Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Top Five "Must Haves" of the Month June 2010

Assuming that you already have an iPad, this month Gucci launches on their website pre-orders for their beautifully handcrafted iPad case.  This item is elegant and at the same time as hip as it gets.  The Gucci iPad case also comes with a strap and velcro closure to protect the device and suede lining on the inside to protect it's screen.  Currently this item can be pre-ordered at Gucci Online starting at 230USD Order Now 

The Lady Dior 'Rendez-vous Wallet' doubles as a great wallet and an impeccable evening bag.  The wallet is designed in the firm's signature 'cannage' stitching and comes with a removable chain link strap which can be arranged in normal handbag style or in a wristlit manner.   It also includes the signature DIOR removable charm and has 6 card slots, 3 billfold compartments, and 1 zipped picket with two compartments.  Available in several colors online and at Dior Stores around the world.  Order Now 

Tristan Zimmerman has designed this ultra-fabulous and functional speaker system that uses no power and projects sound beautifully throughout a room.  The Phonophone is a very well designed piece that meets the needs of the ultra aesthetic while also producing an amazingly friendly sound by its material make up, it is completely ceramic.  The ceramic aspect is environmentally friendly and creates great resonance.  Available for  475 Euro at Charles & Marie  Order Now

The Nixon-51-30 Chrome Leather Watch is a great addition to your collection from what I consider a responsible and well made watch firm.  Nixon has been doing watches for several years and always come up with styles that meet the needs of almost all shoppers.  This is a pure style watch and is not intended for extreme or water sports.  The band is made from imported leather with a patented locking looper and stainless steel buckle while the watch's interior works contain 6 hand Japanese quartz with second sub dial, chrono and date.  Available for 368USD at Kitson's Online.  Order Now

Last, but not least, a classic for any room in the home.  Pinball machines work as great conversational pieces in a living room or kitchen and usually work eclectically well with antiques and modern design.  They also don't fail to provide entertainment when having people over for cocktails or when you are just simply bored out of your skull.  I recommend buying vintage as they are usually much more interesting than newer models and are also less technical, leaving less room for malfunctions.  A personal favorite of mine is the 1978 KISS by Bally Pinball Machine.  
Order Now

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Superflat First Love by Takashi Murakami for Louis Vuitton

I've always been a fan of "manga," or as its sometimes referred to as, japanimation.  I've also always been fond of anything, well pretty much anything Louis Vuitton has made in its long and illustrious history.  So today, I pay hommage to this HOUSE OF LUXURY with this video tribute by Takashi Murakami entitled Superflat First Love

Subsequently, while we are on the subject of being ultimately cool or just plane japanacool let's take note of  Kyoichi Tsuzuki.  He focuses his photography on "Happy Victims."

Excerpt from Culture 24:
An instructor at Bunka Fashion College, nicknamed "Maestro Margiela" and one of the designer Martin Margiela’s biggest fans, is crouched on the floor behind a uniform row of shoes and beneath racks of pressed shirts. His room is immaculately tidy.
The caption says he’d rather eat out than risk infusing his clothes with cooking smells so he keeps only eardrops in the refrigerator and has never used the cooker.
Happy Victims is a photo documentary that takes Tsuzuki back to his journalistic roots.

Friday, June 25, 2010

It's all about Smythson of Bond Street!

The Holiday Travel season really kicks off at the end of June and the beginning of July.  Whether your touring with family, friends, lovers, colleagues, or just your Bestie, you need to make sure to have all the right travel accesories for your summer holiday.  Of course, organization, style, and functionality were traits that received close attention when considering these items.

Below, find a brief description about "must have" items when venturing out on holiday wherever it may take you.  All items below just happen to be my pick, but do link through, the Smythson of Bond Street Online Shop meets the needs of most on many leather good and stationery.

First off, your handbag wouldn't be complete without the following items from

This essential travel wallet keeps you organized and offers an air of sophistication, traveler longevity, and just plain, "I'm SO very!"  The Marshall Travel Wallet also does what it says on the box, keeps boarding passes, tickets, airline membership cards, as well as your passport, and multiple currencies organized to key organizational status. 
While you are at it don't forget to order stationary too, it's always nice to send letters on beautiful paper while traveling abroad.  For Summer 2010 I can recommend the "Life is Beautiful" ready-to-write note cards.

