. Il y a dix ans, j’ai fait une collection homme en cuir et or. Mais le cuir vieillit et je recherchais un matériau qui résiste à tout et soit agréable à porter, noir et mat comme la céramique. Concevoir une collection unisexe, c’était un peu titiller les codes d’une maison de tradition comme la notre.

De Greef-Arnaud Wittmann-Interview-Designed for Men by de Greef-3-Photo ©Mademoiselle Le K

– Nous avions aussi une grande demande depuis plusieurs années, de la part de nos clients qui recherchaient des bijoux raffinés pour homme. Un bracelet à porter avec quelque chose d’autre.

Qu’est-ce qui vous a inspiré et vous inspire en général?

– Le contraste des matières. J’aime bien le côté très strict, très pur. Je dessine par rapport à ce qui fonctionne, pas par rapport aux tendances. On sent les choses. C’est important de réinventer la roue pour d’autres bijoux. J’aime travailler autour de la pierre déjà taillée et j’utilise des combinaisons de couleurs assez simples.

Arnaud Wittmann se lève pour chercher deux diamants jaunes, dont un jaune-brun qui brille de mille feux :  

– L’architecture m’inspire aussi : la combinaison des lignes et des formes. Le travail de l’architecte Santiago Calatrava qui a réalisé la gare de Liège

De Greef-Arnaud Wittmann-Interview-Designed for Men by de Greef-1-Photo ©Mademoiselle Le K     De Greef-Arnaud Wittmann-Interview-Designed for Men by de Greef-2-Photo ©Mademoiselle Le K  De Greef-Arnaud Wittmann-Interview-Designed for Men by de Greef-4-Photo ©Mademoiselle Le K

Photo ci-dessus (gauche) : bague en weirdium (métal inventé par une société liégioise, composé d’argent, platine et cuivre), monté sur or rose.

Photos : © Mademoiselle Le K – Tous droits réservés

Merci à Arnaud Wittmann et son équipe. 



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Croatia: Le Mandrac, The Gourmet Restaurant in Opatijia

Croatia-Opatija-Le Mandrac-8-Photo Mademoiselle Le K-copyright 2013

After my long visit of Opatija

with Zé under a blazing sun, we follow Lungumare (a paved path along the sea with a beautiful view) to Le Mandrac, a gourmet restaurant. We are in a small cove with a backdrop worthy of the golden age of the Italian cinema. It feels like home… and also reminded me of the Marseille’s Calanques and a distant dinner at Chez Fonfon (a famous restaurant in Marseille).

I love the scenery, I’m blown away! The view from our table is just WOW (picture 1)! Impeccable service. The black bread looks like the one I tasted in South Tyrol (picture 4). Excellent starters (pictures 2 & 3), followed by a perfectly grilled fish with olive oil (pictures 6 & 7) and a chocolate cake, with in the middle some hot chocolate and garnished with a lemon sorbet … OMG and beleive me, I am not at all a dessert person (pictures 8 & 9). After the second starter, I wasn’t hungry!

Croatia-Opatija-Le Mandrac-1-Photo Mademoiselle Le K-copyright 2013Croatia-Opatija-Le Mandrac-2-Photo Mademoiselle Le K-copyright 2013Croatia-Opatija-Le Mandrac-7-Photo Mademoiselle Le K-copyright 2013Croatia-Opatija-Le Mandrac-9-Photo Mademoiselle Le K-copyright 2013

The chef Denis Zembo

Honestly, I think it must be a nightmare to have lunch with me. Each dish is carefully photographed before and sometimes even after, as below, LOL! Here everything is so flavorful and tasty that between the main course and dessert, I improvise a quick meeting with the talented chef and owner of Le Mandrac, Denis Zembo (picture above): 

How would you describe your cooking? – Mediterranean cuisine with a twist. Unpredictable and surprising. 

What kind of ingredients inspire you? – Only some Mediterranean herbs and garlic found in the mountains. I like to use different techniques, such as caramelize. The presentation is half of the dish too. 

– What traditional Croatian dish would you recommend to someone who comes for the first time in Croatia? – The risotto, all made pasta, scampi. My avant-garde interpretation of traditional fritaja (fritaya), with scrambled eggs and local ingredients: wild asparagus, truffles and mushrooms. 

Thank you Denis Zembo.

Croatia-Opatija-Le Mandrac-3-Photo Mademoiselle Le K-copyright 2013Croatia-Opatija-Le Mandrac-4-Photo Mademoiselle Le K-copyright 2013Croatia-Opatija-Le Mandrac-5-Photo Mademoiselle Le K-copyright 2013Croatia-Opatija-Le Mandrac-6-Photo Mademoiselle Le K-copyright 2013Croatia-Opatija-Le Mandrac-12-Photo Mademoiselle Le K-copyright 2013

Photos : © Mademoiselle Le K – Tous droits réservés. 


Le Mandrac : Obala F. Supila 10, Volosko, 51410 Opatija – Tel +385 51 701 357. Opatija Tourist Board www.visitcroatia.be  

Follow my whole trip in the CROATIA section. ENJOY! I was hosted by the Office National Croate du Tourisme and as usual all my opinions are mine.