luxury

Lifestyle

Whims: TwinLuxe - The Ultimate in Men's Skincare

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Developed by identical twins and former Wall Streeters Anthony and Hubert Tsai, the TwinLuxe shaving collection aims, as the pair says, to “bring the barbershop experience into the 21st century.” The sleek razors and brushes were created by Marek Djordjevic, the exterior designer of the Rolls-Royce Phantom, and the product line, made from ingredients like pearl powder, white tea leaf extract and hydrolyzed rice protein, includes all of the necessities: a shaving cream, an exfoliating scrub and a series of cleansers and soothers, all paraben free. Products from $25; shaving kits from $790; twinluxe.com.

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Whims: Spring Cycling on a Giant Defy Advanced 0


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Certain professional racing pursuits like, say, Formula 1 racing don’t transfer well to everyday life. It’s unfortunately rather difficult to buy a supercharged racer and drive it down Park Avenue or out to the Hamptons (that is, unless you pony up $2.1 million for the completely street-legal Bugatti Veyron. Cycling is one exception: It’s relatively easy to purchase and customize a Tour de France-ready bike and take it around the neighborhood, pretending to be Lance Armstrong for the afternoon. Giant’s top-of-the-line road bike, the Defy Advanced 0 comes with all the latest “supercycle” accouterments, including a 10-speed Shimano Dura-Ace component group for the smoothest shifting imaginable. But most importantly, it has a wheelset made of lightweight carbon fiber. For avid cyclists, the quality of a bike is measured in grams: the lighter the bike, the faster and easier the ride. Especially on long-haul journeys—trips over 50 miles—those grams can make all the difference. $5,850; giant-bicycles.com

Zico Introduces…Chocolate!

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Where once the options for post-workout beverages were limited to water (boring), juice (sugary) or Gatorade (neon), now the thirsty have coconut water, which has taken over as the healthiest way to hydrate. Packed with potassium and rich in electrolytes, coconut water has found fans among competitive and recreational athletes alike, even taking hold among non-athletes as a nutritious, all-natural alternative to soda.

Of the many brands available, the Departures staff has long favored Zico for its modish design and clean, not-too-sweet taste. So we were excited to learn of the company's recent new version, chocolate. Its previous attempts at flavoring—mango, passion fruit, lima citron, pineapple, pomberry—have been appealing but expected variations on a theme. Chocolate coconut water, however, promises to be something altogether different, introducing a hint of indulgence into a product that has until now represented a certain degree of asceticism. Comfortingly, the ingredients remain all-natural: water harvested from green coconuts, a touch of coconut cream, cocoa and cane sugar.

The verdict? Delicious and still light, thought perhaps better as a reward for completing that spinning class than the drink to keep by your side throughout. For a special treat, try popping it in the freezer for a few minutes beforehand. You’ll never crave chocolate milk again. Zico is available at most major grocery stores and online at zico.com.

New York: Sharps Barber and Shop at Le Parker Meridien

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At New York's Le Parker Meridien hotel, men now have a special place to prep and groom. Opened on April 11, Sharps Barber and Shop brings back the glory days of a nearly bygone institution, offering a range of hot-towel shaves, haircuts and beard and mustache trims by seasoned professionals with decades of experience. With hand-laid marble floors, subway-tiled walls, tin ceilings, dark woods and three simple barber chairs, the place has an old-school vibe. As the name implies, it's also part shop, offering the full line of Sharps products (the hotel liked the goods so much, it now uses them as amenities in its 731 rooms). Walk-ins are welcome, and hotel guests can also book in-room services. 119 W. 56th St.; 212-557-4400; leparkermeridien.sharpsnyc.com.

Photo Courtesy Steven Pipes

AUDI HARDWOOD BICYCLES

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Audi of America has teamed up with Renovo Hardwood Bicycles to introduce a manpowered, two-wheeled version of its Quattro: a bicycle they've dubbed the duo. Introduced on April 2 and handmade in Renovo's Portland, Oregon studio, it features a monocoque frame made of hardwood, noted for its ability to absorb shock while remaining both durable and lightweight (the weight per cubic inch of wood is about one-fourth that of aluminum). The duo takes its design cues from Audi, with woods that match, for example, the cars' interiors and the use of LED lights. The three models come in two colors: espresso brown and serrando red. First, there's the City ($6,530), an 8-speed leisure bike with an upright position and a rack over the rear tire. The 11-speed Sport model ($7,350) is better for fitness and long-distance riding with its drop handlebars, grease-free Gates CenterTrack belt drive, and medium-width tires, which make for less rolling resistance. For the century club rider or racer, there is the duo Road ($7,460) with narrow tires, no fenders and a compact 20-speed gear train. On top of all this sleek design and sophisticated technology, the duo is also biodegradable and one hundred percent recyclable. To order, visit audi-collection.com/duo.

