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Perfume addicts know what it is like to experience fragrance burnout; there is simply a point in time where you feel like you’ve been there, done that and sniffed it all. With hundreds of fragrances released each year (and 90 percent of them smelling identical) the search for something original can be long and arduous. Byredo Perfumes provides a welcome break from the usual suspects; their lineup of atypical scents with names like Baudelaire, Gypsy Water and Bal d’Afrique, is easily among the most exciting range of scents I’ve come across recently. Factor in the collaborations with both Fantastic Man and Acne and you have the makings of the hippest niche brand on the scene.

Byredo & Acne Candle, Lilla Nygatan 23

Cool points rarely mean gravitas, but Byredo has both; there are many lines that boast unusual ingredients or strange combinations, none can match the crisp freshness of Byredo; one spray of the aptly titled, Green is akin to walking through a garden of sage, spritz Pulp and you can almost taste the sweetness of ripe blood oranges. There is something wholly addictive about the way in which they manage to radiate that rawness that comes with natural smells.

The bottle of La Tulipe sitting on my dresser

Created ex-basketball player Ben Gorham (read the fascinating story of his move from sports to perfuming here) the line is chock full of winners. Personally, I am partial to the zest of the aforementioned Green, as well as their quintessentially Spring fragrance, La Tulipe, but there really is something for everyone.

When my mother told me about Kate Cusack’s unique zipper jewelry, I was intrigued yet skeptical. The idea of a line of jewelry created entirely from zippers seemed gimmicky, but Cusack’s artful execution was more than enough to ease my doubts. If I didn’t know that these pieces were comprised solely of YKKs, I would never guess; when twisted, folded and turned inside out they look completely different and serve as the perfect little statement add-on / conversation-starter. Just goes to show you, I should listen to my parents more often…

Alexander Wang has created an empire by making the kind of edgy, downtown basics seem to garner two reactions; obsessive love or complete ambivalence. If you fall into his target demographic of leggy Lower East Side girls who have hair that never seems to dry, then you will love what he has to offer for resort. If you don’t then, you may still find yourself begrudgingly intrigued by his handmade sweaters and casual cropped trousers. Though Wang has kept his grunge spirit, this collection is decidedly pristine; cream colored mini-dresses, crisp white denim worn with a leather jacket, even :gasp: a good ol’ fashioned khaki! Even non-believers may find themselves swayed, by the ease and accessibility of this collection.

A selection of monochromatic dresses and jumpers, followed by a cropped crochet top and white pants with a little hint of stomach.

Gorgeous burgundy mixed with khaki – love the bathrobe inspired trench coat, sure to be a hit. The cuffed khakis are almost preppy.

Signature black and white for the true Wang devotees, note the amount of midriff were seeing this resort season.

By the time you read this post, someone will have tried to convince you that there is a new minimalism. Whoever this person is, they are a liar and should not be trusted in any capacity. Minimalism never went away and the new minimalism looks suspiciously like the old version; case in point, this season when every other designer is attempting homage to the days when Helmut Lang, Calvin Klein and Jil Sander were actually helming their respective labels. All this millennial redux isn’t a bad thing as our appetite for simple, elegant clothes is never quite sated, but for those of who lived through the decade, the nostalgia can feel just a little too early. After all, there are women who still have their original camel coats tucked safely in storage, do they really need the new Celine variant?

The answer is of course, yes. There is still something appealing about the K.I.S.S. ethos of pared down design, be it fashion, art or even in the stripped down designs of publications like Gentlewoman and Dapper Dan. Whether or not women are ready dress like austere models seen on catwalks, they retain their interest in simplicity. Beneath the severity of minimalism lies a utilitarian spirit; Stella McCartney’s faux leather separates may look sleek, but they are also cut to flatter, accented by functional flat shoes and in season defying neutrals – same goes for the slouchy new offerings at Bottega, or even Philo’s heralded creations. Is it any wonder then that we keep hearing about the rebirth of minimalism season after season? The spin might be getting old, but the clothes keep working.

Balenciaga F/W 2010

Celine in Vogue Nippon, July 2010
John McLaughlin,

Bottega Veneta Resort 2011
Bottega Veneta, Bazaar June/July 2010

Kitty Kraus, Untitled 2006

Stella McCartney F/W 2010

Margiela in Vogue US, 2001

Jil Sander S/S 2002

*Intro image | The Row F/W 2010 by Jak & Jil

Jeff Burton understands subtlety. Unlike most purveyors of salacious imagery, Burton takes the cunning approach rather than the obvious one – if you would like in your face (read: crotch) titillation please see Uncle Terry. Knowing that Burton began is career shooting on sets of adult films, gives you a hint of the kind of things he has to offer, but ultimately it is a red herring. There is sex – the subjects of Burton’s pictures appear to be in a constant state of ecstasy, whether they are arching their backs and parting their lips, or taking drags from post-coital cigarettes – but it never strays into gratuitous territory. Even when shooting porn stars like the nubile Sasha Grey, Burton manages to maintain an aura of mystery. His world is at once familiar and new; somewhere in between Marilyn Minter’s subversiveness and Nan Goldin’s voyeurism, lies the place Burton takes you to. You are given a glimpse into his reality, hidden behind palm leaves and shrouded in mist, blurry and out of focus in the background. Every time I see one of his pictures I get chills…

Angela Lindvall | LA Times, 2008

The Other Place, 2005

Untitled (Black Ribbon), 2002

Hollywood Sign | Vogue Paris, 2006

Mariacarla Boscono | Vogue Paris, 2006

Brett Easton Ellis | Fantastic Man, 2009

Sasha Grey, 2009

Untitled #151 (Picket Fence), 2001

Untitled #192 (Stoplight with Palms), 2005

Sasha Grey, 2009

Untitled #113 (Bougainvillea), 2000

Vogue Hommes International, 2009

Red Campaign, 2008

The new Tom Ford lipsticks will not give you an orgasm.

Shocking news, but it is important for people to know the truth. In spite of the scintillating campaign featuring Jon Kortajarena in what looks like a reprise of his ‘Single Man’ role as a slick hustler, the highway robbery $45 dollar price tag and Tom Ford’s unspoken yet implied desire to personally arouse your…interest, the lipsticks are just lipsticks. Brilliantly pigmented, incredibly moisturizing, lush lipsticks, presented in hard white casing that looks as though it could double as a blunt instrument fit for assault. Bright, attention grabbing colors that could (if the advertising is to be believed) look perfect smeared on the face of your handsome Spanish lover, as you indulge in night of passion so intense that you –

Tom Ford Private Blend Lip Color in Bruised Plum, Smoke Red & Pink Dusk

Wait. It is just lipstick. $45 dollar lipstick, in a white case that will end up scratched at the bottom of your purse and make you wonder just why you blew all that money the second you get your Amex bill. That is of course Tom Ford’s trick, he creates a world of lusty luxury you want to be a part of, and products good enough to almost be worth his price point. If you’re looking for a great show stopper look, you can’t go wrong with Ford’s Smoke Red, but if you’re looking for anything more than that you might as well save your pennies. That said if you want the luxurious feel of Tom Ford on your lips (minus the perma-stubble) you are in for a truly decadent treat; I couldn’t resist picking up a few shades and the long lasting, smooth as silk feel is out of sight.