Hot favourites to spice up the season. A designer’s sit downFashion, food and design, a headier melange does not exist. And this winsome combination is the brainchild of celebrity chef Jamie Oliver who is celebrating the 10th anniversary of his restaurant Fifteen. The British gourmand’s Better Food Foundation, a charity,Hot favourites to spice up the season.A designer’s sit downFashion, food and design, a headier melange does not exist. And this winsome combination is the brainchild of celebrity chef Jamie Oliver who is celebrating the 10th anniversary of his restaurant Fifteen. The British gourmand’s Better Food Foundation, a charity which trains disenfranchised young people to become chefs, received a donation of twenty iconic ANT chairs from the Danish furniture brand Republic of Fritz Hansen. These were distributed among creative talents such as Alexander Mc Queen’s creative director Sarah Burton, artist Tracey Emin and Paul Smith who were given the carte blanche to stamp their seal of food-inspired design on these seats. Oliver too has worked his magic on a classic EGG chair and footstool, also donated by Fritz Hansen, besides designing an ANT chair in collaboration with renowned photographer David Loftus. Six of these seats will be a part of a lottery which will be held in October while the rest are to be auctioned online. All proceeds from the sale will go to the Better Food Foundation. So if you want to donate to a good cause or grab one of the chairs visit www.thebigchairproject.org.Hotel: Puttin’ on the RitzThe Ritz Carlton Hotel company recently announced the opening of its 80th hotel across the globe; its ninth in Europe and its first luxury resort in the the Austrian capital. The Ritz-Carlton, Vienna, is composed of four historic palaces that date back to the 19th century and is located on Vienna’s Schubertring Boulevard. The resort features 202 guestrooms, including 43 suites and the Dstrikt restaurant, offering authentic Austrian cuisine from the kitchen of Chef Wini Brugge. The luxury hotel group plans to double its properties in Europe by 2015 and the Vienna opening is part of this strategy. Vienna’s historic pedigree and status as the leading destination for international congresses and conventions make this just the first of many new sights.Accessories: GoldfingerCelebrating 50 years of James Bond at the movies, cuticle care company OPI has launched a special edition nail polish containing real 18-carat gold leaf. Just a few specks will add a dramatic shine to any Bond girl’s digits. The Man With the Golden Gun paint launches in October, in time to shake the bottle, stir the brush and paint Ms. Moneypenny’s magical manicure in Skyfall.Gadget: Aural fixationUK-based Hart Audio has come out with speakers for the super rich. Cast in 18-carat gold, the ultra high-end boomboxes weigh approximately 50 kg and come bolted to an adjustable chrome stand. A three-driver design also enables the D&W aural pleasure to output richer sound for golden moments. Only one pair will be manufactured, while sterling silver and phosphor bronze versions are available in larger numbers.Fashion: No kiddingGiorgio Armani has opened its first Armani Junior showroom in India at DLF Emporio in the capital with designer Suneet Varma as its franchise partner. The 2,000 sq ft store will retail collections as varied as the lives of the children for whom it is designed. The stylish clothes and accessories will cater to boys and girls in the age group of 0-16 years. From basic pieces-shirts, sweatshirts and jeans-to more fashionable items-jackets, dresses and skirts, the label hopes to meet the suiting up demands for school, leisure time, sports, and formal occasions. The brand favours natural fabrics and offers a contemporary look.Jewellery: Bringing Gatsby backLegendary jeweller Faberge’s latest collection evokes the decadence of the 20s and the glamour of the lavish parties celebrated in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel, The Great Gatsby. The range includes pieces such as the dramatic Imperial necklace which has layers of precious Akoya pearls and fine white diamonds and is finished with an aristocratic crest from which hangs an exuberant pearl tassel. Another design which is reminiscent of Gatsby-esque heroines is the Collier Pur, a modern interpretation of the popular lariat necklace.Perfume: Scent of a womanNina Ricci has always endorsed the idea of effortless, classic femininity. When the label was established in 1932, Nina herself had the goal of simply creating very pretty, wearable clothes. The latest addition to the house’s line of luxury fragrances takes its name from one of its fashion collections launched in the 1960s, and has the sole purpose of embodying love in a bottle. Everlasting declaration of love just got the right scent this wedding season.Watch: Fly sky highOne of the most enduring partnerships in the watch industry is the eight-year collaboration between Breitling aviation-themed watches and qualified pilot John Travolta. This year, Breitling marks the 60th anniversary of its flagship flight piece Navitimer, the world’s oldest mechanical chronograph still in production, with a limited edition of 500 individually numbered pieces of its Navitimer Blue Sky, one of which now sits wrapped around Travolta’s wrist. “The watch does everything an aviation watch should do,” says the star. Considering that he holds 11 pilot licenses and five planes, we can safely assume he knows what he’s talking about.CalendaradvertisementadvertisementDates that mean something.Tod’s presents the India inspired photographs of Maimouna Guerresi, one of Europe’s leading photographers, at the Italian Cultural Centre in New Delhi.Spooky Goings On is a fun event held in Beaumaris Castle in Wales. The palace comes alive on Halloween with ghouls, ghosts and haunting tricks and games for the family.The Venice Architecture Biennale 2012 will showcase the work of major protagonists of contemporary architecture. The theme for this year’s fair is ‘Common Ground’.Here comes the brideThe three most expensive wedding gowns of all time.