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Bright & shiny After a few seasons of sack cloth and ashes, where practicality trumped indulgence, jewelry, the quintessential gift of luxury, love and passion, has come roaring back as the season’s best gift.
Gold may be hovering at stratospheric levels and the economy is still seesawing, but that’s not stopping well-heeled shoppers from indulging their jewelry habits. Retailers and designers say they’ve noticed an uptick in interest and sales for baubles, which bodes well for the holiday season. “There’s a demand for statement pieces, whether it’s an oversized cocktail ring or a dramatic cuff bracelet,” says Los Angeles jewelry designer, C.C. Skye, whose showy accessories have curried favor with boldfaced names like Halle Berry, Gwen Stefani and Kristin Cavallari. “They feel that we’ve been through the recession. We’ve lived it. We don’t want to live that lifestyle anymore. There’s
still room for more celebration,” Skye said. Customers may also justify the expense since jewelry can be reworked with a variety of wardrobe pieces, say retailers. “People may not be in the mood to buy shoes or clothes, but they know a fun piece of jewelry can make an outfit pop and can be worn again and again,” says Melissa Akkaway, owner of Beckley Boutique, which has locations in Los Angeles and Las Vegas. When it comes to fashion jewelry, which usually tops out at $1,000, clean and spare necklaces sporting initials and quirky pendants are a key trend for the holidays. Alex Woo’s dainty charms, such as initials and zodiac signs, can sell for
$148 in sterling silver, $548 in 14 karat gold and $798 with pavé diamonds. A new holiday addition to Beckley is Maya Brenner’s pendants in the shape of states (seen on the likes of Katy Perry, Eva Longoria and Jessica Simpson) in gold and silver, with easy-on-thewallet prices of $130 to $300. Those rimmed with diamonds will fetch $1,040. Another approachable line is New York-based Erica Weiner Jewelry, whose vintage-inspired creations conjure up whimsy and nostalgia
As seen on Randy Jackson from ‘American Idol’: Men’s silver ID bracelet from Lord Griffon
Page 4 Wednesday, November 23, 2011 The Southern Illinoisan Holiday Wishes
Wish List bronze and white stone necklace by C.C. Skye
with prices averaging under $300. At the company’s store in New York City, manager Emily Ruane steers clients away from solitaire diamonds unless the present is supposed to be the real deal – a proposal or anniversary gift. “It’s just not appropriate to give big diamonds unless you’re engaged or married,” Ruane says.
Instead, for the holidays, she suggests the double letterpress necklace, which actually incorporates old moveable type as the pendants and is personalized with initials, or the Civil War-era tintype necklaces, which feature photographs
printed on iron sheets hanging from brass chains. Men may appreciate the penknife necklace on a brass chain or a cast fossil nautilus necklace, items that aren’t highly embellished or too overwrought. Los Angeles-based Lord Griffon, known for its chunky oxidized silver jewelry and a fan base that includes Randy Jackson from “American Idol,” has also noticed a shift in male tastes to less inyour-face skull ware. What’s more in demand these days are sleeker looks, such as ID bracelets and fleur-de-lis necklaces, says Suzie Lederer, founder and creative director of Lord Griffon. “More than something really hard-edged, they want something they can wear not when they’re just going to the club or riding motorcycles on weekends,” Lederer says. C.C. Skye also projects a heavy metal holiday of sorts, glittering with multiple diamonds, such as the Wish List Necklace, comprising of heavy bronze chains woven with white stones. Her retailers are also beginning to stock the pavé punk princess bracelet in gun metal for the holidays. Skye says it caters to that “luxe, funk princess” trend. “It’s got an edge with elegance,” she says. “There’s irony and balance. Women of all ages are wearing pavé, not just younger girls.” Fine jewelry is also in demand for those aspirational buyers, according to Janet Goldman, founder and chief executive officer of
Fragments showroom in New York, which represents about 35 fashion and fine jewelry collections. Her suggestions for holiday gifts include layered looks, such as necklaces that are “feminine, soft and drapey,” and bracelets that combine textures such as wooden beads paired with a diamond bangle. Long, dramatic earrings are in for those seeking gifts infused with glam and sparkle. The Miguel Ases line features dangling earrings studded with tiny beads that are easy to wear with tank tops or little black dresses and fit the under$500 budget. Customers who want to splurge may opt for the designs by Phillips Frankel, including the round pendants covered in pavé diamonds at $1,500 or Moritz Glik’s oxidized silver and white gold chains with little box pendants enclosed with rubies, diamonds and sapphires priced around $10,000. “[Jewelry] purchases over $5,000 are what’s trending,” Goldman says. “It’s about finding something that will make us buy, something that ‘I can’t live without.’”
