Why You Really Need a Scented Fendi Baguette



We somehow managed to survive yet another two month stretch of pumpkin spice everything (we swear, we even smelled it on a cat sweater), and are now gleefully taking in the pleasures of everything being scented with gingerbread and balsam – a particular sort of happy place for us.

But now comes word that our friends at Fendi will be dazzling us with the introduction of a new…wait for it…scented leather Baguette bag. A playful collaboration with venerable parfumeur Maison Francis Kurkdjian, the FENDIFRENESIA Baguette ensures that even if you forgot to spritz a little behind the ears in the morning, you’ll walk the city streets confident of your considerable olfactory appeal.


The FENDIFRENESIA scent itself (a 4ml sample is included with purchase) is characterized by leathery / musky notes which emphasize the textural qualities of the Selleria leather from which the bag is made. But this is certainly not just some fancy scratch and sniff – the scent is applied in a way to last up to four years on each bag. At which time they are guaranteed to still be in fashion.

The bags will debut the evening of December 4 at Fendi’s Miami Design District boutique, as part of Design Miami – though you can be pretty sure a few will also be spotted around Art Basel. As well, Christelle Boulé’s photographs of the fragrance being dropped onto colored film paper will give the opening event a frisson of cultural gravitas.

FENDIFRENESIA Baguette will be available only at the Miami shop as of December 5, while the nano baguette is available now at Fendi.com.



Soundtracking ‘The Crown’: Martin Phipps’ Haunting New Score Intensifies the Emotional Gravitas of ‘Season 3’



Along with a new actress playing the role of Elizabeth II – we bow to you, Olivia Coleman – a different composer has also taken the, ahem, reigns for Season 3 of Netflix’s critically acclaimed and generally edge-of-seat period drama The Crown. Award-winning virtuoso Martin Phipps (Black Mirror, Peaky Blinders), replaces Rupert Gregson’s previously lush orchestral scores with a darkly haunting soundtrack solidly anchored in emotional depth-plumbing and atmospheric gravitas.

Phipps collaborated with director Peter Morgan to incisively connect the score to the show’s gripping ongoing narrative, placing his focus on the visceral complexity of each of the historical characters – most poignantly, HRH herself.

The soundtrack’s minimal, singular sonics powerfully emphasize the weight the monarchy must carry alongside their ability – or, rather, inability – to cope with their own personal demons. The music is especially stirring and evocative during Episode 3, which recalls the Welsh mining disaster which killed more then a hundred small children.



From the darkly moody “Black Widow” to the eerily beautiful “Aberfan,” the skillfully constructed 16-track score (released via Sony Music Masterworks) evokes the turbulence of both the times and inner lives of the Windsor family, while remaining eminently listenable on its own.

“The genius of The Crown is its ability to find the human stories inside the heightened world of the monarchy,” Phipps enthuses. “In Season 3 we tried to connect the score less with the grandeur and pomp of our character’s surroundings, and more with the emotion of their personal journeys. I hope we feel the suppressed power of the establishment lurking beneath these more personal melodies.”

The Crown Season 3 Soundtrack is available now via Sony Music Masterworks.


First Trailer: ‘House of Cardin’ Documentary is a Dazzling Look Back at the Fashion Legend



Long before Bowie’s futuristic alter ego Ziggy Stardust fell to earth in his glittering, striped jumpsuit, exalted designer Pierre Cardin was imagining an otherworldly sartorial future. While beloved amongst fashionistas for his space age designs and gender-bending approach to style, Cardin is perhaps best known for his infamous licensing deals (something that hadn’t really been done before the 1960s), that lent his signature to everything from sheets to sunglasses, amassing him a fortune in the process.

Beyond his immediately recognizable logo, though, few know much about the man or the contributions the 97-year-old icon has made to art and culture.

Most thrillingly then, a new film, House of Cardin, offers a rare peek into Cardin as the genius and visionary he genuinely was (and is). The authorized feature documentary by P. David Ebersole and Todd Hughes chronicles his life and illustrious career through archival footage, and interviews with cross cultural luminaries such as Jean Paul Gaultier and Philippe Starck, as well as muses Naomi Campbell and Sharon Stone. There are also fascinating conversations with Pierre himself.



The first public trailer has just been released, and in it we are transported back to his extravagant fashion shows, including a breathtaking spectacle at the Great Wall of China. Campbell, Stone and supermodel Jenny Shimizu all express their earnest admiration (“He was the first designer to get into diversity,” observes the latter), while design legend Starck perhaps most perfectly sums up Cardin’s legacy: “He’s not of the modern style; he’s modern. He has a modern way of thinking.”

