Benetti - Lady Lara
The 2009 Benetti launch Lady Lara goes beyond the design requirements of most yachts, for this owner wanted the Fendi style – from bow to stern
The Fendi name in bags has been made synonomous with fashion obsession – an overwhelming desire to spend on something fabulous without thought to the consquences. Perhaps it’s the connection with Sex and the City. Perhaps that could give a clue as to what the owner of Lady Lara was thinking when she commissioned a yacht that would openly reflect the Fendi label.
Lady Lara is nothing less than 60 metres of pure Fendi worship wrapped in a steel hull and aluminum superstructure. With exteriors handled by regular Benetti designer and collaborator Stefano Natucci, the outside is classic Benetti. The interiors saw a design troika of owner, Fendi designers and yacht design firm Studio Massari, putting all the incredible finishing touches you can image to this yacht. The paramount owner’s request that Massari had to meet was to introduce on-board the Fendi Style, from the accessories, leathers, lighting to loose furniture. Yet, the yacht had to still be a yacht, and not become a retail store.
Upon boarding Lady Lara from her side entrance, one is greeted with the palatial site of her lobby and the staircase/lift that connects from the lower deck right through to the upper deck. Here, one immediately finds the designers’ greatest triumphs. There is a stunning array of leathers, starting with gold Iguana on the main structure, gold croco-leather on the handrail and Galuchat skins on the walls.
The accurate choices of leathers: gold Iguana on its main structure, gold Croco on its handrail and Galuchat skins on the surrounding walls, are surely a right combination to deliver a sleek and striking result. On the lift’s floor and on the lobby’s the logo “LL” is featured, to note that not by a chance both Lady Lara and Fendi’s Luxury Living logo, use the same double “L’s” as trademark. The gilded interiors are offset by the beauty of a white marbled floor that yields a classical look.
From the main entrance way, turn left and head aft into the main saloon/dining area. Here, the golden hues are ramped up to fever pitch, with the Fendi label prominently displayed throughout. Were the girls of Sex and the City to walk into this room, one could only dream about the frenzy that would result. The width of this area has been sacrificed to some extent in order to allow for ample walkway space around the sides, but that doesn’t diminish the look and feel of this pleasure palace.
The dining area is laid out in a traditional manner, with a rectangular table athwartships, with the whole area illuminated by large windows. The gold trim is complemented by the satin finished wooden table and leather chairs, all by Fendi Casa. The flooring features tan plush carpeting, for a luxurious feel under foot.
It all might be a bit overwhelming were it not for the clever use of crystal and glass. Above the dining table, which seats up to 12 though looks more practical for ten, there is a modernistic Fendi-inspired, modernistic chandelier of cut glass and crystal. The chandelier is positioned on an inset portion of the ceiling that is rimmed with recessed lighting – a common design touch on Lady Lara. The backdrop of the dining area is a wall of cut glass, which adds depth but thanks to the edging on each of the square tiles, provides a decorative touch as well. The dining area introduces a common design theme in Lady Lara – simple geometric forms that have been turned into a luxury simply by the sheer grandeur of the finish and styling.
Moving aft, one enters the main saloon area, which is not partitioned at all from the dining area. Indeed, the fact that there is no partition and that the saloon-dining area is relatively small, gives the room a much more intimate feel. The saloon portion features opposite facing settees in a symmetrical balance. But what really draws the attention of guests (and their rapturous thanks as well) is the Fendi Casa lounge chairs, which feature fine leather upholstery in a wide and beautiful display that envelopes the guest. This is truly the space for lounging in total comfort.
Another neat design trick is the use of floor lamps that have been shaped and finished as crystals. This diffuses light elegantly and makes mood setting that much easier. These crystal floor lamps, smartly placed in the fore and aft areas of the saloon-dining area, and in Lady Lara’s entrance lobby, are an excellent designer touch. The lights within these floor lamps are arranged in concentric rings that radiate upward, with a crown of light at the top.
Moving through to the main aft deck, once, finds a wide lounge area that’s nicely sheltered against the heat of the day after a morning spent swimming in some gorgeous location. Here, twin aft tables are encircled by a comfortable settee, allowing guests to freely move fore and aft without disturbing other guests.
The owner’s zone
Moving forward from the main lobby, one enters an ante chamber and then quickly into the owner’s study. This serves as private office with Fendi Casa throughout and a wide, private window looking onto the sea. Gold trim and satin finished wood carry the design ethic through into the owner’s main suite.
The master cabin is a marvel and offers a glimpse into the owner’s passions. Here, the golden hues are lapsed gently, with more creams and whites in the carpeting, furniture and the bedding. Twin heads on opposite sides of the centre-aligned, longitudinally facing bed give his and hers possibilities for watery fun. But the most intriguing bit about this master cabin is the relaxation room.
Normally, a full width master cabin would, at best, boast a 270-degree view, with windows on the sides and in front. However, Lady Lara’s sociable owner obviously viewed her personal space as requiring more than just a bed. In a clever trick, the master cabin’s forward space moves to an ascending staircase that enters into a “relaxation room”, which features settees in a semi-circle. Here, one gets a 270-degree view from a series of windows that wrap right around, with an unobstructed view of the sea.
But while it is officially known as the relaxation room, relaxation chamber might be more appropriate. Super plush carpeting, big settees that almost double as beds, curving lines throughout and delicate lighting, make this particular spot on the boat an exceptional place. Owner plus a few, special guests will get to enjoy this favoured position on Lady Lara.
Heading back to the staircase and up to the upper deck, one finds a substantial change, from gold to silver. The centerpiece of the upper deck is the sky lounge, where the pale and silver transition marks a movement into a whole new realm. Here, Studio Massari, which worked on the interior design alongside the owner and Fendi Casa, developed a look that borders on the angelic – fitting for a sky lounge.
The more informal surroundings feature a bar, a playing table and two TVs that are framed in Fendi Croco leather. The furniture takes a slightly more avante-garde look here as well, with low-slung loungers and settees matched against angular, pod-like chairs that would be at home in science fiction movie.
The glowing, heavenly themes are carried into a pair of VIP suites that also occupy the upper deck, with white bed sheets and linens, while the walls feature a return to wooden hues and tans. Both are ensuite. From the sky lounge, which lights up brilliantly during the evenings, guests can retreat to the upper aft deck, which offers a brilliant, mother of pearl inlay table for al fresco dining.
The aft deck also offers access to the sun deck via a gently sloping staircase. Here, sun worshippers and partiers find their paradise. This top level offers a central glazed area, where the gymnasium is located. For the fitness-minded (who may want to burn some calories before beginning a sumptuous meal) this allows workouts while taking in the magnificent view –even while cruising – thanks to the glazed walls and doors structure.