Style Brokers

Overview

The fall fashion issue; 9 custom clothiers define personal elegance. Also, a fast drive in Ferrari's 575M Maranello. Plus, London's new Savile Row, Las Vegas cigar lounges and a men's accessories guide.

From This Issue

Personal Technology: Push My Buttons

Operating a full-featured home theater, complete with electric drapes, ceiling fans, and enough electronic equipment to heat a sauna, could require as many as 10 remote controls. The wireless remote is undoubtedly one of the best inventions of the 20th century, but its value is negated when you fumble for the remote that controls the […]

FrontRunners: Stunning Confidence

The clear performance of the C2 and C4 (shown) loudspeakers, the initial models in Dynaudio’s revamped Confidence series (www.dynaudiousa.com), is as pleasing as the fact that these speakers don’t demand to be the visual center of attention. Because these slender wooden towers could be mistaken for artwork, they earn living room–approved status. The hourglasslike curve […]

FrontRunners: Sun Spot

Although it may seem as if no genuine firsts remain for adventurous travelers, in November 2003, TravelQuest International (928.445.7754, http://www.tq-international.com) will host the first tour to Antarctica that includes the viewing of a total solar eclipse. The price of the two-week trip will range from $35,000 to $46,500, depending on the number of people who […]

FrontRunners: Lighting Up

The latest line of humidors from Davidoff of Geneva (212.751.9060, http://www.davidoff.com) could clash with the more traditional woodwork in your smoking den. The Griffin’s humidor, named for the popular Geneva-based Griffin’s Club, is flirty, even audacious, with a selection of exterior finishes that includes radiant eye-maple blue, red, and yellow, as well as exotic Makassar, […]

FrontRunners: Trunk Show

Since 1998, artists Vitaly Komar and Alexander Melamid have been teaching laid-off loggers in Thailand and Bali to paint abstract art, and in that short time, these neophytes have established thriving professional careers. However, while their art may be colorful and eye-pleasing, it is not purchased on its merits alone. The painters, you see, are […]

FrontRunners: Endurance Tasting

Le Français (847.541.7470, http://www.lefrancaisrestaurant.com), the venerable French powerhouse located in the Chicago suburb of Wheeling, doesn’t need a gimmick to draw diners—some patrons make a special point of flying into town just for dinner there. These days, however, it does have a curiosity beyond its usual allure: a $500 tasting menu. The menu is the […]

FrontRunners: Cashmere Connoisseur

Valerie Louthan’s baby-skin-soft Scottish-made men’s sweaters are made from more than mere cashmere. Her classic designs use the fine underhair carefully combed from three to four Mongolian goats for a single sweater and from as many as seven for a cashmere wrap. “I go to Scotland three times a year and supervise to be sure […]

Wheels: Her Majesty’s Car

The royals are different from you and me, particularly when it comes to their cars. Such is certainly the case with Elizabeth, queen of England, and her husband, Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, who trade in their old state limousine for something newer and loftier every 25 years or 125,000 miles, whichever comes first. A 1977 […]

Boating: Stick and Move

As the talaria t29 c picks up speed, Hinckley Yachts Sales Director Chris Fairfax leans over from behind the wheel so that he can be heard. “Look behind you,” he says. Off the stern is a sparkling vista of glass, metal, and reflections, the buildings of downtown Boston framed against the blue and white of […]

Aircraft: Infrequent Fliers

For a Southern California medical consultant who flew commercially about once a week, the never-ending waits for connecting flights were insufferable, as was the surgery she underwent to relieve her sinuses from the punishment of breathing stale, recycled, pressurized cabin air. The final straw, however, came last September following the terrorist attacks. She had to […]

Furnishings: Objects of Enlightenment

Calligrapher and scholar Mi Fu flouted 11th-century etiquette by choosing to pay his respects to a scholars’ rock before greeting the leaders of a distant town. “For 20 years I have been longing to see a rock brother like you,” he said. According to Christie’s Chinese art specialist Laura Whitman, “The Mi Fu ideal is […]

Smoke: The Real Draw

I would travel the world over to buy cigars at my favorite cigar shop, and in fact, I frequently do. The Davidoff on the corner of St. James and Jermyn streets in London carries the range of Davidoff Dominicans and a wide selection of Cubans, including the rare Trinidad. But, truthfully, it’s not the cigars that […]

Motorcycles: Low Rider

Over the past 20 years, former racecar driver Dan Gurney has designed and built five generations of the Alligator, his dream motorcycle, and he speaks freely about the disappointments of earlier test models. “The A2 was an unmitigated disaster,” Gurney says. “It didn’t handle well. You couldn’t even ride it. You had to have both […]

Appliances: All Steamed Up

When chef Hans Röckenwagner was growing up in Bavaria, his earliest culinary memories were of his mother’s traditional German dishes prepared in her Gaggenau oven. At the time (the 1960s), the oven didn’t have the sleek aesthetics that have become de rigueur for architects and designers today. Yet its quality and performance were indicative of […]

Loosening the Purse Strings: Caring for Kitty

For some people, their pets are their “children,” and ensuring the animals’ lifelong care is a priority. Pet trusts allow pet owners to provide for their dog, cat, fish, bird, horse, snake, or other animal, after their own death. Like other trusts, you must choose a trustee, but with a pet trust, you may name […]

