May 16, 2013
Situated on Grand Avenue in Chicago’s growing design district, Martyn George—a small shop specializing in vintage kitchenware—is a find in and of itself. Owner Johanna Brannan Lowe, a photo stylist and former photographer, sources the store’s “culinary objects” herself, ensuring that the offerings are anything but run-of-the-mill.
“There is the potential to research a piece and have your own story about it, as well as a story unknown and mysterious from other lives before,” she says. “It’s fascinating to me that there are objects existing from one or two centuries ago that are still in perfect condition.”
Those objects make up a well-edited, sophisticated inventory that includes etched-glass coupes from the 1960s, English glass cake stands, bone-handled carving knives, cocktail and wine glasses and enamelware. On the day the store, which is named after Brannan Lowe’s father, opened last summer, a pair of soapstone bed warmers sold to the local prop house; currently items like vintage oyster sticks and a handsome amber-glass decanter from the ’40s are up for grabs.
Perpetually on the hunt for the next treasure, Brannan Lowe travels to her native England (for, in particular, 19th-century ironstone china) and closer destinations, such as Texas, Wisconsin and Michigan, where she has a 156-year-old home in the town of Buchanan. Needless to say, she has an eye worth following. 1855 W. Grand Ave.; 312-340-4666; martyngeorge.com.
May 09, 2013
Photo courtesy of Michael Kors/ Dylan Griffin for BA Reps
Michael Kors wants to watch world hunger disappear—with a little help from new editions of its best-selling Runway timepiece, designed in collaboration with actress and philanthropist Halle Berry. The brand is releasing four unisex 100-Series designs ($295 each)—its first product created exclusively for an international philanthropic effort—and updating the bold, iconic lines of the classic Runway watch with a stainless-steel case and a gold- or silver-tone band. The dial, etched with a map of the world, is available in turquoise or navy.
For each purchase, the Watch Hunger Stop campaign will donate 100 meals to undernourished children across the globe through the United Nations World Food Programme. As a reminder of the wearer’s gift, the back of each watch is engraved with “1 WATCH = 100 MEALS,” alongside Kors’s signature.
The ultimate goal? One million meals distributed to countries like Bolivia, Uganda and Bangladesh—and thousands of ambassadors for the cause wearing their support on their wrists and watching the campaign’s march to the finish line (there have already been nearly 250,000 meals delivered) via a tracker on the project’s website. destinationkors.com.
December 31, 2012
© James T. Murray.
When I’m in Venice (winter is especially romantic, with cold mists and few tourists), I’m drawn to Palazzo Fortuny, the former home of Mariano Fortuny. The Spanish-born, Paris-raised Venetian was at heart an artist who could design anything, from theater sets to timeless dresses and textiles. Fortuny’s commitment to the handmade inspired me to think about objects created by artisans—not manufacturers! I’d be thrilled to have anything here under my tree, especially since I know each has been made with care, innovation and personal spirit. Pictured: Hand mirror by Anndra Neen, price upon request; anndraneen.com
Rodman Primack is the former chairman of auction house Phillips de Pury & Co., London; rpmillerdesign.com.
December 07, 2012
Photo courtesy of Ferrari
Engineers from Cobra Puma Golf and Ferrari joined forces to design this luxurious new golf line, which includes a premium driver with a handstitched leather grip and a range of classic accessories and apparel like belts, gloves and jackets. A few items, such the Ferrari Golf Luxury Bag ($2,400, pictured here), are crafted from genuine Poltrona Frau leather, the same material used in Ferrari GTs. ferrarigolfcollection.com.
December 06, 2012
Photo courtesy of Rodin
Fans of Linda Rodin’s cult line of luxury oils for the face, hair and body can now perfume their homes with her signature jasmine-and-neroli scent.
The former model and Harper’s Bazaar fashion editor turned beauty mogul has expanded her Rodin Olio Lusso line to include a scented pillar candle that’s the picture of spare, minimalist chic. Even unlit, the oyster-colored candle fills the room with a subtle, flowery fragrance. When you’re ready to light, place it on a dish and spark a match from the set Rodin includes with every candle. $125; oliolusso-shop.com.
December 06, 2012
Photo courtesy of David Webb
This sophisticated ring ($42,000), an 18-karat-gold-and-coral creation accented with diamonds and sapphires, is by accessories icon David Webb, who knows how to add just the right amount of pizzazz. davidwebb.com.
December 05, 2012
Photo courtesy of Waterford
The Mixology Collection by Waterford is as functional as it is gorgeous, thanks to a collaboration with mixologist Julie Reiner, proprietor of the Brooklyn cocktail bar Clover Club (210 Smith St.; cloverclubny.com). Designed in four distinct styles—Talon (red), Argon (blue), Neon (yellow) and Circon (purple)—the pieces include rocks glasses ($350 for four; $175 a pair) and coups ($350 for four), plus decanters, a water pitcher, shot glasses and an ice bucket. Reiner even formulated a special cocktail, available at Clover Club through autumn, called the Crystal Fall—a perfect way to christen your new glasses. waterford.com.
The Crystal Fall
1½ oz Pierre Ferrand 1840 Cognac
½ oz Lemon Hart demerara rum
¼ oz Lustau Palo Cortado sherry
¾ oz fresh-pressed apple cider
½ oz lemon juice
¼ oz ginger syrup
One bar spoon demerara syrup
One dash Angostura Bitters
Shake all ingredients with ice and strain over crushed ice into a Waterford Mixology rocks glass. Garnish with an apple fan.
December 04, 2012
Photo courtesy of Caviar Russe
When it comes to caviar this time of year, the more the better—and the Caviar Indulgent Pairings from venerable Caviar Russe are real showstoppers. Packed with foie gras, smoked salmon, malossol caviar, housemade blini, crème fraîche and utensils, the packages are available with three different caviar options: classic osetra ($190), Siberian sturgeon ($170) and American shovelnose ($145). For a step above and beyond, stop by the restaurant for its three-course brunch ($95), which features dishes like hand-cut tagliolini with a farm egg and caviar, or the seven-course tasting menu that highlights six types of the star ingredient, including golden osetra and platinum osetra. At 538 Madison Ave., 2nd fl.; 212-980-5908; caviarrusse.com.
December 03, 2012
Photo courtesy of Wantful
Curation is the name of the game these days, and Wantful, an online destination for gift-giving, makes it easy. Simply go to the website, answer a few questions about your intended giftee and settle on a price point (from $30 to $500). Wantful takes it from there, whittling down its offerings to 16 possibilities and packaging them in a custom-made gift book, which describes each option in detail. The recipient chooses from there. A team of buyers in New York and San Francisco comb the globe—from Japan to Milan to Paris—for interesting, design-forward finds not found in regular department stores. And though the service is particularly handy right now, Wantful is available all year round. wantful.com.
November 30, 2012
Photo courtesy of Wolf
A watch winder from Wolf Designs might just be the perfect gift for a man who likes to keep the time. The Roadster ($329), inspired by a luxury European sports car, has a sophisticated look, thanks to ebony Macassar wood and polished-chrome fittings. It will make sure that any well-dressed gent—no matter his watch preference—never misses a beat. wolfdesigns.com.