What’s new and noteworthy in beauty, fashion and food


Chanel’s new skincare collection finds inspiration in classic proportions

The golden ratio has set the standard for ideal proportions since it was first identified in ancient Greece. Now, Chanel is applying her principles to skincare. For her new Le Lift Pro collection, which includes an invigorating concentrate that redefines the cheeks and jawline and a volume-boosting crème, an architectural approach is applied to maintaining skin texture.

The key component of the line is an enzyme ingredient produced by tiny bees, identified in Chanel’s open-air laboratory in Costa Rica. “It has exceptional properties on the skin’s extracellular matrix – the skin’s corset – a structure that is essential for architecture of the face,” says Armelle Souraud, international director of scientific communications at Chanel. She explains that, over time, the skin loses its ability to hold its structure. The result is a youthful V-shape of the face that curves to become more like an A. Combined with a number of specialized application techniques including facial massage, Souraud says the ingredients in Le Lift Pro “lead to a significant increase in the quality of the skin matrix and its ability to keep the skin in tension.”

To help with application, Chanel offers an elegant tool inspired by professional massage techniques. “Its ergonomic shape facilitates the penetration of treatments and redefines the volumes and contours of the face to help restore the youthful triangle look,” says Souraud. —CAITLIN AGNEW

Le Lift Pro Crème Volume, $230, Concentré Contours, $240, Limited Edition Massage Tool, $108 at Chanel Beauty Counters (chanel.com).


The whimsical world of Christian Louboutin extends to children and pets

Soon the whole family will be able to wear red soles. Inspired by the graphic illustrations of cartoon comic book superheroes, LoubiFamily brings to life a colorful imaginary world of French designer Christian Louboutin through a new line of products for the young and the young at heart.

“The idea of ​​LoubiFamily was born during the lockdown. For the first time in a long time, I had the chance to spend several months in the same place with my closest friends, my daughters and our dog,” Louboutin says. “I wanted to explore the idea of ​​adulthood to children and childhood for adults, transposing fabrics and colors and playing with details”.

The collection includes shoes for children and adults, as well as accessories for pets, all featuring Louboutin’s signature red. The Melodie Chick Ballerina features the same scalloped edge as the Hot Chick Pump. This recognizable Louboutin silhouette is reinvented for a younger audience in five versatile shades with a press stud closure. For the four-legged friends, leashes, collars and harnesses are embellished with spikes in a style reminiscent of the Carasky studded leather goods collection. For pet play, there’s even a replica of the spiked Louis Shoe, the only Loub you’ll actually let your dog chew on.

LoubiFamily will debut in New York, London and Shanghai this month ahead of its worldwide rollout. A flagship store for the collection is expected to open in Paris in 2023.

For more information visit www.christianloubutin.com.


In New York, Fendi celebrates the 25th anniversary of a true fashion icon


Can a single sartorial moment kick off a cultural phenomenon? The quarter-century history of the Fendi Baguette handbag would suggest that it is possible.

The Baguette’s elegant design, conceptualized by Silvia Venturini Fendi and paired with a redesigned logo by Karl Lagerfeld, helped make it one of the first It bags of the years. But for many outside the fashion world, their first introduction to the bag was seeing it tucked under actor Sarah Jessica Parker’s arm as New Yorker Carrie Bradshaw in Season 3 of Sex and the city. When a thief asks her to hand over her purse, Bradshaw corrects him. “It’s not a bag, it’s a baguette,” he says. The joke cemented the accessory in fashion history and pop culture.

No wonder then that the current creative director of Fendi, Kim Jones, has chosen the Big Apple to host the 25th anniversary of the Baguette in September. The show was a parade of reinterpretations. Versions of the bag were sewn onto baseball caps and silk stockings or displayed as pockets on sweaters and jackets. There were also a number of collaborative releases. Tiffany & Co lent its signature blue to bags and apparel, including an opera coat worn to the show’s finale by supermodel Linda Evangelista. Japanese luggage brand Porter has created a utilitarian version in tough bonded nylon, and Parker itself has co-designed a sequined version.

The highlight of the night was a finale of 10 looks from designer Marc Jacobs, the iterations of which reflected the designer’s penchant for grandiose silhouettes. It was the kind of headline show that will likely keep the Baguette top of mind for another 25 years.

For more information visit fendi.com.


Picton’s Russ & Co. may be Canada’s prettiest cocktail bar

Stepping into the warm glow of Russ & Co., a dimly lit boîte tucked under the marquee of the Regent Theater on Main Street in Picton, Ontario, is like stepping back in time. The painted tin ceiling, burl paneling, and bookshelves lined with an artful hoard of books, antique trophies, and taxidermy look from the same era as the circa 1918 cinema. But this cozy cocktail bar is the newcomer.

Together with artist Christine Flynn, who designed the bar and is also a partner in the business, owners Russ Coughlin and Rob Laine wanted to “create a space that looks like it’s been there for years,” says Flynn. The room is lined with elaborate furniture that once outfitted a turn-of-the-century pharmacy in Hungary. “It arrived in what felt like a million pieces,” she says of the painstaking installation. “Now it seems like it’s been here forever.” That apothecary elegance was the inspiration for everything from vintage glassware to gallery walls of photos found in local archives.

Similarly, Russ & Co.’s cocktail menu evokes the past through twists on classics. The Viva Chile is a Pisco sour that swaps out simple bourbon-infused vanilla bean syrup and adds a warming note with a dash of vanilla bitters. Sex in the County, her popular take on the Cosmopolitan, is in fall mode, transformed from a cranberry simple syrup and bourbon-infused vanilla bean into a sultry sipper.

For the holidays, the Pumpkin Spice Sour is a smoother take on a whiskey sour with subtle hints of pumpkin pie filling, while Blood in the Water, an easy-drinking gin cocktail named in tribute to Prince Edward County surfers , features a chartreuse green rinse and blood orange appetizer. During the winter, expect more experimentation like a cold brew martini with Cherry Valley’s Stone Temple Coffee.

For more information visit www.therussandco.com.


Kwento captures a sense of whimsy in cakes

Food entrepreneur Shannon Nocos didn’t intend to make a name for herself through baking. But like so many others during the pandemic, she found that her Toronto-based firm Kwento needed to adapt, and she happily found success in that shift. “The items I was making were smaller portions,” Nocos says of the tempting treats, from tarts to Sapin-Sapin—a rice-coconut dessert dish from her ancestral Philippines—that made up Kwento’s initial offering. While all delicious, they weren’t what customers were craving at the time.

So Nocos pondered what large-scale treats she might create and landed on extravagant cakes. “I had to steer myself in a direction where I was like, okay, what can I do where I’m still practicing what I’ve learned to some extent and still being creative?” Kwento now sells nearly 200 cakes a month, including vegan and gluten-free options that capture the decadent direction of her imagination.

In contrast to the social media trend of cakes that don’t look like cakes, Kwento’s aesthetic is sociable, nostalgic, and very gluttonous. The icing playfully cascades, fringes and pats. Cherries, occasionally dipped in glitter, as well as lavish flowers and fruit are often used to complement her show-stopping treats.

Kwento cake flavors range from carrot to Ube or Pandan chiffon, options that indicate Nocos’ passion for his heritage. This celebration of culture is also evident in the non-edible products. Toronto-based artist duo Munggo have rendered Kwento cakes in a sweet array of stickers, a T-shirt, and a bag. – ODESSA PALOMA PARKER

For more information visit make-kwento.com.

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