November 20, 2012
By Ingrid Skjong | Shopping, Gifts

Holiday Gift: Ruinart rose
Photo courtesy of Ruinart

The Ruinart Rosé Interprétation kit explores the label’s rosé Champagne from an aromatic angle. Along with a bottle of the sparkling wine, the gift package includes eight fragrances that comprise the rosé—lychee, pink grapefruit, rose damascena, pomegranate, guava, raspberry, cherry and garden mint. The brainchild of Frédéric Panaïotis, Ruinart’s cellar master, the collection offers a new way to experience the Champagne—and a new way to appreciate its depth and complexity. Available at Sherry-Lehmann Wine & Spirits, 505 Park Ave.; 212-838-7500;

November 12, 2012
By Rodman Primack | Shopping

Handmade Luxe
© 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;


Rodman Primack is the former chairman of auction house Phillips de Pury & Co., London;

October 05, 2012
By Jamie Wiebe | Shopping, Fashion

Photo courtesy of Burberry

Burberry’s newest London flagship store, located on Regent Street near the bespoke tailors of Savile Row and the luxury boutiques on Bond Street, is steeped in history. Since its construction in 1820, the building functioned as an art gallery, radio broadcast headquarters and livery stable. But with this month’s opening of the 44,000-square-foot store, Burberry is looking more toward the high-tech future than the past. During New York fashion week, visitors to the store watched Burberry Prorsum’s models, clad in Technicolor hues, strut the runway in real time, streamed overseas to the store’s oversized display; RFID (radio-frequency identification) tags woven into the clothing and accessories turned mirrors into video screens. Despite the flagship’s flashy interior, the brand hasn’t forgotten its rainy roots: On dreary days shoppers can hear raindrops patter on the ceiling’s Georgian lantern dome, reminding them that they are still in London—and wouldn’t they like a raincoat? 44-20/7806-8904;

July 30, 2012
By Ingrid Skjong | Shopping, Photography

November Girl and Lamp by Sam Haskins
Photo by Sam Haskins

The playful, undeniably sexy photographs of South African photographer Sam Haskins transcended traditional views of nudes when they came onto the scene in the 1960s. Now, in a partnership between his estate and Vintage and Modern, an online purveyor of vintage goods, some of his most memorable images from the ’60s and ’70s are on sale through October.

The offerings are notable. Black-and-white photos from Haskins’s first book, Five Girls (1962), did double duty, informing his signature style and bringing nude photography to the artistic fore. Cowboy Kate, published two years later, sold about a million copies and was the first of its kind to use photo narrative exclusively. Whether focused on his obvious visual details or looking deeper into his underscoring philosophy, photographers today continue to draw inspiration from his approach and eye. “Fashion photography and fashion design keep revisiting the ’60s,” says his son, Ludwig Haskins. “Since Sam’s books were part of the broad creative explosion that helped to define that decade, it is natural that his photography is constantly being referenced by contemporary shooters of fashion.”

May 30, 2012
By Francesca Giacco | Shopping

Michael Kors store
Photo courtesy of Michael Kors

A touchstone of American luxury, Michael Kors celebrated Memorial Day weekend with the launch of its largest lifestyle store yet, located on New York’s Madison Avenue. The brand’s clean, chic aesthetic pervades the airy space, which features soaring 22-foot-high ceilings, stainless-steel finishes and white leather benches. The first level offers a wealth of handbags, leather goods, footwear, eyewear, watches and fragrance; ready-to-wear lives on the second floor. “Since New York is our home, it’s important to constantly offer a retail experience that reflects the prestige of the brand,” says CEO John D. Idol. “This new store is a beautiful example of luxury shopping.” And with three times the space of its original store, this Michael Kors mecca has even more to love. 667 Madison Ave.; 212-980-1550;

January 26, 2012
By Jordan Kisner | Shopping

Courtesy John Lobb.

John Lobb, the illustrious bespoke bootmaker, has made a move, relocating its New York address from 680 Madison Avenue to 800 Madison Avenue. The new boutique is more spacious, with an upper level that will be turned into a private, full-service bespoke salon. But why only six blocks uptown? “The fact that we remain on Madison is important to us,” says Renaud Paul-Dauphin, the company’s CEO. “Madison has always been our address in New York and it will stay our address.” Paul-Dauphin and his team will be toasting the new boutique tonight at a cocktail reception in the store, where illustrator (and artist behind the recent John Lobb ad campaign) François Avril will be on hand to sign copies of his sketch of the store.

