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.

Harper’s Bazaar (Australia) - - Contents - Pho­tographed by SAM BISSO By RACHELLE UNREICH

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.

Pho­tographed by SAM BISSO

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.”

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