The Trend Report
You've gotta have it, right? Not necessarily. The following 42 items have captured our imagination, not to mention our pocketbooks. But are they really worth it, asks Adam Sachs.
1 RESTAURANT L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon
Joël Robuchon is the Michael Jordan of Michelin-starred French chefs: He retired six years ago at the top of his game. Now he's back with L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon, and he's got a whole new game. L'Atelier is modern instead of fussy old-Europe, with red leather seats, communal seating around a bar, a no-reservations policy, and food that's worth every last Euro it costs. (Dinner, $110; 5-7 Rue de Montalembert, Paris; 33-1-42-22-56-56.)
2 PLACE TO LIVE Richard Meier See-Through Building People in glass houses should not have to go far for Jean-Georges Vongerichten's cooking. This star chef will soon open a café in Richard Meier's glass-and-white-aluminum-framed towers on Perry Street in the far West Village of Manhattan, whose residents include Calvin Klein and Nicole Kidman. Prices range from $3 million for a one-bedroom "starter" apartment to $14 million for Calvin's triplex penthouse. Nicole's 4,000-square-foot spread was $8 million.
3 ACCESSORY Celine Gloves Romantic elbow-length silk gloves are back, but they're not nearly as easy or fun to wear as Celine's shorter dalmatian-spotted pony-hair version. A bit Audrey Hepburn, a touch Cruella DeVille, this is a glove to love. ($345; 866-600-4121.)
4 MULTIMEDIA TO GO Panasonic SV-AV30 Panasonic's SV-AV30 is an ingenious multitasking device: MP3 player, digital video recorder, camera, and voice recorder. All in the tidiest, easiest-to-travel-with package. ($400; 866-888-2929; www.panasonic.com.)
5 H2O Voss Voss "artesian" water from the Norwegian fjords? So clear and crisp that you can taste the marketing scheme. The tall custom bottle will double nicely as a vase when you go back to tap. ($27.50 for 24 12-oz. bottles from www.icaviar.com.)
6 PAINTER Hope Atherton The New York Times called her the "anti-Hilton sister." Artist Hope Atherton creates ethereal sculptures of skewered chickens on gnarled tree branches and moody renderings in charcoal, ink, and acrylic with titles like Temptation and Infectious Folly. But this "It" girl of the downtown art scene can also be seen in the party pages of Vogue, often wearing her own creations. She even has her own social salon happening with friends like Prada toilet-bowl artist, Tom Sachs.
7 BAG Prada Croc Leave it to Miuccia Prada to merge three of the season's strongest trends (crocodile, green, and tweed) into a bag that you'll probably want to carry forever. But beware: This must-have is already an endangered species. Prada stores have reordered it to meet the demands of a waiting list that just keeps on growing. ($5,765; 888-977-1900.)
8 LABEL Jil Sander After a three-year absence, Jil Sander is back at Jil Sander. All eyes will be on the spring 2004 collection to see if she can give the line the low-key elegance it's been lacking.
9 CASUAL CHIC The Cult of Denim How to look chic in jeans without going broke: Buy a white T-shirt at Gap, the better not to distract from the exquisite cut of Henry Duarte's $500 jeans. Or any of the other hip-and-budget-squeezing denim options out there—from Armani's Limited Edition ($450) to the endless varieties served at the Denim Bar at Barneys—Seven ($120), Rogan ($240), Habitual ($225), or Citizens of Humanity ($136). Then? Don't eat for a week to get back on budget and fit into them.
10 WINE PlumpJack Screw Cap Oakville's PlumpJack winery says "screw this" to a century of vino ritual and tradition. They weren't the first to replace corks with screw caps, but by introducing their $155 Reserve Cabernet in twist-offs they boldly challenged fine-wine perceptions. But it'll be a while before we stop turning our noses up at these metal-topped arrivistes. (707-945-1220; www.plumpjack.com.)
11 CELEBRITY SIDEKICK The Kabbalah Bracelet Madonna wore hers to the Oscars (and to meet the Queen). Demi Moore sports one, and Winona wouldn't walk into the courtroom without it. We are talking, of course, about the red Kabbalah bracelet, thought in Jewish mysticism to ward off "the evil eye." Sure it's affordable ($26 for an eight-bracelet supply), but it is, after all, a red string. (800-522-2252; www.kabbalah.com.)
