The ultimate Christmas gift guide
Start ticking off your Chirstmas list with this luxury gift guide.
Inspired choices: For those hard-to-buy-for friends, family, colleagues, neighbours…
VEUVE CLICQUOT GOUACHE LIMITED EDITION
Yellow Label Gouache $80, Rosé Gouache $100, thechampagnecompany.com
French champagne house Veuve Clicquot takes the artistry of its trade to another level with the Gouache edition, presenting a bottle of its trademark Yellow Label, or the delicate Rosé, in a container shaped like a paint tube (gouache is a type of artist’s paint). A beautiful keepsake for any true artist – although with the distinctive container also able to keep the precious liquid chilled for up to two hours, there’ll be no judgement from us if this gift doesn’t make it past New Year’s Eve.
MONTBLANC MEISTERSTÜCK LE PETIT PRINCE SPECIAL EDITION
From $960 to $2400, montblanc.com
The storied German pen maker celebrates one of the most globally loved children’s books, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s Le Petit Prince, with a range of pens based on its famous Meisterstück range. Graphic elements etched into the case symbolise key characters and powerful messages from Le Petit Prince, the enchanting tale of a chance encounter between a pilot and a little prince from a distant planet, which has been translated into more than 250 languages.
AL NASSMA CAMEL MILK CHOCOLATE
From $13.50, gourmetlife.com.au
You could preach the health benefits of camel versus cow milk: the former, slightly saltier in taste, carries five times the vitamin C and 10 times the iron, and lacks the proteins that cause many dairy allergies. Or impress with the fact that camel milk is seven times more expensive. Then describe the logistical effort in creating fine chocolate, with zero additives or preservatives, in the 50°C summers of Dubai. Or you could just let Al Nassma chocolate, the first of its kind, speak for itself. It’s available in white, milk or dark varieties, with a choice of authentic fillings including dates, pistachio and coffee. The wooden casket gift box ($98) and 700-gram camel figure ($119) provide the perfect presentation.
JAGUAR E-TYPE – 50 YEARS OF A DESIGN ICON
Enzo Ferrari once famously said: “The Jaguar E-Type is the most beautiful car ever made.” More often described simply as “sex on wheels” (and going at it again in the ’90s as Austin Powers’ ‘Shaguar’), the E-Type’s significance in both automotive and popular culture is celebrated in Jaguar E-Type – 50 Years of a Design Icon (FP Creative). It’s a fascinating and fitting tribute to a car that was as technically advanced as it was beautiful.
MUNGO AND MAUD PET ACCESSORIES
From $205, mungoandmaud.com
Inspired by primary colours and elementary school, British brand Mungo and Maud’s newest collection is the perfect way to spoil your dog this Christmas – in advance of next winter. Mungo and Maud strive to ensure that style is not sacrificed for practicality, as is effortlessly demonstrated by the beautiful Quilted Coat (small, around $205; large, around $240) in navy blue – a simple cotton-blend fabric coat, uplifted with a chic, chintz finish. It is water repellent, with a Velcro closure and underbelly protection. No less dignified is the Beetle Coat (around $260-$278), cheerful in cherry red, but also available in grey and olive. It has button detailing and a sporty puffer finish; your pug will be snug as a bug.
LARK DISTILLER’S SELECTION 500ML TASMANIAN WHISKY
Australia is gaining a well-earned reputation internationally for its beautifully crafted whiskies. But supply is running far behind demand and it’s tough to get your hands on anything truly special. This bottle hails from the very cradle of Australian whisky – the Lark Distillery in Tasmania, presided over by Bill Lark, the man who started it all. Lark Distiller’s Selection is sweet and fruity on the nose, with smooth chocolate and salted caramel across the palate and a big oak finish. Presented in a beautiful gift box, it’s Tasmania in a bottle.
Style statement:The most covetable fashion and accessories with which to stuff stockings.
