Timeless Style


Classic cars and classic clothing; Cuba's vintage Cadillacs: driving the American dream, and the new ultralight tweeds and multitasking field coats.  Also, Zagato: the italian bodybuilder that shaped automotive design.

From This Issue

Furnishings: Rethink the Antique

First at herman miller and then at Hickory Business Furniture, Christian Plasman discovered the rewards of commissioning artists, architects, and interior designers—none of whom had designed furniture—and giving them carte blanche to turn their ideas into pieces for the home. He brought that same philosophy and many of the same designers over to Baker Furniture […]

Home Electronics: DVDs on Demand

luxurious home theaters present one irritating inconvenience: They hide the DVD player in a separate utility room. The simple task of scanning a half-dozen new discs to choose the evening’s entertainment often demands repeated round-trips from your theater recliner to the equipment rack. Even the cruelest high school gym teacher seldom metes out such tedious […]

Journeys: Go Native

As I sit swathed in a loincloth, smoking a cigarette made from a mixture of turmeric and sweet flag powder, I realize the Tamara Ayurveda Spa at the Taj Malabar hotel in Cochin, India, is a total departure from the fluff-and-buff spas that have become required amenities for premium hotels and resorts. Buoyed by visitors interested […]

FrontRunners: If He Can Make It There…

David Lester has come to the Summer Olympia Fine Art and Antiques Fair in London to engage in a game of high-stakes show and tell. The Olympia fair features 408 exhibitors in two massive display halls, and Lester is comparing and contrasting it with the fair that he plans to launch in New York in […]

Front Runners: Duke as Docent

Inheriting an estimated $80 million and a Gilded Age cottage overlooking the Atlantic in Newport, R.I., is daunting at any age. Doris Duke did so when she was just 12 years old. She used that fortune wisely, becoming an ardent preservationist and a knowledgeable collector of art and antiques that she acquired from all over […]

Front Runners: September in Chicago with Georges

Sunday in the Park with George, the 1985 Pulitzer Prize–winning Broadway musical by Stephen Sondheim, told the story of Parisian artist Georges-Pierre Seurat as he painted his most famous work, A Sunday on La Grande Jatte, which showcases the dots, dabs, lines, and dashes of color for which he is known. Now the Art Institute […]

FrontRunners: Cash for Sale

A notebook containing the handwritten lyrics to songs that Johnny Cash wrote and recorded during his Sun Record days and a black Martin D-42JC custom guitar that he played during recording sessions in 1999 are among the items that will be available to the highest bidders September 14 and 15. Sotheby’s New York (212.606.7000, http://www.sothebys.com) […]

FrontRunner: Select Smoke

  Cusano 18Choosing a brand name so audaciously close to “Cubano” invites ridicule, but the Cusano 18 earns the connoisseur’s respect on the first draw. With its powerful, peppery punch, the 18 approaches the intoxicating force of Fidel’s favorite cigar, the Cohiba Habano. Cusano accomplishes this challenging feat in part through the use of Dominican […]

FrontRunner: Robust Brews

Barley wine, an English-style brew, has more in common with lager than Cabernet, although its association with wine does not end with the name.  Because barley wine has a high alcohol content (about 10 percent compared to 3.5 percent to 5 percent for most lagers) and is made with more hops than a typical beer […]

FrontRunner: From the Robb Cellar

Lane Tanner Pinot Noir Julia’s Vineyard 2001 Nothing about Lane Tanner is either conventional or subdued. A small-town Californian with sun-streaked hair, bright eyes, and a boisterous laugh, she set out to make her mark in the world by combating air pollution and ended up, through several vinelike twists of fate, working beside winemaking legend […]

Wine: Vineyard Voices

Every premier winery has its signature, its hallmark. Silver Oak can point to its iconic water tower, Chateau Montelena to the intricate neo-Gothic facade of its historic winery. A postmodern pavilion atop its knoll in Oakville, Calif., proclaims Opus One’s presence—not to mention its Rothschild affiliation. But Lokoya, one of the region’s most remarkable boutique […]

Spirits: It’s a Jungle in There

flickering firepots dot the exterior walls of Mandalay Bay’s Rumjungle. Inside the cavernous Las Vegas nightclub, the primitive, rhythmic beat of dueling conga drums is softened by a trickling waterfall, while behind the bar, a multicolored floor-to-ceiling display illuminates the essence of this endeavor: 172 varieties of rum.   Mojitos, Cuba Libres, and other cocktails […]

Dining: A New Wrinkle

For nearly a decade, Thomas Keller was content to remain in Yountville, Calif., where, as chef and owner of the French Laundry, he had forged his reputation as the finest American-born chef. He did not need a successful New York restaurant to confirm his culinary excellence, and he still does not. Keller does have some […]

Antiques: Bring Plenty to the Table

When Blatt Billiards opened in New York in 1923, the city was in the throes of pool fever. Eight-ball had been played since the turn of the century, and straight pool, a game in which players called every shot, became the championship game of record in 1912. Then in 1920, nine-ball made its raucous debut. […]

