CHOP & CHANGE
Resurfacing after the end of her fairytale marriage, model and skincare mogul LINDY KLIM reintroduces herself as Lindy Rama — blonder, bolder and ready to celebrate her new fiancé and fledgling fashion label.
Lindy Klim’s new chapter (and look).
TO SAY LINDY KLIM has wanted to make changes in her life is akin to saying Donaldtrump would like to make suggestions about how his country is run.there is nothing subtle going on here. For Lindy, the fact that she looks almost unrecognisable isn’t even the most dramatic thing that’s happened to her in the past 15 months. Little over a year ago, she was still one half of the Lindy-michael Klim duo, running skincare line Milk & Co with her Olympian husband. In a short time, all that has changed. Her dark, straight locks have been switched to a blonde cut. Not only has her decade-long marriage come to an end, but both she and Michael have repartnered, and she is newly engaged to an Englishman, Adam Ellis. As for work? She’s reinventing that, too, having stepped away from Milk & Co as she launches a new fashion label, Rama, this year.
“I feel like it’s a new Lindy Rama,” is the first thing she says, using her maiden name.“it’s time to do something drastic and have a new lease on life and a new beginning.”the hair colour — “I’m still getting used to it!” — is the least of it. Her buoyant tone belies the struggle of the past year, during which she followed a self-imposed moratorium on most social events and interviews.“i chose to take a year out, to just regroup and be with my family in Bali, and with Adam. I just needed to make sure I was taking care of my family and healing myself — because if anybody got me at a bad time, anything could have come up. I could have ended up in tears on the red carpet with somebody asking me a question.”
It’s hard to reconcile that image with the Lindy Klim the public has known for so long: a designer-label-clad glamazon who might appear in head-to-toe Gucci in one photo, and beaming with her three children and then husband in their tropical Bali home in another. But her own Instagram feed hasn’t portrayed any untruths: although she can be seen posing with Nicole Kidman, Cindy Crawford and good pal Toni Maticevski in her posts, it’s been more than two years since Michael has appeared by her side, and even her children no longer feature in her grid.“i don’t want to be that person who pretends everything’s OK when it’s not — it’s false advertising,” she says.“i can’t stand it when women have children and then a week later they’re in a bikini [on Instagram]. It’s just not selling a good message. That’s why I’ve always been extremely honest with things like that. Because people need to know [that life isn’t perfect].” She adds, “I’ve definitely hit rock bottom, and people don’t see that through social media. I don’t put up a post of me crying. But it’s those moments that have given me the strength to be who I am.”
She points out the darker side of social media, which not only gives a curated view of one’s life, but can also exacerbate ill feeling in an already tense divorce. In the past year, headlines have alluded to Lindy discovering that ex-husband Michael had a new girlfriend via social media. All she’ll say on the topic is that “Social media’s a really difficult one. I’ve decided not to post my children anymore — I don’t want to get them involved. But it’s very difficult when the other side still chooses to do that. Even though they’ve been asked not to post. But I feel like ... people can see through it and understand what’s happening and see why they’re doing it.”
Lindy chooses her words carefully. It’s clear she never expected to be down this particular rabbit hole.“it’s the most peculiar place to find yourself, in this situation where I’m having to deal with lawyers and [with] somebody who’s not being very kind. It’s very difficult ... For couples who have separated or are going through divorce, I wish the nastiness could stop. I wish you could look back and see that you both loved each other at one point, and I would hope that people could communicate on that level, but unfortunately it doesn’t happen all the time, and that’s where I’m at. It’s quite nasty and I wish that it wasn’t. And it doesn’t need to be. [But] I’ve got three incredible children and, thankfully, because we live in Bali, they’re not really witness to anything that’s going on.they are the happiest they’ve ever been.”
Lindy met fiancé Ellis — who also lives in Bali — through mutual friends only three months after she and Michael parted ways; a year on, she gushes about their relationship. “He’s unbelievable. Everything about him is so calm and so peaceful, but he’s also hilarious. Like, I thought I was funny, but he has outfunnied me.and I didn’t know anybody could love me as much as he does. I can’t believe I’ve found him, and so quickly, as well ... People would say to me,‘oh, you’ve rushed into this — you’ve only been on your own for three months before you’ve met Adam.whatever. I don’t play by the rules, and where are these rules coming from? I’ve never, ever listened to proper rules.”
