Luxury Fashion in NYC: The Holiday Edition

This is the first time it ever crossed my mind to share a roundup like this on A Stylish Way, but I’ve also been traveling for weeks and I’m currently in New York. Between eating my ways through seemingly all of the exciting vegan offerings, I’m bouncing around for a little shopping and a lot of sightseeing between the usual flow of writing assignments and projects.

Thus, it should come as no surprise that my own blog has been neglected in the process. Thankfully this idea came to mind or I wouldn’t share a thing until momentarily “settling” in South Florida next week!

Okay, that’s enough about me. Without further ado, here is what I saw or heard about and think you should see. 

Bloomingdale's 59th Street

Bloomingdale's 59th Street

The Iconic Breakfast Stop: Tiffany & Co. 

Yes, Tiffany & Co. has undergone quite the makeover, including a magical new stop called The Blue Box Cafe. I ducked into Tiffany & Co. for a brief but glorious visit, ushered in by exquisitely groomed and almost impossibly good-looking greeters. Fine jewelry sparkled and shone in the multi-level shop with warm and authentic salespeople and while enchanted as ever, my main goal was to see The Blue Box Cafe. Yes, part of their incredible makeover includes an elegant place to have breakfast, Holly Golightly style (never mind that she consumed her croissant on the go). I was able to take a peek, however, you’ll need to reserve well in advance if you’d like to take a seat. I was informed that a line of would-be breakfast eaters greeted their doors and the dawn all at once, with a line stretching around the block.

Instagram hype aside, the entire experience definitely strengthened my love for the brand.

Gucci & Gucci Kids 

I stumbled upon Gucci’s multi-level 5th Avenue shop while hurrying to The Metropolitan Museum of Art. While walking rather briskly, I suddenly found myself veering sharply into the Italian fashion oasis. Wisely reserving the bottom floor for accessories, it has a candy box feel and high energy.

At this point, I was really whizzing by but had to back up to drink in the store windows at Gucci Kids just a few storefronts away. If you don’t have children, you’ll catch yourself skimming a quick list of little ones to treat. Think color, whimsy and wit.

Bloomingdale’s 59th Street

A wall of designer sunglasses… acrobatic opulence in the form of riveting mannequin displays… kind, confident and savvy sales professionals… don’t miss out on the Lexington Avenue Bloomingdale’s store experience.

Oh yeah, and they carry René Caovilla shoes. No arm twisting needed here. 

Tip: Visit the Cartier beauty shop and ask for the business manager, Angelo.

The Webster  

You know when “disastrous” predictions emerge about another new recession or some other financial issues emerge in the news? I’m the type of the person who takes it with a grain of salt. For example, you only need to take a look at the mass mall brand and department store closures contrasted with the emerging designer renaissance to see that everything isn’t so cut and dry and that there’s always a chance for major success. No matter the odds. And so, in a “tough” retail environment, along comes yet another edition of The Webster - this one located in a historic, specially renovated building in SoHo and complete with six floors spread over 12,000 sq. ft., no less.

I hope to make it there today or tomorrow myself as a fan of The Webster since attending the opening of the very first location on South Beach’s Collins Avenue. As a bonus, visit on November 29th or later for the chance to shop Laure Hériard Dubreuil’s brand new apparel line. She’s the founder of the iconic shop as well as a brilliant industry pro. Take a look at the preview images of the Miami-inspired debut collection. 

The goop Effect

Or Why Gwyneth's Lifestyle Brand Continues to Rise Above It All

It can be lonely at the top. And never was this more apparent than with the constant barrage of personal insults and attacks on the iconic Gwyneth Paltrow and her lifestyle brand, goop. However, she seems to take it all in stride, gliding elegantly ahead and enjoying life as intended. Good for her. 

There’s something about going beyond expectations, stereotypes and deeply ingrained cultural mores that spurs on a form of aggressive backlash aimed towards whoever dares to stand for what could be considered out of the ordinary. But as harsh as goop naysayers may be, an equal level of passion is seen in its community of devoted supporters - myself included.

