Marie Claire: Women of Style and Substance Big Day Out

Published in Marie Claire magazine, August 2014:


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The Peak: Shopping Mania

Published in The Peak Malaysia April 2014:

Launch of KEN’S

I was honoured to be invited as the guest-of-honour for the ribbon-cutting ceremony at the launch of KEN’S, the eponymous fragrance and skincare boutique by founder Ken Lim, of Ken’s Apothecary fame. Located in Bangsar Shopping Complex (BSC), this latest multi-brand boutique stocks the most amazing “haute luxe” fragrance from French parfumeries such as Atelier Cologne, Maison Francis Kurkdjian, Diptyque, Annick Goutal and more, as well as skincare brands like Caudalie. The interior is stylishly designed with a unique Annick Goutal chandelier designed by Omar Khan Collective.





KEN’s celebrate its 15th anniversary, and we congratulate Ken and the team for all its success!


Home & Decor interview: French Revolution




Published in Home & Decor June issue: French Revolution (French Art and Film Festival 2014. 10313684_869001799783078_9201169707312005397_n

146-149 • French Festival1

146-149 • French Festival

146-149 • French Festival3

146-149 • French Festival4

Red Carpet : Tengku Zatashah – The people’s princess

Tengku Zatashah: The people’s princess

TZ crop 1 NEWUNLIKE many mythical princesses in fairy tales who constantly need to be saved and rescued, the modern princesses of our contemporary world are well equipped to face the hurdles of life in the new millennium. One such figure is Tengku Zatashah Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah. The princess of Selangor is a far cry from the helpless damsel in distress often portrayed by traditional folklore.

Zatashah, as she is fondly known by her friends, is truly a people’s princess. Despite being born with a silver spoon in her mouth, the daughter of the Sultan of Selangor is often known for being one of the most humble royal figures in Malaysia. She has always been extremely friendly and remains approachable, in spite of her social background.

“It’s how I’ve been brought up from an early age at boarding school. We were taught that everyone is equal. We learned to be independent, self-sufficient and humble. I didn’t let friends know my true identity until much later, and I think it’s better to be humble and friendly than to be aloof and spoilt,” explains the lovely princess who has always been comfortable mixing with people from all walks of life.

Married to French man Aubry Mennesson, Zatashah speaks fluent French and is currently the President of the Alliance Francaise in Kuala Lumpur.

“I actually had my first French class at eight years old in the Alice Smith School, then went on to study it further when I attended boarding school in England as French was a compulsory subject along with Maths and English. I realised at an early age that I loved languages. It was what I was good at, so I pursued French and Spanish at university, then continued on with French at the Sorbonne University from 2000-2001. Finally, I did my Master’s degree in Paris before working full-time at the L’Oreal headquarters in Paris for five years.”

TZ in Paris edit

The princess ranks her five-year working experience in Paris, as her life’s biggest achievement thus far. She has successfully defied most people’s negative criticisms saying that she would never be able to get a job in Paris because unemployment was very high and she is not a French or European Union (EU) citizen. According to Zatashah, France’s immigration system is such that a person has to prove that he or she is a better candidate than a French or EU local.

“I was studying my Master’s and then I got an internship placement at L’Oreal’s  Headquarters where I worked a full-time job every day until 6pm. Simultaneously, I also had evening classes for my Master’s degree until 9pm. It required a huge amount of dedication. So, I was delighted to finally obtain a Magna cum Laude Master’s degree in International Relations, and was hired as the International Corporate Communications Manager. It goes to show that if you want to realise your dreams, you can do so if you work really hard for it. I beat the odds, and proved the naysayers wrong,” shares Zatashah.

Her other achievements include recently graduating from the Malaysian government’s initiative, Women Directors’ Programme to serve on boards of public-listed companies, as well as Insead’s Finance for Executives programme 2014 in Singapore.

Tengku Zatashah and husband, Aubry Mennesson

Currently working on various development projects in architectural lighting design under Light Cibles Malaysia, Zatashah shares that it is an exciting time in Malaysia as developments are underway. She is also happy to see that her clients understand the need for proper lighting design.