House of Cardin received a standing ovation at its Venice Film Festival premiere, and will open in New York on November 9th at the SVA Theater, 333 West 23rd Street, as part of DOC NYC.



First Images: New Henrik Vibskov Flagship Opens in Copenhagen



Arguably the unofficial international figurehead of the “New Nordic Movement” (traceable back to the early oughts, when the opening of the Øresund Bridge connected Sweden and Denmark, and made anything seem possible), Henrik Vibskov represents perhaps one of the last of a generation of “rock star” designers.

After graduating from London’s Central Saint Martin’s in 2001, the provocative Dane’s eponymous fashion label rejected Scandinavian minimalism for a more theatrical, colorful bohemian aesthetic – yet with a distinct attention to tailoring and craftsmanship. After producing his infamous The Big Wet Shiny Boobies Collection, he opened his first Copenhagen shop in 2006 – before also taking up in New York’s Soho in 2011.



Now, just in time for holiday shopping for your most flamboyantly fashionable friends, the new Henrik Vibskov flagship has opened in the Danish capital, along the buzzing Gammel Mønt. The clean lined, cavernous space was designed by Clover Studio (a London and Copenhagen based concern), and its defining feature is a series of red roping, fastened to tabletops above and below, creating something of a stalactite/stalagmite effect. Large arched windows take in the graceful historic architecture of the surrounding neighborhood.

Stocked are the full range of uniquely stylish offerings, including shoes, sneakers and accessories.

Ever the thoughtful provocateur (as well as artist, film director and musician), Vibskov’s most recent, Spring 2020 collection was titled “Stuck Under the Surface,” a commentary on human stagnation and entropy. Which, considering this dazzling new flagship boutique, he is in absolutely no danger of being guilty of.


Fendi Pays Tribute to Lagerfeld w/ the Karligraphy Logo Bag




Just in time to adorn that fashionable Halloween costume, the exalted house of Fendi has resurrected the spirit of the late Karl Lagerfeld in its latest handbag, the Karligraphy. The elegant, square-shaped crossbody bag features Lagerfeld’s italic “F” monogram, which he designed in the early ‘80s as an alternative to Fendi’s traditional blocky logo.

Naturally, it comes in colours, like the Lagerfeld-approved sleek black and patent leather, exotic skins, or primary shades of red, yellow, or blue (clearly, Choupette’s favorite).

The Karligraphy bag is available in Fendi boutiques and on Fendi.com.



New England Epicurean: A Cultivated Autumn Weekend in Kennebunkport



Kennebunkport is one of those quintessential New England towns which, of course, will always wear its blue-blood associations with the Bush dynasty on its sleeve. We love it all the same – and having spent untold hours in the Berkshires and Vermont of late, we decided to edge a little further north to Maine for that inimitable experience: the autumn seaside weekend.

Endlessly picturesque, Kennebunkport remains a living ode to old-fashioned Americana, which actually aligns it perfectly with the current travel zeitgeist; yet there’s more to this charming village than nostalgia. Beyond the corner lobster shacks and sandy beaches, a sophisticated hotel and food scene has emerged. Could Kennebunkport become an alternative to the Hamptons, a less crowded Cape Cod, or even the “new” Nantucket?



Although best known as a summer retreat, Kennebunkport is indeed equally enchanting in the fall. And, without the traffic congestion, the drive is a very manageable five hours from New York City. Local hospitality has undergone a renaissance in the last few years, rising to the standards of urbane urbanistas, with a number of classic inns, beachside resorts, beautifully renovated manor houses, and even enclaves of tiny temporary homes offering right-size accommodations for virtually every manner of traveller.

We hit the road on a rainy Thursday evening, arriving at the Tides Beach Club just in time for a welcome glass of prosecco by the fireplace in its coastal-chic lobby. Then we headed up to our impossibly stylish, Jonathan Adler-designed suite and slipped between the high-thread-count Frette sheets.



The next morning we awoke to a cerulean sky, offset by the burnished reds and oranges of the changing leaves. From our balcony, we watched the waves gently rolling in across Goose Neck Beach while sipping our morning coffee. The crisp air, tinged with the sea’s briny tang, invigorated us for morning yoga at The Tides’ sister property, Hidden Pond.

