Luggage shouldn't be flashy or obnoxious — it just shouldn't. Aware of this universal truth, Hedi Slimane has designed the new Monogram line of travel goods for Saint Laurent. Alluringly subtle and classic, the thirty or so men's and women's pieces — suitcases, briefcases, totes, and more — feature the Saint Laurent signature in embossed gold letters and outer canvas printed with a barely-there transposition of the Yves Saint Laurent logo, the one designed by the artist Cassandre in 1961. Everything is made in Italy, too, backing up the understated chic with quality craftsmanship
Believe it or not, summer scarves have a purpose. They keep bare shoulders warm on cool, breezy nights. Of course, Riccardo Tisci likes to imbue his scarves for Givenchy with another layer of meaning. Following the visual cues of his spring 2014 collection, his new scarves — or foulard — combine sepia-toned scenes of noble African tribeswomen with a Japanese robo-chic element — with a little Crucifixion mixed in for good measure. After all, a signature is a signature.
120 x 120 cm, cotton-silk blend, $530 at Net-a-Porter
You might have thought there was only one designer sneaker collab you had to have this spring. But no. For a second time, Raf Simons has teamed up with Adidas on a range of color-exploding eye-catchers.
There are eight unisex versions in up to four colors each, with uppers printed in a pattern from Raf Simons' spring collection. Building from fall '13, the collab also sees a shoe-in-shoe concept, while tweaking classic Adidas styles. The Stan Smith gets a modest revamp, while Simons has gone color-crazy with Super Trekker, Rising Star, Bounce, Formula, Response Trail, and a super slick, Wellies-style boot.
Here's the kicker: not every style has Adidas' three-stripe motif imposed on it — that's when you know you have clout.
$440-$570 at Adidas Originals stores, retailers carrying RAF, and select sneaker specialists.
If you're going to cave to chunky earth-mother sandals, do so with these colorful specimens from Marni. The chunky Fussbett sole was launched in 2001 upon a visit to Africa, where designer Consuelo Castiglioni saw sandals constructed from recycled tires and packed with straw. Her versions are made from rubber and cord, added to every spring and fall. This season, she's also released a limited-edition style, the Blitz Fussbett, in sparkling berry and granite.
$560-1120 at Marni
After the heinous winter most of the world has just suffered through, treat yourself to these Saint Laurent silver-studded slip-on leather sneakers. You can't go wrong with patrimony that's part Paris posh, part L.A. casual. If Hedi Slimane can seek California's snug embrace, so can you. Another option: leopard print!
Because you can never have enough Heroine bags, Alexander McQueen has unloaded tons more options of its signature accessory for spring. First, the label is launching the Mini Heroine satchel, which boasts all the great craftsmanship of its roomier sister — suede lining, hand stitching, chain and leather strap — but smaller and slightly more economical. Second, the Heroine bag itself is being rolled out in new colors, graphic prints and textures — emulating those of the future-tribal spring collection. It, too, will be available in a mini size, as well as small and medium. As Lorde might say, you may never be royal, but you can have Heroine bags.
$1545-$2595 at Alexander McQueen stores and online (late February - July 2014)
This Valentine's Day, give the gift that says what you really think — like this wool and appliquéd men's slogan sweater from London designer James Long with the Britpop-inspired, Grindr-approved words "I'm so fucking hard" spelled out across the front. Sometimes (usually) blunt smut talk is the sexiest of sweet nothings.
£490 ($805) at Browns
If you were smitten with the piles of buttons and shiny things in the Maison Martin Margiela couture show, we have good news. The label is selling individual items of jewelry for Valentine's Day, some of which looks like it was plucked from those over-the-top creations. His and hers rings, bracelets, necklaces, and cufflinks are now available from the house's Première range. Now, finally, you can build your own magpie jacket, ring by ring.
$365-835 at Maison Martin Margiela