I may get flak for saying this but Christmas is the only time we can be overindulgent, extravagant and a little selfish. A couple of Christmases ago, I drew up a list of 12 gifts I wanted from my partner, my version of the 12 Days of Christmas. In return, I gave my partner eight gifts to represent the eight days of Hanukkah. Those were the best of times. Chrismukkah came wrapped in fancy paper and bows.
Given the state of the economy, I'll be lucky if I get one gift this Christmas. Still, it hasn't prevented me from making a wish list.
I've never owned a bespoke suit but I've accompanied men having suits made to their specifications by a master tailor. Now it's my turn. I'd love to have a made-to-measure suit from Ermenegildo Zegna, especially one handmade from Superfine Vicuna Worsted because the material is light and reflects the sun's rays. Since Hong Kong has such a suit culture, it would be great to wear to work in the summer months. And because production is limited to 30 pieces, it makes it even more lust-worthy.
I also wouldn't mind owning a bespoke suit from Kiton, especially the K50, the Birkin bag of suits. Kiton's master tailor will fly wherever you are in the world to take your measurements and do fittings, and, as its name implies, it takes 50 hours for the master tailor to finish a suit that feels almost like a second skin. At close to US$50,000, it'd better feel like second skin.
Such expensive suits deserve top-notch accessories and I have been eyeing the Piaget Altiplano watch (below) with a small seconds display in white gold with black crocodile leather strap for almost a year. It's thin, elegant and timeless, and in stores now. It's the kind of watch that you pass from one generation to another, which makes its HK$100,000 plus price tag worth it.
A pair of cufflinks would be great but not one of the usual mother-of-pearl kind or the kitschy dice or nut and bolt variety. If you want to be taken seriously, ArmRevolution has a line of cufflinks that look like they pay homage to Frank Lloyd Wright and Rem Koolhaas' brand of architecture in that they are sculptural and modern, especially Design #3 (below right) with its angular shape. The cufflinks are made from Japanese stainless steel and come in a suede-lined case so they don't get scratched.
Call me old fashioned but I still prefer writing down meetings and deadlines on a Filofax, despite owning an iPhone. The Hermes 2009 diary, bound in black leather, is handsome and compact, and could easily give those techno gizmos a run for their money when it comes to product design.
But this is not to say I would refuse the Vertu Ferrari Ascent Ti Collection if it magically appeared in my Christmas stocking. Who wouldn't want a Vertu phone (left), especially one that's made using the same techniques and materials as a Ferrari racing machine?
I'd also love a pair of bespoke lace-ups in classic black leather from John Lobb, and you can throw in a pair of riding boots too. The pair of riding boots on the John Lobb window at the Mandarin Oriental deserves to be worn. Am asking too much to want the entire colour range of Tod's Gommino loafer? I love the pair in black pony skin. A pair in exotic leather also wouldn't go amiss.
Topping my list would be an full set of Globetrotter luggage. I have the cabin-sized orange version and it's the best piece of luggage I have owned because it's light, well-designed, packs in a lot and does not solicit unwanted attention, unlike logo-adorned designer luggage. While it does illicit a few stares, its mostly admiration from people who know about stealth luxury.
Would it be too much to ask for world peace too?
ArmRevolution, Globetrotter and Vertu from Lane Crawford, IFC Mall, Central, tel: 2118 3388 Ermenegildo Zegna, Alexandra House, Central, tel: 2868 9638 Hermes, The Galleria, Queen's Road Central, tel: 2522 6229 John Lobb, Mandarin Oriental, Connaught Road, Central, tel: 2537 2229 Kiton, www.kiton.it Piaget, Prince's Building, Central, tel: 2311 1122 Tod's, The Landmark, Central, tel: 2810 8692