Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Woman with the Golden Gun

We have all heard of The Man with the Golden Gun, with James Bond, well not to be left out you too can call the shots with these ‘golden guns’ from Dutch jewellery designer and artist Ted Noten.

Ted Noten born in 1956 in The Netherlands had a rather chequered career in which he was in turn a bricklayer, a nurse in a psychiatric hospital and a traveller for 3 years, until he decided to study design and aren’t we glad he did!

Basically works of art, the collection of handbags below are fabulous. Rich in symbolism of spies and glamour, they question the preconceived notion of what is carried in a woman’s purse. What is luxurious and fashionable on the outside might have a dark and sinister secret lurking on the inside. So gentleman, be careful as your femme fatale might be hiding a few secrets in her handbag!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Welcome Aboard Comrade

Knowing how much Savoir Faire is an airliner geek, on our recent trip to China, one could not miss this opportunity to fly with a little known airline. The more obscure the airline, Savoir Faire is right there for the experience. From flying Petroleum Air Services in Egypt several years ago, to China United Airlines in China I am always up for the experience.

China United established in 1986 was the civil transport division of the People’s Liberation Army. After several suspensions in operations, due to governmental regulations prohibiting the Army from being directly involved in commercial activities, they are now flying again (Personally this was a bit of a mystery to me. After all isn’t the army run by the government?) Due to the airline’s military connections they fly out of Beijing’s Nanyuan Airport which is primarily a military airfield but also equipped with a terminal capable of handling 1.2 million passengers per year and the base of China United Airlines.

I knew I was up for a bit of an experience when we arrived at Beijing’s Nanyuan Airport and there was an amazing display of Russian built airliners with government markings sitting on the tarmac. The huge big billboard picturing members of what I could only guess was the Chinese Air-force and a couple fighter jets didn’t do anything for the main man’s feelings on my choice or airline for this portion of our journey.

Inside the terminal was another story. Every man and his dog seemed to be checking in with a large number of the traveling public seeming to be older Chinese peasants flying for the first time. This was confirmed when later on in the aircraft across the aisle were three old men who were obviously on their first flight as they could not get enough of looking out the window during pushback, taxiing and take off. Under the stern gazes of some young women dressed in military style uniforms, checking in and security was a breeze.

The three gates and waiting area was all one central area, and one had to keep one’s wits about one as all announcements were in Chinese. We were the centre of attraction as there were only a handful of foreigners in amongst about 1000 locals. Looking out the plate glass to the tarmac, I was a bit disappointed to see that we would be travelling by Boeing and not one of the Russian airliners I had seen previously. Boarding was via a quick walk across the tarmac (which I love) to our waiting jet, again under the supervision of some rather serious young men in uniform.

Another incident which caused the main man to question my choice of airline happened during mid flight when some of our flying virgins tried to remove the plastic cover to an emergency exit handle during mid flight. Trying to make one of charming young flight attendants try to understand that this was not a wise thing to do ended on us demonstrating what the old man was trying to do. However two hours later we were touching down after a rather pleasant flight in Hangzhou, to continue the rest of our journey. Service was actually far superior than what you get on a lot of major air carriers these days.

So another airline goes into the Savoir Faire book of firsts!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Coming up Roses at Roger Vivier

Feast your eyes on these spring inspired shoes from Roger Vivier! Roses abound on theseViviercreations, whether it be in sequins or tartans.

Basically the same shape several of these fabulous shoes use different materials and finishes to great effect. It is a true testament of the designer to turn these into looks with completely different personalities. Using detail to great effect like the small spur imitating a rose thorn on the back of the heels these create impact with a high degree of femininity. Not for the faint hearted!

The classic sling-back is updated with a wider strap at the back and a red patent rose for impact.

Savoir Faire pays homage to Roger Vivier for accessorising our modern day Goddess' of spring with suitable armour to go forth and conquer her world!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Are You a Bandit?