You don’t have to agree with every idea on the website to enjoy the content just the same. And if you truly keep an open mind, you may discover that there is still much to learn in this world. No matter who you are. 

Aside from controversial content, the luxury offerings have also been a regular target of those vehemently opposed to the site. Cue the giggles! Was there ever a luxury brand berated for the price of its goods? We think not. And if you look at goop, the company is actually a purveyor of fast fashion, contemporary, advanced contemporary and designer luxury fashion, among other offerings. Shoppers can order $60 H&M sweaters or $11,000 Rolex watches. Ironically, goop may be the most budget inclusive luxury site around. 

Of course, critics are one thing and good old-fashioned results are another. From a capsule collection for Christian Louboutin to the launch of a quarterly print magazine in conjunction with Condé Nast, it seems the revolution has only just begun. 

These are the key factors contributing to goop’s success…

Exceptional Taste

From the caliber of writing to delicious, healthy recipes and a visually-stunning display, good taste is a hallmark of the brand.

A Sense of Community 

It can’t feel anything but personal when a thought leader enters your life through your closet, kitchen, travel plans, relationships… Throw in insightful reporting on the most personal aspects of your life and niche messaging for the perfect recipe for authentic and personal communication. Brands around the world, take note.

Honesty/Fearlessness

goop’s insistence on sticking to their mission and style is a quick way to gain respect. They’re setting a wonderful example on persistence and confidence in your beliefs. 

Everyday Relevance 

No matter how much we love to read and take in other engaging forms of content, we can only fill our plates with so much. goop takes precedence because its readers are presented with a variety of real-life uses and practical applications. They can be anything from questions to ask at future medical visits to table settings for entertaining guests and must-see lunch spots in London and Paris.

A Well-Considered Curation 

Finally, the unwavering ideals extend to product curation too. You’ll never see the odd item that doesn’t fit in with the rest. Items for less than $50 belong as much as big ticket items, chosen with the utmost attention and care. It all holds true to the goop brand and they’re exactly what readers are looking for (whether they knew it beforehand or not). This painstaking curation is consistent - in e-commerce, goop Lab and pop-up shops too. 

A Well-Curated Selection of Items at goop

Deciding not to bend to the whims of criticism has helped goop both preserve and strengthen the brand. There’s an important takeaway here that resonates with any content marketing or merchandising strategy today. Have fearless, unwavering commitment to your brand’s values and always stand for something - whatever that may be. 

Valid Lessons from Milan Fashion Week

It’s funny how quick the fashion industry is to label Milan Fashion Week’s penchant for tradition and so-called lack of surprise as drawbacks rather than assets. 

We’re living in a world obsessed with two second gratification. Creatives pour their skills (and souls) into the production of an image, a video, a garment, a bag… to often only be appreciated for as long as it takes to scroll to the next visual in a digital feed. There is definitely something to be said of consistent offerings that rise the the occasion with regards to elegance, craftsmanship and confidently remaining true to a fashion house’s values. 

Change may be the only true certainty in this world, but it’s time to slow the cycle. Instead of feeding into demand to conceptualize, present, produce and ship faster, let’s steady the pace and bring thoughtful, cultivated passion back into vogue. Of industry isn’t the only one that needs to slow down, but for now, let’s talk about fashion. 

Resist the urge to do something different or experimental just for the sake of making waves on social media. Think of the most innovating couturiers of our time. Years ago, we saw the likes of Galliano, McQueen and Gaultier do innovation right. Their messages were pure - and in a pre-Instagram world - the emphasis was on clients and the art of fashion rather than fleeting followers and likes.

With all due respect to all of the hardworking young models in fashion, why do you think Claudia Schiffer, Naomi Campbell, Carla Bruni and Helena Christensen created such a sensation at Donatella’s Gianni Versace tribute? Because a mirror was held up to the state of our times. You got the feeling that even young Gen Z teens commiserated with our collective sense of loss. We’ve traded confident, sensual and desirable women for a generation of girls. Pretty, yes. But girls all the same. 