Stackable pearl wrap bracelets by Jordan Alexander, a favorite of First Lady Michelle Obama’s
Round pendant covered in pavé diamonds by Phillips Frankel
Fashion pointers Here’s a look at what may please gift recipients this holiday season. Statement pieces – Look for attentiongetting cocktail rings, dramatic cuff bracelets or long beaded earrings to help your loved one strut her stuff. “It’s all about wanting that great, luxurious accessory,” says Janet Goldman, founder and creative director of Fragments. Metallics – Metals will shine this holiday season. Rose gold’s popularity continues along with edgier styles crafted in gunmetal, oxidized silver, bronze and mixed metallics.
Pavé diamonds – These little gems that dot pendants, bracelets and more are catering to the luxe trend and elevating fashion jewelry to a new level. Whimsical pendants – Fun never goes out of style, and there’s lots to choose from this season, from initials, to vintage charms or to costume sparklers. The startling whimsy of the French line N2, with characters from fairy tales and children’s stories, are youthful and distinctive (from $25, jewelry and gift stores).
Whimsical patisserie necklace from Paris-based N2
There’s no need to settle on size or fit, making them perfect, no-fuss gifts. “Men feel good buying items that don’t pose issues,” Goldman says.
The Southern Illinoisan Holiday Wishes Wednesday, November 23, 2011 Page 5
I can haz
Yeah, we know who’s been naughty. And they’ll get gifts for Christmas and Hanukkah anyway, the little darlings.
With waggly tails and rumbly purrs, they relentlessly show their love every day. What better time of year than the holidays to delight a four-legged family member with a special gift? “Pets get so much joy out of toys,” says Lorrie Shaw, a Chelsea, Mich., pet owner and pet blogger for annarbor.com. “They get to use all of their senses and identify something as theirs.” Pet ownership is at an all-time high. Sixty-two percent of U.S. households own a pet – some 72.9 million homes, according to the 2011-2012 annual survey by the American Pet Products Association. And we’re loving – and giving – to our animals like never before. In 2010, dog owners increased spending on their pooches more than 30 percent, and dogs and cats are among the small pets that are most likely to get gifts at Christmas time, according to the APPA survey. Nine percent of dog owners say they’ve held a holiday or birthday party for their dog, and 4 percent say they’ve done so for their cat. Pet owners’ emotional ties with dogs and cats run deep. “A lot of baby boomers become empty nesters and still have that nurturing need,” says Kristen Levine, founder of Tarpon Springs, Fla.-based Fetching Communications, a marketer serving the pet industry. “A lot of millennials get pets before starting a family to fulfill that same need.” While most pet owners won’t hesitate to purchase a little something special for their pets this holiday season, the boom in products at retail means there’s more to choose from. Think before you shop, says Shaw. “Pay attention to what your pet likes to do. Does he run and play, or is he more cognitive?”
BrushUp self-grooming post with massage-like silicone bristles by SmartyKat
Page 6 Wednesday, November 23, 2011 The Southern Illinoisan Holiday Wishes
Gaga for green Natural, nontoxic, sustainable, recycled and locally produced products are hot for pets. Brentwood, Tenn.-based Earth Dog offers hemp dog collars, leashes, beds and toys, all made in the U.S. The Leaf green adjustable hemp collar has quick-release hardware ($18 to $20, specialty stores). Dog and cat beds made of soy-based material and recycled content are widely available. Many suppliers offer organic catnip. The Purr Highness cat scratcher from Worldwise is made of recycled corrugated cardboard and doubles as a lounger ($20, specialty stores). Doggles Plush Bottle Toys come in the shape of animals and have two squeakers. Stuff a used plastic water bottle inside and the toy provides instant crinkly chewing fun. ($13 and up, specialty stores).
