Posts from the “FauxLuxe” Category

Skin deep

Posted on March 14, 2016

Some days, I feel I’m drowning in imagery. It’s not just the time spent in front of my computer or phone that’s the culprit. There’s the extraordinarily good stuff on TV: Netflix and House of Cards and Game of Thrones and Empire and The Americans and Downton Abbey…There are the print magazines with which I’m obsessed …  There’s the constant design image grazing I do for work, the FOMO (as in, “Didn’t you see that great room / sofa / tile installation / wooden spoon on insta?”) and the constant battle to find the right images, get the rights, edit them, get them in … there’s even the beauty of where I live and work – the sunsets, the rain, the interiors, the products, the factory, the ironic streetscapes (or…

End of empire stuff

Posted on August 2, 2015

Despite the fact that the world is full of strife on one end and bad taste on the other,  I’m not one to let these things get me too terribly down. But there was one thing that really got me depressed and truth be told, disgusted. Entitled “Instagram: Retail’s Holy Grail” (behind the FT paywall) the piece reported that  “millennial females’ anxieties about appearing too many times in the same outfit in their internet photographs is driving fundamental changes in the way they shop.” Selfie culture is driving Millennialistas to buy cheaper, more often. Says Jamie Merman, an analyst for Sanford Bernstein, “Faster is absolutely better because part of the selfie phenomenon is that women want changing trends, and current trends, quicker.” So wrong. Vile, in fact. They sell or…

The New Disney

Posted on June 9, 2014

There was a time, not so terribly long ago, that there was really no such thing as a “boutique” hotel. There were big chain hotels (Hyatt, Sheraton, Hilton, Marriott), luxury hotels (the Ritz, the Four Seasons) and there were motels. And there were others: bed and breakfasts, pensiones, and ryokans. Oh, and since we’re talking Japan: there were love hotels.  There was no AirBnB, no VRBO. Boutique hotels really got their start in the late 70s, in London, courtesy of Anouska Hempel and Blakes. They were small (under 50 rooms), idiosynchratically decorated, with service that promised to be more intimate, more personal, and restaurant food that was actually edible. The fashion and media crowds gravitated to this kind of thing. And it was then that things got out of…

Consuming pleasures: the S word

Posted on May 17, 2014

  Sale. Funny word, that. For some people, that word is like catnip. When that email plops into that mailbox, eyes light up, plans are made, research is done. (Flights may even be booked.) Then, in the store, or online, there’s a frenzy: hunt, buy, hunt, buy. And who doesn’t want to pay less for something? I am pleased to say that I have bagged a few great bargains in my life…those gold mesh Manolo Blahniks I’d bought for $50 and sprayed black (worn with pleasure for years now) or the better knife set at 50% off. Or the super low fare to London where I had that life changing Christmas holiday. Yes, of course. But a few years ago, as I did my annual wardrobe cull, I realized…


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…

FauxLuxe: What AltLuxe Isn’t

Posted on December 7, 2013

By Regina Connell. Sometimes you define things by what they aren’t. Saw this article in the brilliant PSFK: so-called “bespoke tailoring” done via 3D scanner in the back of a truck. But isn’t the whole point of a bespoke suit to have not just the product but the experience of talking to a tailor who has a clue about how things should really hang, or how when and extra half inch is the difference between a pair of pants that feels great and one that feels awful and tugs a little too much there. (And while I’m at it, I suspect that this is actually a made-to-measure suit rather than a truly cut-to-your-spec bespoke model but we don’t need to go into the differences…