I think of when a top model friend of mine shared the story of working on set with Bianca Balti and Monica Bellucci. I was wide-eyed, asking about Balti who was quite young at the time. My friend said she was beautiful of course but neither she nor Balti were of much notice next to Bellucci… because of the distinct difference between a girl and a woman. Pure and simple. I understand now what she tried to say then.

Some trends are worth dismissing - including experimentation for the sole purpose of PR and feeding into society’s obsession with the super young (a side effect of a collective fear of aging). 

Let’s opt out of the constant race to outsize, overtake and outperform at the price of sacrificing the worthwhile and risking burnout for everyone involved - shoppers included. What’s next, dismissing Savile Row thanks to a lack of Instagram savvy? 

Let’s give MFW the respect it deserves.

My highlights of Spring/Summer 2018 include… 

  • I can’t recall if there was ever a Blumarine collection I didn’t love. Anna Molinari’s talents continue…
  • Krizia was creative, fresh and feminine.
  • I want a Gucci fanny pack. Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, Alessandro Michele has a knack for making us want what we never knew we wanted before. And isn’t that what fashion designers are supposed to do? This time we were graced with oddly sexy clear glasses that were also slightly geriatric, a horde of new handbag shapes featuring classic Gucci details like the Gucci web, wonderfully belted coats that stop abruptly at the hip, slender tailored suits for men… I’m not sure if gender fluidity was the intent but I could definitely sport some of the sweaters and blazers shown on men at the dual-gender presentation. I won’t pretend there weren’t a few head-scratching looks in the mix - but it’s all part of the allure. Being bold and having tons of fun with fashion. This is also the first time I caught a familiar code from a predecessor at the house. Floral maxi dresses recalled images of Frida Giannini’s Gucci. 
  • Versace was more of an instant snapshot of fashion history than a traditional fashion show. Pleated skirts, flirty silhouettes, regal Italian prints and even a hooded maxi gown with a split up to the high heavens - there was endless inspiration to be found. I’d love to see more of this side of the house.
  • Attico is one of the emerging brands (see, Milan isn’t only established houses) that are taking over really quickly because they just get it. Their clothes and shoes fit right into the Milanese lifestyle of maximalist glamour mixing the modern with well-loved vintage hints. Everything looks original; every detail is considered. And like the new Gucci, the collections are perfect for mixing and matching and they’d be hard-pressed to go out of style.
  • Also take a look at collections by Jil Sander and Vilshenko.

London Fashion Week Grows Up

London Fashion Week has always been famous for eclectic, avant-garde and so-called in-your-face styles, mostly due to the city’s creative freedom and freshly graduated design students from the likes of Central Saint Martins. The wild streak is still there, but this time it was often overshadowed by more grown up, more refined and even sometimes conservative fashion from designers including Erdem and Emilia Wickstead.

London Fashion Week Grows Up

My Personal Highlights

Edeline Lee left me wide-eyed and absolutely enthralled. I was reminded of how much I truly love fashion. And her own love and respect for the craft is unmistakable in her S/S ’18 presentation. I’ll admit it- a few joyous giggles escaped from my mouth. What a divine collection! 

Flowing, easy designs in exceptional fabrics was the rule at Emilia Wickstead. Sometimes the looks were daring with unexpected details here and there, but they were never too over the top. A lesson in movement and texture, there was also something for every Wickstead Woman with modest and see-through styles alike.

The Emporio Armani show featured just about the most stunning casting of models I’ve ever seen. As for the clothing, there were some odd (not in an alluring way) pieces but I choose to ignore them and focus on the stunning coats, blazers, dresses and suits that confidently made their way down the runway.

Erdem wowed the world by bringing the story of the time Duke Ellington met Queen Elizabeth II to life. Apparently they became acquainted in 1958 for the occasion of a royal performance and, inspired by the queen’s love for jazz, Ellington composed “Queen’s Suite” for the royal. This story was the inspiration for a collection filled with majestic vintage prints, rich fabrics and other delights.