Robb Design Portfolio: Written History

Omas fountain pens are more than luxurious, functional objets d’art. They celebrate a life, mark an event, or tell a story. The Atlantide, created by Gianluca Malaguti Simoni, grandson of Omas founder Armando Simoni, is the fourth and final in a series commemorating epic journeys—historical as well as mythical and ethereal. Through the use of […]

Spirits: Message on a Bottle

Grade school librarians may have instructed us to never judge a book by its cover, but when it comes to selecting a sophisticated drink, it’s difficult not to be influenced by the smooth lines and strong curves of a stylish bottle. That’s precisely what spirit makers, particularly those who produce premium vodkas, are counting on […]

Wine: Bragging Rights

Most winemakers dislike proclamations such as “vintage of the century,” especially when the vintage is harvested at the beginning of a century. But the winemakers of Germany’s Mosel valley, normally a conservative lot, are breaking with tradition, touting their 2001 Rieslings as the best in 30 years. Producers are raving about the fabulous intensity of […]

Health & Grooming: On the Waterfront

Anyone who has ever sought out the water jets in a hot tub to relieve back, muscle, or joint pain will immediately appreciate Watsu, a massage treatment that is rooted in Japanese shiatsu and is performed in a pool of body-temperature water. Think of it as a floating massage. The warmth and buoyancy of the […]

Art: Through the Lens

Richard Avedon first gained fame for the revolutionary, compelling fashion photos that he shot for Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue during the 1940s, but he always knew that fashion was not his only calling. The magazine commissions paid the bills and allowed him to pursue the portrait photography that he found truly fulfilling. From the 1940s […]

Watches: Thoroughly Modern Mechanism

Pierre Kunz defies the notion that high-end mechanical watchmaking is strictly a handicraft refined over generations by established brands. Just one year ago, Kunz was a top watchmaker working for Franck Muller, and today he has his own atelier in Geneva and a collection of 12 complicated mechanical timepieces. Actually, Kunz did accumulate a wealth […]

Jewelry: Unconventional Wisdom

Jewelry can go in and out of fashion almost as fast as women’s clothing, which often means that dated pieces are retired into rarely opened drawers and forgotten. But Brazilian jeweler H. Stern believes that old designs are still worth their weight in gold, and then some. At Stern’s annual Gold Rush event, clients arrive […]

Feature: Scotland Yardage

Critt Rawlings is not accustomed to driving on the left side of the road, which explains why the chief executive of America’s finest suitmaker, Oxxford Clothes, sometimes skips over a curb while doing 120 kph down Highway A7 on his way to Kelso, Scotland. Rawlings is determined to make the four-hour drive from Manchester Airport […]

Feature: Accent Marks

Every woman knows that you can’t be fully dressed without the finishing touch of distinctive accessories. The same holds true for the well-dressed man. Just as power ties express confidence, a pair of conversation-starting cuff links, an eye-catching watch, or supple and stylish leather goods can convey your understanding that details really do make the […]

Feature: Beauty & Beast

There is no mystery to the mystique of Ferrari. The marque’s provenance is the Roman genius for designing pure, radical yet beautiful mechanical devices—from Leonardo da Vinci’s helicopter to Luca Trazzi’s espresso machines. However, it could be argued that Ferrari is not just a product of Italy’s culture, but that it has become the culture—that […]

Finance & Investment: Loosening the Purse Strings

Giving some of your wealth to your children is easy, but as one father and son learned, giving it smartly can be difficult. On his 18th birthday, a young man received the entirety of his trust—no strings attached—from his father. Seven years later, though, with less than half of the assets remaining, the man blamed […]

Home Tour: Ocean Liner Glamour

It began as boxes within a box. To be precise, 35 boxes of what Fredi and Robert Consolo modestly call their “accessories” had to find a home within a contemporary box—a penthouse overlooking Miami’s neon-blue Biscayne Bay. What emerged is a glamorous interior in the profoundly appropriate Art Deco style. Swathed in glossy paneling and […]

Symposium: The Gentleman’s Journey

The notion that it takes three generations to make a gentleman is clearly an American one. Only a culture bred from democracy and capitalism would suggest that this lofty moniker does not require a hereditary title and a fox hunting outfit. The difference between the English and American gentleman is one of being vs. becoming. […]

Leisure: Smoke Scene

There was a time when people went to Las Vegas exclusively to gamble and see the shows. Then, as the city tried to recast itself as a destination for the entire family, hotels began adding amusements and game rooms to complement their gaming rooms. Ever changing, Las Vegas has now jettisoned that idea, deciding that […]

Journeys: Black Forest Fantasies

For a college student in Germany in the late 1960s, there was no finer way to pass an autumn afternoon than going on a mushroom hunt. In memory I see myself crossing a sunlit meadow outside Freiburg to the woods beyond. There are six of us, the girls carrying baskets for the mushrooms, the boys, […]

Feature: Arbiters of Style

These nine leading retail executives live on the front lines of the fashion world, traveling the globe year-round to select the garments from which discerning dressers will assemble their wardrobes. While each man expresses personal preferences through his individualized approach to dressing well, all place premiums on comfort, versatility, and quality. For fall, they say, […]

Feature: Savile Row Shake-Up

When venerable London bespoke suitmaker H. Huntsman & Sons Ltd. announced earlier this year that it would make cutting-edge tailored clothing for fall bearing the signature of designer Alexander McQueen, it was just the latest indication that Savile Row may be shedding its staid image. Now, the British bad-boy designer, who paraded a little purple […]