Cognitive play Products that appeal to an animal’s intuitive side, engaging them and encouraging natural activity, also are trendy. “Foraging toys are hot,” says Levine. They give owners a chance to do other things while their pet is occupied, she says. Shaw suggests the treatdispensing Busy Buddy Kibble Nibble by Premier Pet (two sizes, $10 to $20, specialty stores). This activity ball stimulates pups mentally and physically by making them work for their food. Levine is a fan of the Physipet, a line of exercise and entertainment products for cats and dogs. The toys react to the pet, pulling back
Seek’aboo paw puzzle for cats by SmartyKat
when the pet pulls, incorporating exercise with play and reducing boredom and separation anxiety, says company founder and inventor Jude Waddy ($70 and up, physipet. com). Interactive games from the Swedish company Nina Ottosson are designed to stimulate a dog’s brain and reinforce people-friendly behavior. “Puzzle toys provide the mental stimulation many dogs lack in their everyday life,” says owner Nina Ottosson. Fill the new treat Maze and a pet will happily work away to “solve” the puzzle and get the treat. There are versions for cats and dogs (starting at $15, specialty stores.) Self-grooming products that keep cats happy and entertained are on the rise. The Worldwise Smartykat Brushup self-grooming post was voted one of the Top 10 products at the 2011 Global Pet Expo by veterinarian Dr. Marty Becker of TV’s “Good Morning America” fame. Hundreds of flexible silicone bristles provide a feel-good massage while pulling away loose fur ($20, specialty stores.)
Chewers “If you have a chewer, it’s integral that you find the type of toy that can withstand that kind of abuse,” says Shaw. Don’t skimp on cheap toys that can easily tear apart. Instead, buy a heavy-duty toy that can endure tough teeth. California animal trainer and pet expert Diana L. Guerrero recommends the Kong Co.’s super-duty hollow rubber toys. The Kong Extreme toy, used by police and drug enforcement and specially made for aggressive chewers, can be filled with treats to help reduce boredom (available in five sizes, $5 and up, specialty stores). Brightly colored twists, flyers, hurleys and hucks from West Paw Design are made of Zogoflex, a durable, pliable material that’s easy for a pet to pick up and won’t hurt teeth. Other toys for chew-happy canines: bones and tugs made of tightly twisted cotton threads, which clean teeth while the pup chews and plush toys for dogs who like to “mother” a toy. Nylabone hard nylon dog chews in a range of shapes and flavors last longer than rawhide bones and promote tooth health. A bacon-flavored DuraChew comes in the shape of a hollow stick.
Bumi tug for dogs by West Paw Design
Life on the road “More people travel with their pets nowadays,” says Levine. She stresses the importance of pet restraint while driving. “Just like texting and driving, a loose pet in the vehicle can be dangerous,” she says. Kurgo makes a variety of pet-carrying products. A Skybox Booster seat for puppies and small dogs up to 30 pounds lifts them up to provide them with a window view ($60, specialty stores); the Kurgo Auto Zip-Line tethers a dog safely, with a harness attached to a zip-line that runs between any two fixed points in the
vehicle and allows a dog to walk back and forth, sit and stand ($38, specialty stores). Car carriers are especially important for cats, who often are not fond of travel. Levine suggests that animal lovers bring water for their pets during trips. Pawgua makes a portable, BPA-free plastic dog bowl for thirsty, out-and-about pups ($15, specialty stores). The bowl keeps water cool and the top twists off. The best gift for a pet is simple and free: Stop, drop and play. “The best thing is for you to interact with your pets,” says Shaw. “It helps them hang on to their cognitive skills.”
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Screen test Where there’s a favorite TV show, there’s bound to be a favorite gift in the wings. Zombies and mad men and superheroes, oh my! No, it’s not the nightmare before Christmas. The characters and creatures that star in the year’s most popular TV shows and movies have inspired T-shirts, toys and all sorts of gifts sure to delight the pop culture aficionado. There’s great presents out there for everyone influenced by either the small screen or the silver screen.
Mad about ‘Mad Men’ The award-winning series about the lives of Don Draper and company, set in the New York advertising world in the 1960s, has managed to generate a cult following in a handful of seasons. Give the Maddict in your life any of the first three seasons of the hit series ($39.99 DVD/49.99 Blur-ray). Collectors will be charmed with season one packaged in a limited edition case in the shape of a classic Zippo lighter ($59.98, DVD).