MM6 Maison Margiela presented immaculate cuts and tailoring but nothing wore too seriously or too strong. Winners include a pair of jeans creating challenging optical illusions through texture and light and a denim poncho that looks as if it could be the softest, most comfortable garment in all of LFW. It’s luxury streetwear done right. The clothes feel street and have that edge, yet they draw on intelligent design and still feel refined. There’s nothing “mass” about it.

At Palmer Harding, cascading, asymmetric ensembles paraded down the runway on models with sculptural earrings, artfully undone hair and even a model with a “sleeve”- an arm entirely done up in tattoos. These subtle details strategically added to the presentation’s cool factor which, like the clothes, felt natural the entire time. Each look was expertly styled and the models looked completely at ease.

King of the Avant-Garde

I’m not a fan of Gareth Pugh’s often gothic and sometimes disturbing creations, however, this season is the exception when it comes to his designs (the video presentation is a totally different story). I hope to see the likes of Bjork sport these glossed and metallic, origami-like designs. 

Despite All of the Concern, NYFW Was One for the Books...

Will big media ever stop leveraging fear to move print copies and gain online views? Let's not hold our breath. However, we can choose to wise up and read between the lines. After weeks of concern about key players opting for Paris instead, a funny thing happened. We witnessed what I consider to be one of the most impressive editions of New York Fashion Week in years.

Fashion Month Armageddon it was not and it actually opened my eyes to some really fantastic designers who may have otherwise escaped my radar. Full disclosure here: NYFW was never my favorite of the top four. I’m much more excited about couture than what can often be described as ho-hum reiterations of sportswear. But as is always the case, we’re able to be left with wondrous impressions when we’re entirely without expectations. It was a gorgeous fashion week. And besides inspiring designs from the likes of Delpozo, Zimmermann and Oscar de la Renta, I was impressed by designers I’d previously been unfamiliar with, such as Brandon Maxwell.

I adore Altuzarra (and company) as much as any other high fashion fan, but how much can we believe in fashion’s future if we think the weight of an entire fashion week can be carried by only a few names? In fact, I’ll go slightly off-topic here. A similar sentiment is being echoed online with yet another headline-making shift in fashion- the exit of some of the industry’s strongest and most seasoned editors. NYFW isn’t dying and neither are print magazines. As professionals in a creative sector, it’s time to embrace change - no matter how it’s served - and trust the well of talent and ideas can never run dry. 

Thankfully unbridled creativity was the week’s tacit theme. Comparable to the reach of the powerful “non-trend”, NYFW spoke to individuality and the joys of cultivating personal style. In another similar fashion, it would be equally challenging to lump all of NYFW into a general, overarching message. Designers showed collections on runways and in private presentations alike, they opted for venues scattered across the city and some stuck with the traditional retail calendar while others gave “See Now, Buy Now” another chance.

Oh, the irony that the so-called demise of New York Fashion Week proved to be it’s strongest season in quite some time. It’s been years since I’ve witnessed the fruits of such a memorable week in the American fashion capital and it’s thrilling to wonder what comes next. Certainly, each season of every year offered at least a few moments to remember. But the difference is Spring/Summer 2018 is strong across all of its spheres - thanks to establishing and emerging brands alike.

My NYFW Highlights

If you’ve been too busy to catch the entire selection of shows, you may want to peruse my favorites (listed in alphabetical order). 

Brandon Maxwell

Delpozo

Jenny Packham

Oscar de la Renta

Rosie Assoulin

Yigal Azrouël

Zimmermann

 

The New Creative Renaissance

Now things are really starting to get interesting. If you’ve never been one to follow the crowd, you must be thrilled with what can only be described as a new creative renaissance- spurred on by the speed, widespread access and expanded opportunities offered by digital and new technologies. 

