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  • The Softer Side of Men's Fashion

    Menswear is typically about sober suits, structured tailoring and starched shirts. But this season and next, designers are showing a softer side.Y-3 by Yohji Yamamoto, a line distinguished by its high-tech sportswear, features a lush fall coat with a red velvet floral pattern ($2,250; y-3.com), the perfect piece for an urban explorer on a romantic journey. Alber Elbaz and Lucas Ossendrijver, the designers who mastermind Lanvin's men's line, are showing belted cashmere cardigan coats ($2,330; lanvin.com) that exude sensual elegance. Their spring collection features a provocative nude cotton blouson ($680) and slim pant ($1,288). At YSL, Stefano Pilati builds a spring collection around traditional staples like bomber jackets and trench coats, refashioned in feminine fabrics such as silk gazar and ultrasoft cotton. His unstructured, gold-sequined cardigan (price upon request; ysl.com) would make an unexpected evening option. Tomas Maier's spring collections for Bottega Veneta are the...
  • Relax in Luxury On the Dead Sea

    The Kempinski Ishtar Dead Sea Resort is an oasis set against the dry Jordanian landscape, and one of the most luxurious places in the region. ...
  • Personalized Eyewear: Seeing Is Believing

    Just when you thought the personalization trend in fashion couldn't go any further, bespoke eyewear craftsmen are coming up with glasses made to fit clients' distinctive facial features, proportions and skin complexion.Nader Zadi's impressive collection starts with vintage frames crafted in the early to mid-20th century; clients choose from rimless, semi-rimless and full frames, shaped or tinted lenses, bridges and nose rests made entirely of solid yellow, white or rose gold (starting at $750) by appointment only. Zadi then measures, assembles and modifies each component to each client's taste, appearance and prescription needs (212-249-5609; rareframes.com).Having outfitted Jude Law and Kylie Minogue, the Oliver Goldsmith Studio offers a bespoke eyeglass service with custom engraving starting at $700. Fitters measure the distance between clients' temples, the height of their ears and the width of their noses to assure a perfect fit. Vintage acetate or tortoiseshell frames add star...
  • Take a Hanoi City Break

    Houston? No problem. With thriving arts and sports scenes this metropolis is slicker than the average oil town. ...
  • The Legacy of Beijing's Olympic Games

    By now, it's clear that both Chinese and visitors alike reveled in the 2008 Games, even many skeptics. The merry national atmosphere is quite different from the mood before Aug. 8, when officials worried about polluted air, terror attacks, even the performance of high-profile athletes like hurdler Liu Xiang. Some of their fears came to pass: a lone attacker killed an American coach's family member, scattered protests did take place and Liu limped away gold-less after an injury.Still, the Olympics were undeniably a PR success. Beijing's critics warned of crackdowns, but travelers were greeted instead with the sight of citizens reacting to the Games with cheers and tears against a backdrop of stunning architecture. For domestic audiences, officials peddled a relaxed, humane image—President Hu Jintao sat in the audience at sporting events like a regular spectator—that's playing well at home. The Games will have many legacies, from Michael Phelps to Usain Bolt. But for Beijing, its soft...
  • Global Singers Pay Homage To Obama

    Even though they can't cast votes in November, artists around the globe are cranking out tunes in homage to the Democratic presidential candidate. Latin-Grammy-nominated Don Omar transformed Obama's surname into the upbeat Reggaeton song, "Como Se Dice," and collaborated with the Cuban band Yerba Buena and over a dozen other Latin stars on "Podemos Con Obama" ("We Can With Obama"). Jamaican crooners are particularly starry-eyed for the politician, with Tyrical's "The Obama Song," Cocoa Tea's "Barack Obama" and Mavado's "We Need Barack" (which mixes Obama's speeches with reggae beats). Grenada-born Calypso singer Mighty Sparrow is working on an entire album of Obama songs, following his hit "Barack the Magnificent."On the other side of the Atlantic, Boy George released "Yes We Can" (a tune by the same name is sung by American hip-hopper will.i.am) while Irish band Drew Hardy and the Nancy Boys proclaim "There's No One as Irish as Barack Obama." And in Kenya, homeland of Obama's...
  • Dickey: Saakashvili and the Dangers of Defiance

