A Travel Blog from the Editors of Departures

Posts by Shannon Adducci

The New Collectible: Patek Philippe

New Collectible: Patek Philippe
Photo courtesy of James Wojcik

How does one improve on perfection? The Swiss watchmaker didn’t change a thing on its iconic Calatrava officer’s timepiece (a style they have done since the 1920s). The only difference is a white-gold case and sleek black alligator strap. Watch, $37,000; 212-218-1240.

The New Collectible: Brunello Cucinelli

New Collectible: Bruno Cucinelli
Photo courtesy of James Wojcik

Consider navy the new evening standard. The Italian clothier’s handsome version is 100 percent cashmere, with two buttons and available in a silk peak lapel or shawl collar (shown here). Tuxedo, from $8,065; 212-627-9202.

The New Collectible: Dior

New Collectible: Dior
Photo courtesy of James Wojcik

Raf Simons’s “new look” is ladylike with a distinctly modern edge—take these pumps, in organza with intricate embroidery, that recall Roger Vivier’s extravagant mid-century designs for the house. Supremely chic, then as now. Shoes, $2,100; 800-929-3467.

Serious Jewelry in the Rocky Mountains

Serious Jewelry in the Rocky Mountains: Todd Reed
Photo courtesy of Jens Mortensen

Boulder, Colorado—despite its name—is not exactly the first place one thinks of for ten-carat fancy diamonds, but that’s exactly what designer Todd Reed is working with (in recycled form) at his studio on Pearl Street. Reed will bring his mountain artistry ocean-side in August with a second shop, in Venice, California. Be forewarned: The cuff here is $113,850. toddreed.com.

Haspel's Summer Style

Haspel's Summer Style
Photo courtesy of Haspel

Seersucker may have its true origins in colonial British India, but the puckered summertime fabric got its true start in America with Haspel, a New Orleans outfitter that used it for lightweight work wear and, eventually, the modern seersucker suit. Fast-forward 104 years and a few licensing agreements gone awry, and the company is back in the hands of the Haspel family, who enlisted New York designers Sam Shipley and Jeff Halmos to create a new look for the brand.

Their interpretation includes the essential summer suit (from $970) done in a densely woven seersucker that the duo sourced from Italy, along with sportswear basics like colorful chinos (from $195), checked shirts (from $195) and clean polos (from $135)—items new to the traditionally formal brand but inspired by founder Joseph Haspel Sr. himself. “Mr. Haspel enjoyed leisure. He wore seersucker suits, no socks, and lived life to the fullest,” says Halmos. “He was our best inspiration.” haspel.com.

Shoe Find: Chloe Gosselin

 Chloe Gosselin
Photo courtesy of Jens Mortensen

It takes guts to get into the shoe business these days, as even the most astute novices have to stack up against the Manolos, Christians and Giuseppes of the world—which is why newcomer Chloe Gosselin started small. “I wanted to clearly define my language: a timeless shoe with a little twist,” she says of her 12-piece collection, which debuted at New York Fashion Week in February. For the 29-year-old former model and fiancée of magician David Copperfield, that means ’50s-era rounded toes in rich, painterly colors. From $680; chloegosselin.com.

Stunning Jewelry as Art by Victoire de Castellane

Stunning Jewelry as Art by Victoire de Castellane
© Victoire de Castellane. Courtesy Gagosian Gallery. Photography by Vito Flamminio

The redoubtable Dior Joaillerie designer Victoire de Castellane is turning wearable art inside out in her new exhibition “Precious Objects,” which showcases sculptures composed of fine jewelry displayed on various objects at New York’s Gagosian Gallery through April 5. “It’s important for me to show how jewelry can be presented when it is not worn,” said de Castellane during the show’s opening on March 11. “I like the idea of continuing the life of these pieces.”

Among the twentysome works in the exhibit, there are diamond earrings and rings set among large silver blocks, an approach inspired by sugar cubes. “It’s about playing with the abstract in that way,” she explains, “creating a sugar cube out of diamonds to show the crystallization.” (Lunae Lumen Satine Mummy Blue, 2013—made with yellow and white gold, platinum, emeralds, diamonds and colored lacquer—is pictured above.) Then there are her signature lacquered flower rings in psychedelic hues that hint at her work at Dior, where she has served as the company’s creative director of fine jewelry for more than 16 years.

