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TT Vol. 32
Gift Guide Clockwise from Top.
Following our Men’s Gift Guide from last week, Raquel wanted to highlight a few things that have stood out to her this year. These Christina Alexiou 18 karat pure gold earrings are $6,000 on Muse x Muse and are GORGEOUS. Aimé Leon Dore recently released a small collection with Drake’s, the British menswear stalwart, and Raquel is loving their pink fair isle sweater. Since Raquel is not going to be around her 94 year old grandmother, she thought she could probably wear a slightly more scandalous Christmas dress this year. Enter Khaite. Classy, sexy, and sophisticated. And expandable, to make room for all of the holiday treats I’ll be making this year. Yes, we’re getting a whole ham and don’t judge us. Pre-pandemic, Raquel was already tentative about touching any shared surfaces here in NYC, and the pandemic hasn’t helped. Everywhere you turn, there is a handle, elevator button or other surface that needs to be touched, and this Quarry dolly tool is much better looking than the cheap Amazon alternatives. (And no, it’s not an ice pick). Raquel and I are both big fans of The Crown, and recently read about where all of Princess Diana’s wardrobe was sourced from. Menage Modern Vintage is selling some great vintage Hermès scarves. And finally, a Sleepy Jones pajama set or a chunky wool Lunya pajama pant, either of which you can wear inside or outside.
Raquel and I got to talking about our holiday rituals that are on hold for this year. Having been together for 6 years now (!), we have accumulated our fair share of traditions. We thought it might be fun to catalog how we’ve spent our Decembers over the past few years. For three years in a row now, we’ve had a seafood tower, french fries and champagne dinner at Balthazar. The first year, we sat at the bar, and the tiered tower of oysters, shrimp cocktail, lobster and clams was so big it barely fit! We’ve started making early reservations now, which makes it much easier to enjoy the Le Grand, as Balthazar calls their seafood platter. We’ve also done a dinner at Hillstone in Midtown for the past few years. This is usually paired with a trip to the Rockefeller Christmas Tree, a show, the Saks Fifth Avenue’s Christmas display, or something else fun. Last year, we saw the Rockette’s at Radio City for the first time! Hillstone is an underrated gem of a restaurant; it’s decidedly untrendy, but is remarkably consistent, has live jazz, artichoke dip, ice cold martini’s, and a huge ice cream sundae that Raquel will eat once a year. We normally host a holiday crafts party, as well as a gift drive for WIN, a homeless shelter geared towards women of color. For obvious reasons, this has been an atypical holiday season, though we did get Hillstone takeout and hosted a virtual gift drive. Here’s hoping that next year’s Holiday festivities return to normal.
Every week we see more evidence of the fashion industry continuing to consolidate, and this saw week Moncler and Stone Island announced their tie up. Both are Italian brands known for their outerwear, with Moncler finding success in their Genius collaborations with existing ready to wear luxury brands like Valentino, Craig Green and JW Anderson. Stone Island is known for its technical fabrics, and has seen its business soar as the brand has been adopted by celebrities like Drake. As Moncler has seen its sales grow, there have been rumors it would be acquired by a larger luxury conglomerate. However, by acquiring Stone Island, those rumors will be put to rest.
Drake and Nike formalized their long time relationship, announcing that Drake will have his own sub brand called NOCTA produced and marketed by the Nike team. This is on the heels of the Certified Lover Boy merch that Nike produced for his album release. Some of the imagery has started to make its way to the internet, and it looks pretty good. The tonal puffers look like the winners from the collection (verbatim exchange between Raquel and I; Me: What do you think of these embossed Nike puffers? Raquel: They are actually trapunto, it’s different). It’s officially releasing December 19th.
Luxury houses continue to experiment with how they show their product. As we’ve highlighted, Gucci released a film fest in lieu of a runway show, and last week Balenciaga launched a playable video game for its Men’s FW21 collection. Demna Gvasalia, the creative director, worked with Epic Games, best known for their wildly popular Fortnite game. I tried to play the video game, in which your Balenciaga-attired avatar explores an imaginary world on a “hero’s journey”, but failed miserably to do anything of note. It is likely this has more to do with my inexperience in gaming than the game itself. The garments, digitally rendered after being scanned in Paris, are easy to understand and while there was no runway show, there is a handy look book that summarizes the collection. The key standout piece is clearly the medieval armored boot. When I first saw them, I thought they were just a digital piece of the game, but they will be produced by an artisan in Southern France for sale to VIPs.
Chris & Raquel