Taking Wine Out of the Cellar

For a libation so closely associated with celebration and ceremony, wine is often relegated to behind-the-scenes status when not being drunk, stowed away in cabinets, or tucked into the dark corners of the basement. Part of this is pragmatic: wines are like vampires, best stored in cool, dark spaces. But wine-storage options for the home are growing bolder and more whimsical, blurring the lines between practical and ornamental while placing bottles within easy reach.The best alternatives simply...

The Chair Takes a Front Seat

Even the most humorless soul might appreciate the understated wit of Sergio Rodrigues's business card, which depicts the squat, mustachioed octogenarian dozing away blissfully in a well-padded reclining chair. After all, the 82-year-old architect and interior designer has built a lively career out of cheeky chairs. In September, Rodrigues unveiled his latest creation: the Chifruda, inspired by his 1962 design the Aspas, of which only two were produced. Named after the Brazilian Portuguese slang...

Tribeca Takes Its Film Festival to Qatar

Fade in on a typical day at the Tribeca Film Festival: dazzling images flash across the silver screen, while A-listers flash megawatt smiles for a sea of paparazzi. Skyscrapers loom over the cobblestoned streets of downtown Manhattan.When the festival debuts its first franchise in Qatar on Oct. 29, the setting will be drastically different—towering palm trees, endless seascapes, sweltering temperatures—but the filmmakers and Hollywood names will all be familiar. The roster for the Doha...

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. Other examples include a table with sides six millimeters thick, a light that shuts itself off when the room is empty,...

Travel: Tours with a Whiff of Jasmine and Lavender

For holidaymakers, everything's coming up roses—and every other scent imaginable. When quick drops into fragrance shops seem too fleeting, perfume tours allow connoisseurs to really stop and smell the lavender.In London, each Perfume Pilgrim walking tour visits at least a half-dozen hideaways. The 1001 Arabian Aromas outing uncovers musks of the Middle East, while Scent Sillage delves into rare formu-las ($70 per person; perfumepilgrim.com). Giving new meaning to bespoke scents, Perfume Paths...

Christmas Markets That Sure Beat the Mall

Lucky for reluctant shoppers, outdoor outcroppings of stalls spring up each year at this time, proferring handcrafted tchotchkes, unique apparel, housewares, beauty products, toys and exotic delicacies. Featuring 300 vendors adjacent to a skating rink, the Strasbourg market is the largest in France and has been around for almost half a millennium. Situated in the shadow of the Strasbourg Cathedral, it includes a series of charming timbered buildings housing shops and a gingerbread bakery...

Coffee Table Books That Cost More Than the Table

For a holiday gift that really carries weight, some coffee-table books have heftier price tags than the furniture on which they rest. "Guts and Glory: The Golden Age of American Football, 1958–1978" collects published and unpublished works of legendary sports photographer Neil Leifer ($500; taschen.com). For hard-core fans, 200 tomes are accompanied by two rare prints ($1,350). British publisher Opus offers several notable volumes: Harnessing the spirit of a fashion legend, the company has...

How DNA Is Inspiring Jewelry, Fashion and Art

The building block of life, DNA, is getting a life of its own. "Spit parties" have become the latest social-networking craze, like the one recently organized by 23andMe, a genetic-testing company named for the number of chromosome pairs in the human genome and founded by Linda Avey and Anne Wojcicki, wife of Google cofounder Sergey Brin. Combining genetic testing with gin and tonics, friends and family compare congenital predispositions by sharing test results ($399; 23andme.com). Hereditary...

Fashion: Silver Sneakers Put a Shine in One's Step

Silver sneakers conjure images of space treks, but selections from current menswear collections are wearable on earth. Low-tops offer drops of shine, like the chrome golfers by The Generic Man, which are handmade in Portugal from Italian leather and reminiscent of saddle shoes ($265; thegenericman.com). Gucci perforates its name along the sides of its sneakers ($475; neimanmarcus.com). Form meets function in athletic options from Puma Black Label ($225; shopkitson.com) or Field sneakers from...

Decor: Tasteful Tokens For Decorating the Home

If home décor is a matter of taste, some designers satisfy appetites with wares that resemble food. A banana-peel stopper can prop open the door ($28; moma store.com) to a culinary-themed room, which might include a porcelain horse-chestnut sculpture with a "husk" that splits open to reveal a pair of lifelike chestnuts ($350; uncommon goods.com). Enveloping a tape measure in a sleek red tomato, jeweler Verdura ("vegetable" in Italian) lives up to its name ($100; verdura.com). Visually and...

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. Nanette Lepore's red dress had five vertical strips that played peekaboo with a model's back. Veteran Max Azria and...