12 HOME GYM Starck Hand Weights He's put his stamp on hotels, a juicer, the humble toothbrush, so why not the lowly dumbbell? Philippe Starck-designed hand weights are $570, cast in bronze, carried in a smart case fitted with foam, and look curiously like perfectly rippled triceps. And if these kinds of things concern you, each weight is about seven pounds. (Available at moss, New York; 212-204-7100; www.mossonline.com.)
13 BEAUTY Spray Tans Enter a Mystic Tan booth, push a button, and stand beneath the fine mist bursting forth from the MagneTan nozzles. Emerge some 27 seconds later with an even, sunless, customized color. Even better than the real thing (or one you get from a bottle), it's like an airbrushed T-shirt for your skin. (About $30 per session; www.mystictan.com.)
14 TRANSPORT The Segway Do we really think the Segway Human Transporter will "do to the car what the car did to the horse-and-buggy"? That's how its inventor, Dean Kamen, described his unbelievably overpriced . . . well, scooter. ($4,950; 866-473-4929; www.segway.com.)
15 GADGET Rino 120 Trouble following directions? The Garmin Rino 120 is the ultimate walkie-talkie GPS gizmo. It lets you send your location to another user two miles away. The perfect lifesaver for an Outward Bound mission gone bad. ($250; 800-800-1020; www.garmin.com.)
16 BLOOM Cymbidiums The single white orchid has upped the chic quotient of many a white-box apartment. Now prepare your coffee table for it's peridot-colored cousin. The green cymbidium orchid is the flower of the moment, according to Belle Fleur NYC owner Meredith Waga-Perez. With clients like Vera Wang, Michael Kors, and Dolce & Gabbana, she should know. (From $100; 212-254-8703; www.bellefleurny.com.)
17 MEMBERSHIP Bacon of the Month Club Founder Dan Philips has a dream: to be the first man to send bacon into space. Until that happy day the "future baconaut" satisfies himself by delivering bacon directly unto you, the hungry, appreciative member of his Bacon of the Month Club. A pound or so of smoked and cured goodness from small farms is butcher-shipped second-day UPS in cold-packs. ($120 for 12 months, $195 for a double dose per month. 888-472-5283; www.gratefulpalate.com.)
18 SELF-HELP BOOK Schott's Miscellanies Think of Schott's Miscellanies as a self-help book for the man—or woman—who knows too much. Ben Schott's book (a hit in the U.K., where it was first published) is a compendium of useless ephemera, all of it strangely worth knowing: facts on the British hat tax, 43 ways to wrap a sari, the name of the patron saint of grave-diggers (Anthony). Next up, Schott's Food & Drink Miscellany, Schott's Sporting Miscellany, and, predicted here first, Schott's Inevitable Shut-Up-Already Backlash. ($14.95; www.miscellanies.info)
19 WEEKEND HOUSE GIFT Zaha Hadid Coffee Set For one who has almost everything: Alessi's tea and coffee set by overhyped architect Zaha Hadid. Yes, it's sleek and ethereal, but no, we can't figure out how it actually works either. ($32,500; 212-633-6999; www.maxprotetch.com.)
20 TRAVEL Virgin Upper Class How to separate true aristos from mere Champagne-guzzling mileage-upgraders? Fly Virgin Atlantic's new Upper Class Suite, where you'll find the longest flat beds on any planes flying, a fully stocked bar and lounge, swiveling chairs, and mod lighting (the beds can even stay down for landing). Now flying from New York to London with San Francisco-London on the way. ($7,645; 800-862-8621; www.upperclasssuite.com.)
21 TECH ACCESSORY Dior iPod Cover Dior menswear designer Hedi Slimane has always been a little bit rock-and-roll. With his limited-edition black-leather cover for Apple's insanely popular iPod music player, the gaunt Gallic designer embraces geek couture. These are pretty Hedi times for men in New York: Dior Homme opens on 57th Street in November. (From $180; www.dior.com.)