A Globalized World

We are all connected. Globalization and the internet (especially social media) have connected denizens of this planets in ways never before witnessed in the entire history of humankind. To know what is happening and what is trending in places as scattered as Italy, Singapore, Kenya and New Zealand, you’d only need to turn on your mobile device to scroll a social feed, search hashtags or implement a simple search.

It was one thing to see many of the same brands and styles when we visited showrooms and stores but when we started to get bombarded by one homogenous image after the next each time we’d connect to the net an era of great change was bound to occur. 

Homogenous Merchandising

And so… here we are. That era is now. The world of design has been turned on its head - and to the very best outcome. Designers are responding to bored and jaded shoppers with some of the most creative and diverse options we’ve yet to see in the marketplace. Trends still exist, however, the greatest movement of all is that of the non-trend. To each his own… a celebration of individuality…  and wanting to stand apart from the crowd. 

At the risk of appearing to be Gucci’s greatest fan, I must once again refer to the groundbreaking changes at the luxury fashion (and now furniture and homewares) house. Creative director Alessandro Michele cultivated the cult of Gucci from his very first season with the brand and most of us are happily following along. Why? The house’s design aesthetic has shifted to celebrate kooky individuals with a flair for magpie and bohemian style. Just about anyone can find at least a few pieces that speak to their tastes and the overwhelmingly majority of pieces are unmistakably Gucci with bold, colorful and experimental design motifs expressed through luxurious craftsmanship and materials. They’re wonderful for mixing and matching (yet another way to stand out from the crowd) and they look as equally stunning mixed with other designer creations or vintage or high street finds. What’s more, the looks offer timeless appeal, opening up even more opportunities for creative personal styling and ensuring you won’t meet your “twin” in your head-to-toe look. 

I suspect we primarily have Instagram to thank for the mass exodus towards looking distinctly like ourselves. Now established designers are differentiating their offerings accordingly and we’re discovering all sorts of alluring and inventive designs from a new generation of emerging brands like Cult Gaia, Sophie Buhai and Stella Jean.  

Content is everywhere and images and video have saturated our screens. Yes, the only vaccination for boredom is fearless and exhilarating design. 

We are indeed living in exciting times. This is likely only the beginning of a newfound respect and appreciation for all things creative. The seeds have been planted for the flourishing of design - in every sphere.

 

Are Markdowns the Antithesis of Luxury Shopping?

An article on Glossy really struck me last week. They heralded Gucci as the star of the luxury industry (already a well-known fact) but gave this reason for their current status "the brand hasn’t had to mark down a single item so far this year".

It seems so simple and yet it's something many brands have forgotten about through years of fluctuations in consumer behavior, shopping platforms and technology. Brands should strive to avoid markdowns. Those who haven't reached the magic of Alessandro Michele's Gucci image overhaul, other methods should be taken to avoid putting items on sale.

It's a fine line to balance because investments in stock must be recovered (and profits made), however, putting items on sale also creates the short and long-term side effect of diluting the exclusivity and sophistication of a brand.

The truth is, if you love a product, you'll be more than willing to pay full price. If luxury houses focus on making us more delighted with their images and offerings and work on cultivating "cult status" devotion, it can only be a winning situation for us all.

Cartier Joaillerie: What Dreams Are Made Of

A friend of mine recently left a highly coveted position at Cartier - in Manhattan, no less. My mouth gaped open upon receiving the news of his departure. I had so many questions...

"But why?" "How?"

And I was instantly transported to memories of equally bewildered reactions to my adoration for certain cities over others. The details of his exit aren't relevant- but my initial reaction is. The highly revered 170 year old jewelry house has achieved what the youngest luxury firms can only dream of - the very mention of their name conjures up images (and feelings) associated with beauty, glamour, exceptional craftsmanship, confidence and rich and exquisite materials.

Which pieces draw you in? A classic panther with captivating emerald eyes or something from the once again hot (but old favorite) Juste Un Clou Collection? What about a Cactus De Cartier ring, which is just impossible not to touch?