FENDI LOGO PRINT PIECES
From $1750, fendi.com
If you like your fashion with a capital F, make a statement this summer in one of Fendi’s playful twists on its logo. The colourful Heart Print Shirt ($1750) is a flattering pyjama-top style in teal and gold, while the F Print logo trench ($7300) and Logo Off The Shoulder dress ($4800) come in classic Fendi brown and tan. The three pieces perfectly showcase the mix of wit and heritage that has come to define the Italian brand jointly helmed by Silvia Venturini Fendi as creative director of accessories and menswear and Karl Lagerfeld as artistic director.
SARAH & SEBASTIAN EARRINGS
From $1590, sarahandsebastian.com
Once best known for its barely-there delicate jewellery, Sydney brand Sarah & Sebastian has recently begun exploring larger statement pieces. The New Tidal earrings ($1590) feature an organic, warped silhouette with a sandblasted textured finish, and the colourful Double Prism earrings ($2800) in nine-karat yellow gold with semi-precious rainbow stones are perfect for Christmas Day and beyond. Wear them with everything from a breezy white summer dress to a glamorous cocktail gown for functions over the entertaining season.
CDLP SEA ISLAND BOXER SHORTS
From £70, matchesfashion.com
The Stockholm-based brand CDLP has the perfect Christmas gift – its limited-edition Sea Island Cotton Boxer Shorts (from £70). Sea Island Cotton is one of the rarest and most luxurious in the world, accounting for just .0004 per cent of the world’s cotton supply. With silky lustre and a fine uniform texture, these boxer shorts are luxurious and extremely comfortable, thanks to cotton grown in the West Indies and handcrafted by textile artisans in Portugal. The shorts are modern and elevated in design, with a slim silhouette. They are sure to be a Christmas favourite.
LOUIS VUITTON SHAWLS
While summer days are long and warm, the evenings can turn chilly, making a shawl
a smart as well as stylish accessory. Louis Vuitton’s Monogram Shine Shawl ($840)
with an ombre-effect monogram pattern has a subtle shimmer thanks to the use of a soft-shine yarn, while its Pop Monogram Square ($605) is a playful twist on the house’s iconic patterns. The central Monogram Flower comprises a joyful mix of straps, locks and chains in a riff on the historic leatherwork codes of the house, and the addition of dots and stripes give a fresh update to the much-loved Louis Vuitton monogram.
BOTTEGA VENETA INTRECCIATO BUTTER CALF BACKPACK
Speaking of house codes, Bottega Veneta’s Intrecciato leather weaving technique is as iconic as they come. This Intrecciato Butter Calf Backpack ($4190) features a panel showcasing the Intrecciato technique on the front and has a top handle and adjustable backpack straps. With a front zip pocket, interior zip pocket and three interior slip pockets, there are plenty of clever storage options, making it easy to keeptrack of documents and essential items. A perfect travel companion, the made-in-Italyaccessory is ideal for an active lifestyle, or simply for anyone who appreciates clever and refined design.
LOCK & CO. ROLLABLE PANAMA HAT
Costing anywhere between $400 for a very good example to $25,000 for the finest, at either level, a quality Panama hat represents something of an investment. It’s also quite tricky to travel with and prone to being crushed, which is why we recommend the natty, easily transported rollable style. Lock & Co. of St James’s, London, the oldest hat shop in existence (established 1676), stocks and ships internationally an excellent entry-level rollable Panama. Priced at £250 ($450), it’s of sufficient quality that you’ll be able to hold your head high, but not so eyewateringly expensive that you’d shed too many tears should it happen to be swept away by the Caribbean breeze. For the fearless aficionado who laughs in the face of tropical squalls, however, Lock also purveys a rollable Superfino Panama, handcrafted in Montecristi, Ecuador and priced at £1195 ($2160).