"Life is Beautiful" note cards are available at
Smythson of Bond Street
place your order

Furthermore, what's travel without keeping at least a diary of lists or places of note with references and tips for friends who may travel where you are now in the future.  Karen Hartley gave me my first Smythson Diary for Christmas 2007. I still have it and from time to time read through the random notes taken throughout that year.  Like with all things Smythson, detail is taken to the next level, and diaries are available imprinted for most cities.  Featured below, Smythson's L.A. Notes Travel Diary.

Smythson's L.A. Notes Travel Diary  is available at

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Women's Picks of the Day

Three random picks for Women that are a must have this summer.


Try these lightweight pink Diddybeats, available at Kitson's Online.  Diddybeats are high performance headphones endorsed by one of the biggest names in music, Diddy. Functions: High performance sound, Monster ControlTalk for iPad, iPod, iPhone Music Playback and iPhone/music Hands-free Calling.

Available at Kitson's Online for $179.95 Order Now

Look your best in Dior Sunglasses.

Dior Sunglasses, available at Dior Online

and last but not least,  a good book....

Breat Easton Ellis' latest release, Imperial Bedrooms, Order Now Yes, Blair, Julian and Clay are back, 25 years later and they are still up to their Belaire/Beveryly Hills bullshit. Won't cease to please!

Excerpt from Imperial Bedrooms by Bret Easton Ellis:
They had made a movie about us. The movie was based on a book written by someone we knew. The book was a simple thing about four weeks in the city we grew up in and for the most part was an accurate portrayal. It was labeled fiction but only a few details had been altered and our names weren’t changed and there was nothing in it that hadn’t happened...

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

It was supposed to be About Watches!

A watch says more about your personality nowadays then even in days of the recent past. 30 some odd years ago, Rolex made its way to a mass market economy and thank the gods that they did! Without their ruthless advertising injections into the pages of almost every magazine or newspaper in the United States during the early 80's, I don't think we'd have the World of Watches that we do now. An average Rolex however, is about as fashionable these days as a Louis Vuitton Monogram Collection, unless of course you are speaking my language, the recently easy to get Personalization Collection. Now that's fashionable! Although today's topic is not about luggage, I'll touch on it very briefly. My HOT TIP item is J. Crew's Globe-Trotter® Centenary 30" extra-deep suitcase with wheels,, it aims to please.

Onward to the topic at hand, WATCHES! Today, one doesn't need a Rolex or an Omega to reflect their style. There are so many options out there and at so many different price points. My Number One Rule is to stay away from stores and shop online! Sorry retailers, but seriously, its an easy market for online shopping and usually I'm cutting your mark up by 50% to 60% by shopping online. Do some serious research before you purchase your new watch because there is so much out there that it's astounding. Here's three picks of mine lately that reach three very different price points:

The Mondaine Automatic, available at watchCo Online

The Nixon 31-50, available at Kitson's Online

The Yacht Master II by Rolex, available at

Sunday, June 20, 2010

En Route to Prada!

