Exotic Driving Experience Pit Stop
Take your driving from 0 to 60 as you learn to race a supercar.
April 25, 2013
While some of the thrill of driving a supercar comes from prestige and top styling, the real thrill comes from helming an automobile engineered for speed. But our 65 mph highways curb our ability to push the limits of the car and test its full range. What we really need is a track. This May a new company, Exotic Driving Experience, is touring the East Coast with its fleet of dream cars, including a stop at the New Hampshire Speedway in Loudon, NH (May 3-5). The experience includes an hour of classroom time and an instructor in the passenger seat who knows exactly when you should gun it to get the most out of the car. Drivers can feel the muscle of a 570 horsepower engine as they take tight turns and race down the straightaways in Lamborghinis, Ferraris, Audis, Porsches, or Aston Martins. We loved driving the Lamborghini Superleggera, which is a good 400 pounds lighter than other models and goes from 0 to 60 in a head-snapping 3.4 seconds. An onboard computer tallies your speed for each lap, and you’re digitally linked to your instructor through your racing helmet for immediate feedback.
Spring’s Best Shoes and Handbags
Fashion insider AnaMaria Pimentel shares favorite spring shoe and arm candy.
April 22, 2013
A widely known fashion creed advises that one wrong accessory can ruin an entire outfit. As fashion director for women’s accessories at Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman, AnaMaria Pimentel makes steering clear of this fashion faux pas look all too easy. Pimentel recently joined Neiman Marcus clients at the Copley Place store for a private presentation of spring looks. Here, she gives us her five favorite accessory trends.
Ultra-Chic Mother’s Day Chocolates
Godiva releases a Boston exclusive, limited edition collection in time for Mother’s Day
April 19, 2013
Godiva Heart of a Mom collection
Everyone is on the lookout for the perfect Mother’s Day gift, but only Bostonians will be able to shop Godiva’s Boston exclusive Heart of a Mom collection ($25). Elegantly packaged with five hand painted, heart-shaped chocolates circling a milk chocolate filled with crunchy hazelnut praline, the gift set is inspired by generosity, patience, and giving—all of the unsung attributes of a mother. And the colorful chocolates ooze with everything from passion fruit to lemon mousse. The best part? The ribbon-tied pink box is all the wrapping you need. Shop this special gift through May 12. The Shops at Prudential Center, 617-437-8490; Patriot Place, Two Patriot Place, Foxborough, 508-543-1459
Shop For the Cure at Impulse
The designer jewelry destination hosts a special shopping event on May 9.
April 15, 2013
Designed by Raquel Fauza for her diabetic daughter, this stylish, 18 karat yellow-gold medic alert bracelet will go on sale May 9 at Impulse by Adamas Fine Jewelry, during the boutique’s Shop For the Cure event. One hundred percent of the bracelet’s sales, as well as a portion of all Shop For the Cure proceeds, will benefit the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. The bracelet can be personalized with a signature stone or personal engraving and will soon be available in a variety of different metals, including sterling silver. The bracelet will continue to be available at Impulse after the May 9 event, with all sales benefiting the Foundation. 180 Linden St., Wellesley, 781-416-1800
Q&A: Jason Wu Talks Future Plans
The designer talks spring style and beauty counter ambitions while in town for a chat at the ICA .
April 11, 2013
It is no wonder that First Lady Michelle Obama has made fashion designer Jason Wu a mainstay in her closet. His down-to-earth personality mixed with his talent makes him charming, disarming, and approachable. Wu returned to Boston last week to speak to an excited crowd at the ICA. Before the event we sat down with him at Louis, one of the stores he credits with launching his career. “I really grew up in New England,” says Wu, who was born in Taiwan, and lived in Vancouver where his mother hired a tutor to teach him English before he attended the Eaglebrook School in Deerfield and then Loomis Chaffee in Windsor, Connecticut. And what does Wu do when he isn’t designing? He eats. “I love food,” he says earnestly. He visited both Menton and Blue Dragon while in town and sang Ming Tsai’s praises.
What is it about your designs that appeal to a wide variety of women, from the First Lady to actresses like Diane Kruger and stylish women across the country?