A collection of one-and-two-bedroom cottages, Hidden Pond is nestled into 60 acres of pristine birch forest. Each cottage is uniquely designed and features full kitchens, luxury baths, stone fireplaces, screened porches, and yes, even an outdoor rain shower. On the property are two swimming pools (one just for adults, thankfully), and a raft of amenities that included watercolor painting classes, a cutting garden, mixology lessons, guided hikes, and a fire pit with s’mores every evening. There was so much to do…or not!



The resort’s full-service spa, Tree Spa, is just what its name promises. Connected by a catwalk woven through the trees, the services are performed in a trio of tiny treetop cabins. Trust us, there’s something supremely restorative and blissful about the scent of pine and sound of twittering birds drifting in through the window while getting a really good massage.

Earth, Hidden Pond’s restaurant, focuses on farm-to-fork freshness, with many of the vegetables and herbs plucked right from its on-site garden. The farmhouse-chic décor extended to its two private-dining sheds, outfitted in antique furniture and romantically lit with candles and twinkling fairy lights (really, you can’t even imagine). Everything is seasonal, so menus change often, but the Hidden Pond Cheeseburger with smoked mushrooms, caramelized onions, and creamy Gorgonzola is highly recommended. We also loved the venison stew with creamy polenta, tart cherries, and roasted cauliflower, as well as the local haddock with braised leeks and garden-fresh chard.



And yes, it’s a cliche – but a trip to Maine should always include something to do with lobster. So, appropriately, the next day we had to do our share of sampling. Overlooking the harbor side of the Kennebunk River, the casual Boathouse Waterfront Hotel and Restaurant could not be beat for both classic Maine views and an always-on raw bar. We started with a selection of local oysters and then had to choose between a classic lobster roll, lobster mac and cheese, lobster tacos…or simply a whole butter-poached Maine lobster.

Equally delicious was Ocean, at the Cape Arundel Inn & Resort – offering a fine dining experience, with classic French-Mediterranean dishes in a white-glove setting. Having not had our fill of lobster, we started with lobster caprese – chunks of lobster, mozzarella, and heirloom tomatoes, drizzled with lemon aioli and balsamic reduction. Also unbeatable were the seared sea scallops with trout roe and ginger emulsion.



Kennebunkport’s notable craft brewery and cocktail scene were showcased at Batson River Brewing and Distilling. Its clubby atmosphere attracts a younger crowd, who lounge on leather sofas or play board games while sipping on their signature brews. Standout cocktails included the Batson G&T, subtly crafted with local lavender, and the quintessential fall tipple: an old fashioned made with Batson River’s Langsford Road Bourbon, garam masala and caramelized fig.

After a night of drinking, restorative brunch seemed the only reasonable activity…and The Burleigh at the Kennebunkport Inn served what we could only imagine was the best in town. While the menu offers a well-rounded selection of breakfast classics, like omelets and benedicts, we went with the Maine blueberry pancakes. They’re the size of dinner plates, perfectly fluffy, and so buttery you might not even need to drizzle them with maple syrup or blueberry compote (but we did anyway).



Having filled our bellies yet again, we took a stroll around town and for some very local shopping. And after checking out the galleries of Maine Art Hill, we hit the shops at Dock Square: Minka, for sustainably made jewelry, skincare, décor, and accessories, Benoits Boutique for cozy sweaters, and Daytrip Society for Pendleton blankets and cute Maine-themed décor and souvenirs.

Highly recommended is borrowing a bike from the Kennebunkport Inn, and taking a ride along Beach Avenue, for the expansive ocean views and spectacular mega-million dollar homes. We worked up yet another appetite, and so stopped for handcrafted ice cream cones from Rococo – specifically the Earl Grey rose hip jam and pistachio, the goat cheese blackberry Chambord, and ginger sour cherry jam). For something a little more hipstery, there’s coffee and the ultra Instagrammable mini-doughnuts at Satellite Donuts.



We decided to wrap up our trip where we began, at The Tides Beach Club, sitting on the front porch of the classic waterfront property sipping its only-known-to-locals watermelon cosmopolitan, as the sun cast its final golden glow across the sandy Goose Neck Beach. Having had our fill of lobster, we opted for snacks from the more casual dinner menu, including popcorn chicken with chili and blue cheese dipping sauce, Maine crab dip with wonton crisps, and savory corn dog bites. It all still seemed very New England.

There was no heading home without seeing at least one of Maine’s architectural icons, so we took a slight detour to York to visit the Cape Neddick Nubble Lighthouse. Perched on a rocky weatherworn islet, the red and white lighthouse and lightkeeper’s home is rumored to be the one of the most photographed in the world. Its rich history dates to the late 1800s, and today it remains in use as a beacon for travelers coming from near and far…including us.



