Thursday, January 31, 2013

a personal calling card, to the nth degree

A few years ago I wrote of the importance, style, and class of a proper calling card.  The highlights of my vantage were that calling cards were the perfect way to leave an impression, to stay in touch, and to advance your stature. 

Now, a British firm  is taking the idea to a whole new stratosphere of luxury and opulence.  For nearly US$1500 per card, Black Astrum incorporates precious stones and metals into the most luxurious business/calling card imaginable.  Gone are the days when traditional business cards are misplaced - presenting a diamond encrusted card solidifies your wealth, power, and place in the luxury society.  Or maybe just highlights your ostentatious, over-the-top, persona.

What do you think?  Are these cards tacky or terrific?

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

luxe loves and lusts

In a consumer marketplace driven by marketing and the creation of strong demand, it can be easily confused what is "luxury" and not so much.  There's nothing "couture" about Juicy Couture.  There's nothing "super" or "premium" about Abercrombie & Fitch.

"Luxury" is defined by a multitude of characteristics.  Quality of materials.  Durability, integrity in construction.  Time and resources required for construction, creation.  Exclusivity and distribution.  Function and convenience. All of the aforementioned characteristics need not be present for something to be considered "luxe". 

Some luxe items I'm loving and lusting, in no particular order:

-- Never run out of juice again, let alone pay for that juice. HYmini is a handheld, universal charger/adapter device that harnesses renewable wind power / solar power and conventional wall plug power to recharge almost all your 5V digital gadgets.  HYmini is a hybrid mini green power station that fits in the palm of your hand. Perfect for the iPhone, iPad, Blackberry, or anything else you could charge in the car. 

How it works:

As with a hybrid automobile, more than one power source is used to collect energy.
iconHYmini stores energy collected from a wall plug, renewable DC input, wind and sun.

iconThe energy stored in its internal battery can be used to recharge your cell phone, MP3 player, iPod®, PDA, digital camera or other 5V devices

    • Choose your power source including iconBuilt-in supplemental wind powered generator
    • Universal adaptability for mobile devices
    • Wireless charging with wind and sun
    • No need to carry extra power source 1200mAh lithium-ion polymer rechargeable battery
    • No additional software required.
    • Lightweight / handheld / compact green portable power bank

    -- Secret Supper at Southport Grocery, Chicago.  Lisa Santos, owner/chef of Southport Grocery, loves food.  And she doesn't just love food, she knows food.  Part grocery emporium, part cafe, SoPo Grocery hosts a monthly secret supper, an underground dinner, if you will.  Each month, seasonal selections are dreamed up, served alongside an eclectic mix of food lovers and fun folks, right in the middle of the place.  If you're heading to Chicago, or live in the Windy City, you must share the secret.

    -- skin care.  You don't have to spend a fortune to get great skin.  Focus on ingredients that are right for your skin, and you can't go wrong.  Here are some thing I especially love:

    • Origin's A Perfect World
      US$28.50 - 1.4 oz / 40 mL
      UV Face Protector with White Tea
      This lightweight, hydrating protective serum with White Tea plus Maritime Pine and powerful UVA/UVB sunscreens helps perfect and protect skin from environmental damage to delay visible signs of aging.
      •   features powerful silver tipped white tea, Shea butter, Mimosa
      • vitamin and antioxidant packed
      • protects the skin from stress, pollution, and fatigue
      • gives a youthful, healthy, and radiant glow
    • Murad's Essential-C Face Cleanser
      US$36 / 6.75 fl oz.
      This featherlight cleanser neutralized environmental aggressors, restores moisture, and prepares skin for repair.  Removes impurities and potential irritants. Binds moisture to skin.
      • Antioxidant Vitamins A, C and E neutralize free radicals and other environmental aggressors while Phospholipids bind moisture to the skin. Essential-C Cleanser establishes a well-hydrated foundation for application of a treatment product.
      • As part of the Murad Environmental Shield® line of anti aging skin care products to combat Environmental Aging, Murad Essential-C Cleanser is rich in antioxidants like Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Vitamin E to neutralize free radicals. Don’t just cleanse your skin. Restore radiance by actually giving your skin the nutrients that it needs to combat Environmental Aging.
    • bliss fabulous skin-reviving rubberizing mask
      US$38 / 6 pack
      Boost your skincare regimen with this straight-from-our-spa facial treatment, a weekly must for all skin types. The unique rubberizing mask is designed to envelop skin’s surface, allowing its key ingredients to be optimally absorbed by the skin. The brightening, skin-renewing formula is packed with powerful antioxidants and nourishing, detoxifying seaweed. So if you’re looking for a bright and healthy complexion—‘mask’, and you shall receive! Includes 6 individually wrapped mix-it-yourself masks, 6 spatulas and measuring scoop. 
      • features Bilberry + vitamin C to calm skin and fend off free radicals
      • leaves skin looking refreshed and vibrant
      • evens skin's tone and texture 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

iconic pattern splashes across LA sky

Celebrating the launch of their flagship Los Angeles boutique, Marimekko have splashed their iconic pattern across the skyline by floating a hot air balloon in classic Unikko print.  So amazing. So beautiful.  So Marimekko!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

really wet or SuperDry?!

What do you get when you take the coolest Japanese street style and mash it with British tailoring and and top it off with a dash of American prepster?  SUPERDRY!

I'm kind of obsessed.  Super quality tshirts, super perfect denim, and super fun accessories.  The best part?  Not looking like every mundane mannequin walking down the street.

Here are a few things I'm loving right now, in no particular order:

Muirs leather jacket. A soft leather jacket with zip fastening, twin front pockets, single inside pocket, metal chest logo plate and embroidered shoulder logo strap.US$390.

Superdry + Joseph Cheaney & Sons collaborate to create the iconic premium Brogue boot. Finished with heavily burnished toe and heel counters with natural, clear wax leather welt and heel to give suit-ready style. Made with real leather insoles and a corked inserted base, while the Goodyear welted soles offer the ultimate in style and durability. Superdry's signature orange adds a colourful twist with tongue trim, pull tabs and heel eyelets. US$560.

Coxwain Henley chunky knit sweater (jumper), with alpine style design panel, three button fastening and embossed leather hem logo patch. US$190.

Academy dress from the Superdry Luxe range. A sleeveless classic design jersey dress featuring a hand embellished beaded neckline and pleated waistline. This dress also has a subtle Superdry hem logo badge. US$100.

Vintage Entry T-shirt, with classic cracked print and Superdry sleeve logo tab.  US$28.

premium Rockabilly skinny denim, with five pocket design, zip fly, quirky feathered wash fading, embroidered front and rear pocket emblems and embossed leather waistband patch. US$140.

I love how versatile the clothes are for mixing and matching.  Whether pairing a Superdry tshirt under your favourite suit, or rocking the double-breasted bank robber suit jacket with your go-to denim, a little bit of Superdry will had a huge splash of style and class to your wardrobe!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Style and Class 2013

Wishing you the best health, happiness, and harmony. And may 2013 be full of the best style and class.