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Living on the chic edge, an interview with Neil Krisralam

editorial & arteditorial

18 March 2016
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Neil Krisralam is a name that resonates with good energy, creativity and desire to do more, to do better at a higher level. Beauty and luxury are a few words to describe the life that Neil is living. Ambition is another one! And Monaco is the place that best suits Neil's style and chicness. I invite you to get to know more about Neil with this interview!

A.O . Dear Neil, please let our readers know more about you, your roots, your life and ways towards different horizons!

Well, by profession I am most known as a TV presenter, actor, and PR professional, but I am also a passionate writer, competitive tennis player, and avid traveller, among many things! I was born in Bangkok, Thailand, brought up in Sydney, Australia; and then somehow managed to sneak my way in to living around the world, which is how I managed to work in some incredible places and for some really amazing people. I just spent 3 years living in Monaco, which was just surreal. I love this gypsy life. I think having been exposed to so many people and cultures and unbelievable highs and lows really gave me the emotional empathy that drives my passion for entertaining. 

A.O. Tell us a bit more about how you got to Monaco and how it was everything for you ?

One of my biggest dreams growing up - well a dream that exists to this day- was to establish an aspirational lifestyle brand encompassing hotels, clothing, watches - the whole shebang! Growing up and watching my father working in the diamond industry meant that beautiful, precious objects constantly surrounded me. Instead of playing with toy cars or fluffy bears like my friends were, I was playing with diamonds, so I guess I developed a taste for beauty and luxury at an early age. I knew that if I wanted to explore more of my entrepreneurial side, I needed to be inspired and Monaco was the perfect stimulus for me. 

A.O. You have been the voice and PR for Amber Lounge ? How is the whole experience, with the good and bad or embarassing parts?

Directing global public relations for Amber Lounge, the biggest Formula 1 event in the world, was probably the most exhausting job I've ever had. But in a good way! Formula One moves at such a rapid pace and with such precision, which was actually the perfect match for me as I am a very high-octane high-energy personality, and a total perfectionist. The part of my time as PR director of Amber Lounge that made me the most proud was seeing how my work of bringing in celebrities and media coverage from around the world helped to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for some really important charities. That is an unbeatable feeling! Were there any embarrassing moments? Of course! When you're dealing with thousands of journalists, camera crews, and celebrities, in such a fast-paced industry, of course there are bound to be crazy and unexpected situations. But I always feel like those times teach you such valuable lessons so it's worth going through all of the crazy to get to the finish line. Plus, I have an encyclopedia full of wild stories with celebrities and media I can now annoy my friends with over dinner!

A.O. With which celebrity have you worked or have you encountered and what memories (good or not as good) do you have about it ?

You know what? I've rarely been one to lose my cool over a celebrity. I do freak out on the inside but I'm normally cool as a cucumber on the outside. But there was one case where I got to work with Justin Bieber and I literally fangirled like crazy. His face is like it was designed by scientists in a lab with the goal of achieving the pinnacle of human perfection. I was never really a fan before but I became a belieber within 5 seconds of meeting him. Working with Kellan Lutz was really fun too. He was really into my friend so I helped him play wingman for a bit. Like the guy who plays Hercules really needs to be wingmanned, right?

A.O. In what way Neil can represent Monaco lifestyle and what was your contribution to it ?

You know what I find so weird - I know it doesn't look like I represent the typical Mediterranean lifestyle at all - but the fact that Monaco is just one of those canvas-like places where you can come and make your own mark, and the fact that I managed to fit in so seamlessly, I actually feel like I represent the lifestyle completely. I was a Monte-Carlo virgin before I came and despite the fact that there was no-one at all like me - I swear nobody even half a percentile as flamboyant or eccentric - I really felt at home. I hope I left my mark there. I like to think I made it just that little bit more fabulous, if that's even possible.

A.O. Do you know some Monaco's secrets that you can reveal to our readers ?

When you dig a little deeper, underneath the entire glitzy facade, away from the Hotel this and that or the Casino, that's where the real fun is. There are a lot of beautiful people there with very good souls. They are hard to find at first but when you do find them, don't let them go!

A .O. Host and reporter for Miss World must have been a fantastic experience?!  Please share it with us!

Hosting for Miss World was an absolute dream come true. I used to watch Miss World, actually anything pageant-related really, with my Mum religiously when I was growing up so getting to actually be a part of it, and for two years in a row, was just unreal. The first year my writing was the main talent as I was their official reporter, but for the second in 2015, they tapped me to host their Behind the Scenes series, which was aired to over 2 billion worldwide! I mean, that's just mental and I count my blessings every day. The experience was really life changing too. It was one of those situations where you go into something with certain expectations and being completely shocked when you realize it's the total opposite. I expected that working with the Miss World contestants everyday for a month, I would learn nothing more than a few handy make-up tricks and how to DIY perm, but I actually learned so much from them. They are so smart and so funny and so talented that you really don't believe they are even human. The stories they shared to me, on and off camera, and their resilience and determination to make their dreams come true inspired me so much and it might sound cliché, but actually empowered me to go out there and fight for my own dream.

A .O. Fashion is one of the things that you are drawn to ? What are your experiences in the field ? Which is your favourite designer ? Do you have any plans of getting into fashion ?

Fashion was one of my first loves. I collected old Vogue - I'm talking like 50's or 60's vintage ones - when all my peers were collecting Pokémon cards. I used to sketch evening gowns instead of paying attention during school and I studied fashion at the London College of Fashion. One of my favorite designers of all time was Pierre Balmain. I felt such a connection to him because he was once the personal couturier of the Queen of Thailand. Right now, the house of Balmain is in great hands with Olivier Rousteing. I love his androgynous militaristic aesthetic.  I also, like probably every one on earth, adore Karl Lagerfeld. I almost fainted when I met him in person at his book reading in the Salle Garnier in Monaco. While my career has taken a different direction, I really hope to come back to fashion one day with perhaps a focus on menswear. I feel that diversity in menswear is lacking and I'd love to bring some edge and initiate a new architecture to it. I'm all about sleek, bold, sculptural, with a hint of gothic. Think Balenciaga under Nicolas Ghesquiere but more dystopic and street.

A.O. What is your style and lifestyle ?

My personal style changes too much with my mood that I can't definitively word it. I travel a lot and go to a lot of different places- some glamorous and some not so glamorous- that I feel like my style depends on the event. At the moment my style is a lot simpler than it used to be. I love off-white's and tailored navy jackets, that sort of thing. I've also learned to really adore grey. I hated it before because my high school uniform that was mandatory to wear was grey, but now I can't get enough of it. My lifestyle is also a lot simpler now than it used to be. I definitely don't go out as much as I used to and it's allowed me to focus on myself and to achieving what I truly want. I have my sights set on a long and diverse career in film and television and for the first time in my life, I feel like I have the clear mindset and positive outlook to achieve it.

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AO: Dear Neil, do you have any particular message to our readers (many of them from Monaco)?

My message would be to live your life with total clarity. Be clear about who you really are and what you want from your life. When you have clarity, that's when you are living your best and most original self. With a calm, clear mind full of conviction, there is nothing that you cannot achieve.

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Follow Neil's adventures on his Instagram page @neilionaire

Editor Andra Oprea