Home 2013 April

It’s A Formal Affair

It was Sly and the Family Stone who sang, “you’re still checking each other out” and nowhere is that more true than during black tie events. Whether you’re heading to a wedding or the baccarat table, you might as well make sure that you get your formal look right, especially if you’re going to invest all of that effort. Let’s discuss the accoutrements that will help you stand out from the sea of similarity that frequently plagues these events. Adding one of these formal accessories hand picked by our VP and Men’s Fashion Director, Eric Jennings, will ensure your look is more James Bond rather than Rick James. And while you’re not gunning for any best-dressed lists, it’s still nice to be recognized.  As Sly…

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It was Sly and the Family Stone who sang, “you’re still checking each other out” and nowhere is that more true than during black tie events. Whether you’re heading to a wedding or the baccarat table, you might as well make sure that you get your formal look right, especially if you’re going to invest all of that effort.

Let’s discuss the accoutrements that will help you stand out from the sea of similarity that frequently plagues these events. Adding one of these formal accessories hand picked by our VP and Men’s Fashion Director, Eric Jennings, will ensure your look is more James Bond rather than Rick James. And while you’re not gunning for any best-dressed lists, it’s still nice to be recognized.  As Sly once crooned: “nobody wants to be left out.”

hook + ALBERT Metallic Leather Lapel Pin: $95

“Make a statement by trading in your traditional boutonniere for a metallic leather lapel accent.”

S.T. Dupont Rose Gold Lighter: $1,225

“A true gentleman is always prepared.”

Louis Leeman Gold Studded Evening Slippers: $750

“A bold take on the traditional smoking slipper, these gold studded shoes add a little bit of rock n’ roll.”

Tateossian Diamond Dust Cufflinks: $1,600

“Add some swagger to your wrists with these diamond dusted cufflinks.”

BOSS Black Round Pocket Square: $35

“The beauty of a round pocket square is that no folding is required. Just stick it in your breast pocket and you’re good to go.”

Saks Fifth Avenue Gross Grain Silk Bow Tie: $68

“This silk gross grain bow tie by Saks Fifth Avenue is my go to tie for formal occasions.”

 

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Guys: Which one of these will you be sporting at the baccarat table? Tell us in the comments.

To order any of these items call 1.877.551.7257.

 

 


Jo Malone London’s Summer Breeze

A Guide to Scenting Your Home for Summer

Photography by KSW For me, the smell of a summer home is a curious, but pleasant blend of salty beach air, the waft of a neighbor’s grill and the sharp blast of air conditioning upon stepping foot home after a day of outdoor activities.  Shaun Rowan’s home? Just a tad more glam than that. The Director of Education at tony British perfumery Jo Malone London, believes your home scent should reflect your tastes, your mood and the tone you want to set. “When I imagine the scents of summer, I think of an English garden in the rain, the sweet nectar of fresh fruit, a shimmering oasis,” effuses the dapper Brit in the crispest Queen’s English. Needless to say, I wanted to try his version…

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Photography by KSW

For me, the smell of a summer home is a curious, but pleasant blend of salty beach air, the waft of a neighbor’s grill and the sharp blast of air conditioning upon stepping foot home after a day of outdoor activities.  Shaun Rowan’s home? Just a tad more glam than that. The Director of Education at tony British perfumery Jo Malone London, believes your home scent should reflect your tastes, your mood and the tone you want to set.

“When I imagine the scents of summer, I think of an English garden in the rain, the sweet nectar of fresh fruit, a shimmering oasis,” effuses the dapper Brit in the crispest Queen’s English. Needless to say, I wanted to try his version of a summer home — and now you can too.

Here, Shaun — who has been a fragrance expert for 25 years, with his first job as a young man in Harrods Men’s Fragrance Hall — shows just how to achieve that bespoke fragrant mix for your home that is signature to the 19-year old perfumery.

“The change of season is a great energizer. It’s refreshing and makes you feel great,” says Shaun. “Fragrance is a big part of bringing that into your home.” Jo Malone London is the first perfumery to institute fragrance combining (as in all of the house’s scents are designed to be layered  — from lighting different candles at once to create a signature scents, or creating a vibe in each room via diffusers and room sprays). It’s all about  expressing your  unique scent style the moment you or your guests cross the threshold.

Jo Malone London’s Guide toScenting Your Home for Summer

For the Kitchen: “A candle is the best way to express your personal tastes.”  For the kitchen try the French Lime Blossom candle or English Pear & Freesia.

For the Living Room: “It’s great to layer these scents, mix a candle or two, with a diffuser.” Try the Lime Basil & Mandarin Luxury Candle with English Pear & Freesia Scent Surround diffuser.”

For the Powder Room: “For the bathroom try something with Grapefruit. Either a candle or diffuser.”

