AltLuxe

Posts from the “Consuming Pleasures” Category

InstaLuxe

Posted on March 30, 2014

Came across this article, “Behold a Four-Day Design Miracle in Noe Valley” (San Francisco) in the local lifestyle mag, 7x7SF. The piece chronicles a – yes – four day furnishing of a house in an increasingly swanky part of San Francisco (beloved of the newly minted Technorati Wealthy). And it reminded me of all that AltLuxe is NOT.   According to the article, the owners, after some fits and starts, got sick of the process of decorating their home. They were leaving town for four days, and they hired designer Ian Stallings to complete the project in that time. He interviewed them to find out what they liked and cared about, and then executed beautifully, right down to a fully-outfitted cabinet of curiosities. There are quirky…

The key to luxury: awe

Posted on March 2, 2014

By Regina Connell. I was wandering around San Francisco’s Pacific Heights the other day. Cold and rainy, it was actually the perfect shopping day, tailor-made for lingering in stores, rather than wandering in between. As I lingered long in a little cluster of stores on Sacramento Street: March, The Future Perfect, Elu, and the newly opened Jessie Black – all wonderful examples of AltLuxe, I had an epiphany … that what I’m really looking for from luxury – new or old – is one simple feeling: awe. I felt it as I picked up an intricately detailed, sumptuously seductive leather jacket from Elu, with metal brads joining the seam down the back. I felt it as I picked up a sake cup at March:…

The Iconic AltLuxe Store

Posted on February 21, 2014

By Regina Connell. One of the other questions I get asked a lot (other than the one about the home) is “what’s the iconic AltLuxe lifestyle (not just clothing) store?” There are some stores that kind of qualify. Maybe Barney’s with its hard to find brands and strong point of view, though there’s a coldness to it, and their home goods section constantly seems to struggle from a taste perspective. There’s Bergdorf Goodman, but it’s just a smaller mainstream department store with really great buyers. In London there’s Liberty, with its strong though slightly inconsistent POV. Maybe Dover Street Market in London (can’t say about the NY store yet), in a limited way. My choice for the retail icon is the dear, departed, sorely missed…

Consuming Pleasures: Good Food

Posted on February 14, 2014

By Regina Connell. Given a choice, I’d rather stock my pantry with artisanal food: high quality, carefully and lovingly prepared by the hands of independent entrepreneurs, distinctive, with the best ingredients. This is, to me, the kind of luxury and pleasure I can indulge in every day. Easier said than done, however. I’ve tasted a lot of very earnest local, hand-crafted but incredibly so-so stuff out there. How do I know which food or drink is tasty, authentic, and responsible and not (frankly) a waste of time, money, and calories? With the number of indie producers out there, it’s impossible to stay on top of it all, not to mention just one category that’s blowing up, like craft beer. Enter the Good Food Awards, the closest guarantee…

Living well: recipes for pleasure

Posted on January 20, 2014

Like any foodie, I do love my indulgences. Recently discovered pleasures include the pucker-up tart seville orange marmalade from Josephine’s Feast, that sublimely creamy straciatella on the pizza I had the other day at Farm Shop in Marin, and that orgasmic cup of hot chocolate using Recchiuti dark chocolate pistoles… However indispensable these are to the life well-lived, over the holidays I realized that my real foodie pleasure comes from preparing it,  not just consuming it. So I resolved to cook more, cook with more focus, more intention. While this realization would have many running to the nearest farmers market, for me, it starts with cookbooks and recipes. Now there are a billion lovely cookbooks out there, oozing with luscious imagery, compelling stories and the…

The Manifesto: It’s all about Pleasure

Posted on January 1, 2014

My goal for this year: get more pleasure out of life. Not the profligate, crazy, acquisitive, icky (and you know what I mean) kind, but deeper, durable, really joyful pleasure: the type – deep down – we all crave (though yes, every once in a while, you need a little good ick). Deep pleasure is based on sense and sensibility: I want to feel deep contentment and delight about how I live. Here’s my personal manifesto (please note, not resolution) for the year and beyond. I will embrace pleasure. I will banish the inner puritan who mandates that pleasure is something to be sprinkled parsimoniously (if at all) onto struggle and responsibility. Genuine pleasure is our birthright, and it’s essential to our happiness and therefore health. Living…

Living Well: In praise of the little picture

Posted on December 26, 2013

It’s ironic that the concept of mindfulness is terribly buzzy these days: mindfulness is about the anti-buzz. But bear with me here, because it seems to me that mindfulness is at the heart of AltLuxe. (And yes, the more serious leaders in the mindfulness movement, folks like Jon Kabat-Zinn, Gil Fronsdahl and Jack Kornfield would likely squirm at my applying it to notions of luxury and consumption, but oh well.) Mindfulness is, at its core, about awareness of what is going on, primarily as it relates to your mind, but also about how you’re feeling, your emotions, and what’s going on about you. And the foundation of awareness lies in stepping back, noticing and noting. And that’s the biggest intersection between mindfulness and AltLuxe:…