Wednesday, December 12, 2012

the art of giving - new york

Collage and typography by me, words by Hannh-Rose Yee

This year Hannah-Rose Yee from Capture the Castle and I have collaborated again to bring you a two-part Christmas gift guide. I'm in New York for the next two months, and Hannah is soon heading to Paris, so it seemed perfect to theme our guides around two of our favourite cities, Paris and New York. Hope you enjoy! This is part two. Give the gift of New York this Christmas.

one. 3.1 Phillip Lim 'All Eyes on You' sweater, $550 from Saks Fifth Ave

Cool, calm and collected, this sweater is just like New York itself. The kind of thing that tall girls who paint their lips red, baby, red, would throw on as they hopped out of bed (over pilling The Row tee shirts and super-skinny Current Elliot jeans), an outfit that they wouldn't give a second thought to but would be guaranteed to have all eyes on them. Gift this to those girls in your life who might not live in the spotlight, but definitely ought to.

two. Linda Farrow x The Row leather aviators, $350 from Shopbop

Nothing screams bright lights, big city, like a pair of aviator sunglasses, and it doesn't get much bigger than this.  Resplendent in 1970s bronze hue and leather accents, these Linda Farrow x The Row opticals are the kind of thing you always want but can never ask for; bold and brassy sunnies for girls with perfect teeth and Balmain jackets. But we think they look best when paired with sweatshirts and cropped cigarette pants, a slightly off-kilter, atypically New York addition to an outfit. Wherever the receiver finds themselves - stretched out on a beach in Parsley Bay or huddled around a heater in Cobble Hill - these sunglasses are sure to become their daily routine.

three. Alexander Wang 'Trigone' compact wallet, $295 from Barneys New York

Isn't it grand when worlds collide? Pony hair and leather, slim silhouettes and in-your-face-leopard print, New York and Paris. Alexander Wang, the quintessentially New York designer, he of the white tee shirt and the black jean, has been picked to helm Balenciaga in Paris, and thus our two favourite cities are joined in the middle. Just like this wallet. It has a touch of chic to it; that efficient, pared back design (just five card slots and a single space for bills, money is so passe), that matte-black hardware, that perfectly composed shape. But then it's all New York, all the time, chilli and avocado at Cafe Gitane with that leopard print pony hair leather. The perfect match.

four. Le Labo 'Tubereuse 40' fragrance, POA from Le Labo

Everyone has their own idea of what New York smells like. Joan Didion thought it was garbage and peaches, Tom Hanks - or at least Tom Hanks in Nora Ephron's You've Got Mail - preferred sharpened pencils and school supplies. Us, on the otherhand, being rather partial to peonies and white florals and tubereuse, tubereuse, tubereuse, elect for this. Created specifically to capture the scent of New York - and available exclusively in New York alone - this is one for the die-hard New Yawk lovers, the ones who never get lost in the subway and don't even get phased when they stand at the top of the Rock and look down over Manhattan. One spritz is all it takes.

five. Satomi Kawakita ring, from $100 from Satomi Kawakita

This is for the girl who has everything. She's got a wardrobe full of Acne and Opening Ceremony, eats out for every meal and knows exactly what she wants. They're hard to buy for, those girls. But no-one, not even a hard-at-heart New Yorker, can resist something shiny on Christmas day. Your best bet is to go for Satomi Kawakita; Japanese-born, New York-based jewellery famed for her organic designs and delicate settings. Choose something simple but with a kick - like this beautiful circlet of gold, twisted in the shape of a twig - that she'll slip onto her finger and never take off.

six. Proenza Schouler 'PS11' classic satchel, $1950 from Proenza Schouler

If we were to receive this we'd feel very lucky indeed. The ultimate New York bag - famously tested by the Olsen twins and Kate Bosworth - equal parts swagger and equal parts nonchalance. The original satchel is great, but this is the next level, modern and graphic (that art deco clasp!) in that beautiful pebbled leather with a strap long enough to cross your body.

seven. Araks 'Kate' pyjama top, $139 from Araks

New York is decadence. It's degustation meals and horse and carriage rides around Central Park and pyjamas in the day time. Start someone's collection by gifting them this spotty silk shirt by cult-favourite New York label Araks. Try walking it in on Christmas morning wrapped up with a big grosgrain ribbon on a breakfast tray - alongside some toasted muesli and fresh orange juice. It's all about the decadence.


  1. Can I aks you a question about graphic design?

  2. so beautifully written! I'm a New Yorker and you've made me fall in love with my city all over again. x

  3. Oh, honey - yep of course :)

    Anon - thankyou, I love Hannah's writing too!

  4. Thanks, im going to study graphic design, and i want to get into the fashion industry part of it, I was wondering how you promoted yourself to that specific industry, and if your ever scared that a client will hate it? thanks so much for answering

  5. My advice would be to get an internship in the industry, maybe at a magazine or art department of a fashion label, you can also approach more boutique agencies that specialise in fashion work. I worked in luxury fashion retail alongside my studies and was able to make quite a few industry contacts, my first few jobs were doing lookbooks for fashion designers.

    Have confidence in yourself and your work and try not to take changes and criticisms personally - design is all about working with your client to make sure they are happy. Hope that helps!

  6. Thanks so much, i love your work.