AltLuxe

Posts tagged “luxury

Care about sustainability? Get serious about your brand.

Posted on January 23, 2018

“Brand” is one of those words – a little like “luxury”– that feels the very antithesis of “sustainability”. For many, it bespeaks glossy magazine ads, splashy parties, and a general glitz that feels gross, vulgar. And in many ways it is, as it pumps up demand for things we don’t want. But ironically, for all the importance of using sustainable materials and processes, the single most important act of sustainability is to not create more waste to begin with. In our society, waste implies that there is no market demand for a given item and that while it may have inherent value, it doesn’t have economic value. And things that lack economic value are waste. SO the imperative is to create value. One of…

Collected stories

Posted on October 11, 2015

It seems to be that if you like the finer things in life, and are far enough along to have a lot of the basics taken care of, at some point you will confront the “c” word.  As in collecting. As in being a collector. As in having a collection. I think the first time I was aware of the idea of a collector was when I was living in Hong Kong. I visited the home of a lovely man named Paul Braga, a member of one of the oldest Portuguese families there. My 7 year old self was awed by a collection of snuff bottles. I had no idea of what they were. What on earth was snuff? I was told. (Yuck, said I, the 7…

Lessons on pleasure from Mandy Aftel

Posted on December 7, 2014

I recently had a chance to interview one of my favorite people, Mandy Aftel (the artisan fragrance genius), about her book, Fragrant, one of the best books of the year, perhaps the decade. (Read more here, then make sure you pick up her book.) As our conversation often does, it meandered around to the topic of luxury and pleasure. It’s easy to think that someone in the field of fragrance – and in particular the fragrance industrial complex with its preponderance of glitzy ads, celebrity scents, and its ties to the the 20th century’s notions of luxury and sensuality – might be sucked into the norms of the industry. But she’s honed her own sensibility, values and ethos along the way and precisely because of the prevailing…

Time to do some taking

Posted on May 27, 2014

The other day, I was sitting and chatting with a new friend – an art impresario – and listening to her story about how she discovered her latest artist. She used a charming, somewhat old fashioned, almost European phrase three times in as many sentences and I was suddenly struck with how unexpectedly wise that turn of phrase was. It was a simple and common enough two word phrase: “took notice”. Not “I noticed” but rather, “I took notice”. “I noticed” is passive, as in something drifted by your consciousness, and it registered there, however lightly.  “Taking” notice, is active, as in paying attention, more intensely, more insistently. You sit up and take notice. You don’t just observe: you examine, you query, you internalize, you grapple, you…

The luxury of time

Posted on April 12, 2014

There’s one thing that keeps coming up in conversations about luxury, and it has nothing to do with stuff and things and sensuality. It doesn’t even cost money, not in the absolute, so it seems to feel less status-y, more wholesome. That “thing” of course, is time. The luxury of doing nothing. The luxury of hanging out with friends. The luxury of focus. The luxury of time to do nothing. The luxury of an afternoon thats unplanned and unstructured, where you go with the flow of desire or instinct. (Sounds great to me.) When we’re running about working, projecting, parenting, investing in our relationships/our bodies/our sanity, of course time feels like a luxury. Of course time feels precious and rare. But is time inherently a…

The pleasure discipline

Posted on March 12, 2014

The way we’re defining luxury here on AltLuxe, it’s clear that it’s more than about the thing, the product, the object. It’s about pleasure, which is something that happens between your ears and in your psyche, not in a shop somewhere. (Luxury is most definitely not about shopping and spending or even spa-ing, which can leave me feeling frazzled and graspy and unsatisfied.) Luxury is about sense and experience and soul. It’s about slowing down and petting my cat and luxuriating in the warmth of his body, the sensuous feel of his coat, the crazy little snores he gives from time to time. It’s about writing in my journal. It’s about having an unexpected drink with my besties. Oddly enough, this kind of luxury,…

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…

AltLuxe: home for pleasure

Posted on February 20, 2014

By Regina Connell. People often ask me what the new luxury is when it comes to the home. I get the sense that what they’re looking for is a pat answer, and a look: perhaps something involving exposed beams, industrial touches, reclaimed wood, flea market finds, etc. You know, that look. But then that would be about buying other peoples’ labels and looks again, which is not what alternative luxury is about. However, forced to come up with something more useful, I’d say that it’s about these things: ease, what’s essential, soul, sensuality, intimacy, and subversion. AltLuxe, like many good things, is a little complicated. No. 1  EASE. More than anything else, the AltLuxe home is about ease. It’s about not trying too hard to look…

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…

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…