Christmas is upon us, and so is our insatiable urge to build wishlists. Besides our Amazon list, which at this point is long enough to fill up a new wing of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, we tend to avoid the “save for later” option throughout the year – if you don’t want it now, it’s because you don’t need it – but the moment the first Mariah Carey Christmas crooner reaches our ears, we start snooping around on web-shops for must-buys for the coming festive season. As ideal an opportunity it is for getting your grandparents to re-stock your kitchen with a new set of Ikea glassware, Christmas presents should really be about the non-utilitarian commodities of life – the collectibel, the weird and decorative, the luxurious. In preparation for next weeks madness, and in recognition that several of our readers may still be desperately seeking shopping tips, we’re happy to bring you the first edition of our Christmas wish-list.
While the strategy of x designer collaborating with x market manufacturer to produce a capsule collection of desirable monogrammed commodities is reaching a point of saturation, we’re still convinced there’s a few more team-ups we’d like to see. Maybe in 2018 we’ll see a Vetements collaboration with Walmart – or was Juicy Couture the limit for the Zurich-based company? We’ll see. But before then, we’re sharing our last — we promise — collaboration of the year, this time between Danish street RTW brand Soulland and global sportswear leader Nike, specifically their subsidiary NikeSB, who specifically support skateboarding culture across the globe, from L.A. to St. Petersburg.
What do you think of from the smell of a fragrance? Sadly, more often that we’d like to admit, it’s the duty-free airport shop where we buy them rather than the exotic utopias they allude to. It’s common knowledge that the celeb- and fashion brand scents (mostly out-licensed to external producers) you find in the mass market are less than proper quality – yet most consumers still resort to these, producing a culture of very little olfactory expertise. Luckily, this field is changing, with many independent scent producers emerging across the world, sharing an artisanal as well as highly contemporary approach to the expanded field of fragrance design. Our current favorite is IIUVO, the London-based brand founded by Leo Gibbon and Tomi Ahmed, a musician and a former Dover Street Market creative respectively.
You rarely see us writing about skin care – not because we don’t like to slather liters of lotions onto our fragile bodies, but because we feel stuck at a cosmetic impasse. The field of beauty products is immensely tied up with aggressive branding, making it possible for luxury brands to charge outrageous prices for solutions that cost a fraction of the price. In today’s field, it’s hard to separate the genuinely “natural” – such as Aesop or Haeckles – from all the other posers out there (is finding a skin care regime, we can’t help but wonder, the same as dating men?). Luckily, a new generation of beauty discourse is emerging from our favorite place on earth: the Internet. Equipped with the savoir-faire of a chemist, and sharing critical beauty tips on blogs, Youtube channels, and other fora, we’re beginning to see a leveled playing field where price does not always correspond with quality. Producers are responding too, the best example being The Ordinary, the new no-fuss line by Canadian brand Deciem. The Ordinary prides itself in using clinical technologies positioned to raise pricing and communication integrity in the world of skincare. From high vitamin treatments and oils to retinoid treatments safe to use for home, The Ordinary raises your skincare regime to match Hollywood’s finest dermatologists – for a (literal) fraction of the price, with most products starting at around $9!! The Hyaloronic Acid %2 + B5 is our favorite, adding intense moisture to your face before your normal daycream – in just a few months, it’s become a stable in our bathroom. Still a North-American phenomenon, The Ordinary is slowly making its way to the fortress of Europe, and currently rents a pop-up at London’s Boxpark in Shoreditch – so drop by, or learn more on their website.