During her spare time, the modest royal loves playing tennis and discovered a passion for body combat workout sessions like mixed martial arts consisting of Muay Thai and karate. She reads a lot in her downtime, as she believes it is the best form of relaxation.

As the president of the Alliance Francaise in Kuala Lumpur, Zatashah is busy promoting the recently launched French Art and Film Festival 2014 (FAFF). The festival which goes on till June 21, promises exciting events such as cinema screenings at Golden Screen Cinemas, photography exhibitions, dance performances, music recitals and gastronomy displays. The event will also coincide with the French Music Festival known as the Fete de la Musique public holiday in France with a musical performance by Melissa Laveaux on Jun 21 in Kuala Lumpur.

For more information on the French Art and Film Festival 2014, log on to

Pictures courtesy of Tengku Zatashah


French Art and Film Festival 2014 pt2

Not only do we have fantastic French movies for you this month 15th May -21st June at the French Art & Film Festival, we also have amazing performances and events for you to join in the fun, culminating in the Fete de la Musique on 21st June that is World Music Day celebrated all over the world:

Monday 9 June | 7.30pm
Tunku Abdul Rahman Hall, MaTiC (Malaysia Tourism Centre)


World hip-hop dance champions Pockemon Crew visits Malaysia for the first time to present their latest production, “And… Action!” for FAFF’s film festival.  The performance will be accompanied by a dance battle with a prominent local hip-hop group.

Time: 7.30pm: Cocktail reception. 8.30pm: Performance
Venue: Tunku Abdul Rahman Hall, Malaysia Tourism Centre
109 Jalan Ampang 50450 Kuala Lumpur
Tickets: RM40
Tickets on sale on

Friday 23 May | 7.30PM
Alliance Française de Kuala Lumpur


At only 25 years of age, Gabriel Bianco is considered one of the most brilliant guitarists of his generation.

Time:7.30pm: cocktail reception 8.30pm: recital
Venue: Alliance Française de Kuala Lumpur
15 Lorong Gurney 54100 Kuala Lumpur
Tickets: RM20

15 May – 21 June


Alliance Française de Kuala Lumpur
Pullman Bangsar
Novotel City Centre Kuala Lumpur

This exhibition aims to take you on a journey through one of the largest film festivals in the world that is known for its independent and artistic film selections, the Cannes Film Festival. Feel the excitement and the glamour that reigns on the famous red carpet, as you experience the Cannes Film Festival through her images.

Dates: Thursday 15 May – Saturday 21 June
For opening hours, please refer to each venue’s business hours.
Venues: Alliance Française de Kuala Lumpur
15 Lorong Gurney 54100 Kuala Lumpur

Pullman Bangsar
No.1 Jalan Pantai Jaya
Cygal Plaza Tower 3 basement
59200 Kuala Lumpur

Novotel City Centre Kuala Lumpur
Jalan Kia Peng
50450 Kuala Lumpur

Free admission.
All photographs exhibited will be for sale. Please contact for enquiries.

19, 20, 28, 29 May 
| 7.30pm
Novotel City Centre Kuala Lumpur
Pullman Bangsar


The cognac and champagne tastings by Martell are an unmissable event for the epicureans. Attend the sensorial experience of tasting these two divine spirits and be guided through the best ways to serve, taste and appreciate them. The tastings will be conducted by a professional sommelier.

Cognac tastings:
Times and venues:
Monday 19 May – 7.30pm – Novotel City Centre KL, Ballroom
Tuesday 20 May – 7.30pm – Pullman Bangsar, Lounge
Champagne tastings:
Monday 19 May – 7.30pm – Novotel City Centre, Pool’s Bar
Tuesday 20 May – 7.30pm – Pullman Bangsar, Lounge
Novotel City Centre KL
Jalan Kia Peng
50450 Kuala Lumpur

Pullman Bangsar
No.1 Jalan Pantai Jaya
Cygal Plaza Tower 3 basement (adjacent to Menara Telekom)
59200 Kuala Lumpur
Admission: RM60 per session

15 May – 21 June
Restaurants La Vie en Rose & Cuisine Gourmet by Nathalie


Two iconic French restaurants in Kuala Lumpur, La Vie en Rose and Cuisine Gourmet by Nathalie, celebrate French fine dining for a month in Kuala Lumpur. On the occasion of the festival, the French chefs Jean-Michel Fraisse and Nathalie Arbefeuille have created a tailor-made menu pairing with Martell cognacs. Indulge in a night of French excellence with exquisite cognac and cuisine.