For the Bedroom: “For the bedroom, perhaps something a bit sultrier, like a candle in Pomegranate Noir.” Also try Red Roses Scent Surround Room Spray.

 

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Stop into Saks for a consultation with one of Jo Malone’s Fragrance Stylists or turn to Saks.com for more information on Jo Malone London.

 

 

 

 


Just Like Heaven: About MiH Jeans

It’s no wonder MiH Jeans founder and creative director Chloe Lonsdale decided to go into the jeans business — it’s quite literally in her genes. In the Seventies, her father, Tony Lonsdale, owned the popular London-based chain of denim stores, Jean Machine. Her model mother was Chekkie Maskell, the face of iconic British jeans brand Made in Heaven (now called MiH Jeans under Chloe’s creative direction). Lonsdale herself was a budding jeans designer from the start. “As a young teenager I found trunks of old jeans in our attic and cut them into skirts to sell at school,” she reminisced. Here, she lets us in on some of her favorite denim style tips.  As creative director of MiH jeans, my mission is to… Produce expertly…

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It’s no wonder MiH Jeans founder and creative director Chloe Lonsdale decided to go into the jeans business — it’s quite literally in her genes. In the Seventies, her father, Tony Lonsdale, owned the popular London-based chain of denim stores, Jean Machine. Her model mother was Chekkie Maskell, the face of iconic British jeans brand Made in Heaven (now called MiH Jeans under Chloe’s creative direction).

Lonsdale herself was a budding jeans designer from the start. “As a young teenager I found trunks of old jeans in our attic and cut them into skirts to sell at school,” she reminisced. Here, she lets us in on some of her favorite denim style tips. 

As creative director of MiH jeans, my mission is to…
Produce expertly cut, beautiful quality jeans and perfect seasonal staples in luxe fabrics to wear with them.

When looking for a new pair of jeans, you should always…
Look for a pair that makes you feel great every time you put them on, but also that flatters your figure. Look at your body type and not necessarily at the current fashion trends. Jeans have a timeless nature and finding the right fit will give you instant style, while the wrong pair for the sake of fashion will be unflattering and go against everything denim is meant to do for you.

My personal style icon is…
My mum — as a child I remember her looking so glamorous in simple jeans and a T- shirt without any make up. I always thought she looked so effortlessly stylish. She is still who I think of when I am designing the collections today and the images of her Seventies modeling days still hang all around our offices for daily inspiration.

I will never get rid of my…
Pair of London jeans from our first production run that I will wear forever. They were a classic mid-blue and are now perfectly faded and look like they were made just for me.

With boyfriend jeans, I always like to wear…
A pair of heels. They give you a sense of confidence and sexiness that you wouldn’t get with flats. I think the mix of masculine and feminine makes a woman look chic.

If you look into my closet, my wardrobe consists of…
Denim. I couldn’t live without jeans; I wouldn’t know what else to wear.

For me, it works because…
I have three children so jeans are easy to run around in, and equally easy to dress up if I need to look smart in the evening. It is my uniform and I don’t have to think about it — which is how I like it!

This summer, I can’t wait to wear…
Our Jane jeans (inset). They are a fresh new way to wear denim this summer — they have a vintage fit that is the perfect combination between cool and cute for the season.

 

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Shop MiH Jeans on Saks.com!

 

 


Oscar Worthy

A look at Oscar de la Renta’s best in bridal

As every wedding-themed reality show will remind you, there’s a lot of drama around one’s nuptials. And in his Spring 2013 bridal show, Oscar de la Renta delivered exactly that: drama, of the highest sort. Of course, we’re talking about sartorial showmanship of the good, jaw-droppingly gorgeous kind. There were voluminous tulle capes topping white lace sheaths, prettily embroidered ball-gown confections and a stunning dazzler or two with floral appliqués cascading down the bodice. De la Renta definitely didn’t hold back; the show was one grand statement maker after another. He even threw in a few daringly colorful options, including the blood-red dress that opened the show and a handful of lovely baby-blue silhouettes throughout. Not quite that outré but still aching for that something…

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As every wedding-themed reality show will remind you, there’s a lot of drama around one’s nuptials. And in his Spring 2013 bridal show, Oscar de la Renta delivered exactly that: drama, of the highest sort.

Of course, we’re talking about sartorial showmanship of the good, jaw-droppingly gorgeous kind. There were voluminous tulle capes topping white lace sheaths, prettily embroidered ball-gown confections and a stunning dazzler or two with floral appliqués cascading down the bodice. De la Renta definitely didn’t hold back; the show was one grand statement maker after another. He even threw in a few daringly colorful options, including the blood-red dress that opened the show and a handful of lovely baby-blue silhouettes throughout.

Not quite that outré but still aching for that something blue? We suggest you check out the designer’s newest wedding-themed fragrance, Something Blue, exclusive to Saks Fifth Avenue. You can have your wedding whites and your proverbial “blue” good luck charm, too.

