Trendspotting for Under the Tree

Stymied for gift ideas this holiday season? Brand-strategist and blogger Josh Spear has come up with a list of stuff that doesn’t suck.

1. The Gilded Age – Everyone and their mother will be gifting iPods, iPhones and the latest Apple must-haves this holiday season. Why not go for the gold, with a customized 24k gold iPhone from Continental Mobiles? If bullion bling isn’t your style, choose from a variety of iPods in platinum, ruby and diamond. $2,000 – $10,000;

2. Digital Code – Don’t get caught answering your iPhone with your nose in the blistering cold (all of these touchscreen devices need real human flesh to work properly). Freehands gloves allow access to your pointer finger and thumb, and small magnets keep the segments of fabric from flopping around when folded back. $20 – $40;

3. Block Party – Bringing a streamlined, sexy earthiness to that most overlooked of accessories, the landline telephone, the Hulger Pappa is handmade out of solid walnut and brass, plugs into your Mac or PC and works fluently with all VoIP services, including Skype, iChat, Google Talk and Vonage. $300;

4. Who’s Been Naughty? – The Sabar sex toy will surely be sought after as both an art piece (for its gorgeous design and construction) and fabulous gift for a loved (or lusted-after) one in your life this holiday. $115;

5. Bulletproof Charm – Shoulder and laptop bags from Head Porter x Buzz Rickson x William Gibson — inspired by iconic WWII flight jackets and Army attire — represent a collaboration between famed Japanese bag maker Porter and designers Rickson and Gibson. They’re made from the same nylon used in bulletproof vests, so they’re five times as strong as normal nylon and 10 times as good-looking as the typical laptop carrying case. $340 – $530;

6. Beat the Clock – Sleek and technologically innovative, Nooka is a design company that creates watches that tell time like no other. The Zub20 ZenV series, available in a spectrum of colors, has dots and bars filling a grid as hours and minutes pass. Or take it up a notch with the Zing, encrusted with 76 diamonds. $130-$3,000;

7. A Gift That Clicks Kiss camera confusion goodbye — this one does it all. Automatic for point-and-shoot, or fully manual with multiple lens attachments, the Ricoh GR Digital II allows you to do those high school Photography 101 tricks without the hindrance of a tripod — this 10-megapixel beauty has a built-in electronic leveling system. Even the battery life, which lets you take 370 shots, is cutting edge. $700;

8. Bound For Glory The ever-popular Moleskine notebooks (used by artists and writers for more than two centuries) just became even more versatile and modern. Laser engraving allows for cover personalization, featuring anything from the Roman coliseum to the Simpsons to a monogram. Or, even better, your own art, event, photo or logo. $18 – $40;

9. The Perfect Hook-Up For anyone stuck in wire hell — with one for your iPod, another for your Blackberry, your Bluetooth headset, and so on — BlueLounge design studio has the perfect solution. The Sanctuary, an elegant, chic, easy-to-use charging station, comes with 12 built-in connectors that are compatible with hundreds of devices. Get all those cords in place, and set your mind free. $130;

See and for more gift ideas.

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