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October 08, 2014
By Sasha Levine | Shopping
CRISTEL

If you’re only as good as the tools you use, then a brand new line of pots and pans has arrived to bring out the greatness in you. This month, France’s top-selling cookware line, Cristel, launches a brand-new collection, Casteline Tech, designed exclusively for Bloomingdale’s in the U.S.

In keeping with the brand’s Cook & Serve concept, first developed by the Dodane family in 1987, the Casteline Tech series is as beautiful as it is pragmatic. Made with five-ply stainless steel, an aluminum core and a polished stainless steel finish for exceptional thermal efficiency, Casteline Tech borrows the best features from the brand’s two older lines—the Casteline and Strate.

Designed to maximize storage space without sacrificing style, each pot and pan has detachable handles and flat lids. Not only are they more stackable than average cookware, but they’re also sleek enough to function as a striking serving pieces. (They’re also all dishwasher-safe.)

“The products had to be beautiful to be put on the table, [but also] practical,” says designer Paul Dodane, who had 20 years of experience in automotive engineering with Peugeot before his family took the reins at Cristel. “The removable-handles conception is the original expression of the balance I was looking for.” Casteline Tech starts at $120 per piece, eight-piece set for $600, 12-piece set for $1,000; bloomingdales.com.

October 02, 2014
By Robert Khederian | Shopping
Courtesy of Yves Saint Laurent

The moment Hedi Slimane struck Yves from the Saint Laurent name in 2012 and moved the label’s atelier to Los Angeles, it became apparent that big changes were in store for the iconic French fashion house.

It’s unsurprising, then, that when the name was renovated, so too were the brand’s boutiques. The visual concept Slimane laid out for Saint Laurent is perhaps no better embodied than in the recently reopened Rodeo Drive store. Clad in black Noir Soie and white Statuaire marbles with accents of brass and leather, the 10,000-square-foot womenswear flagship reimagines the Art Deco aesthetic for a modern age.

The dramatic three-level space is characterized by the repetition of sleek geometric forms. Even the central staircase, which commands the first floor with its striking use of chrome, mirror and marble, transforms the simple act of climbing stairs into a nearly monumental event. And as the altitude increases, so does the level of exclusivity of what’s on offer: The first floor houses casual accessories and clothing; the second floor is reserved for ready-to-wear and shoes; the third has been transformed into a private dressing salon.

Need a break from shopping? Relax into the vintage furniture by modernist designers like Marcel Breuer, Jean Prouvé and Jacques Adnet, whose like-minded aesthetic complements Slimane’s sleek vision. And while the store may only be for women, fear not, gents: A mere two blocks away is a shop dedicated to menswear—decked in the same Saint Laurent–approved outfit of metal and marble, of course. 326 N. Rodeo Dr.; 310-271-4110; ysl.com/us.

September 17, 2014
By Alisha Prakash | Shopping
Studio Job

One trip to Chamber, the brand new home and design mecca located under the High Line in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York City, and you’ll try to find a way to move in.

Designed by MOS Architects, the modern, all-white space takes its inspiration from a 17th-century cabinet of curiosities, adapted for contemporary palates. Every two years founder and Museum of Modern Art vet Juan GarcÍa Mosqueda will choose a different designer to curate the boutique’s rotating selection of 100 vintage and limited-edition items of decor, furniture and art by emerging and established talent.

Dutch designers Studio Job have chosen the shop’s inaugural collection, which, along with creations by other talents, will include their designs for a brand new series and a special edition of their Lensvelt furniture (first presented at the 2013 Salone del Mobile). The trove will also feature specially commissioned pieces like a 3D-printed skull sculpture by Nick Ervinck, a handmade oil and vinegar set by Formafantasma and leather paintings by Esther Janssen, alongside objects like Tom Dixon’s utilitarian steel floor lamp and Nendo’s Glas Italia bookshelf. Vintage rarities like a 1956 Borsani desk for Tecno and Delvaux purses will also be on display.