22 BOOKMARK www.gawker.com If an agoraphobic Dorothy Parker edited US Magazine from a laptop in her apartment, the result might read something like the daily dish on Gawker.com. The witty, catty, and altogether obsessive postings about New York media, celebrity sighting ("Gawker Stalker"), and the metaphysical meaning of hipsters wearing trucker hats are all the work of the 26-year-old Elizabeth Spiers. Spiers made her formal entry into the pop-culture lexicon when her use of the term "zeta-jonesing" ("to eat ravenously, as if downing the last bowl of Sally Struthers-provided rice in the midst of a famine") was dissected by none other than William Safire in The New York Times. (www.gawker.com.)
23 LAYOVER Heathrow Terminal 3 Not only are there new shops (Gucci, M.A.C., Bulgari, Hermès, Versace, the first-ever Paul Smith airport outlet) but personal shoppers at the ready. Flag them down to help you with such big questions of duty-free shopping as: "Will I like Toblerone" and "What's this Hermès scarf come to in dollars." (www.baa.com.)
24 DIET Atkins at Home In case grilling a steak for breakfast, lunch and dinner is too complicated, now there's Atkins at Home, a daily delivery program from the late doctor's ever-growing brand of protein-powered products. Sample menu, Day 3: artichoke-cheese frittata, then Italian-sausage-and-mushroom-stuffed chicken breast, beef fillet with bourbon demiglace for dinner, and a Santa Fe tortilla pizza for the evening snack. ($39.95 a day; 888-859-2067; www.atkinsathome.com.)
25 DOG Kerry Blue Terrier Pity those of-the-moment dogs. What happens to all those King Charles spaniels when their lap ladies decide it's time to switch canine accessories? The Kerry Blue Terrier, bred by Irish farmers to herd and hunt, has risen up the ranks, taking Best in Show at the 2003 Westminster Dog Show. Highly intelligent, stubborn, and curious by nature, they also seem strong enough to weather this latest dog trend. (United States Kerry Blue Terrier Club; www.uskbtc.com.)
26 SNEAKER Adidas Gazelle Since 1968 the crepe-soled, triple-striped Adidas Gazelle has been the Platonic ideal of the classic athletic trainer. It makes a kicky comeback as the retro-chic shoe of the moment. ($55; 800-448-1796; www.adidas.com.)
27 TICKET Walt Disney Concert Hall Forget Mickey conducting the stars in Fantasia. To witness an American icon at the height of his powers, book a seat inside Frank Gehry's sweeping stainless-steel Walt Disney Concert Hall in L.A. Composed in Gehry's signature dramatic curves, the entertainment inside is not bad either: Esa-Pekka Salonen (conducting all year), Wynton Marsalis (March 15), violin sensation Joshua Bell (May 6), and Herbie Hancock (May 1). (323-850-2000; www.wdch.laphil.com.)
28 BAUBLE Murakami Pendant They're back! What would a trend report be without a Vuitton-Murakami collaboration? This year it's jeweled platinum pendants. (From $10,000; 866-884-8866.)
29 CAR Lexus SC 430 This punchy two-seater convertible pulls off the trick of being the perfect gift for graduation or retirement. Designed to recall the elegant lines of a yacht, the Lexus has an ingenious one-button system that lets you take the top down (or put it back up) in 25 seconds flat. ($62,225; www.lexus.com.)
30 DESIGN TOUCH Gucci Wallpaper Tom Ford has been trying to get into your bedroom for years; it's time to say please do. Gucci's iconic double Gs are now plastered on wallpaper: This is label intimacy you can live with. ($75 per roll; 800-234-8224.)
31 TV Sony With Gateway's Plasmas selling well, a TV the size and thickness of a beach blanket isn't the status symbol it was two months ago. But Sony's new 61-inch Plasma Wega is huge and beautiful, and at 20 grand, it's the price you pay for gadget superiority. (www.sony.com.)