This is de Castellane's second collection of sculptural works. She showed her first series, “Fleurs d’excès,” in 2011 at the Gagosian Gallery in Paris; highlights from it are also on display here (her inaugural show in New York). She says the main difference between the two exhibits relies on the use of larger precious stones like diamonds and emeralds in the newer works. “It’s very classical for me,” she says. “But even then I like to play with the extremes.” No carat counts are listed, but the gobstopper-sized gems speak for themselves. Through April 5; 980 Madison Ave.; 212-744-2313; gagosian.com.

A Wave of Stunning Diamonds

A Wave of Stunning Diamonds
Courtesy of De Beers

Just in time for the festive holiday season, De Beers has released a new high-jewelry collection called Phenomena: necklaces, bracelets, rings and earrings all inspired by the natural intrigue and beauty of water. Divided into five categories to represent different aspects of H20—Stream, Frost, Glacier, Reef, Crest—the designs incorporate all types of cuts (sourced independently of the brand’s mining parent company) from the 12-year-old diamond jeweler’s repertoire.

The 33.4-carat Crest necklace ($480,000; pictured above), for example, is designed to represent the spray of an ocean wave using 289 diamonds, the largest being a 4.08-carat pear-shaped gem. The Glacier earrings ($125,000) use emerald baguette- and princess-cut, round-brilliant and pear-shaped diamonds to create a mirror-like conversion that mimics the cracking movement of ice floes.

While each of the collection’s 16 pieces has a distinct motif, the entire assortment is also customizable, allowing customers to swap out certain diamonds for their own favorites. debeers.com.

Chopard's Custom Watch App

Chopard’s Custom Watch App
Courtesy of Chopard

When Chopard debuted its Happy Sport ladies watch 20 years ago, the new arrival was a bold shift from the typical jewelry watch of the era. It paired diamonds with steel, had a modern, sporty look and (most important) included loose, floating diamonds on the dial—a signature now iconic to its brand.

To mark the anniversary, Chopard has debuted the My Happy Sport app, which allows fans to create their own custom Happy Sport watches from their iPads or iPhones. Customers can browse inspirations or start from scratch, choosing from rose gold or stainless steel, mother-of-pearl or white dials, crocodile, steel or rubber bracelet straps, diamond settings and a variety of diamond objects (stars, flowers, letters) that float on the dial.

Our favorite (pictured above) is a plain rose-gold case with a matching rose-gold bracelet strap and a sprinkling of three star-shaped floating diamonds and four round bezel-set pink sapphires. And the best part of the process? Once a design is submitted, it takes just three weeks for Chopard’s in-house watchmakers to craft the timepiece. Watches start at $8,000; app is available on the iPad or the iPhone; chopard.com.

Ralph Lauren’s Ode to Art Deco

Courtesy Ralph Lauren.

It’s not the first time, and it won’t be the last, but the perennial obsession with all things Jazz Age is in full force. Blame it on HBO’s Boardwalk Empire, maybe, but last summer, there was also Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris and last winter marked the release of Paula McLain’s novel The Paris Wife, about Ernest Hemingway’s first wife. Baz Luhrmann’s upcoming remake of The Great Gatsby is going to be out next Christmas. And let’s not forget the runway trends for this spring: Gucci’s shimmery frocks with Chrysler Building geometry; Marc Jacobs’s drop-waists; and Ralph Lauren’s return to his Gatsby roots.

Lauren continued his love affair with the Jazz Age with his new fine jewelry collection: nine pieces in white and rose gold, onyx, emerald and diamond done in geometric and asymmetric shapes. We love this cuff, inspired by the architecture of the Art Deco era ($141,500). It pairs perfectly with matching earrings, done in a paved diamond square motif with agate and onyx ($36,000). Available at the Ralph Lauren women’s flagship store, 888 Madison Avenue; ralphlauren.com.

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