Read our interview with Oscar de la Renta here.

 

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Shop Oscar de la Renta or call 212.940.2269 in New York or 310.887.5509 in Beverly Hills to make an appointment at the Saks Fifth Avenue Bridal Salon.

 


Oud La La!

Killian Hennessy debunks the mystery and mastery of the hottest — and most rare — fragrance ingredient in the world: oud

Few fragrance ingredients carry the mystery and exclusivity of the heady and aromatic oud, which hails from the resin of a rare South Asian tree. And while its history runs deep — the scent’s even name-checked in Vedic Sanskrit texts — oud’s only recently been making headlines in the West. It may be a niche scent, but one that is steadily gaining fans in the luxury market. Here, we chatted with oud expert Kilian Hennessy of Kilian perfumes, whose olfactory CV includes stints at Christian Dior, Giorgio Armani and Alexander MQueen. And, yes, you read that surname right; that’s Hennessy of the cognac Hennessys. SaksPOV: What is oud? Killian Hennessy: It’s a resin that leaks from the Aquilaria tree when it’s attacked by a fungus. At…

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Few fragrance ingredients carry the mystery and exclusivity of the heady and aromatic oud, which hails from the resin of a rare South Asian tree. And while its history runs deep — the scent’s even name-checked in Vedic Sanskrit texts — oud’s only recently been making headlines in the West. It may be a niche scent, but one that is steadily gaining fans in the luxury market. Here, we chatted with oud expert Kilian Hennessy of Kilian perfumes, whose olfactory CV includes stints at Christian Dior, Giorgio Armani and Alexander MQueen. And, yes, you read that surname right; that’s Hennessy of the cognac Hennessys.

SaksPOV: What is oud?
Killian Hennessy: It’s a resin that leaks from the Aquilaria tree when it’s attacked by a fungus. At first, the resin is clear in color, but with time it becomes very dark and very rich in smell. You can buy pure oud that’s not diluted in alcohol — that’s the most expensive form — or combine it with saffron, rose or sandalwood. Those combinations are called mukhallats. There’s also something called bakhour. When you burn the pieces of oud wood, it creates a smoke and incense — that’s bakhour.

SaksPOV: What’s the oud scent like?
K.H.: There are two: oud has a very rich, intense, aromatic note while bakhour is smoky and woody.

SaksPOV: Your Arabian Nights collection revolves around oud. When did you first discover the ingredient?
K.H.: Back in 2008, when I traveled to the Middle East (to Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Saudi Arabia) looking for a partner to launch the brand there. In that region, oud has always been used as a fragrance; it’s culturally important and comforting to them. A queen of Saudi Arabia told me that her people prefer to put more money in a beautiful perfume than a beautiful dress.

SaksPOV: Why isn’t it more well known in the West?
K.H.: It’s not authorized by IRFA [the International Fragrance Association] so perfumers don’t even show it to you because they know you cannot use it.

SaksPOV: So how did you get around that with your collection?
K.H.: That’s why we use bakhour. We reconstitute the scent of the bakhour and combine it with other essential oils to create Arabian Nights. It’s a kind of fusion perfumery the same way you have fusion cooking, combining both worlds.

SaksPOV: Given your family’s background, why did you choose to go into fragrance?
K.H.: I feel that perfume chose me more than I chose perfume. In college, I wrote a thesis on the semantics of scents and, in order to understand what I was going to be writing about, I decided to go to a nose school in parallel with my fifth year in college. When I started smelling raw materials and essential oils, it just clicked. I knew immediately, from the first second, that perfume would be my world.

SaksPOV: The semantics of scents?
K.H.: I had read all these theses on perfumes and there was one topic that they always came back to — the difficulty of communication in this industry, the fact that there is not a common vocabulary to describe a smell or a complex scent. This absence of vocabulary was one of the big challenges of this industry, so it seemed like the right subject to study.

SaksPOV: Is there one scent that’s your version of the Proust madeleine?
K.H.: Tuberose. All the women in my family used to wear tuberose perfume and now my new wife is wearing it as well. It has not left me.

SaksPOV: Why do your perfumes have subtitles in their names?
K.H.: When I started the brand, I wanted to go in the opposite direction from the masstige industry. The more masstige was going to go fresh, fruity and sweet, I was going to go non-fresh, non-fruity and non-sweet. That’s why my first L’Oeuvre Noir collection is very much about woods, resins and spices. And the more masstige was going toward a simple message…the more complex I wanted to go.

SaksPOV: Advice for a woman picking her scent?
K.H.: Really put it on the skin and live with it. The skin is the ultimate judge, not the blotter. Let it dry for a little bit. And don’t focus on the top notes because those evaporate very quickly. Wait about half an hour because this is when you really smell the character of the perfume.

 

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Visit your local Saks Fifth Avenue and try oud for yourself — and let us know what you think!