Style: Designers Give Peace a Chance

All designers are saying is give peace a chance. The hippie symbol of the '60s has become the fashion statement of the '00s, adorning all manner of jewelry, clothing and accessories. A studded peace-sign appliqué decorates Koolaburra's sheepskin boots ($395; neimanmarcus.com). Adrenaline junkies can display a softer side with the charcoal-gray T shirt by John Varvatos, which has the two-fingered version of the sign displayed across the chest ($125; bergdorf goodman.com). For those who wear...

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. It's accessible...

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. Nanette Lepore's red dress had five vertical strips that played peekaboo with the model's back. Veteran Max Azria and wunderkind...

The letter X is making its mark on fashion.

Integral to algebra and pirate maps, the letter X is making its mark on fashion. Often a symbol for the unknown, it's hard to miss when beige strips crisscross at the waist of a black bandage dress from Hervé Léger by Max Azria ($1,250; intermix online.com). Black lines intersect at the midsection of a cap-sleeved olive green dress by Chanel ($8,010; chanel.com for locations). Bust lines also feature the X factor; thick black straps overlay the décolletage of a red cocktail dress by Zero +...

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. Marc Jacobs's eponymous gardenia blend is stored in a compact that slips neatly into a zip-up leather case ($55; sephora.com). London-based bespoke perfumery Miller Harris makes Geranium Bourbon Fragrance Balm ($60; millerharris.com). Some cases are more complex than the scents within; Estée Lauder's...

Baseball, Beaches, Botanical Gardens in the Bronx

The only New York borough not situated on an island boasts some of the city's most colorful and entertaining attractions. And it's an easy subway ride from midtown's hotels. Ride the Skyfari at the Bronx Zoo, a cable car that soars over treetops, orangutans and other furry friends at heights of up to 100 feet (bronxzoo.org). Or try the narrated tram tour at the New York Botanical Garden, where riders can hop on or off to check out a waterfall, reflecting pool or verdant gardens...

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. com). As one of only 38 people to traverse both the North and the South Poles by foot, Tom Avery was the consultant of choice for Smythson of Bond Street's Mountain Journal....

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...

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...

When It Comes to Fashion, X Marks the Trend

Integral to Roman numerals, algebra and pirate maps, the letter X is now making its mark on fashion. Often a symbol for the unknown, it's hard to miss when thin beige strips crisscross at the waist of an iconic black bandage dress from Hervé Léger by Max Azria ($1,250; intermixonline.com). Black lines also intersect at the midsection of a cap-sleeved olive-green dress by Chanel ($8,010; chanel.com for locations). Bust lines also feature the X factor; thick black straps overlay the...

Sunglasses Come in Wild Prints and Patterns

While on the lam in "North by Northwest," Cary Grant disguises himself with black sunglasses. Immediately someone asks, "What's wrong with your eyes?" Attempts at traveling incognito might fail just as badly with this season's bold, patterned sunglasses. Once limited primarily to tortoiseshell, prints now come in all shapes and stripes.The king of patterns, Emilio Pucci, places his iconic abstract designs on the arms of magenta frames ($285; neimanmarcus.com). Yves Saint Laurent sees spots...

DJ Tiesto Plays the 2008 Olympic Games

China has promised an Olympics this year of unparalleled grandeur and novelty. Still, when viewers tune in to the festivities next month, the Games' signature sound might seem a bit familiar. That will be thanks to Netherlands native Tijs Verwest, better known as DJ Tiesto, who blew away crowds with his live musical performances during the opening ceremony at the 2004 Athens Games. Since then, Tiesto has mixed tunes for the likes of Justin Timberlake, snagged a Grammy nomination for his album...

Beauty: Beating The Heat With A Spritzer

Summertime and the living is … refreshing, thanks to facial sprays. Canned or bottled, aerosol or pumped, scented or fragrance-free, these hydrating mists cool parched visages.Lavender notes spring up in Decléor's Fresh Hydrating Mist ($22; sephora.com). Linden blossoms perfume the Toning Floral Water by style child Stella McCartney ($35; sephora.com). Parisian brand Sisley offers hints of rose in its Eau Florale ($65; saksfifthavenue.com). Ole Henriksen's Balancing Cucumber Face Mist...

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). Caswell-Massey, America's first perfumery, is older than the country but belies its age with a futuristic-looking chrome razor ($125; caswellmassey.com). The Art of Shaving has designed a classic razor, stand and...

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. Sleep with the fishes overnight ($100) or swim and dive with whale sharks ($195 and up; georgiaaquarium.org). Drink Krest Ginger Ale from Mozambique, Delaware Punch from Honduras and about 60 other beverages at the Taste It! lounge in the World...

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