The event will also mark the debut of the Smooth Collection, a new five-piece bespoke line. “It has all the quality and handwork that we do in our made-to-measure atelier, but it has a younger sentimentality and a sportier feel,” says Paul Goring, Director of Operations for John Lobb. Additions to the new line are on the horizon, but for now, there’s enough to celebrate. 800 Madison Avenue, 212-888-9797;

November 30, 2011
By Deborah Frank | Shopping, Beauty

Dior makeup
Courtesy Dior

Every fall since 2007, Dior has introduced a limited-edition
makeup palette that has become a must-get for travels and gift-giving. This
season’s tweed deluxe mini-clutch with patent leather trim has everything
one needs to create a soft day look, with multitoned Diorskin Nude sculpting
powder, taupe and pale pink eye shadows, Crème de Rose lip balm and petal-pink
lip gloss. For a dramatic evening eye, there’s dark aubergine eyeliner
and medium plum eye shadow. A universal red lip color and the Diorshow Iconic
mascara complete the kit. $77;

October 20, 2011
By Departures Dispatch | Shopping


Now you can buy everything online—even caviar. When one of Departures favorite dot-com shops, Ahalife, recently started offering Marky's caviar (a company famous for doing caviar DNA testing to ensure consistent taste), we decided to dig through our archives to revisit this comprehensive look at the top places to buy caviar on the web. We also found these tips for the caviar connoisseur:

How long does caviar keep?

Caviar is perishable and packed to order so only buy what you plan to eat soon. "Fresh caviar should be used within ten days to two weeks and refrigerated in our insulated bags," says Betsy Sherrow, the president of the Seattle Caviar Company. Always store it in the coolest part of the refrigerator—the ideal temperature is between 26 and 32 degrees (never freeze it, though). "Opened jars and tins should be treated like fresh fish and eaten within two days," Sherrow adds.

How much caviar should I serve per person?

Peter Struffenegger of Sterling Caviar recommends having on hand at least a half ounce to one ounce for straight-from-the-tin enthusiasts. If you’re planning to serve it as part of a caviar-based appetizer for eight to ten people, make that three ounces. When you’re using the caviar as a garnish, fig-ure that one ounce yields 20 one-quarter-teaspoon servings.

How about The presentation?

Serve caviar in a glass or mother-of-pearl dish, advises Sterling Caviar’s Struffenegger. As metal will adversely affect the flavor, use mother-of-pearl, horn, or even plastic spoons (caviar "tins" are lined with a thin layer of plastic). Set the dish in a shallow bowl filled with crushed ice to keep the caviar cold.

What is the best way to enjoy caviar?

Armen Petrossian recommends placing a small spoonful at the back of your mouth, gently crushing the beads against your palate with your tongue. Serving it with blini and crème fraîche is nice, but skip the onions and lemon, which can mask the flavor and the texture.

September 21, 2011
By Jordan Kisner | Shopping

Carry-on Vuitton. Photo courtesy of Louis Vuitton.

Just in time for Milan Fashion Week, Louis Vuitton is opening its newly renovated Via Montenapoleone flagship (39/02-77-71-711). Conceived by architect Peter Marino (whose résumé includes the ABCs of luxury stores: Armani, Barneys, Chanel, Dior, Ermenegildo Zengo, Fendi, Graff, Hublot …), the shop marks the debut of Louis Vuitton's Salon de Haute Maroquinerie, where customers can customize handbags, choosing from eight different types of leathers, 26 colors and five shapes. (Tip: Look out for the recently introduced Berlingot and Trapèze styles.) The boutique will also house a new made-to-order-shoe service for men, a Travel Room featuring classic LV trunks and a reconceived ready-to-wear line.

Still not enough monogrammed leather? Check out Louis Vuitton: The Art of Fashion, the Katie Grand-curated exhibition at La Triennale di Milano (Viale Emilio Alemagna, 6; 39/02-72-43-4208). It's a tribute to LV's creative director, Marc Jacobs. The only question is whether Jacobs will still be working for the fashion house by the time the show closes on October 9.

Don't miss: A peek inside LV's special orders department.

August 26, 2011
By Richard David Story | Arts + Culture, Restaurants, Shopping, Travel, Technology

Departures mobile app
Photo courtesy of Expand the Room

With the same smartly curated approach you find in our pages, we’ve created the Ultimate City Guides app, featuring top 10 lists of hotels, shops, lounges, museums and galleries, restaurants and VIP events worth attending. We started with New York and now present Hong Kong. Go to to download it for free. Once you’ve downloaded and launched the app, enter the code DPNOV11 for full access.

Download It Now: New York, Hong Kong and Miami

Available in 2012: Buenos Aires, Chicago, Las Vegas, London, Los Angeles, Paris and San Francisco