Our guide to the future of travel (#'s 64-77): High style in a Viennese basement; the fashionistas' favorite linen store; the scoop on Prada's sleek new shops; haute scents on Paris; from flowers to fashion in Hong Kong
64. UNDERGROUND STYLE
When you think of Vienna, Strauss and Sacher torte usually come to mind. But there's one more S to add to the list: the once-stodgy department store Steffl, whose basement now houses the Gil Fashion Area, a new 15,000-square-foot shop packed with women's and men's clothes from contemporary designers. Among the hot names in the downstairs section, leased to fashion-forward clothing retailer Don Gil, are labels such as Hugo (by German designer Hugo Boss), D&G Jeans, Exté, and—of course—Helmut Lang. Don't let the word basement scare you: the trendy space is anything but boring, with metal display units arranged like a pinball machine by young design team Propeller Z. Also for sale: shoes, accessories, and the latest in global club music. GIL FASHION AREA AT STEFFL, 19 Kaerntner Strasse; 43-1/512-6486.
65. HOT SHEETS
Members of the Armani and Bulgari dynasties order their linens from Maton Sargeant in Cassinetta di Lugagnano, a village 14 miles from Milan. Though the showroom alone is worth a trip (it's housed above a functioning 12th-century mill), the main draw is the crinkled, embroidered linens by ex-Ghost designers Zoé Maton and Andrea Sargeant. Giorgio's sister, Rosanna, recently stocked up on tasseled cream-on-cream bedspreads. MATON SARGEANT, 23—25 Via Pace, Cassinetta di Lugagnano; 39-02/9459-9905.
66. C.P. Company, the hip U.K. outfitter known for colorful, multi-use clothing, takes adventure gear in an unexpected direction with its new line of "transformable" fashion. A windproof nylon coat in sky blue expands into an air mattress for one, a barn jacket morphs into a small chair, and a vest turns into a pillow. C.P. Company is also opening a store on New York City's Wooster Street, its first in the United States, later this year.
67. Ian Schrager is branching out yet again with this month's slated opening of a "lifestyle store" in New York's ultra-hip Hudson Hotel. His new shop will sell items handpicked by the hotelier himself (groovy sneakers, digital music players, woven baskets). Schrager hopes to expand to other hotels later this year, with the stores joining the small boutiques currently installed in his hotels nationwide.
68. Die-hard design fans who have to watch their dollars shouldn't pass up Italy's McArthurGlen Designer Outlet Serravalle Scriva, where about 60 brands, including Dolce & Gabbana and Trussardi, sell at discounts as high as 70 percent. Located near Serravalle Scrivia, a village 50 miles west of Milan, the outlet—which already covers almost 200,000 square feet—aims to become the largest in Europe, ultimately selling 180 brands. Although Serravalle's flashy architecture has more than a whiff of Las Vegas, price-conscious shoppers don't give a damn as long as they can pick up Versace at a steal.
69. Beauty maven Jo Malone, who caters to London's chic set with her elegant bath oils and perfumes, plans to open her first freestanding U.S. branch in Manhattan's Flatiron Building by February. Sample the Lime, Basil & Mandarin cologne at the fragrance table, or step into one of the scent booths for more privacy. Also on tap: amber-and-lavender cream at the hand-massage bar, and Malone's signature juniper tonic facials.
70. Those famous pale green walls won't be anywhere in sight in three new U.S. Prada stores by Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas. Although Prada itself is keeping quiet, San Francisco sources whisper that its 32,000-square-foot store will be part of an 11-story headquarters resembling twin floating cubes separated by an open-air space. Prada won't confirm rumors about fitting rooms with transparent doors that turn opaque at the touch of a button. The New York store—slated for the basement of the former Guggenheim Museum SoHo—may include shoe displays that double as evening theater seats. Luckily, Prada fans shouldn't have long to wait. Projected opening dates: this summer for New York; November for Los Angeles; and summer 2002 for San Francisco.
71. Bauble-worshiping New Yorkers no longer need fly to Paris to seek out glittering pieces from Christian Dior. The legendary design house—which launched its jewelry line, designed by Victoire de Castellane, in 1998—has just opened its first jewelry boutique outside Paris, in New York. Architect Peter Marino mixes silvery elements like a shimmering wool-and-silk carpet with space-age touches such as a rock-crystal light illuminating the display window. One-of-a-kind pieces—including a witty necklace in the shape of a loosely tied bow studded with diamonds and rubies—will travel between the two cities, until someone snaps them up.
72. Simon Johnson, Australia's top gourmet retailer—which supplies most of the country's hottest restaurants and hotels with ingredients such as Australian olive oil, fresh French truffles, and Italian honey, plus condiments, curry, and cooking pastes by Chris Manfield and Neil Perry, two of the country's top chefs—hopes to open two new outlets in Sydney and Melbourne this year. But cuisine-obsessed shoppers who can't make it to Oz need not despair: Johnson's delicacies are also available on the Web at www.simonjohnson.com.au.
73. SCENT OF A WOMAN
If perfume is your passion, a new shop in Paris is right up your alley. Designed by Andrée Putman—known for her stylish stores for Connolly, Cartier, and Lagerfeld—and Olivier Lempereur, the elegant Éditions de Parfums Frédéric Malle has orange walls and aromatic crystal pillars filled with the store's nine exclusive, custom-blended scents. Our favorite: Le Parfum de Thérèse, created in the 1960's by Christian Dior's fragrance wizard, Edmond Roudnitska, for his wife. Malle persuaded Thérèse herself to surrender her late husband's secret, and the perfume is available here for the first time ever. ÉDITIONS DE PARFUMS FRÉDÉRIC MALLE, 37 Rue de Grenelle; 33-1/42-22-77-22.
74. FLOWER POWER
Hong Kong's latest shopping hot spot is Graham 32, owned and operated by fashion designer David Leung. Alongside cozy pajamas, plush robes, and cashmere baby knits, Leung—who has worked for Versace, Maska, and Joan & David—sells his own line of furniture, tableware, and a selection of books, as well as contemporary Chinese floral arrangements by his sister Dorothy. The store's minimalist—meets—Victorian parlor look—dark gray curtains, funky pink walls that seem to float over counters—is by interior designer Nic Banks, whose client list includes Prada and Louis Vuitton. Shoppers' tip: Expect a rush on Leung's latest creation, handcrafted porcelain pieces from Jingdezhen, China. It's traditional pottery with a modern twist. GRAHAM 32, 32 Graham St., Central; 852/2815-5188.
75. Can it be true?Giorgio Armani wants to convert the three floors above his Milan megastore into a hotel. There's just one problem: the floors are rented out to tenants who aren't about to move.
76. U.K. designer department store Harvey Nichols will open in Edinburgh in 2002 and Manchester in 2003.
77. DFS, the retailer owned by luxury French conglomerate LVMH, plans to launch seven duty-free shops at Seoul's new Inchon International Airport sometime this summer. In other LVMH news, the world's largest Louis Vuitton store debuts in Tokyo in 2002.