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Smart Car Service: GroundLink

GroundLink private car service now allows users to book and track cars from their smartphones.

November 17, 2011

New Yorkers are now able to order, track, and share their private car service experiences through GroundLink's new mobile application for the iOS and Android platforms. As the first mobile and online global private car service, GroundLink stands out with its flat fee (the bill is based on distance, not time spent in traffic) and its social sharing tool that allows users to keep their social networks up to date on their whereabouts. The new app also includes both "Ride Now" and "Ride Later" features. "Ride Now" gives the ability to track a car’s location and arrival time, as well to communicate directly with a driver (whether by text, phone, or online). "Ride Later" allows for scheduling a date, time, and location for pickups further in advance. Getting from point A to point B has never been easier.

—Sarah Walter


Tom Ford: H&M’s Next Designer?

H&M is interested in Tom Ford, and whispers abound that the designer could be its next collaborator.

November 17, 2011

Tom Ford

The Internet has been abuzz this week (The New York Times, Refinery29, Fashionista, and more) since BusinessWeek first reported that designer Tom Ford may be next in line to design a collection for H&M. Ford, who is the former creative director of Gucci (and the cover star of the current issue of Los Angeles Confidential), has expressed interest in designing for H&M before, emphasizing that as a designer his customers always come first. H&M’s collaborations with other designers and labels such as Karl Lagerfeld and Lanvin have flown off the shelves, inciting small shopping riots in stores all over the globe. The popularity of these collaborations shows no sign of diminishing as Versace launches its H&M collection on November 19. As for Ford, we can’t wait for the final word.

—jessica ferri


Hand-Stamped Holiday Silverware

Eat, drink and serve the feast with charming hand-stamped utensils.

November 17, 2011

What better addition to your holiday table setting than vintage silverware? These beautiful hand-stamped utensils (five pieces, $76.50; $10 shipping) from Beach House Living’s Etsy shop are labeled according to what type of food you should serve with each: TURKEY meat fork; GRAVY ladle; and three spoons stamped POTATOES, VEGGIES, and STUFFING. The lettering is hand-hammered into the silver, which (as the seller puts it) is “imperfectly perfect,” and is sure to be a conversation piece. It takes seven days to make these by hand, so though they might not make it in time for Thanksgiving they are perfect for the rest of the holiday-entertaining season and beyond: The offerings include items for holidays (a set of 10 spoons festooned with reindeer names), weddings (forks stamped with MR. AND MRS.), and other special occasions. 

—jessica ferri


Gift of the Day: Mykita Sunglasses

Handmade Mykita shades from Berlin are the perfect gift for jet-setting fashion fans.

November 17, 2011

Aritana sunglasses by Alexandre Herchcovitch for Mykita

These Aritana sunglasses designed by Alexandre Herchcovitch for Mykita ($475) are handmade with the Berlin-based eyewear brand’s patented hinge design—no pesky screws or uneven soldering, just pure stainless steel. Though the Aritana is also available in matte black and turquoise, we love this gold style for its matte amber gleam. Bergdorf Goodman, 754 Fifth Ave., 212-872-2700

See all of Gotham's 2011 Gifts of the Day here.

—April Walloga


Inside Look: The New York Chocolate Show

Broadway and chocolate met on the catwalk at the annual Chocolate Show.

November 16, 2011

This past weekend marked the 14th Annual New York Chocolate Show, a four-day chocolate extravaganza that included a fashion show, chocolate tastings, cooking demonstrations, book signings, and more. At the opening night preview, creative pastry chefs—some with food television credits to their name—and costume designers presented 14 costumes inspired by Broadway shows and made of chocolate.

Chefs Dean Anderson (One If by Land) and Gustavo Tzoc (Abe & Arthurs) along with designer Sally Wu created a Les Miserables-inspired gown with a mermaid-like aqua bodice made of chocolate discs that was easily the most ethereal costume of the evening. The crowd went wild for chef François Pralus's scantily clad cabaret girl getup, inspired by Cabarets of Paris

Following the show there were plenty of samples at participating chocolatier booths to enjoy. Our favorite bites of the night were the traditional French truffles at No Chewing Allowed! and the addictive salted butter caramel truffles at Comptoir du Cacao, which will soon open its first New York chocolaterie.

—April Walloga
photographs by jackie allen


Accessories Find: Olympia Le-Tan Handbags

Olympia Le-Tan’s embroidered clutches are the perfect gift for smart style mavens.