Perhaps that’s why she’s employed a unique approach with Ellis as they both navigate the rocky terrain of her divorce.“having a partner while going through divorce is a very challenging thing
— it’s very stressful on us.as much as we love each other, there are definitely times when we have felt that things are getting on top of us. Because we live in Bali, we have so many different resources to help. We see this incredible lady who does reiki but is also a counsellor.we’re not seeing her because our relationship is not great, we’re seeing her to prevent it from getting [spoilt].”
Even though Lindy’s own parents split when she was young — her stepfather remains a pivotal person in her life, and she credits him for many of her positive traits — she was unprepared for divorce in more ways than one. Conscious uncoupling be damned. “A divorce is a really stressful and overwhelming thing — you can’t pretend it’s OK,” she says. “It just doesn’t work like that for everybody. Unfortunately for me, my attention to detail is not quite there, so I found the whole process of divorce and papers really quite difficult. But I think, out of that, I’ve learnt to be a much stronger person. I’m not a pushover anymore.”
It was a tough lesson for someone who admits she was complicit in being a dependent female.“i used to get away with preferring not to know things. I was like,‘i don’t want to know about that, it’s too hard.’ Or, ‘I have to ask my husband if I can buy that item.’ I don’t want to be that person. I am my own person. I am responsible for my own stuff. I got through life batting my eyelids at people and getting my own way that way.this year, I want to learn more, to educate myself in languages and in business. I want to be that intelligent, strong woman.”
And she’s grown into her original surname, which has inspired her new fashion range.“rama means ‘king’, and it comes from the royal family [Lindy was born a Balinese princess, through her father]. It’s going back to my roots and bringing back my identity.” She is ambivalent about whether she’ll change her name back. “It’s difficult when you have children. They don’t want me to change my name.”and she won’t become Mrs Ellis when she ties the knot.“i won’t take Adam’s name.that’s not out of not loving him. I’d rather keep Rama,” she says.“it’s who I am now.”
Launching Rama the label will give her both creative and financial control, and paves the way for her other projects this year — a capsule collection (aptly named ‘Still I Rise’) with label LIFEWITHBIRD, out this month, and a bespoke linen collection with an Australian homewares brand, launching in spring. “I am the breadwinner of my family and I need to supply them with the lifestyle they’re used to,” she says.“i want to work really hard.and it’s just to get that power back, you know? I want to have my own personal income and never rely on a man for financial income.”
And despite having her mother in Tasmania and returning to Australia often, Lindy insists “I’m still so passionate about Bali. It’s my spiritual place, my safe place.there’s just no judgement in Bali. Here [in Australia], obviously they do [judge]. I think living in Bali has taught me to not care anymore. Everybody’s going to have an opinion, and I just have to stop listening to that external noise and listen to what I believe in.”
For this shoot, she tapped into some of her new-found empowerment.“i’m getting better with age,” she says.“i’m definitely not enjoying my skin getting thinner and my jeans getting tighter, but I’m still for it. I’m not a pretender. I’m not going to dress like a twentysomething … and I’m not even jealous when I see a 20-year-old. I don’t think, ‘Gosh, she can wear a short dress.’ I don’t have those feelings. I don’t want to do that again.and also because I have somebody in my life who adores me, who will wake up every morning and tell me so. I’m at that age when I’ve got big ideas for different things, and I want to make a difference. I feel very blessed.”
“life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.” this quote has been attributed to many people, including american writers George Carlin and Maya Angelou, but today I’m giving the attribution to Dale Marcovitz, the fabulous Tiffany & Co. guide who has worked for the American jeweller for 37 years and now hosts grand tours of the iconic Fifth Avenue New York store. She’s standing next to the rare Tiffany Yellow Diamond — a whopping 128.54 carats — when she delivers the quote.the diamond isn’t for sale, as it’s priceless, but upstairs in a private suite that has been temporarily transformed into a rainforest there are plenty more beautiful gems available to purchase, albeit only to an exclusive group of customers.
