Beauty. Valentino Couture AW18

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“With ready-to-wear, your vision of beauty relates to the times you are living in,” Pierpaolo Piccioli stated after his brilliant, magnificent and remarkable haute couture collection for Valentino. Then, he concluded that “couture involves a deeper and more intimate perspective, to go further into your own vision of beauty.”

‘Beauty’ was definitely the keyword behind that line-up of gorgeousness – by that I mean everything, from Guido Palau’s major hair to the closing orange gown worn by Adut Akech (yes, it’s the same piece Beyoncé snatched to one of her On The Run II concerts, week later after the show took place. That’s quick). No wonder why Valentino Garavani, the man of the brand, was so moved and all in tears by the end of the show. Piccioli pulled of the opulent Italian style in a masterful way, like the founder of the maison did back in the past. Floor-sweeping kimono coats; over-sized shirts with equally XXL collars; skirts and jackets covered in bejewelled prints referring to Greek mythology; ruffled coats in signature Valentino red. The list seems to be endless, just like the number of pink feathers used for that ecstatically fantastic dress Kaia Gerber walked the runway in. But Pierpaolo is known for injecting contemporary elements of the wardrobe to the most exquisite collections of his. Some of the dresses were in fact cut like a t-shirt, while sheer silk blouses with embroideries looked unexpectedly casual with Bermuda shorts. Modernity also came to this collection through colours the designer chose. Of course there were all the rich emeralds and fuchsias. But the dirty shade of pastel pink, softness of pistachio and the depth of burgundy rescued the collection from visually being too over-the-top. The collection, the way it is, somewhere between the old glamour and present sense of style, is perfect.

With John Galliano’s Maison Margiela, I think the verdict is quite clear – we’ve got the ultimate winners of this season’s couture. Now, let me die knowing that I won’t put my hands on all that radzimir and taffeta…

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Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Claus Porto

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The Chiado district of Lisbon is a treasure chest of the best goods coming from all over Portugal. At the roots of Claus Porto are its German founders and a beautiful, historic city of Porto. The label built its name on hand-crafted soaps infused with fine fragrances, which draw on ingredients from the country’s rich and lush countryside. These products are imbued with an artisan’s heart and soul, and are wrapped by hand in packaging illustrated with retro-inspired and vintage graphic designs, which give a sense of being transported to the glamourous decadence of Belle Époque Europe. Not only soaps tempt you at Claus Porto, but as well creams and perfumes. Still, it’s the signature soap that everyone has to bring back home, whether you’re deciding between Classico, Deco, Agua de Colonia or Musgo Real.

Rua da Misericórdia 135 / Lisbon

Incense by Byredo

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Inspired by the warm and comforting scents of the festive season, Byredo‘s candle is a soothing, smoky blend of Incense and Eucalyptus, peppered with notes of Crisp Amber and Wild Patchouli. It has been handmade in France and comes in mouth-blown red glass vessel that can be used as a small vase or pot when finished. It really does make a lovely holiday gift.

December is right here – and yes, it’s that time of the year. Get Incense here before it’s out of stock!

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Le Labo in Berlin

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The leathery scent of Santal 33 is like a drug. Bitter sweetness of Bergamote 22 is a sensual refreshment. Neroli 36 feels like liquid memoir of an Italian summer. I’m speaking of Le Labo, a brand that’s not just about (already) desirable branding, but powerful fragrances. Heralded as one of the best niche fragrances brands in the world, Le Labo boasts a core selection of unique fragrances and exclusive scents available in nine cities. Their newly opened store in Berlin‘s Mitte district is as delightful as the products available there. Those old tiles on the walls, heavy wooden counters, vintage sofas… honestly, wouldn’t mind staying here for much longer.

Alte Schönhauser Str. 26 / Berlin

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Photos by Edward Kanarecki.