Missoni’s Spring/Summer 2020 Collection is Inspired by Jane Birkin + Serge Gainsbourg



When the storied romance of Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg is the muse for a fashion collection, you know it is going to be equally passionate and complex. And Angela Missoni perfectly captures their ’70s luxe bohemian lifestyle and fluidity of spirit in her Missoni Spring/Summer 2020 collection, which we have a first glimpse of here.

With an evocative show staged at a public pool in Milan (see the full video below), the exalted designer sought to convey freedom from gender with pieces that she envisioned Serge and Jane effortlessly sharing on a whim: Birkin slipping on a tailored ombre jacket over a floral dress, or Gainsbourg indulging in a sheer knit lurex top. (La liberté!)



The house’s signature stripes were paired with a patchwork of elements including bright florals, windowpane checks, stripes, and knits shot through with metallic threads – sometimes all in the same ensemble. Equally colorful platform shoes were balanced with beaded baskets filled with freshly cut flowers to evoke a breezy summer feeling. (We miss it already.)

During the finale, the models emerged holding portable Little Sun solar lights to bring awareness to climate change, and highlight Missoni’s prominent sustainability efforts.


Weekend in The Berkshires: The Elegant New Williams Inn Brings the Farmhouse Chic



When summer’s life-sucking humidity finally lifts, autumn’s crisp air always feels extraordinarily invigorating. And as Mother Nature’s pageantry begins to unfold in a patchwork of golds, reds, and yellows, we always find ourselves yearning for the ideal road trip in which to immerse ourselves in said colors.

Now, while we love the Catskills’ bohemian vibe and Manchester, Vermont’s rustic-coziness, the rolling hills of the Berkshires in western Massachusetts – just a few hours from NYC – offer a more sophisticated getaway, one that seamlessly blends nature with the arts (and a good hike or two, if you’re up for it).



Recently, we were drawn to the just-opened Williams Inn, located in, naturally, Williamstown – since an interesting new hotel always piques our curiosity. Surrounded by the Williams College campus, it reflects the vibrancy of the local community as much as it does its historic academic roots. Indeed, its stately stone-covered / farmhouse-colonial façade has been thoughtfully designed to blend into the college’s mélange of ivy-covered collegiate and increasingly modernist architecture.

Just inside, we were greeted by a roaring fire in the stone hearth and invited to relax in plush seating with a view of the hotel’s gardens. Upstairs, our room (there are 64 of them, so yes, it’s a hotel, not a B&B) was surprisingly spacious and almost ridiculously comfortable, with local wood and stone elements, eclectic furnishings and soothing color schemes.



We probably could have relaxed in the hotel all day – but we came also for the nature…and there was really rather a lot to choose from. Williamstown is actually just minutes from Mount Greylock, in the town of Adams. Technically part of the Taconic Mountain range, it’s the highest peak in Massachusetts, and offered panoramic, Instagram-worthy views of five states at its summit (we think we might have even seen Russia from there). The mountain road is only open to autos from late May through November, but its spectacular network of hiking trails, including the Appalachian Trail, is open year round. For those who prefer a more leisurely stroll, there are plenty of easy walking trails within a short drive as well.

Being the cultural sorts that we are, the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA) in North Adams is always a must for us – and currently on show are exhibitions of works by the likes of Annie Lennox and Anselm Kiefer. The Clark and Williams College Museum of Art are both top class cultural institutions – and Williams College boasts a highly regarded theater program, which hosts pizza-fueled discussions every Friday at noon.


Williams College Museum of Art


We always love to feed our literary appetites with visits to The Mount, Edith Wharton’s palatial home and extensive gardens in Lenox, and Herman Melville’s house, Arrowhead, in nearby Pittsfield, where he wrote Moby Dick, Israel Potter and The Piazza Tales.

Back at the hotel, we took leisurely cocktails by the inviting fire pit, before heading into The Barn Kitchen + Bar, the rustically stylish farm-to-table restaurant serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The kitchen is headed by Chef Kevin DeMarco, formerly of the Forbes Five-Star Relais & Châteaux Castle Inn in Newport, and offers a fresh vision of the region’s culinary traditions.