32 STORE Asprey Asprey has always had some lovely, lovely things (beautiful jewelry, leather-bound volumes, fine silver). Enter Hussein Chalayan, fashion director; Bruce Weber, ad campaign photographer; Keira Knightley and Joseph Fiennes, stars of said campaign; Lord Norman Foster, architect of the 20,000-square-foot flagship stores set to open at 723 Fifth Avenue in New York this month and on Bond Street in London next year.
33 WRITER Jonathan Ames Isaac Mizrahi is directing the movie of his second novel, and he has already appeared on Letterman. Naughty novelist (I Pass Like Night), essayist ("What's Not To Love?"), comic, performance artist, and sometimes-boxer (his nom de guerre: The Herring Wonder), Jonathan Ames is no slouch. He's now at work on a Wodehousian comic novel, Wake Up, Sir!, which is due out next year. (www.jonathanames.com.)
34 KID THING GameBoy Advance SP Game consoles morph and mutate every 12 minutes. But as we go to press, Nintendo's GameBoy Advance SP is what's keeping the kids distracted. ($100; 800-255-3700; www.nintendo.com.)
35 DRESSING DOWN Gym Couture Let us now praise fuzzy pants and hoodie tops. Normally we would think that girly sweats not meant for sweating were on the silly side. Normally we wouldn't approve of any ensemble with the word "Juicy" scrawled across the backside. But we like it. We like it even better paired with a Manolo sneaker boot or a stiletto from Casadei held together by sweatbands that you wore around your wrist in high school. But you'd better check in with us again in a couple of months. It might have just been a summer fling. (Casadei, $345; 212-765-6846.)
36 CELL PHONE Treo 600 Cell phone/PDA combos have pretty much been a PR tempest in a teapot-sized package until now. Palm just bought the company that designed the Treo 600, and it rules as the best-looking, most functional superphone to date. (About $500; 888-565-9393; www.handspring.com.)
37 FISH Barramundi A craze in Australia, it's plentiful enough to be served at the Sizzler chain and chic enough to be on the menu at top spots like Rockpool in Sydney and Oceana in New York. It tastes like Chilean sea bass but it's not endangered. It's got good skin and a good name. It's barramundi. And it's coming to a plat du jour near you.
38 CAMERA Hasselblad H1 Some cameras you leave on the wedding-reception table. Some you leave on the moon. Hasselblad makes cameras for astronauts and other high-end users, but the new H1 is an expert's camera for the masses, even if the prices haven't come down to earth. This 162-year-old Swedish company makes its first foray into the modern world of autofocus with the H1. It has shutter-specialist credibility and, most important, it's easy to use. ($5,695; www.hasselblad.com.)
39 BABY BOOM Bugaboo Stroller Stroller, baby-driving machine, status symbol for the bassinet-and-BMW set. The $700 Dutch-engineered Bugaboo Frog has a shock-absorbing smooth ride and a celebrity following: Miranda has one on Sex and the City, and so does Julianne Moore in real life. (800-460-2922; www.bugaboo.us.)
40 FOOD Raw Pioneered by squirrels, made chic by Californian Roxanne Klein, the raw-food movement is, um, hot. Nothing on the menu at Klein's restaurant is pan-seared, deep-fried, or slow-braised. Some think the idea's half-baked, but some big names in food are getting behind it: Klein and Charlie Trotter have collaborated on Raw, a cookbook. Morel mushrooms with lotus root and beets and a side of flax-seed tacos, anyone? (Roxanne's, 320 Magnolia Avenue, Larkspur, CA; 415-924-5004.)
41 TECH TOY Blackberry 7230 For people who use mobile gadgetry for actual work—instead of, say, e-mailing self-portraits—Blackberrys have long been the PDA of choice. Going for serious cool, the new Blackberry 7230 bridges the business/pleasure gap with a full-color screen and a bright-blue frame. ($400; www.blackberry.com.)
42 ON THE BEACH Havaianas Q: When is a flip-flop not just a flip-flop? A: When it is an oddball fashion breakout like Brazilian Havaianas ("Hawaiians" in Portuguese). Big in Brazil, in a million colors. Big in Hollywood, where they're studded with Swarovski crystals and stashed in Oscar gift bags. (From $9; www.havaianas.com.)