For the adman, or adwoman, in your life, “Sterling’s Gold: Wit and Wisdom of an Ad Man” (Grove Press 2010), is filled with witty one-liners from Roger Sterling, the pithy founding partner of the fictional agency. A sample: “Being with a client is like being in a marriage. Sometimes you get into it for the wrong reasons and eventually they hit you in the face.”
Red for the holidays The undead just won’t die. In fact, their grip on fans may be getting stronger. In its fourth season, “True Blood,” the TV drama about humans and vampires in the heart of Louisiana, is still going strong. Catch up on the latest action and romance with “True Blood: The Complete Third Season” ($59.99 DVD/$79.99 Blu ray). For those that wish they could be patrons of Eric Northman’s dark vampire club, Fangtasia, a souvenir T-shirt of sorts ought to satisfy ($24.99). Eric’s stylish, no-nonsense,
right-hand woman Pam has shown countless times that even the undead can always look good. Delight a fan who’d love to replicate her look with the True Blood Collectors Palette by Tarte ($52). The kit also includes instructions from the show’s lead make-up artist, Brigitte Ellis. “The Walking Dead,” a gripping TV drama about a group of survivors in the wake of a zombie apocalypse, is based on a graphic novel series. Gift individual print issues (Image Comics, $14.99) or a collection of eight ($59.99). To satisfy a would-be zombie hunter, grab a Walking Dead shooting target poster ($40). They’ll be ready to take on the undead in no time.
For the kids Superhero blockbuster movies “Captain America” and “Thor” both bowed at No. 1 at the box office this past summer, with “Tranformers:
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Page 8 Wednesday, November 23, 2011 The Southern Illinoisan Holiday Wishes
Dark of the Moon” also at the top of the pack with a worldwide gross of over $1 billion. Whether kids want to embrace their inner first avenger (Captain America) or their inner mighty avenger (Thor) they’ll have their weapon of choice to battle the bad guys: Captain America’s Disc Launching Shield (ages 5 and up, $19.99) and Thor’s Lightning Hammer (ages 5 and up, $19.99).
Take 10: Top DVDs for the cable-free Don’t let those who’ve cut the cable miss out on their favorite shows. Holiday downtime is perfect for catching up on some of cables’ most popular and critically acclaimed shows. Here are a few of last season’s biggest titles, available on DVD and Blu-ray. 1. Mad Men, Season Four (AMC/Lionsgate) $49.99, DVD and Blu-ray 2. Rizzoli and Isles, Season One (TNT/Warner Home Video) $39.98, DVD 3. True Blood, Season Three (HBO Home Video) $59.99, DVD/$79.98 Blu-ray 4. Dexter, Season Five (Showtime Entertainment) $39.99, DVD and Blu-ray 5. The Walking Dead, Season One (AMC/ Lionsgate) $39.99, DVD/$49.99, Blu-ray 6. Entourage, Season Seven (HBO Home Video) $39.98, DVD/$49.99 Blu-ray 7. Nurse Jackie, Season Two (Showtime Entertainment) $39.98, DVD and Blu-ray 8. Louie, Season One (FX Network) $39.99, DVD and Blu-ray 9. Weeds, Season Six (Showtime Entertainment) $39.98, DVD and Blu-ray 10. Breaking Bad, Season Three (AMC/Lionsgate) $39.99, DVD
Tidings of comfort, and ‘Glee’ In “Glee,” the Fox TV hit, a group of high school misfits find common ground (and their voices) by joining the McKinley High School glee club. The show that’s punctuated with spontaneous musical performances has gained a loyal fan following. Share Christmas classics as sung by the Glee cast with “Glee: The Music, The Christmas Album” CD from Columbia Records ($10.98). Hardcore Gleeks who know practically every song sung on the show will love strutting their stuff with “Karaoke Revolution Glee: Volume 2” from Koname ($39.99 for Wii). The Glee-tastic Microphone ($17.99) is the perfect toy for younger fans who enjoy singing their hearts out.
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The Southern Illinoisan Holiday Wishes Wednesday, November 23, 2011 Page 9
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Page 10 Wednesday, November 23, 2011 The Southern Illinoisan Holiday Wishes
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1960s-era Diana F+ camera from lomography.com
No man who carries a smart phone needs a watch – but many of them want one anyway. The Timex Digital watch ($40, department stores), boasts an INDIGLO nightlight feature and digital number display, but a shiny stainless steel expansion band gives it contemporary utility.