Yesterday, Marjan and I decided to take a walk in our home city of Prague, Czech Republic. Of course there was a very meek destination plan of hitting the sale at Prada, Pařížská 16. We each had our invitation sent to members of the mailing list in beautiful heavy count embossed envelopes in our pockets enclosed with a lack-luster invitation to the Prada Seasonal Sale. Nonetheless, it communicated on the "invitation" that they were having a sale starting on the 19th of June and we thought, what the hell? We'll go see what's on offer at Prada...who wouldn't? Louis, our Pražský Krysařík, came with us as we made our way down to the centre, a brief ten minute walk from our apartment. We walked along Wenceslas Square and stopped in for a coffee on the go at Starbucks. Now with my venti non-fat chai tea latte I could continue passing Ben and Jerry's, Benetton, Mango, and some other, I'm sure, very historical landmarks along Na Příkopě, not that we ever do anything remotely historical or cultural...EVAH! I'll plug one of them because it's fantastic and totally up my alley in terms of design, location, and feeling, The Grand Cafe Orient. It is located at The House of the Black Madonna, Ovocný trh 19. This impeccably designed cubist cafe is located on the first floor of the building created by the renowned architecht Josef Gočár. I recommend the place highly if you want to enjoy a cup of tea or a coffee engulfed by Czech Cubist Design.  At any rate, this blog is so not about things of interest to normal tourists and so We stopped in at Zara and made a few purchases before making our way over to our original destination...Prada. High Streets don't get much prettier than that of Pařížská in Prague. The tree lined street begins just off of the old town square and opens up with none other than "THE" jewlery retailer, Cartier followed by Dior, Boss, Hermes, Bottega Veneta, Louis Vuitton, Prada, and Gucci. Before reaching Prada, Marjan was distracted by Gucci and we made a Bee Line for the door, opened by a monstrous man dressed in all black as usual. WELCOME TO GUCCI! I have had my eye on the Gucci Cruiser for quite a long time and noticed they had it in the window towards the new collection of women's wear. I checked it out for its sleek and unbelievably "cool" appeal. Having curtailed my expendable allowances lately, I refrained and was just happy to observe the bicycle for it's design excellence. Marjan continued looking at belts and shoes and chose a chic black belt with a black leather buckle and the designer's insignia offset to the right in silver. Later, a customer asked us if we could recommend a gift item for a friend of their's who was having a birthday. I said, "Sure. Does he have everything?" They nodded and I told the sales gentleman to open the case containing the new version of their blackberry holder. They bought one and so did I...even when I'm selling, I'm's a transformation that overcomes me. After our purchases were wrapped at the counter in the new eco- packaging introduced last week by Frida Giannini, their chief designer, we headed across the street to Prada. It was black and boring as usual and they didn't have the shoes Marjan wanted in his size so we left and went to Simple. At Simple they carry everything from Wallpaper Magazine to Balenciaga. I had bought the newest Wallpaper magazine when in on Friday at lunchtime, and Marjan left on this visit with the Hotel Costes' home line's candle simply called "costes."Don't miss Simple at Pařížská 20 when in Prague  

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Great Gatsby Lifelong Inspiration.

I confess, I rented The Great Gatsby instead of reading it as was the assignment from one of my high school English teachers. I managed to pull an A on the test, but didn't really care about that because I was more enthused by the fact that in the credits I had learned that Ralph Lauren was the wardrobe designer of this epic film. Not only was it the wardrobe, but the lifestyle portrayed while wearing it that had me hooked. And now 20 some odd years later I'm still shopping at Ralph Lauren. In fact, from a study I did on my spending habits I found that in 2008 I spent 65% of my expendable earnings at their online store. It is with this in mind that you have to ask why I would bother spending so much money in one place and not diversifying my online shopping. Well I always say, If the shoe fits, buy it! When it comes to the Ralph Lauren Online shopping experience its not just the fact that its user friendly, super organized, and informative to the last detail, its the fact that in most of its retail stores it doesn't come close to carrying its full line of products unless you have access to the Polo Mansion at 867 Madison Ave (between 70th St & 71st St) on at least a bi-monthly basis. The online store is completely stocked with interesting products by the designer from all of his collections including Purple Label, Black Label, Polo Ralph Lauren, RLX, Big & Tall, Golf, Tennis, and my all time favorite Create Your Own. There's more though...there's For the Pup, Home, and the list just goes on and on. In the home accessories online shop you really have access to great gift items. On top of that, you can have a whole line of home accessories engraved with a monogram. Everything is made personal at Ralph Lauren. Take a look to the left at this Devereaux Shagreen Frame designed in sterling silver-plate and genuine cream shagreen -- a textured leather revered by 18th Century French royalty; and it's matching jewelry or cufflink box below. They'd spruce up any side table or dressing area in a heartbeat and are gift wrapped for free with personalized gift cards and perfectly folded tissue paper enclosing your selected product. All boxes are custom made to fit each item online and are made of serious quality materials, great for reuse in silver or china drawers for storage of place card holders, linens, and other miscellaneous dinner table items. If you are like me, one online shopping purchase leads to another, hence I can really only place one order on a monthly basis at Ralph Lauren online because the shopping bag is usually full by the end of my visit, has many different shipping addresses, and editing items from the cart is just really not my bag. One spectacular line offered on the site at very reasonable prices is For The Pup. This is a great area for small dog owners as it offers seasonal lines that range from cashmere turtle neck sweaters to your standard Ralph Lauren Polo, usually available in about 7-10 colors. Our dog especially likes the classic polos, the rugby hoodies, and his turtle neck sweater. Collars are also readily found on the site and are handmade and are only made in small batches guaranteeing exclusivity at your dog park or in the neighborhood. The last product I'd like to mention is quite exceptional, Create Your Own. I came across this about two years ago and now most of the shirts in my casual wardrobe are from this line. Its brilliant because it replaces the pony with your very own monogram in your choice of stitching and moves the pony to the right hand corner of the shirt, being less brash as a branded person, after all Ralph Lauren is about quality, not how flash it makes you look.
These Create Your Own polos make great gifts and wear extremely well.
My recommendation is to order custom fit vs. classic and order a size larger than you normally wear for the best fit. Ralph Laurenoffers the best online services I've ever experienced. Monogrammed shirts are made within 48 hours and are shipped via fedex ground and arrive in 2-3 days after leaving the warehouse. As mentioned above, free gift wrap is available on almost all items.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Heaven's Gone Bankrupt!