    The Russia-Georgia conflict is yet another example of why a leader caught up in the romance of resistance should not rely on Washington. What Saakashvili should have learned from history--and the American South.
  • Q&A: Georgia's Mikheil Saakashvili on Russia Fight

    In an interview, embattled Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili says Russia intends to occupy Georgia and overthrow his government. And he claims Moscow's real target is the United States, Europe and NATO.
  • Analyst: Gitmo Trials 'A Long Way From Nuremberg'

    The author of a new book about the Bush administration's efforts to try terror suspects at Guantanamo Bay says that even the first conviction, against Osama bin Laden's former driver, isn't exactly a major victory.
  • Javea, Spain: History Lesson and Summer Fun

    A home to Roman fishermen in the second century B.C., this port town an hour's drive from Valencia offers a vivid history of the area's ancient occupation as well as a variety of fun summer activities. ...
  • Jewelry: Black is the New Gold

    In jewelry, black is the new gold. While inky diamonds are in vogue, connoisseurs know that they're much like fool's gold: shiny, pretty, yet ultimately devoid of high value. But there are dark rocks that are worth their weight—think onyx, jade and black pearl. Flexible onyx studs cover a silver bracelet by Stephen Webster ($2,900; neimanmarcus.com). Council of Fashion Designers of America award-winner Tom Binns produces a black metal cuff that's adorned with one eyepopping yellow rhodium ($825; neta-porter .com). Long-established houses are also hip to this new phenomenon; Mauboussin's Perle de Ma Vie (Pearl of My Life) white-gold ring features a single jet-black Tahitian pearl, surrounded by colorless diamonds ($4,700; mauboussin .com). Verdura's Diamond Dome earrings are globes of black jade with a strip of white pavé diamonds running across the center like an equator ($7,500; verdura .com). London-based Garrard, the oldest purveyor in the world, houses an intricate, reversible,...
  • After India's Bombings, Calls for Counterterrorism

    The bombings that killed at least 45 people in the city of Ahmadabad on July 26 are a reminder of the scope of India's internal terror threat. Last year, 1,093 people died in terror incidents, which places India fourth in the world, after Iraq (13,606), Afghanistan (1,966) and Pakistan (1,335). And the number of attacks by terrorists with no apparent motives is rising at a time when India has neither a national strategy nor a federal agency to contain terrorism.This wasn't always the case. Inspired by attacks in the Muslim-majority state of Kashmir, India passed a tough 1998 law that allowed police to detain terror suspects for six months without charges, and allowed courts to sentence them based solely on confessions to police. But after taking office in 2004, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh repealed the law in response to critics who said it was being abused to target innocent Muslims and regular agitators, while failing to stop attacks like the one on Parliament in 2001.Now, after...
  • China's Quest For Olympic Gold

    The medal count matters to China. After netting 32 golds in 2004, just four behind the United States, it's headed for a blowout now. Economist Dan Johnson, whose forecasts have a 94 percent accuracy over the past four Games, predicts 44 golds for China, 33 for the United States. Some factors are universal—home teams typically surge, and nations with autocratic regimes average 18 more medals than democracies. But one is specific to China: after disappointing 2000 results in major sports, Beijing launched Project 119, a training campaign to make itself competitive in all 119 (now 122) events, from the 100-meter dash to kayaking. With 88 of the golds this year coming in swimming and track and field, events in which China has lagged in the past, this year could mark a dramatic turning point—or an even more colossal comedown.
  • Mail Call: A Necessary War?

    Readers of Christopher Hitchens's piece on the "good war" were divided about the necessity of World War II. One called his review of Pat Buchanan's book "masterful." Another agreed, "Buchanan's book stinks." A third said: "Millions of lives were destroyed … It's obscene to qualify WWII as 'good'." ...