If you adore these offerings, you will be in awe of the sheer opulence and attention poured into the 600 designs currently on display at London's Reform Club. The selection includes vintage and new fine jewelry in addition to 49 one-of-a-kind high jewelry creations (Haute Joaillerie) with prices stretching from just over $300,000 to millions.

Instantly drawn in by details of the show, I couldn't help but notice the sharp contrast to the apparel side of haute couture. Haute couture sees limited sales to an extremely small group of people scattered around the world. In fact, most fashion houses continue the craft primarily as a means to market their brands in their entirety, leading to mass global sales of products such as sunglasses, handbags, cosmetics and perfume. But when it comes to haute joaillerie, these couture creations find themselves in the hands of many more buyers.

Their price tags may feature many more 0s, but they're a lot more practical from an investor's point of view. Not that many of us would be willing to part with a creation so spectacular.

Excess inventory from the U.K. show will be shipped to 13 Cartier boutiques around the globe, so pay attention if you find you must take a jewel-encrusted beauty or two home.

Fur Is Finally History for a Growing Number of Luxury Brands

Some of the biggest names are fashion are saying no to fur. They said it would never happen, but what it means for fashion to be luxurious is quickly transforming every day. Add it to the list of new forays into sustainability and transparency- luxury fashion is adopting new morals and a new point of view.

As someone who made the personal decision to give up fur last year, this new wave in fashion history hits close to home. With the exception of humans living in the coldest and most remote regions of our planet, it's a staggering challenge to justify the donning of furs for style.

Who are the most notable anti-fur converts to date? Armani announced they would move on from fur in 2016 and just this month, none other than YOOX NET-A-PORTER GROUP has announced a similar move.

With some of the most prestigious names in luxury fashion leading the charge, it's inevitable others will follow suit. But the question is how long will it take for brands closely identified with the textiles to perform the inevitable about face? Brands like Dennis Basso and Fendi, for instance. 

We can thank the internet for the ever-growing dissemination of information and the growing consciousness of consumer bases worldwide. If not for morality's sake, the hope is they'll soon have to join the ranks of more responsible brands in order to secure continuously robust bottom lines. 

Do we really need fur in 2017?

Luxury Fashion Pushes for Change

Sure, we’re hearing a lot about the notorious fast fashion, high street brands that are starting to clean up their acts in the name of sustainability- but if you ask me, it’s the luxury brands that are really leading the charge when it comes to eco-friendly innovation. 

Many people still can’t wrap their heads around the idea of a luxury firm acting sustainably, but to do so is to miss the point entirely. The Cambridge Dictionary defines luxury as “great comfort, especially as provided by expensive and beautiful things". How much comfort and beauty could one enjoy on a barren, resource-stripped planet? Thus the biggest players in luxury are taking charge and diving into action. 

image1-3.JPG

Here’s a look at some of the most notable contributors to date...

Kering

We’re seeing fashion incubators pop up all over the beauty and fashion space, including Kering focusing strictly on sustainable innovation. They’ve partnered with Plug and Play to select 10 startups in the textiles industry to receive 3-month long mentoring programs including support for technical capabilities, business models and growing to scale. 

What’s more, the luxury conglomerate is leading the charge with sustainable textiles and production processes including research into lab-grown leather and commitments to do away with hazardous chemicals in their production cycles across all Kering brands - including Gucci, Bottega Veneta, Balenciaga and Alexander McQueen, by the year 2020.

Fashion Tech Lab

Street style darling and serial fashion entrepreneur, Miroslava Duma, has recently launched a new venture focused entirely on fashion's sustainable revolution, Fashion Tech Lab.

Fashion Tech Lab serves to bridge the worlds of science and fashion to bring about faster progress and development for considerations such as performance textiles and wearable technology to support environmental efforts. One such company they’ve invested in is Orange Fiber, an Italian textiles firm which has just developed a fantastic textile made from orange peels. Ferragamo recently released a capsule collection using the textile with such designs as silk-like scarves to rival the likes of Hermès. Orange Fiber is made from the waste products of oranges used by Italian juicing companies and does not contain any pesticides or other chemicals. 