Date: Thursday 15 May – Saturday 21 June
Venues and contact:
La Vie en Rose KL
39 Jalan Raja Chulan
50200 Kuala Lumpur
Tel. 03-2078 3883

Cuisine Gourmet by Nathalie
Menara Taipan – Jalan Puncak
50250 Kuala Lumpur
Tel. 03-2072 4452
For more information and bookings, please contact the restaurants.

Saturday 14 June| 5pm-10pm
Alliance Française de Kuala Lumpur


AFKL and the Malaysian-French Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MFCCI) join to celebrate French cuisine, savoir-faire and art de vivre through a lively market in the Alliance Française gardens. Discover French regions and terroirs by wandering around more than 20 stalls showcasing culinary specialties and lifestyle products.

Date: Saturday 14 June – 5pm-10pm
Venue: Alliance Française de Kuala Lumpur
15 Lorong Gurney 54100 Kuala Lumpur
Free admission
Parking: Jalan Gurney Kiri


Saturday 21 June | 10pm
Alexis Bistro & Wine Bar, Ampang

As part of the Fête de la Musique celebrations, Kuala Lumpur welcomes the talented Melissa Laveaux. After her acclaimed first album in 2008, Melissa Laveaux has traded her acoustic folk style for an irresistibly energetic and commanding pop style.


Date and time: Saturday 21 June – 10pm
Venue: Alexis Bistro & Wine Bar, Ampang
109 Jalan Ampang 50450 Kuala Lumpur
Free admission

Do check out for more details.

French Art and Film Festival 2014

It’s baaack! The French Art and Film Festival (FAFF) is back with bigger and better events kicking off 15th May – 21st June. Here is a run-down of what to expect from the film festival, so book your tickets early folks! Check out for details. Screenings shown at selected GSC Cinemas:

Delicacy (La délicatesse) – 2011 by David & Stéphane Foenkinos
Genre: Romance / drama
With Audrey Tautou, François Damiens
Release year: 2011
Running time: 108 minutes
Rating: P13




Mood indigo (L’écume des jours) – 2013 by Michel Gondry
Genre: Comedy drama
With: Romain Duris, Audrey Tautou, Gad Elmaleh, Omar Sy
Running time: 125 minutes




Fly me to the moon (Un plan parfait) – 2012 by Pascal Chaumeil
Genre: Romance
With Diane Kruger, Dany Boon
Release year: 2012
Running time: 104 minutes
Rating: P13



The past (Le passé) – 2013 by Asghar Farhadi
Genre: Drama
With Tahar Rahim, Berenice Bejo
Release year: 2013
Running time: 130 minutes
Rating: P13



Amour et turbulences (Love is in the air) – 2012 by Alexandre Castagnetti
Genre: Romance
With Ludivine Sagnier, Nicolas Bedos
Release year: 2013
Running time: 105 minutes



Approved for adoption (Couleur de peau: miel) – 2012 by Jung Henin & Laurent Boileau
Genre: Animated movie
With William Coryn, Christelle Cornil, Jean-Luc Couchard
Release year: 2012
Running time: 75 minutes





Camille rewinds (Camille redouble) – 2012 by Noémie Lvovsky
Genre: Comedy
With Noémie Lvovsky, Samir Guesmi, Yolande Moreau, Mathieu Amalric
Release year:2012
Running time: 120 minutes



Granny’s funeral (Adieu Berthe: l’enterrement de Mémé) – 2012 by Bruno Podalydès
Genre: Comedy
With Valérie Lemercier, Denis Podalydès, Isabelle Candelier
Release year: 2012
Running time: 100 minutes


Do check out my next blog post on the other fantastic events of the French Art and Film Festival 2014!