For several years now when people ask me, "What's your idea of Heaven?" My immediate answer is, and will always be Takashimaya at 693 5th Avenue, NY, NY. What didn't Takashimaya offer? Actually Takashimaya New York was where most of my "happy place" answers referenced. The mere thought that this remarkable man
made paradise on Earth would actually shut its doors is enough to make me want to spend the next two weeks in bed! Its almost as if the death of Takashimaya is exactly as quoted on their website as "The End of an Era." Before the new merchandise set up on the ground floor was introduced a few years back, under the red canopy and through the doors one walked into a very large fantastically arranged flower bouquet, otherwise known as the florist shop, this evoked immediately the notion of walking into a sanctuary, a feeling that probably exists only at the Hempel Hotelat 31-35 , Craven Hill Gardens W2 3EA, London. After walking through the most amazingly scented foyers you could possibly enter you had options, choices, or freedom as I like to call it. You could press the elevator button signaling for up or down. I actually usually went down, easing into my shopping experience. Going down. Doors open and as you look ahead you've now arrived in a full blown Japanese tea house. I mean hell, you might as well have been laserbeamed to Kyoto. This was always a great place to buy small gifts for moments when you need a host or hostess gift, or a birthday gift on the go, you get the drift....your gift stock. At any rate, it's gone now so if you weren't there you won't get to see it. Tea's now purchased and perfectly packaged, you go back to the elevator which is at your beck and call and just random press for all I'm concerned. This ride ain't taking you any place other than a world of retail therapy seen none other than at this Empire of Retail. On every floor, buyers took amazing attention to
detail and finding the best fit for their clients whether it be closet sachets, fine crystal, beautifully hand sewn lingerie or men's ties. Every single floor was worth strolling, Every single thing was interesting, Every single arrangement was interesting and merchandised to sell and be touched and once you touched it, YOU MY FRIEND, WERE IN LOVE and despite the cost, you paid it and walked out happily with your new found LOVE in a pale pink geometrically shaped bag or bags with tattered tassle cording and whether you walked out from under that canopy on a blistering cold or extremely hot New York City Day...Life was Good!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

shopping for your pets

I'm really all about my dog. His name is Louis and of course he needs to be kitted out in all the latest fashions just as I do. Funnily enough, most people know this about me and therefore they give me tips from time to time. In the Summer of 2009, I walked in my office to find my good friend and business colleague, Karen Hartley had left this now infamous picture of Paris Hilton on my desk ripped out from her Grazia Magazine. I immediately had to have it and although Paris was shopping on Robertson in Los Angeles I couldn't find it anywhere around that area when doing initial searches and then found it at They shipped immediately and bed was delivered to my New York address within a matter of days for pick up when I arrived in August for our Summer holiday. The service and friendliness from most online pet boutiques and stores is unrivaled by any other industry that I've been in contact with as of yet....and we all know that I have no boundaries when it comes to shopping and or "hunting" as I sometimes like to call it!
The Chewy Vuitton bed is great because not only is it UBER-FAB, its also easy to carry and clean(for those ocd peops like me!)