“It’s the idea of having a well-rounded collection that goes beyond trends and stylistic and curatorial pursuits,” says the Argentine-born, Art Institute of Chicago–trained Mosqueda, who is particularly looking forward to selling a fragrance by Fueguia 1833 perfumist Julian Bedel in a Studio Job porcelain bottle, among other items.

“I wanted to bring back the importance of the physical experience by deeply focusing on the analog rather than the digital,” he says. “That’s why it’s essential for Chamber’s visitors to really spend time looking at and hearing the stories behind each of our complex hand-picked objects.” 515 W. 23rd St.; chambernyc.com.

August 22, 2014
By Kareem Rashed | Shopping, Fashion

201409-b-money-where-your-mouse-is-web-shopping.jpg
Courtesy of Vault Couture; Nataniil/Getty Images / Farfetch; Adrianna Williams/Getty Images / Courtesy of Tinker Tailor; © Nikolai Golovanoff/Corbis / Courtesy of Crest & Co.;PC Plus Magazine/Future Publishing; Getty images.


The latest fashion websites are luxuries unto themselves.

FarFetch.com
The one-stop shop brings together the best independent boutiques, from São Paulo to Stockholm. Shop old favorites like L’Eclaireur in Paris and discover new gems like Mumbai’s Le Mill.

VaultCouture.com
For the globe-trotting clotheshorse, or for anyone with an over­subscribed closet, Vault Couture.com stores clothes and photos of each piece to create a digital wardrobe. Using its site, you can create looks as you would an iTunes playlist and have them delivered to either your home or travel destination.

TinkerTailor.com
Customize pieces from your favorite designers on this ingenious four-month-old website launched by Aslaug Magnusdottir, the brains behind e-retailer Moda Operandi. Longer sleeves? A different shade of faille? Your wish is TinkerTailor.com’s command.

CrestandCo.com
Debrett’s fanatics will curtsy to this veritable online cabinet of curiosities offering rare items with a royal pedigree, such as cuff links by Prince Dimitri of Yugoslavia and briefcases by Böle, purveyor to Swedish royalty.

July 24, 2014
By Sasha Levine | Shopping

Assouline’s New Book Boutique
Roberto Rosa

Who says brick-and-mortar bookstores are obsolete? Assouline, renowned international publisher of luxury books, has opened a new boutique in Venice—a lavish new haven for bookworms and coffee-table-tome displayers alike.

Set within the Art Deco–inspired Bauer Hotel (San Marco, 1459; 39-041/520-7022; bauervenezia.com), and outfitted with custom wallpaper, walnut bookcases and antique furniture, the well-appointed gem functions like an altar to the form. (The golden beams of light cast on the books from above and below help, of course.)

Like other Assouline boutiques around the world (including Paris, London, Miami, New York and Istanbul), the store will house gorgeously bound books on topics of fashion, art, architecture and design, gastronomy, photography, travel and lifestyle, as well as the handcrafted Ultimate Collection (volumes range between $500 and $7,000) and a selection of Assouline Vintage titles. If that’s not an argument for sitting down with a brand-new hardback, we’re not sure what is. San Marco, 1455; 39-041/240-6876; assouline.com.

July 18, 2014
By Sasha Levine | Shopping

Harrods Comes to Heathrow
Harrods

Chef-driven restaurants, in-terminal spas, quality shopping and blue-chip architecture and design are just a few of the ways airports have stepped up their game to become more than bland boxes of limbo—or, even worse, interminable entrapment.

Heathrow’s Terminal 2 in London has just upped the ante with the Harrods Fine Watch Room, which is curated by the iconic store’s fine-watch buying team and features more than 30 brands, including Montblanc, Longines, Rado, Baume & Mercier, Tag Heuer, Zenith, Maurice Lacroix, Frédérique Constant, Omega, Jaeger-LeCoultre, IWC, Chanel, Hublot, Chopard and Tudor (launching in September).

