From fashion to spirits, Glenfiddich’s Grand Series melds two luxury worlds
31 May 2022
The maverick whisky brand continues to challenge conventions with the unexpected marriage of two luxury worlds with its Grand Series range. Here, a behind-the-scenes look at local fashion designers Frederick Lee, Max Tan and Baëlf Design as they bring the Glenfiddich Grand Series to life from their drawing boards
When one thinks of a grand occasion, many things may come to mind. Perhaps it is the wonder of seeing a seed of an idea finally come to fruition, the excitement of planning a show-stopping outfit, or even the satisfaction of having the perfect drink in hand for that well-deserved toast.
Enter Glenfiddich: the world’s most awarded single malt scotch whisky and its Grand Series, which seeks to meld the worlds of style and spirits with an innovative encounter of the unexpected. Consisting of three single malts—the Gran Reserva, Grand Cru and Grande Couronne—the Grand Series serves as the perfect elevation of life’s milestones, taking these achievements and rewarding moments of growth from celebratory and fulfilling to luxurious and extraordinary as well.
To the uninitiated: Glenfiddich—which is Gaelic for Valley of the Deer—was established in 1887 by William Grant and has since become the world’s most awarded single malt Scotch whisky to date. And though the 135-year-old brand brings with it invaluable history and heritage, its Grand Series breaks convention by bringing together three different yet opulent worlds.
The biggest indication of this is the Grand Series’ unexpected cask finishes. Case in point? The Glenfiddich Grande Couronne is a 26-year-old whisky matured in American and European oak casks at the Glenfiddich Distillery in Dufftown, Scotland, before the crowning glory—an extended finish of up to two years in meticulously sourced French Cognac casks—providing a true taste of elegance. This is followed by Glenfiddich Grand Cru, aged for 23 years in American and European Oak casks and then finessed in French cuvée oak casks and Glenfiddich Gran Reserva, patiently mellowed for 21 years in bourbon casks before a final flourish in Caribbean rum casks.
It’s no surprise then that these themes of innovation and disruption are amplified in an equally one-of-a-kind way. Tapping on some of Singapore’s most prolific fashion designers, the Grand Series comes to life through a fashion-meets-spirits collaboration. Calling on Frederick Lee, Max Tan and Baëlf Design, this meeting of worlds is a journey of taste that looks to tell the tale of each spirit through thoughtful, luxurious and unique craftsmanship. The end result? Three inimitable garments fit for extraordinary occassions.
Here, join Frederick Lee, Max Tan and Baëlf Design behind the scenes as they look to the Gran Reserva, Grand Cru and Grande Couronne for sartorial inspiration.
Frederick Lee x Glenfiddich Gran Reserva: A celebration of self
Frederick Lee needs no introduction. The fashion designer, industry veteran and founder of Frederick Lee Couture has taken on the title of Singapore’s sartorial guru and for good reason: over the course of his illustrious career he has become synonymous with his larger-than-life and elaborate gowns, evening wear and outre ensembles. Matching Lee’s flair for finesse is the Glenfiddich Gran Reserva, a luxury malt aged for 21 years and perfectly finished in Caribbean Reserva Rum casks.
Laidback yet luxurious, the Gran Reserva brings together the distinct flavours of the Caribbean and Scotland. Lee’s takeaway from this was to hone in on a design that was both tropical and celebratory. His point of reference? The Cuban Carnivale. “There are no rules when it comes to fashion. I totally ignore conventions and I do away with seasonal demands. There is always that eager anticipation to create a new look before it becomes commercial. And the Gran Reserva celebrates the unexpected marriage of two traditional worlds to take luxury to the next level,” he shares.
Inspired by the Gran Reserva’s fresh fig, lime and ginger notes as well as hints of toffee and spice, Lee’s garment is an exquisite orange and red feathered dress with a nestled pair of antlers that takes cues from Glenfiddich’s iconic stag motif. Propelled by the ethos of embracing the occasion, his standout creation just might be the perfect fit for a fun and flirty night with friends to drink to that new job or much-awaited graduation.
Max Tan x Glenfiddich Grand Cru: Celebrating grand occasions together
“My representation of the Glenfiddich Grand Cru is really reflected in the way I see the garment’s construction, the geometry of the bottle and the drapery of this oversized coat. You can really see how the details shine through as well as the pureness of the form. I think that’s really representative of what the Grand Cru is,” shares fashion designer Max Tan. Tan, who helms the fashion label MAX.TAN, has become an industry darling known for his androgynous and structured fits.
Aged for 23 years and finished in French Cuvée oak casks for up to half a year, Grand Cru bridges the worlds of Scotland and France. Encompassing layers of rich vanilla oak, sandalwood and white grape, it also boasts hints of apple blossom, candied lemon and freshly-baked bread. On the design front, Tan reimagines the Grand Cru in the form of a sleek, angular coat that lends from the bottle’s black-and-gold colour scheme.
Created for the non-conformists, it has been uniquely crafted as a surprising delight, with every sip, for those tearing up the rule book and who want to celebrate big life moments in a whole new way.
Baëlf Design x Glenfiddich Grande Couronne: The crowning glory to your celebrations
Lionel Wong and Jamela Law of Baëlf Design are innovators in the space of technology and fashion. The duo have been making waves since the conception of their business in 2016 and specialise in design methods such as laser cutting and 3D printing. “Our combined use of traditional craft and modern additive manufacturing technology parallels the innovative spirit of Glenfiddich while acknowledging its glorious heritage. The Glenfiddich Grand Series is a beautifully disruptive line of single malts that oozes opulence and is designed to elevate occasions and celebratory moments in whole new ways,” shares Wong.
Baëlf Design’s interpretation of the Glenfiddich Grande Couronne is envisioned out of pliable wood fabric and hot-stamped gold foil which has been laser cut to create an ethereal silhouette. Fashioned out of materials like oak bark and wood, the final garment reflects the Grande Couronne’s antique gold colouring. This goes hand-in-hand with the intricate know-how of Baëlf Design, from the delicate swirls of the laser cuts to the dress’ overall smooth exterior. The look is topped off with a headdress that serves as an avant garde finishing touch.
Grande Couronne is the epitome of opulence, uncorked at your most grand and meaningful celebrations. Its very name, which translates to “crown” in French, is the promise of the excellence in each drop of this precious single malt. Wear Baëlf Design’s show-stopping ensemble to grace just about any momentous event.
To learn about Glenfiddich’s Grand Series, visit the label’s site for more information.
Fashion Director Desmond Lim
Director of Photography and Video Editor Nikkla
Gaffer and Camera Assistant Jufri Husne
Grips Kuah Kim Peow and Alan Ang
Writer Maya Menon