I have so many pet ideas to cover that I don't think they can fit into one blog, so we may have to revisit. However, I do not want to leave out the newest and most friendly pet boutique in Prague to date. They carry such brands as Bellomania, Louis Dog, Fab Dog, PetFlys, Kwigy Bo, Gino the Dog, Black Hunter, and of course Puppia. The owner, Tanja Labat, is there on most days and is very knowledgeable about all of the stores offerings. She dealt with me in the most amazing of manners and I'm a demanding dog accessory maniac so when she didn't have the tiffany blue collar by Bellomania in Louis' size she immediately told me that she could have it for me by tomorrow. She followed through and therefore the store will constantly be mentioned to friends and other fellow shoppers. Don't miss out on Baron Brewski & Friends when visiting Prague and if you live here you should be making at least bi-weekly visits at Vlašská 15 in Prague 1.

Shopping is a Feeling Premiere Post

I've been wandering the world for over 10 years now in a most intensive manner and have found myself living in Prague with my partner Marjan for the past 7 years. For the past 12 months I've been searching in my head about how I could be a useful blogger, not just some negative ranter like most blogs out there today. This morning I woke up and thought, what are you the most passionate about and immediately I decided...Shopping...I should write a blog about Shopping. So here it is.

This blog is intended to focus on stores in and around Prague and Elsewhere, especially the internet in general, along with other tips about social network shopping.

Many people shop, but I find myself to be connoisseur of shopping all over the planet and not just a selfish shopper, but someone that shops for everything and anything. Some might say...isn't it crazy to buy things you can't use, well then, they've never learnt about the Art of Generosity. Onward now, to the topics of today.

Although I've been shopping for years in the Artel Shop buying a myriad of items from the finest hand-made crystal worldwide to plastic carp fish to be used as table settings I'm always amazed at the beautiful pieces the owner and designer, Ms. Karen Feldman, chooses to showcase. Most of the items carried are from and around the Czech Republic and are Czech Made with a focus on high and quirky design meeting the needs of the most chic. She also carries lines of must have designers from around the world. This is why Artel Shop gets mention today. Hundreds of stores in Europe, The United States, and the Middle East carry Alexis Bittar However, I find it sad that in most stores they are only carrying items that are entry level or easy sells. Artel carries an extensive line and each piece can be told to be hand picked by the owner for it's elegance and style worthiness. For instance, the Alexis Bittar pin shown to the left of the page was seen in Artel before it ever made its way onto the girl's lapels of the hit television series Gossip Girl. When entering Artel at Celetná 29 (entrance on Rybná 1) in Prague 1 you can be sure to find the most unique pieces of any line the owner chooses to showcase. Simply put, Ms. Feldman does the editing for you and makes your shopping experience truly spectacular. I'm sure I'll talk about it in the future as I'm obsessed with it, but check out her table top glass designs at

Another store of note, not in Prague, but in Charlotte, North Carolina called Monkees of Morrocroft also follows suit in hand picking exceptionally great designs from such designers as Tory Burch. I only started following Monkees after I befriended an old friend from my teenage years on Facebook, Mrs. Lawson Harris Worth. She does a great job of updating her stores activities on her Facebook page and also the chain offers amazing charitable incentives. Give back to the community, and it will give back to you! At any rate, you can shop Monkees at many locations in the southern part of the States and online at
I've never actually been in the store, but I do know from extensive research on their Tory Burch Collection which I buy as gifts for my favorite ladies that its vast range puts the big chains such as Nordstroms and Saks to shame. Then again, true shoppers steer clear of the department store and head to their niches! Check out Monkees of Morrocroft at or go for a browse when in Charlotte at 3900 Colony Road, Suite E I know I definitely plan to next time I'm in the Charlotte area.