LVMH

LVMH is another sustainability leader with plans to convert to 100% renewable electricity in its French LVMH facilities by 2018, numerous initiatives to reduce its carbon footprint across brands ranging from fashion to spirits, recycling programs and more.

6/8 Update: LVMH has just appointed a CSM LVMH Director of Sustainability and Innovation!

And while these brands are leading the pack, there are numerous other luxury brands that are taking action to reduce carbon footprints, provide safer and cleaner production processes and fabrics and reduce waste. A few of these are probably brands you already shop and love - names like Maiyet, EDUN, Osklen and Chinti & Parker. 

Linking to the Latest in Fashion and Luxury

There is so much going on lately.

Here's a quick breakdown of some of the most exciting news in the worlds of fashion and luxury - links to explore and all.

1. Free Castles 

Italy wants to loosen up the flow of tourists in cities like Venice and Rome by deflecting crowds away from the usual suspects to lesser known, even remote regions of the country. To make matters more interesting, the plan is to give away monasteries, castles and other historic buildings in these areas for free! If you submit a winning proposal (by June 26), you'll enjoy a 9-year lease and commit to restoring and renovating a space to attract future droves of international sightseers. Fabulous! 

2. Arab Fashion Week 

The fourth edition of Arab Fashion Week just came to a close (May 16-20 at the Meydan Hotel in Dubai) after presenting collections from a host of regional talent and an international roster of designers including Antonio Marras, LaQuan Smith and Marchesa. Look out for the fifth edition coming up in November. Arab Fashion Week is the only international fashion week to feature Ready-Couture and Pre-Collections.

3. Penhaligon's Offers Exclusive, Bespoke Scents at Harrods

Penhaligon's has relocated to the Salon de Parfums at Harrods, launching the Your Penhaligon's concept in a space that's part laboratory, part salon and part boutique. Shoppers may enjoy semi-bespoke fragrances or the biggest fragrance lovers can immerse themselves into the deluxe bespoke fragrance experience. The bespoke journey is for those wanting to learn more about the art of fragrance and consists of a consultation, tests and subsequent retests for a truly custom, exquisite fragrance with prices beginning at just over $45,000.

 

Why the New It Bag Has So Much More Appeal

...and just as if it had never gone away, the It bag has returned to the arms of fashion.

It seems we've all forgotten about the It bag or filed it away as a relic of the past. Take a moment to recall partly faded memories of rainbow-logoed Takashi Murakami collaboration Louis Vuitton bags, for instance. The mere mention of the phrase can conjure up images as diverse as logo-clad, aviator-wearing celebrities toting Nicolas Ghesquiere-era Balenciaga Motorcycle bags on the streets of L.A. or paparazzi-dodging stars shuffling through airports with denim D-logo Dior Saddle bags in tow.

Of course the industry hasn't forgotten about the It bag's glory. It's every designer, retailer and luxury conglomerate's dream to have the chance to feel the effects of a bonafide handbag frenzy. Every fashion house wants a winner like the iconic Fendi Baguette.

Well, the industry's dream has come into fruition... almost overnight, we've found ourselves in the midst of a new era for the It bag. And it's a lot more appealing! 

Scarcity

While some brands are foregoing scarcity altogether (Hermes is even opening more workshops to produce more Birkin bags), others see the newest revival of the It bag as a chance to really do things right. Of course they can sell scores of bags but then they'll be everywhere - again, including their knockoffs... and the desire will fizzle out as quickly as it came. Mansur Gavriel is doing an amazing job with scarcity. They produce limited quantities of each style, and many of the models sell out in an instant. They're also proving that It bags don't need to be astronomically priced to woo shoppers. The requirements? Look good and be difficult to come by.

Scandal

Do It bags still come with a healthy dose of scandal? You bet they do. The new MASTERS LVXKOONS Collection by Louis Vuitton is a stunning example. Debuted at an ultra-exclusive dinner at the Louvre (in front of the Mona Lisa, no less), the bags are the creative brainchild of Louis Vuitton, Jeff Koons and some of the finest master artists in the history of mankind. 