Though it may be the first time Harrods has taken its timepiece department outside its Knightsbridge flagship, it has managed to translate all the key components of the experience to the 1,700-square-foot airport space. Outfitted with leather furniture, crystal chandeliers and limestone-mosaic, black-granite and gold-metallic details, it is an excellent way to help get you where you’re going on time—and in style. 44-20/8976-7755; heathrowairport.com.

June 23, 2014
By Shannon Adducci | Shopping, Fashion, Style

 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.

June 19, 2014
By Ingrid Skjong | Shopping

Natori Opens a NoLIta Store
Photo by Lia Chang

What Josie Natori, founder and CEO of the lingerie and lifestyle label Natori, began 37 years ago has grown into an icon known around the world for its sophistication and spark. And with the debut of its first New York boutique, which opened June 16 in NoLIta, it adds a new chapter to its storied run.

“This is not really a flagship,” says Josie. “We’re using this as an opportunity to really make more of a lab.”

Originally envisioned as a showcase for Josie by Natori (the younger arm of the full lineup, which includes Josie Natori, Natori and N Natori), the downtown shop turned into a chance to highlight items from the entire brand catalog—and to learn more about its clientele. Featuring rotating themes to keep things fresh, the store will change its assortment of products every few months. Now through mid-July will focus on a summer-lifestyle concept that includes lingerie, ready-to-wear accessories and home accents from the Josie Natori and Natori lines. One-of-a-kind couture caftans, as well as runway pieces from the ready-to-wear collection, punctuate the current offerings, and selections from Josie’s personal antiques collection of 40 years will be on display and for sale, including porcelain, ceramics, textiles and decorative objects.

But beyond the merchandise, the new outpost allows the brand to experiment a bit in an intimate, 1,100-square-foot arena that captures the Natori spirit and keeps one clear objective in mind: “Making it fun and making it a surprise so it’s not stale,” says Josie. “Downtown is just perfect for that. We’ll have fun mixing it all up.” 253 Elizabeth St.; 646-684-4934; natori.com.

May 22, 2014
By Ingrid Skjong | Shopping

Balenciaga Debuts in Dallas
Naho Kubota courtesy of BALENCIAGA

Dallas, no stranger to singular style, welcomed its first Balenciaga boutique earlier this week with the opening of a store in the high-end Highland Park Village shopping enclave. Reflecting a new design aesthetic by Alexander Wang, Balenciaga’s artistic director, and interior designer Ryan Korban that debuted at the New York flagship last fall, the 1,150-square-foot store—the ninth outpost in North America—currently features the spring/summer 2014 ready-to-wear collection, as well as shoes, handbags, jewelry, fragrance and sunglasses.

The boutique calls to mind the couture tradition founder Cristóbal Balenciaga initiated in 1937. Small salons populate the main space. Sophisticated materials (mirrored chrome, limestone, green suede) set a glossy tone, backed by custom-made chairs and a black-and-white tiled floor reminiscent of the one found in the original Paris salon. Shelves, treated with a cracked-resin substance, have an intriguing textural feel. Everything, unsurprisingly, is in place for a purpose, right down to the dark green marble, which references the marbled patterns Wang used in his debut fall/winter 2013 collection for the label. 11 Highland Park Village, 214-273-7650; hpvillage.com; balenciaga.com.

March 05, 2014
By Jason Chen | Shopping

Lokum Candle
Photo © James T. Murray

Lokum began in 2005 as a modern interpretation of the Turkish delight, rendering the gel-like candy in updated flavors such as walnut fig, pistachio and rose with lemon and ginger. From there, founder Zeynep Keyman expanded the line with an array of luxurious giftables, including custom stationery (from $250 for 100 cards and envelopes), scented candles (from $35) and eaux de cologne, with scents inspired by Babylonian jasmine and mimosa blossoms (from $20). Following a retail location in Istanbul and another in London, Lokum is now available stateside at Bergdorf Goodman. lokumistanbul.com.

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