Smoke: Aged for the Discriminating

The possibility of a midlife crisis notwithstanding, aging can bring refinement—to us as well as our wines and cigars. And yet, while we are willing to cellar a California Cabernet for 10 years or longer, we feel compelled to open a box of cigars as soon as we get it home. But like fine wines—and […]

Leisure: Sultan’s Lot

On april 18, 1923, a massive crowd converged upon what had been, less than a year earlier, a nondescript lumberyard in the South Bronx. They ventured to the site, across the Harlem River from the legendary Polo Grounds, to witness the christening of a $2.5 million, three-tiered, state-of-the-art structure dubbed The Yankee Stadium. Babe Ruth, […]

Symposuim: Brand Cru

This is not for everyone, explains winemaker Eric Miller, as he hoists onto a table a bottle of Merican, a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Petite Verdot from his new Portfolio Collection. “It’s bold, masculine, and somber. It says, ‘I’m for the big boys. I’m serious stuff.’ ” Indeed it does. But […]

Golf: Simian of the Caribbean

When the tom fazio–designed Green Monkey golf course officially opens at Sandy Lane next year, it will mark the culmination of the Caribbean resort’s long journey back to preeminence. But for hotel guests—who until then have exclusive access to the course—the transformation of this West Indies institution is all but complete. Sandy Lane opened on […]

From The Editors: The Tyranny of Our Attire

On a 1906 visit to washington, d.c., Mark Twain flouted the conventions of that altogether conventional town by donning—in December—white flannels for an afternoon appearance as a guest speaker before Congress, where he rigorously defended his unseasonable ensemble.  “I have found that when a man reaches the advanced age of 71 years as I have, […]

FrontRunners: Tie Game

Color has always been a key characteristic of noticeable neckwear, but brilliant inspiration can come from disparate sources. Before the Forbes collection of imperial Easter eggs returned home to Russia last spring, Peter Carl Fabergé’s work inspired a collection of silk neckwear by Robert Stewart. The handmade Fabergé neckties (973.751.5151), which retail for about $115 […]

FrontRunners: The Diamond Web She Weaves

After spending 20 years behind the scenes designing jewelry for high-profile retailers such as Asprey in New York, Sharon Khazzam (516.482. 1213) has stepped to the fore with her Rare Jewel Collection. Khazzam’s collection, which is sold exclusively at Barneys New York, features unusual, one-of-a-kind designs, including an elaborate fancy-colored diamond bracelet set with 49 […]

FrontRunners: Ancient Mariner

A number of watch companies are channeling Jacques Cousteau this year, including Blancpain (877.520.1735, http://www.blancpain.com), which has introduced a 50th-anniversary limited edition of its pioneering Fifty Fathoms watch. The original, which made some well-documented descents with Cousteau in the 1950s, set the standard for nearly every underwater watch since with its luminescent and, most important, […]

FrontRunners: Crush Depth

Although the vast majority of diving watches will never see the bottom of a Jacuzzi, a few are built for strenuous duty. Hublot’s new Subaquaneus ($4,600) is rated for an astonishing depth of 2,000 meters—more than 6,600 feet deep. While a handful of Swiss watches have been engineered for similarly extreme water resistance (more as […]

FrontRunners: Content Be Gone

Pushing small buttons is difficult when you are wearing gloves—a fact that has prevented Swiss engineers from dressing up dive watches with extraneous complications. Finally, however, someone has devised a practical function that can actually be used underwater. The IWC (www.iwc.ch, 800.432. 9330) Aquatimer Split Minute Chronograph ($8,700 with a rubber strap and $9,700 with […]

FrontRunners: Opening the Vault

As you walk through the grand doors of Bruce Hoeksema’s VBH gallery (212.717.9800) on Madison Avenue in New York City, it becomes readily apparent that this is no ordinary store. The former Valentino executive hired famed architect Peter Marino to transform an austere 10,000-square-foot bank into an ultrachic showcase for Hoeksema’s signature leather goods and […]

Jewelry: Love Rules

“Do you want to see magic?” asks jewelry designer John Hardy as he reaches deep into his pocket and pulls out a vibrant orange rock the size of a large grape. The nearly translucent stone radiates with a mysterious sparkle from deep within. Hardy, in Las Vegas for an annual trade fair, had just acquired […]

Health & Grooming: Sweet Surrender

“It’s okay to surrender,” says spa director Barbara Schultz, as she tucks a chenille blanket around me. I have spent the past two hours cocooned inside the Montage Resort and Spa in Laguna Beach, Calif., sitting naked in hot steam, dipping into ice-cold water, resting under mounds of blankets, and then repeating the process a […]