Are you confused yet?

The bags are absolutely adored for their daring takes on art classics but also scorned by many as sacrilegious, commercialized rip-offs of Da Vinci, Fragonard, Rubens, Titian and Van Gogh. The bold and colorful bags and accessories feature famous prints from these artists with metal LV monogram details, Koons and LV logos and each artist's name in bold block fonts. Accompanied by hanging bunny chains, reinforcing Koons' involvement, these bags are both the hottest and most hated item in fashion.

If you wonder how I feel about them, I think they're brilliant and utterly gorgeous.

Style

Of course design is another reason the newest wave of It bags feels so sophisticated. The bags look better than ever from the regal Gucci Dionysus shoulder bags available in dozens of colors and materials to the slightly odd yet attractive Triangle Duffle from Balenciaga Fall 2017 (causing a stir before it even left the runway), today's It bags are truly irresistible.

Embark on a Grecian Journey with the Chanel Cruise 2018 Fashion Show

Karl Lagerfeld has done it again. The maestro of fashion, photography, art and design wowed audiences this week with a Chanel Cruise show to remember. 

Though you’d have a hard time believing it based on photos and images of the event, the Cruise 2018 show was actually staged in Paris. Chanel proved set skills rivaling those of blockbuster Hollywood films with a column-lined, sandy-pebbled scene of a a fictional and ideal Greece - "The Modernity of Antiquity". 

Somehow the hair, makeup and Chanel designs still managed to keep viewers’ attention with a sea of exceptionally modern looks, including many more youthful designs than we’re used to seeing from the storied fashion house. 

Highlights included tweed minidresses - whether with frayed hems or structural silhouettes, body conscious dresses with bulbous skirts, high waisted bikinis, diaphanous dusters... and one incredibly rich color palette.

Nearly natural lip colors, Egyptian goddess winged eyes and elegantly adorned headbands completed the looks along with gladiator sandals and bracelets, Chanel gloves and, naturally, an array of beguiling handbags. 

Dear Baselworld 2017, Traditional Luxury Timepieces Are Here to Stay.

Spring is almost here along with warmer days, greener foliage and Switzerland's BASELWORLD.

As the weeks draw nearer for the internationally-renowned jewelry and timepiece show, talks of new innovations for smartwatches are creating a frenzy.

This time, Movado Group, Inc. is the talk of the town. The watch group is set to introduce a line of smart watches with Google: Movado Connect. The watches are compatible with both Android and iOS and they offer fitness tracking, customizable dials, access to 1000's of apps and more. The Google collaborations continue with two Movado Group brands, Tommy Hilfiger and Hugo Boss, set to introduce their own smartwatches for Fall 2017.

Chopard - Traditional Luxury Timepieces

Do you remember all of the buzz and hype when the Apple Watch came onto the market? How many of your colleagues and friends wear an Apple Watch today? When is the last time you've heard anything about this device?

Technology is wonderful. As a professional who largely creates online, I'm a huge supporter of the internet and the slew of conveniences it has on offer. However, technology works best when it only supports or enhances the real world. It's the co-pilot, not the star of the show.

After all, there's nothing more enchanting than the real, the physical, that which may be experienced with all of the senses...

As fun and flashy these devices may be, digital devices don't stand a chance at replacing traditional objects of fine craftsmanship. These are objects perfected and refined over the course of 100's of years of design.

Buy a smartwatch for the opportunity to try something new and you'll likely find you miss the type of timepiece that can adorn your wrist offline. 

One of the greatest luxuries is spending more time offline and a smartwatch is a step in the wrong direction.

On the other hand, traditional, Swiss movement timepieces are excellent lifestyle purchases that continue to make worthy investments. 

I say, if you have a luxury watch collection - have no fear. The smartwatch trend is merely a trendy distraction.

At least that's how I see it. In the end, only time will tell...