Editor's Note

If there are two sides to every story, why can't there be two ways to read it too? Welcome to the all-new BTLuxe Christmas 2014, where our classic glossy magazine now comes with an added bonus: an iPad app you can download free from the App Store to enjoy our stories in a visually engaging interactive format.

When we started planning for this year's magazine, we wondered how we could expand the reading experience for an audience who enjoys the tactile feel of paper but is equally comfortable with digital content. So we decided to offer both: with just a swipe of your finger, your favourite stories will come to life with vivid slideshows, videos and animation.

But first, join us here as we explore the concept of new luxury - the gradual shift away from conspicuous consumption to a more measured one. It's not about showing how much money you have, but how you spend it, as people value heritage and craftsmanship over bling, curated experiences over decadent holidays, and social awareness over self-indulgence.

We trace how the fashion forward have moved beyond the Birkin bag to the independent brands and designers who are redefining true style. We talk to Pritzker Prize-winning architect Shigeru Ban, who believes in solving real-life problems with his designs, not adding another expensive condominium to his resume. Art wunderkind Magnus Renfrew also weighs in with his views on where the art scene is headed, while stalwart watch makers lead the way towards a world with fewer complications.

Travelling with a conscience is the new holiday, as we visit the coffee farms of Sumatra to trace the sustainable process from bean to cup. Discover the unspoiled charms of the Mekong on a boutique cruise, or experience the food and art of ancient Kyoto through the eyes of celebrity chef Tetsuya Wakuda.

Speaking of chefs, Michelin stars Rene Redzepi and Heston Blumenthal talk about the biggest moves of their lives - to Tokyo and Melbourne respectively as they venture into new culinary waters.

If these stories have whetted your appetite for more, download the app to enjoy digital exclusives such as a visit to the house of champagne maker Laurent-Perrier for a peek at old-world elegance. Or a photo-essay on African safaris which shows that behind every well-shot photo is a call to protect the animal kingdom as well.

There's a lot of ground to cover so do take the time to discover these two media options. We've tried to bring you the best of both worlds and hope you'll take away something different from each.

Jaime Ee

Editor, BTLuxe Christmas

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