Old stuff is cool again; gifting old stuff is even cooler. Retro style is in, and kids can’t get enough of it, from cutting-edge clothing and accessories that recall the classics to thriftshop home goods straight from grandma’s attic. A quest for individuality in a homogenized world is behind the vintage juggernaut, say trend watchers. So is a treacherous economy. “I think the resurgence started with kids rummaging through thrift stores,” says Bonnie VanKeersblick of Blue Flower Vintage, an online shop run through Etsy that specializes in vintage items. “Old movies help fuel the trend, and then the economic downturn and people wanting to be green justified it.” Stephanie Press, who runs the online store Hold Vintage, says the same. “I believe there is a desire to escape from mass manufacturing to things that are unique,” she says. “The fashion industry has caught on to this and are making efforts to include vintage in their styling and editorials.” Whether you’re shopping for a curious teen or a nostalgic grown-up, having an eye for the old this season will come in handy. Retrothemed products make for great gifts and fun shopping.
For him Thank Don Draper from AMC’s popular series “Mad Men” for the resurgence in dapper formal wear for men. Draper’s crisp suits and affinity for good whiskey ignited craving for both. Men looking for fashion inspiration will enjoy “Icons of Men’s Style” by Josh Sims (Laurence King Publishers, 2011), a guide to iconic menswear. The British fashion writer chronicles prominent garments of the past and the men who made them notable like James Bond. Another way to bring a retro edge to men’s formalwear is with pocket squares. “[Pocket squares] are understated but stylish and not too far out of a guy’s comfort zone,” says Press. “You can go utilitarian with cotton or bold and bright in silk.” Club Room, a Macy’s clothing brand, sells pocket squares in everything from paisley to polka dot, and in colors like red, blue and black ($15, Macy’s).
Classic style for women is about finding the perfect statement piece. Think bold jewelry or anything with an Art Deco edge. “I love the idea of a great retroprint scarf,” says Press. “Not only can you wear it in a myriad of ways, but they are being used in interior design as framed art or for custom pillows.” Look for scarf designs with blocky shapes and heavy colors with a sharp contrast (like black, lime green and red) to achieve a polished Art Deco look. Vintage glass, tableware and cookware have great legs in the giftgiving world. VanKeersblick, a lifelong fan of vintage style, showcases a 1950s line of striped and lotus-patterned bowls designed by Grete Prytz Kittelsen for the Cathrineholm factory in Norway. Fresh contemporary takes on Scandinavian tableware abound, from Marimekko’s bright classics to the retro retakes from Sagaform, created by a platoon of young Swedish designers. Typewriters have seized the imagination of the Facebook generation. Search local antique stores and thrift shops for antique brands and restored classics. Women with a penchant for the sound of keystroke may enjoy a 1950s Royal portable typewriter in bright pink ($595, mytype
writer.com) or typewriter-inspired jewelry like a key bracelet ($85) or custom key earrings ($58).
For teens Young people questing for fresh, individual style have led the way in refining the vintage aesthetic. To please a 20-something, though, a vintage gift must possess retro flair along with techno geewhizery. Old-fashioned vinyl records are on a tear. A turntable would be a great gift for a young music fan fascinated by the crackling sounds of a spinning record. Crosley Radio, a classic brand dating to the earliest days of radio, offers a variety of models, including the Memory Master II ($400, department and specialty stores). This turntable, in black or paprika, plays vinyl, CDs and cassettes, has an AM/FM radio and a USB feature compatible with PCs and Macs for ripping and editing audio content. Retro-style headphones also appeal to young music fans who appreciate both 1970s design and contemporary high fidelity. Eskuché’s Control, an on-ear style headphone, comes in basic black, shrimp, salmon and gold. Teens also may enjoy capturing the moment on old-fashioned film. Lomography U.S.A. rocketed to fame with this imperfect old camera (now produced in China) that produces unexpected distortions, such as light leaks and saturated colors that give photos a classic, artistic look. The Diana F+ is an update on a cheap 1960s camera known for delivering dreamy exposures ($89, lomography.com).
The Memory Master II turntable, conversant with PCs and Macs by Crosley Radio A brand new 1980sstyle digital watch with stretch strap by Timex
The Southern Illinoisan Holiday Wishes Wednesday, November 23, 2011 Page 11
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