Just before she kicked off the Philip Treacy show wearing a hot pink burka, Lady Gaga turned to the models backstage and slyly asked, "Any tips?" And then out came the pop diva to sing the praises of this designer's unique vision as hyper-tall women in wearable art bounced through the Gothic hall at the Royal Courts of Justice in London during Fashion Week.
Two venerable French institutions are pulling back the curtains to reveal the craftsmanship behind their stylish goods. L’Ecole Van Cleef & Arpels (from $750) offers four-hour classes on jewelry history and design in a gilded 18th-century atelier on Paris’s Place Vendôme. Students can try on a few sparklers, too. Stateside, Hermès is hosting the Festival des Metiers, a traveling exhibition making stops in New York, San Francisco, and Houston this fall. Visitors can interact with artisans sewing supple leather into Kelly bags using techniques first developed in the 1930’s. Sadly, you don’t get extra credit for shopping.
Photo courtesy of L’Ecole Van Cleef & Arpels
If you share a love for fashion and travel, join us tomorrow for a live tweet-up with T+L’s fashion director Mimi Lombardo. She’ll be teaming up with a panel of experts to help you best plan for a fashionable fall getaway. We’ll talk trends, packing tips, shopping destinations, and more! We hope you’ll join us!
How does it work?
1. Log in to Twitter any time from 2–3 p.m. ET and be sure to follow the chat hosts: @TravlandLeisure and @MimiLombardo
2. Use the hashtag #TL_Chat to follow.
3. To keep up with the chat in real time, head over to http://tweetchat.com/room/tl_chat
4. We'll pulse out some questions for our expert panel to answer, but feel free to post your own answers to our questions! Or ask your own questions! Take advantage of this special access to this fab panel and get some expert travel advice.
We hope to "see" you there!
Move along, food trucks: mobile boutiques are hitting the streets. Styleliner (pictured)—an old potato-chip delivery truck—peddles Spanish crystal-and-mesh clutches and other global finds up and down the East Coast. Portland, Oregon, is naturally hip to the craze: Lodekka, a 1965 double-decker, carries a wide range—from 1970’s patterned dresses to tweed coats. Dallas’s bright green Vintagemobile also specializes in retro. You’ll find paisley tops, YSL sunglasses, and cowboy boots from the 50’s. And in St. Paul, Minnesota, Uniquely Attainable has gone the housewares route: Midcentury Modern furniture and kitschy pillows are sold from a school bus.
Photo courtesy of Styleliner
We love our smart phones, but why not check the time the old-fashioned way? These ocean-hued watches combine form and function. Top to bottom:
• Diamond-set steel Cape Cod, $10,950, by Hermès.
• Constellation-dial automatic with alligator strap, $3,195, Movado.
• Luminescent and waterproof Regatta chronograph, $10,450, Louis Vuitton.
• Triple-time-zone chronograph with rotating bezel, $9,010, Breitling.
• Stainless-steel with dual alarm, $650, Seiko.
• 24-city Richard Branson limited edition, $3,500, Bulova Accutron.
• Reversible ultra-thin ladies’ watch with Valextra strap, $8,000, Jaeger-LeCoultre.
Photo by Levi Brown
The editors at T+L have been tracking the growing trend of global hotel brands catering to the needs and preferences of Chinese tourists—as we noted in our June issue, 78 million Chinese are expected to travel abroad this year, spending upwards of $80 billion. So it comes as little surprise that hotels are offering unique touches in the form of Chinese-language newspapers and TV channels, dim sum and congee on the menu, and avoiding the number 4 in room and floor assignments (it's considered unlucky).
Remember Madonna’s infamous cone bra that turned Jean Paul Gaultier into household name? Relive that iconic fashion moment with “The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk,” a new exhibition at the de Young Museum that runs through August 19.
Yves Durif Travels Across the Hall, and Around the World
Travel aficionados may typically flock to The Carlyle Hotel on New York’s Upper East Side for its handsome décor and impeccable service (elevator operators included). But this month, the big news is the renovated the third floor, where celebrity hair stylist Yves Durif has expanded his namesake salon.
Olympic style has improved exponentially since the days of ankle length tennis skirts, barely there basketball shorts, and that loud, tie-dye Grateful Dead getup from 1992.
Today we're seeing scientific designs in the form of aerodynamic apparel made with performance enhancing fabrics for everything from cycling to the long-jump. And lately, international fashion powerhouses have been collaborating with teams to dress athletes in competition and at rest, while others are stitching Olympic-inspired duds for the less athletically inclined.
The ubiquitous Karl Lagerfeld is hawking a limited edition line for a pop-up shop at Selfridges, the quintessential British department store on Oxford St., while ultra-hip boutique Opening Ceremony has opened one in fashion-conscious Covent Garden, with prêt-à-porter pieces created with the games in mind.
Plenty of London 2012 athletes will be dressed to the nines as well: Team USA will be wearing Ralph Lauren for what will be the third time at the games this year. The garments have already caused quite a stir for being made in China.
The Italians will be the heavyweights of luxury uniform design however. Prada has sponsored the Italian sailing team while Salvatore Ferragamo designed the formal wear for the Republic of San Marino and Ermanno Scervino created a colorful kit for the Republic of Azerbaijan. EA7, Armani’s sportswear line is providing both formal and sporting attire for the entire Italian team, including uniform jackets with the words of "Il Canto degli Italiani," the country's national anthem, embroidered inside the jacket.
Hosting Team GB will be kitted out in Stella McCartney, who collaborated with Adidas on the project. The event gear features deconstructed Union Jacks and are made with high-tech PowerWEB and ClimaCool fabrics. The final product is rather sleek, which is more than I can say for the approximately 8000 volunteer London ambassadors who will be wearing grotesque pink and mauve tracksuits around town. Eek.
Hermès is providing a blue riding jacket with red lapels for the French equestrian team, and Japanese athletes will be outfitted in local fabrics by the iconic national department store, Takashimaya. The Jamaican track and field team, led by world record holder Usain Bolt, will be sporting second-skins by Cedella Marley (daughter of Bob) developed in collaboration with Puma, and will likely be on the podium again this year with a slew of medals in tow.
Not all the designers will go home winners though (some athletes will look like flight attendants, while other outfits will just leave you scratching your head). But I think I'll leave you with a few surprises for the Opening Ceremony tomorrow. Let the games begin!
Marguerite A. Suozzi is an assistant research editor at Travel + Leisure.
Photos courtesy of Ralph Lauren; Adidas; Japan Olympic Committee.
For anyone with an addiction to social media (which, naturally, includes yours truly), you know there are tons of benefits that come with taking the time to check-in to the various restaurants, shops, hotels, parks, and…well, anywhere and everywhere you might go. From perks like discounts or freebies, to the satisfaction of becoming the “mayor” of your favorite coffee shop a la Foursquare, to even, in some cases, winning a free trip…the possibilities are seemingly endless.
One companyhas taken the concept of checking in to whole different level: they’re letting people log into Foursquare through their website and create custom jewelry using their previous check-ins—think: connect the dots. (Fret not: if you’re not on Foursquare, you can use their custom map to create your design, or you could just shop from their pre-existing collection.)