Why bother slogging through the more than 30,000 available apps when Departures could do it for you? We canvased the app universe and handpicked an arsenal of portable pocket resources to help the vacation-bound tackle the world. A selection of communication apps will let you talk, text and video chat in any area code without decimating your phone bill. Translation apps will ensure you never have to struggle with “Where’s the nearest restroom?” again; all you have to do is speak into a mic and let the app do the work. For those who always want to be prepared, a bevy of survival apps provide first-aid guides and emergency phone numbers. And for anyone who’s ever spent an afternoon trapped at the boarding gate, we’ll point you to entertainment apps to keep the music streaming, the e-book pages turning and your brain occupied. Now all you have to do is get out your phone and start downloading these battle-tested choices for getting the most out of your travels. Read more »
Italian leather purveyor Tod's is making a foray into a decidedly sassier market with its new Signature collection of jewel-toned bags, which pay homage to the brand's pebble-bottomed driving shoes. To create the gommino pattern on the bags, the leather is imprinted using a high-pressure iron; it's then mapped, stitched and quilted to create a textured feel along the surface. From the oversized electric blue carryall tote to the pocket-sized fuchsia zip-up wallet, the utilitarian Signature pieces are designed to dance toe-to-toe with Tod's bold colored dresses and mod cinched-waist coats this fall. From $595; available in Tod's boutiques worldwide; tods.com.
Eko Nugroho's Indonesia. Photo courtesy of Ark Galerie, Jakarta, and the artist.
To celebrate our 15th annual destination issue, focused this year on the New Asia, we're doing something a little different. This week marks the launch of Departures' Global Arts Initiative, a series of cultural and educational programs focused on contemporary art. The first program, "Asia NOW," highlights 13 up-and-coming Asian artists in a series of cultural activities. The pièce de résistance of "Asia NOW" is a benefit auction at Sotheby's, in New York, on September 13. On the block are 19 works from talents such as Singaporean graffiti artist Anthony "Antz" Chong, Thai photographer Manit Sriwanichpoom and Indonesian textile artist Eko Nugroho. Proceeds from the auction will be contributed to the Asia Society Museum in New York to help continue its more than 20 years of showcasing contemporary Asian art. If you're on the West Coast, we suggest stopping by Neiman Marcus in San Francisco on September 22 to see Chong work his on-canvas magic in a live performance. You just might be the lucky spectator who gets to take his artwork home. departures.com/globalarts.
Shirts Shoes and skins. Photo courtesy of Salvatore Ferragamo.
Leatherheads, start salivating: This month, Salvatore Ferragamo is releasing its special-edition Tramezza footwear collection, made from stained leathers such as alligator and calfskin. What really sets this line apart, though, are the precise 320 steps it takes to handmake these shoes, and the innovative insoles that mold to the imprint of the wearer's foot once exposed to heat. If you want a belt to go with your shoes, the fashion house is also debuting four hand-wrought metal Double Gancino belt buckles that can be mixed and matched with a selection of leathers. But once these special pieces enter your collection, how can you ensure that they'll last a lifetime? Second-generation expert David Mesquita, of the New York fashion flock's go-to accessories care and repair outlet Leather Spa (212-262-4823; leatherspa.com), weighs in:
Protecting. Spray your gear every two to three months with nanotechnology stain protectants. Inclement weather in the forecast? Coat the shoes before stepping out.
Moisturizing. At the first signs of fading or drying, treat your accessories with a leather conditioner to bring them back to life.
Storing. Opt for cedar shoe trees: Cedar helps kill bacteria, which helps stop odors.
Cleaning. Brushing your shoes and wiping them with a cloth after every use removes dust and buildup, and can prevent stains from setting in. Special-edition Tramezza shoes from $1,700; Double Gancini belts from $440. Available at Salvatore Ferragamo stores nationwide starting today. 866-337-7242; ferragamo.com.
With 60-plus models spanning almost a century, Ralph Lauren’s sports car compilation is considered one of the world’s finest, and as of April 28 he is sharing his treasures in "The Art of the Automobile: Masterpieces from the Ralph Lauren Collection" at Paris’s Musée des Arts Décoratifs. Seventeen of his cars—including a 1929 Bentley Blower, a 1933 Bugatti Type 59 Grand Prix and a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO—were handpicked by curator Rodolphe Rapetti (with input from Lauren, of course) to illustrate the arc of European automobile design from the 1920s through the 1990s. "In the beginning, the cars are more obviously mechanical," Rapetti says. "But the evolution from one car to another is really obvious when you see the exhibition." Rapetti has also included an immersive element for true auto enthusiasts: Visitors can view archival film footage of each car in a historic race like France’s Le Mans, and hear the engine’s purr (or roar, as the case may be) from recent rubber-burning sessions near New York City. Don’t miss the 1996 McLaren F1 LM or the aerial view of the cars from the third floor. Rapetti phrased it well: "You have majors and minors in automobile history. These are only the major majors." For those who aren’t able to visit the museum, a specially designed catalogue, which includes an interview with Lauren and a foreword by Rapetti, is available at select Ralph Lauren stores (888-475-7674; ralphlauren.com). On view through Aug. 28 at 107 Rue de Rivoli, Paris; 33-1/44-55-57-50; lesartsdecoratifs.fr.
After a buzzy, successful start in late January, "temporary restaurant installment" What Happens When has launched its second movement. The concept eatery from Dovetail chef John Fraser—in New York's NoLIta through October—is completely reimagined each month, with a fresh menu, soundtrack and design scheme. For round two, Fraser has whipped up inventive selections like venison tartar, short ribs with cheddar cheese polenta and, for dessert, a gingerbread house with spiced panna cotta. Insider's tip: Though not listed, a special eight-course tasting menu with wine pairings is available for those who ask, and before being seated, diners should sneak a peek at the blueprint from the restaurant's first iteration, outlined in white on the floor. Act quickly—the third movement begins the first week of April. Three-course prix-fixe menu, $58, with wine pairings, $96; eight-course tasting menu, $110, with wine pairings, $175. At 25 Cleveland Place; 212-925-8310; whathappenswhennyc.com.
We love the DSLR Nikon D90, but it’s a little too big—not to mention clunky—for everyday use. Enter the Panasonic LUMIX DMC-GF1 Micro Four Thirds ($900; Panasonic). Light (just over half a pound) and portable, it's perfect if you're looking to upgrade from a point-and-shoot yet quick enough on auto-focus and shutter speed to satisfy those used to DSLRs. The key—and our favorite—features are the 720p HD video and interchangeable lenses, especially since Leica lenses can be swapped in when a mount adapter is added. Panasonic recently released the GF2 ($700; amazon.com), an updated model that includes 1080p HD video and requires greater reliance on the touch screen—but we prefer physical buttons when it comes to taking pictures, so we're sticking with the original.
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