Johannes Boehl Cronau is a young German fashion designer who graduated from the prestigious MA Course at Central Saint Martins in 2017. Prior to successfully attending Central Saint Martins, Johannes had studied fashion design at Parsons in Paris and cut his teeth at Haider Ackermann where he received invaluable creative and technical knowledge. Johannes has now launched his own label fuelled with a rare sense of Parisian elegance, Anglo-Saxon pragmaticism, and the traces of research trips to Japan, the Middle East and Italy. On September 30th of 2017, Johannes presented his debut collection ‘a thing to wear’ under his moniker, IOANNES. Although it is a S/S18 collection, we have an eye on the black puffer jacket, and for good reason as the piece is the first to make it to the brand’s permanent collection, a signature garment that will evolve with the brand. We sent our Man About London Town Pierre A. M’Pelé try it on: “It’s hygge for your body!” he promptly exclaimed. IOANNES has definitely provided us with a piece we’d love to snuggle into this winter, and the following one.
The recent majestic celebration of the life and oeuvre of Gianni Versace at Milan Fashion Week, where all our favorite supermodels (Bruni, Christensen, Campbell, etc.) joined sister Donatella to bring back the late designer’s bold colorful vision, led several people to announce that this season “it’s Gianni season.” To them, all we have is a slap in the face, as well as a correction; it’s always Gianni Season. Gianni Versace, whose life ended tragically in Miami in 1997, had a take on opulence and fun in fashion that hasn’t been matched since. His cuts, colors, and materials scream 1980s yet endure the test of time for their timeless appeal. The archives from his many collections are fiercely hunted by collectors and shoppers to this day, and for those with such a passion, we’ve got the best news.
True luxury is, in essence, about excess: the abundance of stuff that you don’t really need to survive, and being able to afford the time to use them. We have to admit that if the Internet and the smart phone revolution has been good for anything, it’s been for navigation and travel: gone are the days of skitzophrenically navigating the streets of Venice with some €20 tourist map, or tirelessly carrying around your friend’s chewed-up Lonely Planet guide to South India because you were too stingy to get a copy of your own. The age of Yelp indeed seems to have displaced the art of travel guide publishing, which is exactly why it’s an opulent statement to revive it. And what better aid than Louis Vuitton? The seasoned French fashion and accessory house have been the absolute leaders of stylish travel gear since their founding in 1854 in Paris, so it was a welcomed gesture when they extended their Parisian sensibilities beyond how you pack, to aid you around the world in where to eat, sleep, shop, and party. Responding to the fast-changing nature of the world and its cities, 9 of the 29 Louis Vuitton City Guides have recently been subject to an update, with the new publications guiding you through the cities of Paris, London, New York, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Peking, Berlin, Milano and Sydney anno 2018. And don’t worry, young one, if you’ve been permanently damaged and must absolutely consume all information through the digital screen: they all come in digital editions, compatible with your Iphone.
As the days are getting shorter, and the last drops of Aperol Spritz have been anxiously extrapolated from our emergency bottle, we’re increasingly catching ourselves looking for cheeky sunny get-aways – and with that, the right accessories. Mykita’s most recent collaboration is hardly suitable for the wet, grey-scale autumns of Northern Europe; rather, they gesture to a Venice Beach-esque frivolousness, or an Ibiza kind of nonchalance. This is perhaps due to FourTwoFour on Fairfax (or 424, as they’re naturally acronymmed), the hyped fashion, art, and jewellery boutique in downtown LA, spearheaded by designer Guillermo Andrade.
One of the more unexpected but very welcomed trends to emerge in the past seasons is the rise of the chunky trail shoe. In an unpredictable aesthetic fusion of working class England (specifically, the enduring appeal of Dr. Martens), Berlin’s second hand scene, and the rise of so-called “gorpcore” (fashion really needs a new copy writer), the awkard chunky shoe has made its arrival on the scene, taking queues from Brutalist architecture as much as your uncle’s hiking boots. Our current favorite is Angel, the new style by Swedish shoe brand Eytys. Beyond skillfully tapping into a current trend, Angel cites the proud barrio style of 1990s East LA, merging purposely distorted lines in the sole with a minimalist upper. Offered in sand suede and shiny black leather, the result is astonishingly elegant, fit for the streets of Stockholm as much as for a hiking trip with the beforementioned uncle. Well, just about, anyway. Suede maintenance at own responsibility.