BERLUTI FAST TRACK TRAINERS
From $1700, matchesfashion.com/au
Be bold this Christmas with Berluti. The Parisian fashion company has expanded its men’s shoe collection this season with the Fast Track Trainer Shoe (from $1700); a beautiful hybrid of the Oxford shoe and a sports trainer. It is a uniquely contemporary dynamic that breaks the rules. Each shoe is Italian-crafted from Berluti’s Mogano leather with decorative perforations, a two-hole lace-up front and a tan-brown, white and black rubber sole. Available through MatchesFashion, this shoe would be the perfect gift this Christmas.
LOEWE FLAMENCO KNOT TOTE BAG
Loewe demonstrates its meticulous craftsmanship this Christmas with the gorgeous caramel leather Flamenco Knot Tote Bag ($2495). It is both surprisingly spacious and wonderfully stylish. It is accented with the Loewe debossed anagram logo while the rolled leather top handles thread through the sides of the bag, with the trademark flamenco knots enriching the otherwise smooth silhouette. Crafted from soft natural calfskin, it features a suede lining and black lacquered edges. The colour, size and shape of the bag make for the perfect everyday companion to a classic, yet contemporary, wardrobe.
A pink Christmas: Pink diamonds are extremely rare and up to 20 times more valuable than white diamonds and the Argyle mine in Western Australia produces around 90 per cent of the world’s supply. They have been treasured throughout history by royalty (the 23-carat Williamson diamond is currently owned by Queen Elizabeth II) and are also favoured today on the red carpet by celebrities from Mariah Carey to Blake Lively. Dare we say it: an eternal gift.
VAN CLEEF & ARPELS
The fairytales of the Brothers Grimm provided the inspiration for the new Quatre contes de Grimm high jewellery collection by Van Cleef & Arpels. The French luxury brand reinterpreted four tales – The Twelve Dancing Princesses, The Golden Bird, The Three Feathers and The Town Musicians of Bremen – in a series of pieces featuring the birds, animals and princesses that inhabit the stories. The collection continues the house’s tradition of taking inspiration from art and culture, in particular the worlds of ballet and dance. Charming examples from this collection are the Princesse Eos, Princesse Danica and Princesse Hemera clips, each representing one of the 12 princesses from the brothers’ tales.
PINK KIMBERLEY DIAMONDS
An Australian family-owned company, Pink Kimberley Diamonds was founded in 1967 with a vision for prestige and exquisite jewels. From the company’s Pink Kimberley collection, the Chantilly ring ($157,731) was a finalist in the Red Carpet category of the recent Diamond Guild Australia Jewellery Awards. Other breathtaking pieces include the Corowa earrings ($19,780), the Cybele pendant ($30,461) and the Peyton ring ($66,696).
FAIRFAX & ROBERTS
Fairfax & Roberts first opened for business in 1858 on Sydney’s George Street, initially as a watchmaker and soon after, a creator of fine jewellery. Today the company is renowned for its customdesigned pieces, often featuring pink diamonds. Current pieces include a ring in 18-karat white and rose gold with a fancy orange pink pear-cut centre diamond and an Argyle Pink Diamond halo ($138,600); a platinum and diamond pendant featuring a pink diamond centre and 22 round brilliant-cut diamonds ($17,800); and a ring in 18-karat white gold with a 3.51-carat cushion centre diamond and two heart-shaped pink diamonds ($168,900).
In Muzo Emerald Colombia and Argyle Pink Diamonds, two of the world’s most prized stones come together in this collection sold by J Farren-Price (a founding
member of the Diamond Guild Australia). The collection, which includes an 8-carat pear-shaped ring and a 15-carat emerald-cut design, is the second J Farren Price collection to marry the seductive qualities of both diamond brands. Other Argyle Pink Diamond pieces include a stunning jade and Argyle Pink Diamond dress ring and a matching necklace, and a number of rings, of which an emerald-cut Argyle Pink Diamond Ring ($725,000) and a round-cut Argyle Pink Diamond and white diamond ring ($538,000) are particularly spectacular.