Over the last couple of months I have featured some of Robert’s Piguet’s perfumes on Savoir Faire. All of these have been reformulations and then subsequent re-launches of some of the classic greats of modern day perfumery. The originals were wonderful creations from the singular floral Fracas, to the more complex and daring Futur. These have all been available now in modern versions of the originals for a couple of years and have carved out a niche market for themselves. Piguet perfumes are not for everybody. They attract that rare breed of consumer who does not want to be like anybody else. One of the things that I find most appealing about Piguet perfumes is that they work just as well on a man as they do on a woman. One of my all time favourites is Bandit. This is one that I keep returning to all the time. On its original launch it was considered daring and different, a characteristic that has not been lost in the new interpretation. I love the acrid tobacco, leather smoky floral scent which was described once as being brutally beautiful.

World War II was reaching a crucial turning point when Robert Piguet decided to launch his first perfume. This wonderful leather chypre was launched “on the couture runway with models sporting villain masks and brandishing toy revolvers and knives like highway men”. This in itself was in complete contrast to the elegant atmosphere that prevailed among the Parisian Couture Houses of the late 1940’s. Here was something different that required a whole new approach in marketing.

This is not a perfume for the timid and faint at heart, with animalistic undertones that is incredibly sexy. It packs a punch with daring, bitter green leather, galbanum, orange, bergamot, neroli, jasmine, rose, tuberose, leather, patchouli, mousse de chene, vetiver, and musk. It is sophisticated while hinting at a sort of dark rebellious intelligence that leaves the wearer being either man or woman, incredibly confident, with the possibility of mischief.

Bandit manages to pose a glorious riddle that has a resonance even to today’s sensibilities, staying resolutely, brilliantly modern and quite young in spirit, contrary to many chypres and leather scents.

Now more than ever, even with the modern reformulation, Bandit remains a gem, strong, confident and elegant, much like its avant-garde creator.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Tasty Savoir Faire!

Something to tempt your tastebuds here in the Beijing Night Market! A very vibrant atmosphere is teamed together with all sorts of Chinese delicacies! Some sublime, some well not so sublime!

The colours and the presentation of the various foods on offer was incredible and must have taken hours for the various vendors to lay out!

I am usually quite adventurous when it comes to trying new foods, however I did balk at the below! I guess if really pressed I would have tried.

All sorts of seafood was on offer, and also things all squishy that crawled under the earth!

These little sweet temptations were divine. I bought several as snacks on the way.

I hope that this gives you some inspiration for tonight's dinner!

Savoir Faire with Mr. Miller

There is no doubt about it, that over the last couple of years men’s fashion has been re-inventing itself to offer us a wonderful array of looks and new styles. The runways are full of new interpretations of classics and new innovations. Long gone are the days when menswear consisted of the basic shapes that were constantly being tweaked for today’s modern man.

Matthew Miller explores notions of masculinity and design with his collections, which focus on today’s modern man. Miller’s men are confident in what they wear, looking to the future with set ideas on how they will look. Traditions are mixed with new techniques and lines to create extremely practical clothes.

Not only do I Like the clothes, but also the way each collection has been photographed. The same model is used creating a uniform look that proves that these are pieces that are unified in the design, cut and execution. These are pieces that are made to mix and match, providing a variety of different looks, depending on your mood.

The Autumn/Winter 2011 collection below combined traditional shapes with new textures mixed with a colour pallet that ran from reassuring beiges and oatmeal’s to acid yellows and cobalt blues. This is a nice injection of colour into the otherwise boring black that all seem to wear in winter.

Shapes are geometrical and masculine emphasising masculinity and taking us into the future. With this unique line, you won’t be accused of being bland and boring.

On the other hand, Spring/Summer the lines are a lot softer almost the complete opposite of the winter collection. These are incredibly easy to wear pieces that can be mixed and matched for a variety of looks. Colours are more neutral to combat the glare of summer sun.

Definitely a designer to watch for in the future!

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