Chic Holiday Gifts for Women: New York

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The tree is up at Rockefeller Center and crowds have gathered to gaze the dazzling window displays along Fifth Avenue. The holiday season is officially upon us here in New York. As shoppers hit the streets (or begin their online searches), Susan has put together another chic guide for the gift-giving season. This year is about understated luxury and emerging design – celebrating timeless beauty but also investing in new fashion-forward pieces that set true style apart. For women, we suggest the following:

Accessories

Breil Milano, the Italian lifestyle brand best known for their watches and jewelry, recently presented their first bag collection called N˚ZERO. The line will be sold exclusively at their flagship store here in SoHo. There are 17 different variations and sizes, made with materials ranging from satin and velvet to lambskin, patent leather, and nylon. The subtle detailing of the ruffles and the striking sculpture of the bag creates a beautiful dichotomy. Pictured is the Breil Milano Leather N° Zero Origami. (a.)

In two short years, BODHI has emerged as a visionary design label, with distribution at high-end retailers like Fred Segal, Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus. Inspired by Eastern culture, Creative and Design Director Joseph Janus develops each collection with a philosophical mantra in mind. He uses luxe skins like python, alligator, and ostrich and often incorporates bright-colored panels of suede, coated linen, Italian lambskin, and patent leather. We suggest BODHI’s Safety Clutch, here in white alligator with gold alligator detailing. It is a brazen, sublime beauty, and it can work in any season. (b.)

Sarah Hearey is another rising luxury label to watch. The shapes, colors, hardware, and exotic wild skins of Sarah’s eponymous line are unique and perfectly balanced in each bag. Although sharing this designer discovery is a gift in and of itself, you can purchase her wares at New York retailers Verve, Nikki Laura and on the company website. We love the Sarah Hearey Biarritz Satchel in Painted Python with Leather Trim. (c.) The Milano Clutch in red Crocodile is another good pick – it’s the type of elegant accessory that polishes an ensemble just so. (d.)

Finally, one can never go wrong with the gift of Bottega Veneta. Their bags are extraordinary works of imagination and superior craftsmanship. This year the luxury brand celebrated the 30th anniversary of their renowned handbag The Knot. “One of Bottega Veneta’s most recognizable and beloved handbags, The Knot has been interpreted in versions ranging from the refined to the fantastical over the years.” This holiday season, select a Knot – new or vintage – that suits the personal style of your gift recipient. If you’re having difficulty choosing among the array, a classic black version, such as the Nero Intrecciato Cervo Knot, vintage 2002, is forever chic. (e.)

Jewelry

Prized for its intricate beauty and meticulous production, Buccellati jewelry has been commissioned by nobility, royal families, and even the Vatican.  Each piece is designed by Gianmaria Buccellati or his son Andrea and then crafted using Renaissance-era methods. The Magnolia Brooch and Earrings are a superb gift for this holiday season: outstanding but not opulent. The petals are 18-karat white gold and surround a center of hand-engraved 18-karat yellow gold.  The earrings can be ordered in pierced or clip back styles. (f.)

For a little color, Susan suggests Coral Drop Earrings with 18-karat gold and diamond by Kara Ross. Her jewelry is a modern take on classic luxury, and these earrings convey Kara’s relaxed elegance with high quality. (g.)

Home Décor

Susan has long been a fan of jewelry designer Mish New York, whose charming boutique is located not far from her home on the Upper East Side. This Chocolate Pearl Necklace is the most perfect gift. It marries the vibrant character of all Mish’s designs with the classic and timeless beauty of a strand of pearls. The necklace is made of multi-shade chocolate Tahitian baroque cultured pearls, double-wrapped with an 18-karat gold ring and toggle. Positively divine. (h.)

Another mention must be made of newcomer Sarah Hearey, who also designs jewelry. The Bali Crocodile Cuffs (i.) are chic statement pieces that can be worn casually or dressed up. We also like the Rio Princess Necklace in Labordorite; the subdued gray-ish hues of the stone make it a versatile accessory appropriate for different seasons and styles of dress. (j.)

Luxury site yoox.com is a convenient way to browse and buy gift items from all over the world. The site is full of established and emerging designers. We found some great gift ideas for the home, including the limited-edition Memphis Milano Wall Clock by famed artist Alighiero e Boetti (k.) and the Couples Pillow by B&B Italia. (l.)

Keeping with the Italian housewares theme, these 5-inch sculpted Silver Candlesticks by Buccellati are a little gift big on luxury. Especially wonderful during the winter season, their value will only appreciate over time. Available in Buccellati stores worldwide. (m.)

Books

For collectors or casual coffee table readers, a book with substance and style always makes a nice gift. Here are a few that celebrate women in different ways:

Legends: Women Who Have Changed the World Through the Eyes of Great Women Writers, by John Miller. “Rendered by women artists and writers, these intimate portraits illuminate the most influential women of our time. Liv Ullman marvels at Anne Frank‘s tenacious faith in the face of atrocity. Claudia Roth Pierpont explores how Virginia Woolf’s atypical persona informed literature for the next hundred years. Camille Paglia champions Amelia Earhart as a pioneer who invaded the male world with gusto, and more…” (n.)

Le Fil Rouge, by Sarah Moon. Inspired by the story Blue Beard and the tragic allure of fairy tales, Sarah Moon brings to life a book compiled of exclusive and masterful photographs with a text written by the artist herself. (o.)

And, of course, CHIC IN PARIS: Style Secrets and Best Addresses is a great stocking stuffer or small gift idea. It’s available in select boutiques worldwide and online. (p.)

Happy hunting and enjoy the holiday season!