Paspaley is renowned for its South Sea cultured pearls – which are among the most beautiful in the world – but the Australian jeweller also incorporates exquisite stones into many of its pieces. At the heart of each collection is the bounty from the Pinctada maxima pearl oyster, found only in the Kimberley but pink diamonds are regularly sprinkled through each collection. Examples include a pair of earrings with pink diamonds of 1.459 carats, two 15mm Paspaley pearls and 32 white diamonds of 2.186 carats ($93,800); and a necklace with pink diamonds of 0.8 carats, white diamonds of 1.09 carats and a spectacular 17mm baroque Paspaley pearl ($92,800).
Australian jeweller Mondial began when Fred Neuman and his wife Maria opened a jewellery store named Carina Jewellers in 1962 in Sydney. In the ’70s the Neumans shifted their focus to jewellery wholesaling, during which time they developed a love of coloured gems – and today they lavish that love specifically on pink diamonds. Mondial in Sydney’s Queen Victoria Building is a treasure trove of pink beauties, including a ring featuring a radiant-cut Argyle Pink Diamond of 0.89 carats surrounded by eight ovals of 3.67 carats ($POA), and a classic feminine engagement set with an Argyle Pink Diamond ring and matching pink diamond wedding band ($26,000 for the set)
Marking Time: Both practical and aesthetically pleasing, timepieces make the ultimate lasting gift statement
ULYSSE NARDIN EXECUTIVE SKELETON TOURBILLON HYPERSPACE
First gaining renown in the 19th century as a trusted purveyor of marine chronometers to seafarers, Swiss watchmaker Ulysse Nardin’s latest timepiece takes inspiration from ships of another sort — spacecraft. Encased in ultra-light titanium, the Executive Skeleton Tourbillon Hyperspace, which debuted at the recent 2018 Cannes Film Festival, draws cues from the Millennium Falcon piloted by Han Solo in the Star Wars saga. Its open-worked design, and less-is-more UN-171 manufacture movement with a flying silicium ‘hyperspace’ tourbillon is redolent of the stripped-back aesthetic of the famed starship that “made the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs” (or
so rakish smuggler Solo claimed). Available in three colourways, the force is strong in this one.
TAG HEUER FORMULA 1 LADY
From $2700, tagheuer.com
In a recent interview with Robb Report Australia & NZ, watch industry legend Jean-Claude Biver (who retired from a highly successful run as TAG Heuer’s CEO in September) remarked: “There’s a new generation that is coming, and we have to work to address and to communicate with this generation. Because if we cannot get them attracted to the idea of a watch when they are 18, 25 or 30, how can we sell them a watch later?” With its easily interchangeable straps, fashionable ‘luxeathleisure’
aesthetic and accessible price point, TAG Heuer’s new quartz-powered Formula 1 Lady will undoubtedly appeal to this new customer. Once again, Monsieur Biver comes up with a winning formula.
VACHERON CONSTANTIN FIFTYSIX DAY-DATE
From $16,700, vacheron-constantin.com
A handful of other watch companies can lay claim to having been registered at
earlier dates. However, as each of them paused production for a time, it is Vacheron Constantin – established in 1755 – that holds the title of world’s oldest watchmaker in continuous operation. While best known for its traditional timepieces, the storied manufacture asserted its contemporary bona fides with the new FiftySix range launched at this year’s SIHH watch fair. Though elegant and classic, the line is nevertheless squarely aimed at a new, younger customer. While FiftySix prices start at an amazing $16,700, if you’re feeling particularly generous (to the tune of $48,000) towards a millennial this Christmas, may we suggest considering the beautiful FiftySix Day-Date in 18K pink gold?
JAEGER-LECOULTRE ATMOS 568 CLOCK BY MARC NEWSON
Available from J Farren-Price, from around $40,000, jfarrenprice.com.au
Perhaps the ultimate gift for the lover of late-20th century design, one of the
dozen or so examples of Marc Newson’s iconic Lockheed Lounge will set you back
more than $3.5 million, if recent auction results are any indication. Sound a little extravagant? Fortunately, Jaeger-LeCoultre has provided a more affordable route to installing a Newson rarity in the home of your nearest-and-dearest design aficionado. JLC’s latest collaboration with the famed Sydney-bred creative genius sees Newson again reinterpret the Atmos clock — a veritable perpetual motion machine, powered by changes in atmospheric pressure, and encased in curvaceous Baccarat crystal.