Menus will change seasonally and are heavily sourced by nearby farms and purveyors such as Maple Brook Farms and Cricket Creek cheeses, and locally sourced produce, meat, and poultry from Red Shirt Farm and Mighty Food Farm. Even the cocktails get their flavor from Berkshire Mountain Distillers (tip: try the unbelievably smooth and flavorful Berkshire Bourbon).

We started by sharing the cornmeal crusted calamari with a slightly spicy pimentón aioli, and the grass fed meatballs served alongside rosemary-laced focaccia. Entrees rose above the standard sylvan New England fare, with standouts including the crispy skin chicken with stone-ground polenta, and the all-natural double cut pork chop with saffron vegetables. We highly recommend adding a side of very on-trend parmesan fries with truffle aioli – they’re truly unforgettable.

As ever, the Berkshires seduced us with their unspeakable beauty, charm, and character – and in the Williams Inn, there’s at last a hotel in which to stay there in style.


‘Thierry Mugler: Couturissime’ Will Open This Fall at the Kunsthal Rotterdam

Helmut Newton, photo shoot for the catalogue of the collection
Lingerie Revisited, Monaco, 1998.
Photo: © The Helmut Newton Estate.
Outfit: Thierry Mugler, Lingerie Revisited collection, prêt-à-porter
fall/winter 1998–1999



In 2011, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts presented the landmark exhibition The Fashion World of Jean-Paul Gaultier – effectively illustrating how a new generation of designers had extended the influence of fashion far beyond its traditional perimeters. The show went on to tour eleven more cities, including New York, London, Paris, Melbourne and Seoul.

Another such radically brilliant designer is Strasbourg’s own Thierry Mugler, who also rocketed to stardom amidst the wild experimentation of the 80s; and like JPG, his talents were, and are, legion. So it’s hardly a surprise the MMFA would make him the focus of yet another monumental survey, Thierry Mugler: Creatures of Haute Couture, which debuted in March of this year.

Now it will make its way t0 Europe, where a reimagined edition titled Thierry Mugler: Couturissime will open at the venerable Kunsthal Rotterdam, one of the Continent’s most innovative cultural institutions.


Helmut Newton, Johanna; Vogue (US), November 1995.
Photo: © The Helmut Newton Estate.
Outfit: Thierry Mugler, Anniversaire des 20 ans collection,
prêt-à-porter fall/winter 1995–1996.


On display will be more than 150 outfits created between 1977 and 2014, including costumes for the staging of Shakespeare’s Macbeth by the Comédie-Française at the Festival d’Avignon, and Cirque du Soleil’s daring Zumanity…along with never-before seen accessories and stage costumes, archival documents, sketches and videos.

“I have always been fascinated,” Mugler reveals, “by the most beautiful animal on Earth: the human being. I have used all of the tools at my disposal to sublimate this creature: fashion, shows, perfumes, photography, video…”

Most fascinating will be the exhibition’s exploration of his storied history of famous – and infamous – collaborations, including the considerable likes of David Bowie, Lady Gaga, Isabelle Huppert, Juliette Binoche, Andrée Putman, Herb Ritts, Helmut Newton and David LaChappelle. Not to mention his “Too Funky” video for the late George Michael.


Ellen von Unwerth, Eva Herzigová, behind the scenes at the
Thierry Mugler fashion show, Paris, 1992.
Photo : © Ellen von Unwerth.
Outfit: Thierry Mugler, Les Cow-boys collection,
prêt-à-porter spring/summer 1992.


Not unlike the Gaultier show, many of the galleries – designed by artists Michel Lemieux and Philipp Fürhofer, along with special effects studio Rodeo FX – will have an immersive quality. The mannequins have been custom created by Hans Boodt Mannequins, also of Rotterdam.

The Kunsthal, it must be said, has become a leader in the staging of high-profile fashion exhibitions, having last year presented Viktor&Rolf: Fashion Artists 25 Years. And the museum’s Director Emily Ansenk enthuses of the Mugler show, “We consider it a great honor to be able to present yet another fashion icon to the Dutch public this autumn.”

Thierry Mugler: Couturissime will be on exhibit from October 11, 2019 to March 8, 2020.



From top:
Christian Gautier, stage costumes for the show Mugler Follies,
2013. Photo: Christian Gautier / © Manfred Mugler.
Outfits: Thierry Mugler.
Patrice Stable
Photo: © Patrice Stable.
Outfit: Thierry Mugler, Les Insectes collection,
haute couture spring/summer 1997.
Thierry Mugler, stage costume for the character of First Witch.
Centre national du costume de scène, D-CF-2234G.
Photo: © CNCS Pascal François