Editor’s Note: This selection was edited by the CNN Style team.
Dare to dream? Wish lists should be over the top, expensive and rare. This holiday season, we’ve rounded up some of the year’s most indulgent design items – from luxury collections and exclusive fashion collaborations to simply exquisite objects.
Moncler x Pierpaolo Piccioli coat gowns
Throughout 2018, Italian skiwear brand Moncler has been dropping one-off collaborations with high caliber designers as part of its Genius project, first presented at Milan Fashion Week in March. The most noteworthy to date is probably the one with Maison Valentino creative director Pierpaolo Piccioli, which debuted in October.
For the capsule collection, Piccioli presented a series of rather voluminous outerwear inspired by the Renaissance, reinventing Moncler’s classic lightweight duvets into structured couture pieces that are hybrids between a coat and a gown. All in bright, vivid colors, the garments are pretty dramatic – and make a definite statement coat.
Rick Owens’ anti-cozy furniture
Looking at any item of furniture by Rick Owens, “cozy” is possibly the last word one would use. Angular, monumental and sometimes tomb-like, the pieces the American designer has been creating since 2007 feature stark materials like Carrara marble and slabs of alabaster. Sometimes, moose antlers make an appearance.
The overall aesthetic – which Owens has said in interviews is also the contribution of his wife and creative partner Michele Lamy – is miles away from comfort, but captivating because of that. It defies the classic rules of what makes ‘good’ furniture.
Porky Hefer’s over-sized cuddly lounge chairs
Oversized bean bags and hanging chairs in the shape of endangered animal species are the latest from South African artist Porky Hefer – and the cuddliest intersection of art and environmental sustainability we’ve seen in a while. The tactile, larger-than-life sculptures (and seating pods) are made of eco-friendly, recycled materials, and are handcrafted by artisans in Cape Town.
They are celebrity-endorsed, too: the giant animals were presented at Design Miami/Basel in June as part of an exhibition commissioned by art consultancy SFA Advisory to benefit the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation (LDF), the actor’s environmental non-profit, with 25% of their sales proceeds going towards the promotion of LDF wildlife conservation programs.
Stella McCartney’s Loop sneakers
British designer Stella McCartney has long been at the forefront of sustainable, even vegan fashion. These Loop sneakers, which launched in August and took 18 months to design, are made from non-leather materials and have been stitched without the use of any glue, so that, if pulled apart, each component can be fully recycled.
Vivienne Westwood x Burberry
Vivienne Westwood x Burberry’s limited-edition collection, released in early December, is one of the most British collabs in years – and already iconic among fans of the brands. Aiming to create a “union of punk and tradition,” it features some of Westwood’s best-known pieces – berets, high-waisted pants, chunky oversized coats – in a vintage variation of the Burberry check.
The ad campaign accompanying the launch was shot by photographer David Sims, and shows a decidedly 1990s aesthetic, with candid portraits of Kate Moss and Sistren (a sister-friends trio telling stories relevant to queer black women) that could be straight out of Clueless. Westwood and Riccardo Tisci (Burberry’s new chief creative officer) also decided to use the collection to support nonprofit organization Cool Earth.
MatchesFashion x Nick Vinson
Earlier this year, global e-commerce platform MatchesFashion.com tapped creative director and interiors expert Nick Vinson to put together an impeccably curated homeware collection. Spanning soft furnishings and cutlery, tabletop accessories and glassware, the 12-item line launched in November, and features collectibles from British and European designers.
Among them are vases by Linck Ceramics redecorated by Roksanda Ilinčić, a special silver teapot designed by John Pawson for Belgian distributor When Objects Work, and cushions by Tomas Maier for Bottega Veneta. Accompanying each object is a personal story from Vinson, keeping in line with MatchesFashion.com’s ethos of bespoke design.
Annie Leibotvitz’s “Sumo” book
“Annie Leibovitz, Sumo” is a hardcover, signed, limited-edition (there are only 9,000 copies available) tome, that takes the concept of ‘coffee table book’ to new heights. Part of publishing house Taschen’s “Sumo” book series, it comes with a tripod bookstand by designer Marc Newson, four different cover photos and a supplementary essay compendium.
The volume compiles some of Leibovitz’s most iconic photos, legendary images of some of the most famed actors, musicians, artists, writers, athletes and businesspeople of our time.
Super Veloce’s Royale 01 espresso machine
Super Veloce has been making F1-inspired espresso machines for a few years, but their latest model, the Royale 01, might be their most opulent yet. Like other espresso makers from the South-African company, it is designed to resemble a car engine – a V12, to be exact, which is used to power up Aston Martins, Ferraris and Lamborghinis – and made with the same materials: aerospace-grade aluminum, stainless steel and titanium.