Fall Fashion: Day In The Country

With menswear inspired by the layered, tweedy daywear of the leisure-loving country gentleman, you don’t have to be lord of the manor in order to dress the part. Sometimes sporty and occasionally showy, the latest meticulously designed suits, blazers, and sportswear retain the rich texture, eclectic pattern play, and exuberant color combinations that are right […]

Big Blue

During what was supposed to be a routine gem deal in Brazil in 1989, miner Heitor Barbosa emptied the contents of his bag onto the table in front of gem dealer Marcelo Bernardes and spread out about 6.5 pounds of bright blue mineral crystals. The reserved and savvy Bernardes was impressed by the stones’ electric […]

Style: Field and Streamlined

When Italian suitmaker Belvest introduced a new high-button sport coat with shirt-style cuffs, three roomy patch pockets, and an unusual oversize fourth pocket on the back, all but the most progressive clothing buyers dismissed the style as being too forward and avant-garde. However, the company’s Shark model, which debuted for fall, is actually a throwback. […]

FrontRunners: Inside the Box

To celebrate the 25th birthday of the Mercedes-Benz G-Class (www.mbusa.com), AMG fitted the upcoming G55 with the ultimate noisemaker: a bellowing 469 hp, 5.5-liter, supercharged V-8. Producing one-third more horsepower than the 349 hp block housed in the current G55, the engine gives the 5,610-pound tank a 5.6-second time in the zero-to-62 mph dash—the same […]

FrontRunners: By Air, Land, and Water

In addition to its limousine and motorbike services, Virgin Atlantic (www.virginatlantic.com) will offer its upper-class passengers transportation between London and Heathrow International Airport in a chauffeured Gibbs Aquada. Billed as the world’s first street-legal, high-speed sports amphibian, the $115,000 vehicle is capable of driving faster than 100 mph on land and in excess of 30 […]

Autos: Adding Fuel to the Crossfire

Despite valiant efforts throughout the 1950s and ’60s, Chrysler failed to capture the premium cachet of Cadillac and Lincoln. However, Chrysler did have the high-output Hemi engine, which gave its Letter Series cars a level of performance that neither Cadillac nor Lincoln attempted to duplicate. Chrysler continues this practice of dropping powerful motors into handsome […]

Beautiful Bodies

Exclusivity just isn’t what it used to be. If you own a Ferrari Enzo, for example, you know that 398 other drivers are enjoying the same experience. Stylish and fast your car may be, but unique it is not. Perhaps equally disheartening, the Enzo’s appearance, like that of most exotic cars of the 21st century, […]

Cuba’s American Iron

“Mira, señor,” says Eugenio, taking a moment from other distractions to demonstrate how the Caddy’s power seat—a slick, blood red Naugahyde bench on which I have been sliding around—still rises and descends with an audible hum. I am amazed, if only because this is Cuba, where keeping a car running requires a combination of providence, […]

Boating: Self-Service Sailors

Bob seiwert makes a living as a banker, not a boatbuilder, but a wooden rowing skiff that the Severna Park, Md., resident helped construct recently sold for $3,500. Although he did not receive a penny for his labor, he is not complaining. “I was intrigued by the chance to learn the dying skills of wooden […]

Aircraft: Restricted Access

Trans-exec air service’s Priority Program, which generates the bulk of its revenue, is more akin to an exclusive private club than an aircraft charter service. The Santa Monica, Calif., company is an anomaly in its field, because unlike other charter programs—or other businesses in general—it is not interested in taking on more customers, at least […]

Fly Girl

The light in the hangar housing the P-38 was dim, but Bob Cardin, who had already spent a couple of months digging the World War II fighter plane out from under nearly 270 feet of snow and ice and another 10 weeks taking it apart, could see enough to know that his job was just […]

Shedding Light on the Lightning

for most of the past five decades, the National Air and Space Museum’s Lockheed P-38J Lightning remained disassembled in crates in a dusty storage facility in Suitland, Md., denied a space at the Smithsonian Institution’s crowded downtown site. However, in 2001, construction began on the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, the museum’s 760,000-square-foot satellite facility near […]

A Mig Deal

Although David Sutton did not have to dig through 270 feet of snow and ice to acquire his first fighter jet—a Soviet-made, Poland-owned, 711 mph MiG-17—it did take him more than a year to complete the purchase and another 12 months to assemble and certify the jet in the United States. “That was short,” says […]

Haven by the Bay

Walking through the front door of Colette Daniels’ San Francisco apartment is like stumbling into Coco Chanel’s living room on the Rue Cambon. Every corner of the space that Daniels affectionately calls her “romantic little getaway” is infused with deep jewel tones. The result of such meticulous attention to detail is a place finely attuned […]

Wheels: Fuel Cell Theory

If the decision is left to a team of eight MIT graduate students, the first hydrogen-powered General Motors vehicle will be available for purchase in 2010, and it will not be a minivan, SUV, or economy sedan like the hybrid Toyota Prius. Instead, it will be a $50,000 Cadillac sport sedan with the equivalent of […]