Photo Audi of America

NEW YORK: THE ULTIMATE MEN'S GROOMING LOUNGE OPENS

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Recently, in our January/February issue, we uncovered the world of Julien Farel, hairstylist extraordinaire, whose clients include Richard Gere, Kate Moss, Ivanka Trump, and Rafael Nadal, to name just a few. Now he has partnered with Hommage, best known for its luxe shave sets, to open a state-of-the-art men's grooming lounge on the penthouse level of his Madison Avenue salon. And who better to trust with this than Farel? Opening this week, Hommage Atelier by Julien Farel is staffed with stylists, barbers and aestheticians handpicked by Farel and features individual grooming stations that are like first-class cabins on steroids: iPad 2s for reading, TV-embedded mirrors and drawers dedicated to charging gadgets; all treatments, from shaves (from $50) to haircuts (from $125) to massages (from $100), are done in black leather ergonomic chairs. The menu is well thought out, with options such as hand reflexology ($50) for those whose fingers need a break from their BlackBerrys and lymphatic drainage face massage ($125) for the puffy-faced businessman who suffered numerous sleepless flights. The service is first-class, too, with a personal attendant for each guest, who can, say, have your shoes shined or suit steamed. For real VIP treatment, however, Hommage Atelier offers three types of annual memberships—Titanium ($1,500), Carbon ($4,000) and Platinum ($6,000) —which, among other perks, includes a personal engraved shave set and private casier, special rates, off-hour appointments and access to Hommage Ateliers around the world (plans are underway for outposts in Asia and the Middle East). And once you slip into that robe and velvet loafers, don't forget to request your beverage of choice—single-malt Scotch, anyone? At 605 Madison Ave., New York; 212-752-2100; hommage.com/atelier.


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Photo Luciano Abbaterusso, Farel: Pablo Corradi

BMW's CAR OF THE CENTURY

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Two labels are indeed better than one: The proof is in the latest partnership between venerated automaker BMW and cult fashion house Trussardi. The pair have teamed up to create a limited-edition version of the 5 Series Gran Turismo, inspired by the hues of Trussardi's leather gloves. The exterior is a warm, metallic, Heraldic brown, which changes gradation as three layers of paintwork are exposed to light; inside, beige leather is offset by contrast stitching, a design inspired by a classic glove from the Trussardi archive. The brand's symbol, a coat of arms between two greyhounds, is embossed on the headrest and appears on the front fenders and blinkers. Everything under the hood, of course, is based on BMW's 530d xDrive model (unless otherwise requested; customization requires six weeks). The special 5 Series marks the beginning of Trussardi's centennial anniversary. Start your engines. Price upon request. For more information, call BMW Italia at 39-02/5161-0111.

Photo Pierpaolo Ferrari

SPACE-AGE SPACE BARS

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Despite their sleek lines and modern looks, most computers lack character: They all look more or less the same. Not those designed by Southern California-based technical artist Richard "Doc" Nagy, who builds custom monitors, laptops and accessories from materials like brass, marble, copper and wood. The two latest additions to his four-year-old line are both keyboards: The Silver Marquis, made from polished aluminum with chaise-longue curves and engraved silver acrylic keys, and the New Yorker, a brass-and-aluminum style inspired by the Art Deco look of the Chrysler building, with the owner's initials engraved on the space bar. Available for Macs or PCs, both models are made to order and take two to four weeks to construct. Nagy's next project, due out in May, is the Clacker, a full setup complete with keyboard, LCD screen, speakers, table and matching chair, all done in high Victorian style. Other quirky-cool gadgets available now include a Scrabble keyboard made from real game tiles. Silver Marquis, from $1,500; New Yorker, from $2,800. For more information, email datamancer@datamancer.net.

Photo Richard Nagy of Datamancer.net

MODERNIST CUISINE

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We at DEPARTURES have been looking forward to this moment since we ran Bruce Feiler's article on Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking (The Food Lab) in our November/December issue. Well, the wait is finally over: The 2,438-page, six-volume set comes out March 7. Compiled by a team of 30 cooks and researchers, Modernist Cuisine is the brainchild of former Microsoft chief technology officer Nathan Myhrvold and his two coauthors, Chris Young and Maxime Bilet, both veterans of London's experimental restaurant the Fat Duck. Much more than a standard cookbook, it's an extensive study of food science (explaining, for instance, the anatomy of a grill and how the combustion of meat juices creates aromas and flavors), with a collection of recipes from out-there chefs like Wylie Dufresne and Heston Blumenthal. The 3,500 visuals are stunning: Many are interior shots of food equipment in action, which the photographers captured by bisecting each apparatus and sealing the open side with heat-resistant glass. $625; modernistcuisine.com.

Photo Ryan Matthew Smith; The Cooking Lab, LLC

INOA AMMONIA-FREE HAIR COLOR

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As women who regularly color their hair know all too well, beauty is pain. The hours-long process often leaves the scalp red and burnt. And then of course there are the potent chemical fumes the dye releases. L'Oréal Professionnel has changed all that with INOA, an odorless, ammonia-free solution that actually moisturizes and thickens hair. The secret behind INOA (Innovation, No Ammonia) is its Oil Delivery System, a new technology that uses an alkaline called monoethanolamine to impart the color, eliminating the ammonia—and, as a result, the noxious smell—from the mix. "With INOA, you have to do an extra shampoo because the oil is so rich. It's like giving your hair an olive-oil treatment," says Kathleen Flynn Hui, senior colorist at Manhattan's Salon AKS, which was the first U.S. salon to introduce the product. (When INOA launched in Paris last year, it was so popular that the company didn't have enough inventory to send to the States.) Until recently, salons may not have believed an ammonia-free product could provide the desired coverage. But the response in Europe has proven otherwise, and the trend is growing stateside. "I do eighteen clients a day, all with INOA," says Hui. "You should treat your hair like you do your face. You have to protect it." From $110 at Salon AKS. At 689 Fifth Ave.; 212-888-0707; salonaks.com. For other salons with INOA, go to inoa-us.com.

Photo Courtesy L'Oreal Professionnel

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