A home run: Add to list … Sculpture, storage and safe-keeping
Noble materials, graphic lines … Interior architect and designer Stéphane Parmentier began his career working for Karl Lagerfeld. He’s now the artistic director of Giorgio Bagnara’s design outfit, Giobagnara, and this season’s creations include Tabou Sculpture 3, a 72cm tall study in leather, suede and bronze. Parmentier’s work borrows from Greco- Roman antiquity, Puglian landscapes and Japanese artistic restraint, but still manages to convey that Italian art of living.
DEDON FEDRO CHAIR
Call it a rocker (it balances on two skids), a beach chair or a picnic
essential, the stackable ‘Fedro’ seat from homemakers Dedon has all the colour and charisma of a Costa Rican rainforest. Its weatherproof, colourfast woven fibre is stretched over an aluminium frame and has a comfortable quick-dry fabric headrest. Designer Lorenza Bozzoli took her cue from something right in front of her nose – a son playing a video game on TV while balancing on the seat of a chair without legs. Fedro borrows its colours from three birds of paradise – the flamingo, the hummingbird colibrí and the quetzal.
VERSACE HOME TREASURES
Everyone needs a treasure chest. And no one is going to do one quite like Versace. ‘Medusa’ ($1700) announces itself with a signature Versace 24-karat gold-plated clasp, a case in aqua cow leather printed with a crocodile-skin pattern and a fabric lining with signature opulent black and gold Barocco print. Assuming you have change left over from shopping our pages, here’s the porcelain money box to hide it in. ‘Break the Bank’ ($272) is new from a gift collection by
Rosenthal meets Versace, which says it all. Both belong to the Versace Home range, on show in Sydney in Waterloo and at Sheraton on the Park.
COCO REPUBLIC FINISHING TOUCHES
Coco Republic is a one-stop shop when all your friends are homemaker types. The candles, cushions and vases won’t be re-gifted. So let the hankering begin … with a sumptuous Timothy Oulton faux fox throw ($415), which looks inviting whether tossed over an armchair or the edge of a bed. It’s incredibly soft and snuggly, and no foxes were harmed in the process. Also to love is the 15-kilo Frye table lamp in clear crystal with a cap of vintage brass sheeting cut to look like a dripping candle; the shade is white microfibre ($1210).
Kitted out: For the technocrat in your life, only the latest and greatest will do
HASSELBLAD X1D FIELD KIT
If you’re looking for the ultimate camera for your travels, you can’t go past this starter kit from the fabled Swedish brand Hasselblad, whose long-lived H-series captured some of the most iconic images on earth (and off it, as NASA’s official camera of the Apollo missions). At the heart of this field kit is the brand’s new-generation X1D-50c camera, which here comes with a Pelican carry bag and three different lenses: XCD 3.5/30, XCD 3.5/45 and XCD 3.2/90. There are also a couple of batteries so you never run out of juice, and a plethora of cleaning accessories to keep the dust and grit away while on safari.
Approx US$15,000, chilliisland.fr/en
Chilli Island is a motorised floating deck chair that can comfortably accommodate two people for a leisurely float/ cruise, with no boat licence required. Measuring approximately 2.5 metres in diameter and weighing 300 kilograms, it comprises a fibreglass internal frame and polyethylene body. Overhead, adjustable palm fronds provide shade and there’s a built-in ice bucket, cup holders, 80-watt sound system, LED lighting and an underwater camera. Chilli Island is propelled by a Torqeedo electric motor, available in 0.5kW and 1kW options, with a pair of 300Ah batteries that keep it operational for up to six hours. The fun begins by creating your custom Chilli Island via a dedicated app.
