It started on the runway several seasons ago when Miuccia Prada sent out some savage leopard-print cloth coats complete with fur trim. Almost every other designer has since tapped into this favorite classic—whether that means leopard-print clutches à la Roger Vivier or a full-on animal-print platform from Valentino. In a season dominated by all black, spots are a great way to stand out in a crowd.
Not satisfied with designing the buildings that we live and work in, forward-thinking architects are now making stylish objects to go inside the structures they create. Two masterly minds in particular are Frank Gehry and Zaha Hadid.
Gehry's new collection of tabletop pieces for Tiffany & Co. draws on the simple, flowing forms found in nature; designs have names like Orchid and Fish.
Hadid's furniture line, Seamless, follows a less traditional route to the market. Auction house Phillips de Pury & Co. commissioned items to be crafted by Established & Sons, a British furniture maker. Eight to 12 pieces of each design will be made. After a short exhibition, the entire collection will be auctioned off for large sums at Phillips.
There's something thrilling about an object that's been made just for you. Luckily, retailers agree. Vera Wang recently introduced Writing Papers, a collection of stationery meant to be personalized. Miller Harris, a small London-based perfumer, offers shoppers a chance to collaborate on their own bespoke fragrance. But if the $10,000 fee is too much, the next best thing, L'Air de Rien—a scent Miller Harris created for Jane Birkin—is available for a far saner price at the company's first U.S. outpost in New York City's Saks Fifth Avenue. And for a truly unique, over-the-top gift, an Australian company, Cantilena Music, harks back to a bygone era with a commission service for custom-created works of classical music.
In New York City, every great department store needs an oasis for customers to indulge themselves. Barneys New York finally has one, thanks to the opening of Chantecaille Energy Spa, above. With its glam packaging and all-natural product formulations, Chantecaille has been a favorite since the cosmetics brand launched in 1997. The spa offers treatments like the Flower Facial or a reading by its Energy Analysis Machine.
Fashion is all about layering these days, and that includes jewelry. Long, looping chains, like the ones made by Bottega Veneta, are perfect for wrapping around the neck or draping on the waist as a belt. The bolder, the better.
Enormous bags may be the rage for lugging around during the day, but when the sun goes down, nothing is more glamorous than being able to hold everything in an itty-bitty clutch. Small enough to grasp with a hand or tuck under the arm, the best of the bunch come with a glimmering façade. Uber-trendy Botkier makes one with a chain, while Anya Hindmarch and Salvatore Ferragamo offer more traditional, ladylike silhouettes. These diminutive accessories are an easy way to incorporate metallics into the wardrobe.
Dixon for Lacoste