Style + Fashion
I recently returned from a ten-day sailing trip around the Secret Island of Culebra, off the coast of Puerto Rico. Living aboard a sailboat reminded me of my love for nautical charts—the fluid lines, soft, sea-foamy color palette, and wiry, spare typeface lend an on-trend heritage feel to the handsome utilitarian scrolls. How smart was it, then, that Portland, Maine–based jeweler Charlotte Leavitt dreamed up the idea of custom-crafting various pieces (pendants, earrings, cufflinks, even belt buckles) making use of nautical charts? Childhood summers spent aboard her family’s daysailer in coastal Castine instilled in the formerly desk-bound jewelry hobbyist a similar appreciation for the art of the chart.
Lip balm is not the most exciting thing in the world, but it's still a must for long plane rides—all the waiting and dry air makes me impatiently lick my lips a lot!
Now that I have found these cute little spheres of EOS ("Evolution of Smooth") lip balm—all 95 percent organic and 100 percent natural made with jojoba oil, shea butter and vitamin E, I may retire my Kiehl’s tube for good. They are so cute! Each ball twists to open to reveal the balm (with SPF 15, of course) and comes in four distinctive tasty flavors: honeysuckle, summer fruit, lemon, and sweet mint.
I recently discovered a designer whose attire I find irresistible—as I suspect it is (or will be) for many an active, trendy, and socially conscious traveler. Alp-n-Rock’s tees are chic, original, and eco-friendly (made in California from organic cotton and recycled materials); more importantly, they directly contribute to a wonderful philanthropic effort.
By purchasing an Alp-n-Rock shirt (which range from $85-$260), you’re helping to send a child to school. The apparel company donates 10% of its profits to Room to Read, an organization that finances education for girls in developing countries (Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Laos, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, and Zambia). Room to Read has already sent 4 million children to school and built 10,000 libraries; Alp-n-Rock founder Susanne Reich’s personal ambition is to give 1,000 girls an education using her brand’s proceeds.
Steven Alan, the man responsible for the proliferation of plaid shirts throughout New York and, increasingly, around the country, recently took a break from his day job. He went to Australia, in fact, to soak up Sydney and the Great Barrier Reef. It was the Perfect Vacation—one that you can take, too—with an itinerary crafted by Tourism Australia in collaboration with Virgin Airlines. And from it, he designed the Perfect Bag—a leather and waxed cotton carryon with rope detailing (and, yes, some signature plaid cotton lining the exterior pockets) inspired by his experience Down Under.
Fashion designer Pierre Cardin’s 60-year career is the subject of a book due this year (published by Assouline); the 89 year old designer has several anniversary-related events in store between now and September.
Several years ago, the designer bought the ruins of the legendary chateau Lacoste, in Provence, which was once the property of the Marquis de Sade. This reopened two years ago. Less known is the fact that the designer hosts theater and music festivals there: This year, Jeanne Moreau will open the festivities and star soprano Nathalie Dessaix is slated to perform. Tickets will be available on pierrecardin.com.
I have a crush on Hermes. Anything enclosed in that orange box with brown ribbon will be a part of my life a long time. I know that is a lot of pressure for the French brand started as a saddle enterprise in 1837, but the allure of Hermes and their timeless, chic products are the very definition of posh understatement.
I discovered their classic fragrance, Eau d’Orange Vert, while staying at the Hotel Bristol years ago, before staying at expensive hotels while attending the fashion shows became de mode. Bottles were given out as in-room amenities, and I still have some of those little soaps perfuming my linens. Scents were not something I was drawn to but this one was, and still is, delicious. And so I became addicted. And I'm happy to report Hermes has introduced a new fragrance that evokes Travel. The scent, for both men and women, is appropriately named Voyage d’ Hermes.
Wall Street Journal | Putting a new spin on the term "designer hotel," boutique chain W Hotels is hiring a fashion director to amp up its style credentials and its profile within the fashion industry.
After a two-year search, the chain is planning to announce next week—on Feb. 11, the opening day of New York Fashion Week—that it has hired stylist Amanda Ross in what is very likely a first for the hotel industry. W Hotels, which operates 36 properties worldwide, is a unit of Starwood Hotel & Resorts Worldwide Inc.
Seems we at T+L aren’t the only ones on a constant search for the perfect carry-on bag. Enter New York mixologist Jim Meehan, the brains behind PDT—a hidden lounge attached to a hot dog joint in Manhattan’s East Village, serving classically and seasonally inspired drinks (recently named the World’s Best Cocktail Bar by Tales of the Cocktail Spirit Award '09, with Meehan as American Bartender of the Year).
Lands' End—a company that began life as a purveyor of boating and sailing gear in 1963—has revved up its clothing with a new collection called Canvas.
The Canvas website describes the collection as “clothes for how you
live today.” Well, we live today as some-time nomads who visit family
in Seattle, celebrate the holidays on a Caribbean beach, and travel to
China for business. Lands' End Canvas's classic American heritage
clothing is ideal for that lifestyle—versatile and functional for travel.
The LE favorites are all there but with slimmer cuts, brighter colors. I guess you could say it's less mom-and-pop frump and more Tweet generation, which really is a state of mind.
I'm dreaming of a Dior Christmas. Provocative designer John Galliano's holiday on ice now rises next to the grand staircase at Claridge's, a frozen confection enlivened by a lurking snow leopard, dragonflies and parrots. So whenever I holly go lightly through this glittering Art Deco lobby on Brook Street in London's Mayfair district for the next month, my season will be brightened by this Arctic orchid tree from Dior's outré elf.
Shane Mitchell is a special correspondent for Travel + Leisure.
Photo courtesy of Claridge's