DJI MAVIC 2 DRONE WITH DJI GOGGLES RACING EDITION
Five years ago, a drone of this quality would easily have set you back at least $15,000 – so it’s quite incredible to see DJI push the envelope so quickly. The Mavic 2 is by far the best consumer drone on the market, and the crystal-clear Hasselblad 4K camera can take images up to seven kilometres away thanks to a 31-minute flight time. We’ve seen this drone hit altitudes above 1500 metres, and the new auto tracking technology means you can just throw it up in the air, set it to follow you, and then let it do its work. Add in a pair of DJI Goggles and it’s like being in the
drone; you can even control its flightpath with head motion. An amazing, must-have piece of technology.
BANG & OLUFSEN BEOSOUND EDGE
B&O is renowned for delivering stunning audio quality on a larger scale, but this wi-fi-enabled speaker dials things down a notch. It’s relatively small, with a minimalist circular aluminium design and a circumference of just 50cm. But crammed within is an active 10-inch woofer design with bass port, twin threequarter- inch tweeters, twin four-inch mid-range tweeters and six Class D amps. Expect this small disk of Danish design to punch out seriously loud and clear music. Best of all it has touch controls and motion sensors, and you can adjust the volume by rolling it up and down the wall, where it’s held in place by an invisible mount.
Indoor cycle trainers don’t really mimic the exact performance of cycling, but the Technogym SKILLBIKE changes all that. It’s the first indoor bike with real gears, known as ‘Real Gear Shift’ technology, which replicates the challenges of uphill riding. This is tied to the ‘Multidrive Technology’ that allows riders to flick between a power-based routine to authentic hill climbing situations. It may look like a light-cycle from Tron, but the ergonomic design perfectly represents real riding position, while the seven-inch LCD monitor provides a wealth of information, from heartrate to distance travelled (including vertically). And even better, there’s no worry about near-misses with inattentive drivers.
British company Hummingbird – which produces the world’s lightest folding bicycle, at 6.9 kilos – has outdone itself with an electric version weighing just 10.3 kilos. That’s still lighter than the average commuter bike, but the Hummingbird’s lithium battery can propel it at up to 25km/h for a range of 160 kilometres, recharging in just two hours. The accompanying Bitride app lets you access online diagnosis, navigation and mobility stats, and even remotely lock the rear wheel for security. Assembled by Prodrive, which designs, builds and races cars for Aston Martin and others, this serious piece of precision engineering is made from the world’s most advanced composite technologies.
DENON AVC-X8500H AMPLIFIER
You name it, this amp does it – from packaging top-of-the-class components to deliver room-shaking audio so clear that you’ll hear the guitarist plucking and squeaking each string, to handling up to 13.2 channels of audio. That’s because it has to, thanks to its support for the latest Dolby Atmos surround technology, which allows
for the installation of speakers in your ceiling– perfect for capturing that true cinema soundscape. We could list the supported specs if we took another whole page, but trust us; if there’s a sound spec out there, the Denon AVC-X8500H amplifier supports it. It’s potentially a panacea for all your audiophile’s ills.
DYSON SUPERSONIC 23.75-KARAT GOLD HAIR DRYER
We’re fairly confident in saying there’s never been a hairdryer quite like it.
Conceived by British billionaire inventor James Dyson, the Dyson Supersonic 23.75-karat gold hair dryer uses a traditional hand-gilding process to apply pure gold to its signature ‘ring’ component. Dyson’s team of 103 engineers went through some 600 prototypes in refining the gilding process. After exploring mainstream industrial processes and techniques, the engineers determined that the gold coating – comprised of five gold leaves, each just 333 atoms thick, sourced from Florence – was best performed by hand, by a skilled craftsman. Aside from its hand-applied elegance and rarity, the light weight Dyson Supersonic has many practical features, including an intelligent heat control system, fast and efficient drying and quiet operation.
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