JASON WU: I think that women who wear my clothes appreciate a certain femininity. For me, it has always been about a subtle glamour and chicness that feels very women friendly. I want to create really beautiful clothes that women want to wear. After one of my shows I love to hear a woman saying she wants to wear every piece of my collection.
You have partnered with Brizo, the fine kitchen and bath finishings company, Nest Fragrances on a candle, and Lancôme for a limited edition collection hitting counters in September. What’s next?
JW: Well I’m eager to pursue more beauty. I enjoy learning how to make things and having it all translate back to my brand. For the Nest Fragrances candle, I designed the print, the lid, and the shape of the vessel. I always imagine the Jason Wu woman at home and see that as the next step.
You launched Miss Wu at Nordstrom in January. What do you see as the biggest similarity between your customers for your two lines?
JW: I view Miss Wu as a younger sister to my main collection. When I first started designing there was more a gamine element to my work and now my collection has grown up and matured, but I still love that preppy look and was able to put it into Miss Wu.
Tell us about your collections for spring and fall this year.
JW: I always refer to the collections as chapters in a book. It is the same story, but you have to introduce new elements each time. There was a definite sex appeal for spring that I think some people were surprised by, but I felt like it was the right time to do it. It is what women want to wear right now. I need to be consistent, but evolve at the same time. My job is so fun because it is always changing, and right now I am feeling high-octane glamour. I showed a lot of tiny, nipped-in waists, bigger shoulders, and fur for fall.
Is there an era that you continually reference in your work?
JW: Definitely the 1940s and 50s. I admire the perfection of it all, and that pre-Photoshop era. You would see a Hollywood actress all put together and that was really how she looked.
Does art inspire your designs?
JW: Art is always inspiring me. I remember when I first came to the museum in 2008 [for ICA 360, an event organized in honor of the ICA’s second anniversary on the waterfront, which featured emerging designers] there was a Tara Donovan exhibit that really moved me. I can appreciate a Picasso as much as a piece of street art from Mexico. I collaborated with KAWS on a set of prints for my spring/summer 2012 collection and that was really fun. I love the energy and collaborative effort.
What are you working on right now?
JW: Resort! I am feeling tropical and projecting my desire of a vacation into the clothing.
Custom Jewels by Gemvara
Simplicity rules in the online jewelry brand’s new Pure Collection.
April 08, 2013
Pure Brilliance pendant in sterling silver with London blue topaz ($722)
Just as gold glitters, so do lemon quartz, London blue topaz, and bright citrine, as is beautifully evidenced in Boston-based jeweler Gemvara’s new Pure Collection, an evolution of the brand's original Naked Gems. Known for its customizable philosophy (you pick the stone, setting, and so on), Gemvara is blazing the trail for high-end online jewelry retailers and racking up celebrity fans like Oprah in the process. With an emphasis on simple, refined settings, the Pure Collection highlights bold gemstones and colorful cuts. Look for checkerboard cushion pavilion earrings, round cabochon bezels, and glittering pavé charms. As with all of the brand’s jewels, clients can choose from platinum, sterling silver, and yellow or rose gold metals.
New Balance Launches Boston Exclusive
Cross the Boston Marathon finish line in shoes inspired by Paul Revere’s Midnight Ride.
April 07, 2013
New Balance 890v3, inspired by Paul Revere's Midnight Ride
Massachusetts-based global shoe brand New Balance is celebrating our city’s history with three limited edition running shoes that can only be purchased in Boston. The 890v3 ($115), one of New Balance’s most popular running shoes, has been transformed to tell the story of the famous April 18 midnight ride of Paul Revere, complete with glow-in-the-dark stars and accents in “lantern-yellow” and Revere’s route stamped on the insole. Performance-wise, an innovative REVlite midsole is 30 percent lighter than other foams, and the removable cushion insert minimizes shock on long runs. The new line also includes limited edition designs of the 990v3 ($160) and 574 ($150, exclusive to The Tannery) shoes as well. And of course, they’re all made in the U.S.A. New Balance Boston Experience Store, 583 Boylston St., 617-266-1583; City Sports, 480 Boylston St., 617-566-0220; The Tannery, 711 Boylston St., 617-267-5500
What to Order at Boston Chops
The new urban boutique steakhouse delivers fine cuts of beef and a take on poutine.
