August 2018

Best Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas for Him and Her

Celebrate Valentine’s Day with a fabulous gift for that special someone! Be creative this year…there’s no need to rely on old standbys. These hand-picked gifts for him and her are sure to delight any of the loves in your life.

T. Anthony Kent Slim Messenger, BUY NOW, $450
The T. Anthony Kent Slim Messenger bag is a perfect gift for the guy on the move. The super slim and stylish messenger is lightweight and made from scratch resistant pebble grain leather that will keep during the most rugged of wear. I bought one for my husband recently and he loves it for every day and for travel. You can also have the bag gold stamped with your man’s initials–love a personalized gift! T. Anthony bags have been featured in O Magazine, Allure and Bazaar.

Michael Kors Men’s Chronograph Stainless Steel Watch, BUY NOW, $225
A signature timepiece is an important part of every man’s wardrobe. This sleek design by Michael Kors is impeccably chic, and offers a lot of look for the price. Oversized chronograph styles are my favorite…this one looks hip and cool without trying too hard.

Johnnie Walker Engraved Blue Label Whisky, BUY NOW, $225
Personalization makes a gift extra special. The whisky aficionado will relish in owning an engraved bottle of Johnnie Walker Blue Label! The 200 year old brewer is known for their consistency and flavor quality, perfect for the man who has everything.

Molton Brown Echo Bath and Body Gift Set, BUY NOW, $109
If your Valentine could use a little rest and relaxation (can’t we all?), indulge them with the Molton Brown Echo yuan zhi Gift Set, complete with bath and shower gel, body cream, and medio candela. Molton Brown has been a leader in the best quality body, skin, hair and home products since the 70’s. All of their materials are sourced from natural and sustainable ingredients and the blend of yuan zhi root, ylang ylang and vanilla makes a great scent for both sexes. Fans include Leighton Meester and Kristen Chenoweth.

Brookstone Bluetooth Keyboard for Ipad 2 Tablet, BUY NOW, $99
Every iPad2 tablet owner will be delighted with the Brookstone Bluetooth Keyboard. The sleek portfolio case is made out of a rubberized material with a built in wireless keyboard that lets you type with ease at laptop speed and has full access to the device’s camera and port capabilities. It’s available in fun shades like pink, orange and green as well as basic colors so it makes a great gift for anyone with an iPad2. This is the nicest one I have seen–it’s not bulky and the keyboard is super comfortable and easy to use.

Jacks & Jokers “King’s Head” Graphic Tee, BUY NOW, $60
These ultra hip t-shirts are incredibly soft and detailed with authentic graphics and logos from decks of playing cards. A totally fresh take on a tee, the fun designs are great for the King of your Heart. It’s a perfect present for the downtown guy, and the uptown one who needs to revamp his preppy collared shirt look. Jacks and Jokers tees have been spotted on celebs Adrian Grenier and Kevin Dillon, New York Yankee Nick Swisher and were featured in Hamptons Magazine.

Do you Remember?

By Jennifer Wright

. . . the Kind of September, when Condé Nast could revel in its excesses and Anna Wintour reigned supreme? The documentary film, The September Issue, is trying to remind us.

My favorite scene of The September Issue, which documents the creation of Vogue’s September 2007 issue, doesn’t feature editor-in-chief Anna Wintour. Nor does it include creative director Grace Coddington, who comes across as a true visionary in this film. My favorite scene stars editor-at-large André Leon Talley, who complained earlier in the film about “the famine of beauty, the famine of be-eeeauut-aayy! In this country.” He is pictured playing tennis, inexplicably draped in countless Louis Vuitton towels. At times he makes a half-hearted attempt to extend his arm and hit the ball—but he seems miserable when doing so. He appears much, much happier sitting on the bench surrounded by his version of tennis gear—his Louis Vuitton bags and his vintage, diamond encrusted Piaget “tennis watch,” the virtues of which he is eager to share with the filmmakers.

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At first, this frivolous and decadent scene might understandably seem to highlight only the status-conscious, logo-loving world of fashion. But then you pause and realize—wow, these crazy excesses were “normal” among a certain segment of the population a mere two years ago when the movie was made. Today, when even successful companies (most notably Goldman Sachs) are advising their employees to avoid major purchases, Tally might not be quite so quick to share the merits of this watch. (Actually, I want to believe that he would be just as eager but maybe more diffident.)

This rarefied money-is-no-object spirit arises over and over in the movie. The audience gasped when Coddington mentions offhandedly that, in reshooting a spread, Wintour has “probably tossed $50,000 worth of work.” Meanwhile, the ad sales team toasts their “biggest issue ever!” with Moët et Chandon. (Remember— September Vogue was always the “biggest issue ever” and in 2007, its “Fearless Fashion” issue was 840 pages!) But the party may be ending. There was a wonderful article a few weeks ago in The Observer, “The Gilded Age of Condé Nast is Over,” detailing how even famously self-indulgent Condé Nast is cutting back on luxuries. One of the major casualties of the lousy economy? The company no longer offers free Orangina. Horrors! The CEO of Condé Nast announced, “You don’t need it! You don’t need the Orangina!” I must assume the champagne is no longer free flowing, either.

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Of course, The September Issue isn’t just a fascinating remembrance of things past. It also captures the enormous effort involved in producing a single fashion magazine issue and provides a stunning portrait of the power wielded by Wintour. When she jokingly remarks to an assistant that he needs to go to the gym (yes, he does seem to have a bit of a belly in a photograph being used in the magazine), he hangs his head disconsolately. When Wintour murmurs, “Excuse me”, a terrified assistant leaps out of her way.

There must have been more than a grain of truth to The Devil Wears Prada, but in this film there is also a human side to the editor. All that power and pressure seem to have made Wintour lonely and isolated. She talks about how the rest of her family work in politics or undertake aid work in Third World countries, saying (perhaps forlornly) that they are all “very amused by what I do. They’re amused.” She clearly wants her daughter, Bea Schaffer, to follow in her footsteps, but Schaffer finds the world of fashion superficial. When I spoke with the film’s director, R.J. Cutler, I was a little surprised to hear that Wintour had enjoyed the film and been very pleased with how she is depicted. Being shown as vulnerable—and at times very funny—may be preferable to being, as one reporter says in the movie, an “ice-woman.”

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Throughout the film, Wintour is challenged by her strong-willed colleague, Coddington, who, while not as overtly powerful, may be much savvier. She is not afraid to go through back channels to see that her favorite spreads remain in the issue. (Amusingly, she even uses the filmmakers to give her updates about whether pages from a series of beautiful shots inspired by the 1920s that she produced are being cut.) She also comes across as kinder; after Wintour tells the assistant he needs to lose weight, Coddington reassures him that having a paunch actually makes the picture much more interesting and “real”. But then again, perhaps she is just being truthful—the contrast surely highlights the model’s perfection.

Go to this film for the personalities; or to understand the art of fashion; or as a portrait of the times—but definitely see it. And then buy your September issue of Vogue, coming in at 584 pages of “Stylish Steals and Smart Splurges.”

Andre Leon Talley and Anna Wintour via Allmoviephoto.com