November 16, 2011

FROM LEFT: Natalie Portman and Clémence Poésy carrying Olympia Le-Tan clutches
It’s no surprise that Olympia Le-Tan’s handbags are such a smash considering fans such as Natalie Portman and Clémence Poésy tote her singular creations that sell out nearly immediately. The French designer got her start working for Karl Lagerfeld at Chanel before moving to Balmain. She then worked as a celebrity DJ, and in September 2009 she announced her first handbag collection called "You Can’t Judge a Book By Its Cover." Inspired by vintage book jackets, album covers, and other delightful iconic images, the handmade clutches (about $1,537) and mini purses (about $1,335) make the perfect gift for bookworms with style. Le-Tan also collaborated with Spike Jonze on a short film called Mourir Auprès de Toi. Watch the making of it at olympialetan.com.

—jessica ferri


Shop the Maison 24 Flagship on Park Avenue

Visit the beloved Bridgehampton boutique's Park Avenue location.

November 16, 2011

Devotees of Bridgehampton’s Maison 24 have been shopping right here in Manhattan since owners Allison Julius and Louis Marra opened an outpost of their incredibly popular store on Park Avenue this summer. The flagship—whose opening will be celebrated by the likes of Alexandra von Furstenberg and British design team Jimmie Martin at an exclusive cocktail party on November 17—features the same trend-setting, high-design home accessories (many with a ’70s feel) that its original location specializes in. Look out for items such as Lucite and acrylic tables, shag rugs, ceramics, signature candles, giant trunks and goblets. The store is a perfect spot for finding gifts—not to mention a little something for yourself. 470 Park Ave., 212-355-2414

—jessica ferri


Gift of the Day: Pressed Petrossian Caviar

Petrossian preserves the European tradition of pressed caviar in a giftable tin.

November 16, 2011

Described by Jacques Pépin as “the last undiscovered indulgence,” over the past twenty years pressed caviar has fallen out of fashion and availability, due to import restrictions. Today, Petrossian has reintroduced the intensely palatable delicacy, made of a carefully chosen combination of caviars, through partnerships with domestic caviar producers. Petrossian Pressed Caviar “1835” ($49–$203) is made from a secret Petrossian family recipe and is as delicious slathered on toast as it is tossed with pasta or folded into a perfectly-cooked omelet. 182 West 58th St., 800-828-9241

See all of Gotham's 2011 Gifts of the Day here.

—April Walloga


Fitness Find: Aspen Ascent at The Sports Club/LA

The Sports Club/LA introduces a workout for skiers and snowboarders with the help of the experts at Aspen/Snowmass.

November 15, 2011

Stephanie Levinson, co-creator/instructor of Aspen Ascent

Different sports call for different fitness focuses, and when it comes to skiing and snowboarding—pursuits that require large doses of strength, balance, and endurance—hitting the gym before hitting the slopes is a must. The Upper East Side location of The Sports Club/LA is committed to the task via Aspen Ascent, its new signature ski-training workout that is a partnership with Aspen/Snowmass, the organization that runs the four main mountains in Colorado’s Aspen/Snowmass vicinity. Divided into three 20-minute sections, Aspen Ascent is a challenging combination of exercises that works to improve speed and agility, strength and balance, and core performance and flexibility. Moves such as squat jumps, side shuffles, and seated abdominal twists with a dumbbell make up the heart-pounding hour. Interval training replicates the cardio effects of a ski run, and the specific demands of skiing and snowboarding are taken into full account with lateral and explosive movements and exercises done in succession to boost endurance (and muscle burn). The result? You’ll make short work of that double black diamond you’ve been eyeing this year. 330 E. 61st St., 212-355-5100

—ingrid skjong


Editor’s Pick: Taigan.com

Editor in chief Samantha Yanks shops the well-edited online bazaar Taigan.com.

November 15, 2011

Every shop on Taigan.com—an online seller with wares from boutiques across the country—is handpicked, and every item within those shops is truly special. One of my favorite shops on Taigan is West Hollywood’s Nick Harvill Libraries, which specializes in rare and out-of-print books. This circa 1913 early American edition of Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens by J.M Barrie has embossed gilded lettering, 16 color plates and lettered tissue gards, making it the perfect gift for mom's with exquisite taste.

To see more of Samantha Yanks’ Taigan.com favorite finds, click here

—Samantha Yanks

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