Tiffany & Co. has been in the business of taking our breath away since 1837, and, this week in particular, with the launch of the 2017 Blue Book collection, would have most mere mortals gasping for air. The Blue Book is the haute couture of high jewellery: exceptionally rare masterpieces made available annually to 200 of Tiffany & Co.’s top customers from around the globe, Australian clients included. Pieces in this year’s 100-strong collection range in price from approximately $100,000 to $5.7 million.
This year’s collection is called The Art of the Wild (photographed on these pages by BAZAAR atop the Empire State Building) and draws inspiration from the wonders of nature, comprising six themes: Miracle Berry; The Falls; Leaves of the Sun; Feathered Cloak; Whispers of the Rain Forest; and Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow. tiffany & Co.’s chief gemologist and vice-president of high jewellery, Melvyn Kirtley, tells me the design team packed their hiking boots and went on an inspiration-hunting trip to Kauai in Hawaii. “we went for that true sense of colour and to discover the flora and fauna and bird life. then we came back to New York to incubate and come up with concepts. It’s about going from the literal to the abstract for these types of collections,” Kirtley says. “if you look at the fern fronds on the headband, they move beautifully, and the birds in the collection look like they are ready to take flight.the birds in particular have so many bits that move and they can sit in the palm of your hand.”
Kirtley says his favourite piece that BAZAAR photographed is the Falls Necklace (pictured above), a 100-carat diamond piece created with perfect emerald-cut, pear-shaped and round brilliant stones that took more than a year to create, with the design mimicking a waterfall. “it is a superstar and this is jewellery artistry at its finest level,” Kirtley says. I tell him I was drawn to the 51-carat Sri Lankan sapphire ring, joking that it would look great with jeans and a pair of heels. Honestly, though, can a ring be too big? I’m asking the wrong person. “it’s all to do with the person and comfort level,” comes the reply. “Jewellery absolutely has to be worn. It would be an absolute tragedy to have beautiful jewellery and not wear it.” Kirtley does admit, however, that it took a lot of consideration as to how the giant sapphire should be set. “i sat and stared at it on my desk for a while. It’s one of those precious things you want to have next to you and pick up and hold. It has so much energy to it, it is magical.” Kirtley says he decided to make the stone into a ring because it should be visible to the wearer at all times:“you would only see it in the mirror otherwise. But don’t you really want to sit down and constantly stare at it? you want to look at it a gazillion times a day. So that is why it is a ring, and should be a ring.”
The new collection also includes 15 jewel-encrusted watches (one of the Dragonfly timepieces was snapped up even before the official launch by a client in Lasvegas) and the incredible whispers of the Rainforest choker Jessica Biel wore to the Oscars in February.the design is based on a grass skirt and palm fronds, and features 200 baguette diamonds in the collar, with more than 350 hand-sculpted 18-karat gold fronds in various shapes and sizes.
Fast-forward 48 hours and I arrive at St.ann’s warehouse performance space in Dumbo, Brooklyn, for the Tiffany & Co. Blue Book thank-you dinner. Lucky customers and media are arriving in black-tie gowns and dazzling jewels. Guests include Reese Witherspoon, Claire Danes and Jennifer Hudson; earlier in the day, Witherspoon had participated in a panel discussion on sustainability hosted by Tiffany & Co. to reinforce how focused the jeweller is on social responsibility and conservation. Blue is the new green.
Jazz musician and Garance Doré’s fiancé, Chris Norton, has guests up dancing before dinner, and Hudson wows the crowd after dessert, performing the best Whitney Houston tribute ever. But my favourite moment of the night has to be when I spy the incredible Feather Cloaked necklace I had tried on earlier in the week. She, as Dale Marcovitz calls all the jewellery, was dazzling on the neck of one lucky customer. It took my breath away. Can you imagine the moment she became hers? As Kirtley says, it would be an absolute tragedy to have such beautiful jewellery and not wear it.
Lindy Klim wears Louis Vuitton dress, $6200; her own watch and rings (worn throughout). Styled by CAROLINE TRAN
“I’ve learnt to be a much stronger person. I’m not a pushover anymore.”