April 05, 2013
Chef Chris Coombs and Brian Piccini, of D Bar and Deuxave, have recently opened a new South End steakhouse, Boston Chops, a wood paneled haunt that pays respect to a wide array of grilled, seared, and otherwise cooked to perfection cuts of meat.
The menu starts with raw bar options like fluke ceviche and a light, mustardy steak tartare, one of the best we’ve tried. The French onion soup, meanwhile, is reminiscent of the simmered-for-hours version Coombs serves at Deuxave. Steaks range from an eight-ounce hangar steak to a mammoth 22-ounce bone-in rib eye—plated with your choice of peppercorn, Béarnaise, or creamy horseradish sauce and a heap of hot frites.
Boston Chops cleverly displays its temperature guide on the menu; guests get exactly what they ask for, whether it’s Blue (cold and very red) or Well, with a hot, pink center. And beyond steak, there’s a pan-roasted halibut; seared scallops with house cured bacon and leeks; and a 14-ounce double-cut pork chop with a Carolina dry rub. For a side dish, try the poutine-style twice baked loaded potato, which is practically a meal in itself.
Drinks, too, are inventive. The Pamplemousse is described as a “sparkling dance with grapefruit,” and the Orangerie packs vodka, blood orange, and orange water. Lovers of the classic Italian Negroni will find a balanced rendition with bourbon, Campari, Sweet Vermouth, and Antico Carpano. And for oenophiles, beverage manager Chris Gonzales has curated a well-rounded wine list. (We opted for a glass of the 2009 Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon on a recent visit, and it didn’t disappoint.) Slip into the first-come, first-serve bar area or make a reservation for one of the restaurant’s more intimate tables in a tucked away space behind partial glass walls.
New Gym: Sports Club/LA
The jewel box fitness club sets up shop in Chestnut Hill.
April 03, 2013
Sports Club/LA's new Chestnut Hill location
Chestnut Hill residents can battle the bulge in chic surroundings, thanks to the opening of Sports Club/LA’s jewel box location in The Street off Route 9. The new 33,000-square-foot outpost retains the beauty and energy of Sports Club/LA’s larger facilities while blending style and technology with a welcoming vibe.
“The jewel box is a unique club concept,” says Smaiyra M. Million, CEO of Millennium Partners Sports Club Management, which owns and operates Sports Club/LA. “We are excited to test many innovations in our new location right here in our own backyard before launching similar clubs cross the country.”
Members of the club are greeted by a two-sided floating fireplace in the main lobby, where they can examine class schedules and their accounts via iPads and enjoy an organic juice bar and café before and after working out. The club offers more than 80 group exercise classes each week, many held in the sunny yoga and Pilates studios. Dedicated athletes can also train on two 80-foot lanes of AstroTurf in the gym, unique to the Chestnut Hill location.
The REV cycling studio has 45 bikes equipped with simulated rides and races displayed on a panoramic screen, technology previously only used in IMAX theaters. And even when you’re not in the gym, you can be working on your fitness with the Exercise Programming app, which helps keep track of your workout schedule. 55 Boylston St., Chestnut Hill, 617-975-2020
Alexandra Mor’s Golden Touch
The jewelry designer will host private appointments at Dorfman Jewelers on April 17.
April 01, 2013
The daughter of a French dressmaker, jewelry designer Alexandra Mor has been immersed in luxury since childhood. First introduced to the design world via a love of fine fabric, she got into jewelry while on a buying trip with her husband, Alon, of Abe Mor Diamond Cutters. Today, Mor combines her bold designs with delicate metals and materials such as 18-karat gold, platinum, emeralds, sapphires, and most recently, jade. In addition to her signature “demi-couture” collection, which contains bracelets, rings, earrings, and necklaces in limited numbers, Mor also takes on custom commissions, helping clients reimagine heirloom jewelry pieces.
“Alexandra is an amazing rising star with the rare ability to be inspired while discovering the lifestyle of a customer during a one-on-one conversation,” says Gerard Riveron, executive director of Dorfman Jewelers, where Mor’s jewelry line is exclusively sold in Boston. “She understands that each person is unique and has a specific aspiration influenced by their personal life story and uses that to create the perfect, one-of-a-kind heirloom.” Mor will be visiting Dorfman on April 17 for private appointments. Dorfman Jewelers, 24 Newbury St., 617-536-2022