He has just spent the festive season with his family in London. We catch up with him in Gstaad, and more specifically in the Gstaad Palace. This man from the South loves warm and mild climates, but if there is one place where he particularly enjoys being in winter, Gstaad gets his vote.
This is a place where he has written important pages in the history of de GRISOGONO. A place he has frequently visited for the 20 years and that he has introduced to his friends and to the celebrities who are longstanding fans of the Maison, such as Naomi Campbell, Adriana Karembeu,…
On this particular day, we meet up with him for an apres-ski moment in the Lobby Bar of the Gstaad Palace, Martini in hand. When skiing, he always does so equipped with his special limited-edition Rossignol pair of skis embellished with black diamonds. While he generally meets up with his clients and friends at the Eagle Club, he also loves the edginess of the Saanewald Lodge Hotel and its original take on the burger.
Between two interviews and a romantic dinner at the Eagle Club, he shares his “very own” vision of Gstaad with us.
This epicurean who loves cooking naturally enjoys the convivial nature of fine cuisine. He appreciates the creative gastronomy of chefs such as Peter Wyss, Erich Baumer and Marcus Lindner, including their talent for magnifying each dish as if it were a precious gem. While he revels in discovering haute cuisine, he has a personal preference for simple and traditional dishes, as well as homely atmospheres. Fawaz Gruosi knows the maître d’hôtel of the eponymous Italian restaurant, Gildo’s. Having regularly eaten there for almost 20 years, he never tires of sampling its pasta and the annual de GRISOGONO dinner is indeed held at Gildo’s. The frequent traveller also loves the New York-style atmosphere of the Megu, ensconced at the heart of the Bernese Alps in Gstaad’s Alpina Hotel. When his friends join him at the resort, he enjoys taking them to the Fromagerie restaurant of the Palace to taste fondue and raclette from the region.
Another day brings another interview in another location and with another Martini, this time in the bar of the Olden.
Among the milestone moments in his ongoing relationship with Gstaad, Fawaz Gruosi particularly remembers February 17th 2007. That was the evening he was preparing to unveil an exceptional stone – a 45.39 carat ruby discovered in northern Myanmar – in the company of Naomi Campbell.
Gems occupy a central place in his designs. Fawaz Gruosi operates on the principle of “love at first sight” and always returns from his travels with precious stones in his luggage. He loves their subtle colour nuances, the infinite possibilities of highlighting them in various ways.
However, let’s return to the Virgin Scarlet, a rare and hypnotic stone that perfectly sums up the story of Fawaz Gruosi and of de GRISOGONO. The resulting ring called for around 350 hours of hand craftsmanship, three months of meticulous and accurate work done by a master-jeweller and a master-gemsetter. A floral décor bears the fabulous ruby surrounded by four prongs in subtly graded shades of yellow and orange. The body of the ring is made of enamel, graced with a scrolling motif creating an exquisite transparency effect. The combination of daring colours that are the signature of Fawaz Gruosi’ designs features a flurry of intermingled white diamonds, emeralds, rubies, tourmalines and pink sapphires. This creation bears all the inimitable hallmarks of de GRISOGONO jewellery.
Bold, exceptional: there is no lack of superlatives when it comes to describing the style of a man known for his unbridled creativity. In the course of a conversation, if he gets a faraway look in his eyes, you can be sure that he is lost in his thoughts and doubtless dreaming of his next creation.
This is a man who has already made his mark on exceptional gemstone jewellery and became a trailblazer for black diamonds. One of his previous masterstrokes in the realm of extra-large stones was the Spirit of de GRISOGONO, a ring set with the world’s largest Moghul-cut diamond, a stunning 312.30 carat gem.
Fawaz Gruosi casts a discreet glance at his wrist: his New Retro shows 7 pm. This evening, he is dining with Andrea Scherz – an opportunity to look back on the 17 years over which the de GRISOGONO boutique has been flourishing at the heart of the Palace.
What he loves about Gstaad is its traditional village-style spirit in which the jet-set lifestyle meets a distinctive art of living in a fascinating mixture of genres. It harbours a wealth of expertise such as is embodied in paper-cutting. It is filled with simple venues rubbing shoulders with the world’s most coveted addresses. A straightforward place where celebrities come to enjoy peace and discretion. When he settles down at the Lobby Bar in the Palace or strikes a match, he remembers his first visit and all the match boxes that had caught his attention. Andrea Scherz had explained to him at the time that his father collected them and had brought them back from his each of travels – a story that amused him since he himself also always brought back a particular type of object from his own trips: the gemstones that he sculpted into jewellery. Fawaz Gruosi thus actually had far more in common with the Palace and with Gstaad than he might at first have thought. Like a preordained destiny. Like the finest fairy tales…