Elisa Mala

Why Are Swedes So Good at Design?

What do ecclesiastical garments have in common with a handheld version of a DJ's mixing board? Both were shortlisted for the Swedish Design Award, one of the country's most prestigious accolades.Currently on display at the Eugenides Foundation in Athens, they are part of an exhibit featuring the 10 winners and nine nominees that has been touring the world since June 2008.

Fashion: More Attention on the Back of Dresses

Dresses drawing attention to the back—with intricate, eye-popping and whimsical details—were part of more than a dozen spring '09 presentations at the recent Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York. "Every season, there's a different erogenous zone," says Carmen Marc Valvo, who unveiled a black gown with thin straps that merged in a basket weave on the small of the back.

Jewelry Stores Try Offering Dining With Diamonds

"Breakfast At Tiffany's" can be experienced only on the silver screen, but purveyors of high-end jewels offer more to feast on than candy-colored gems. On Oct. 13, Mauboussin opens a New York flagship that houses a five-table "salon de gourmandize" where guests can devour pastries and chocolate while trying on jewelry. (mauboussin.com).Bulgari's Ginza Tower in Tokyo is crowned by Il Ristorante, an Italian restaurant that occupies the top three floors of the 10-story flagship.

Fashion Designers Turn to the Back

Dresses drawing attention to the back with intricate, eye-popping and whimsical details were part of more than a dozen spring '09 presentations at New York's Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week last week. "Every season, there's a different erogenous zone," said Carmen Marc Valvo, who unveiled a black gown with thin straps that merged in a basket weave on the small of the back.

Solid Perfumes

Even the most pungent scent eventually fades into the ether, which may be why fragrances are becoming heavier—literally. Resembling lip balm, solid perfumes are long-lasting and portable.

Luxury Travelers Keep High-Style Journals

Those accustomed to traveling in high style should record their exploits in the same fashion. For the private-jet set, Mrs. John L. Strong's Voyager Diary lists gratuity guidelines for 16 countries, concierge services and international dialing codes, in addition to elegant pages for reflections on the road ($150; mrsstrong.

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").

Grooming: Razors To Relish

Shaving doesn't have to be a chore. Luxury razors feel sleek and substantial in the hand as they combat stubble in style. Established in 1805 by the Duke of Edinburgh, Truefitt & Hill offers ebony, faux horn or imitation ivory Wellington handles ($110; truefitt andhill.co.uk).

4 Hours In Atlanta

Mainly steel and concrete, Georgia's capital doesn't look like much from the highway. But rewards await for those willing to probe a little deeper. Touch stingrays, bonnethead sharks and anemones at the Georgia Aquarium, the world's biggest.