$12 Million-The most expensive wedding gown in history was created by Martin Katz Jewellers and Renee Strauss, a bridal couture designer and owner of a successful bridal salon in Beverly Hills. The magnificent dress featured 150 carats worth of diamonds woven throughout the dress. The diamond wedding gown was made to celebrate the spectacular bridal show at The Ritz-Carlton on Rodeo Drive in Los Angeles.$8.5 Million-The world’s second most expensive wedding dress was created by Japanese designer Yumi Katsura. The sparkling wedding dress featured 1000 pearls and a rare 5-carat white gold diamond.$1.5 Million-The Peacock wedding dress was fashioned out of 2,009 pieces of peacock feathers. The expensive wedding dress was unveiled in 2009 at the wedding expo held in Nanjing, capital of east Chinas Jiangsu Province. The peacock wedding dress took eight craftsmen two months to finish by hand.TalkStay up to date with the latest.Berry gets the bootAn unhealthy obsession with shoes is a common affliction in the glitzy corridors of Hollywood but Halle Berry, who once turned up at a red carpet event in flip flops, is not one of them. So, the news of her collaboration with German footwear brand Deichmann came as a surprise to many. The Oscar-winning stunner is designing a range named Fifth Avenue by Halle Berry for the label, and was recently in Berlin shooting for its advertising campaign. Unfortunately for the 46-year-old, online commentators have not taken kindly to the footwear, with dowdy being a common adjective used to describe her creations.Water babyAcclaimed Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid and American art dealer Kenny Schachter go a long way. He commissioned her to design the three-wheeled Z-Car in 2005 and now the Pritzker prize winning designer is creating the Z-Boat, an all black, 7.5-metre-long fibreglass vessel, for her loyal client. The knighted designer will create 12 boats and four prototypes which will be ready to hit the waves in early 2013. French manufacturers Shoreteam have been roped in to bring Hadid’s half-a-million dollar handiwork to life.Riding high and lowWith a unique, hand polished metal paint finish and explosive power, the only thing low about Harley-Davidson’s 2013 offering, the CVO Breakout, is its silhouette. This shiny declaration of independence has a lowered, raked front end, a chopped fender that enhances its long, slammed custom look, and a powerful, wide-standing wheel and set of forks that guarantee a solid stance on the road. Besides the perfect storm of engineering and style you’ll only find that this machine will spoil you with a wide choice of fun accessories.Wow welliesMatthew Williamson’s signature peacock feather print is all over his latest offering: rain boots deigned in collaboration with the footwear brand Havaianas. Though the label is better know for its bright flip flops, Williamson wanted to design a range of Wellington boots, as an ode to his English roots.Haute bagThe world of fashion thrives on the audacious and now a paper bag is pushing it to a whole new level of cheeky. When German designer Jil Sander sent her models down the runway with lunch bags made of paper, it was seen as a quirky statement in hard times. But now the label is retailing the Vasari bag for a cool $ 290 (16,000) and it has reportedly sold out. Here is one paper bag that will not hit the recycle bin anytime soon.Talking shopFrom a small 19th century raincoat shop to a well established global leader in fashion, Burberry has had a long and rewarding journey. The British brand commemorates its rise with a flagship store in Regent Street, London. The label integrated its physical and digital worlds to showcase its rich heritage through best-in-class craftsmanship and design. Innovative technology delivers digital experiences that bring all facets of the brand to life, using the tall indoor 6.9m high/ 38m2 laser phosphor display screen and over 420 speakers. The brand also introduced the Orchard bag this fall. The must-have accessory is inspired by vintage luggage and the British countryside.Indian by designSotheby’s in London recently held India Fantastique, an exhibit to celebrate 25 years of the creativity of the country’s couturier duo Abu Jani and Sandeep Khosla. Their partnership has dressed actors and delivered costumes for numerous Bollywood films and created exuberant, maximalist interiors as well. Bravo!Zero calorie cartoonsWalt Disney may not have realised this, but the iconic characters created by him were a tad on the overweight side. Luxury retailers Barneys stepped in to give Minnie, Mickey, Goofy and Daisy, a makeover and they have emerged supermodel-skinny after the preening. session.The spice cellar: For sake’s sakeadvertisementAkiko TomodaIs it just a drink or a full on tradition? Undoubtedly, the Japanese take their drinking seriously; especially when it comes to sake, a tradition perfected by centuries of devotion across the length and breadth of the country.Devoted traditionMade from two basic components-water and rice-this traditional Japanese rice wine has been enthusiastically brewed in regions with abundant spring water and excellent rice. Take Nada in Hyogo prefecture, for example, one of the best sake-producing regions since the Edo period, the town is blessed with miya-mizu-divine quality water, top notch local rice, and a convenient location for transportation by sea. As the characteristics of local water and rice have strong ties with the regions climate and food culture, sake also attains unique regional characteristics that complement best with local dishes and delicacies. In Hokkaido, sake is prepared with extremely cold water which gives it a distinctively fragrant character that is best accompanied by local fresh seafood.But these are just the obvious parameters. Excellent ingredients demand excellent toji, the master brewer, to direct and manage the complex brewing processes, where rice undergoes a series of microbial fermentation. These skillful masters continue to find a way to brew more perfect sake, and some even play Mozart to uplift and relax the bacteria during the fermentation process.Cool and sakeliciousJustifiably, there are equally innovative ways to enjoy sake, from traditional “chilled, to room temperature or warm” to fashionable “cool sake style”: try sake on the rocks or a glass of sparkling sake with cheese.Having seafood for dinner? Try the more exotic green tea and sake cocktail: fill a rock glass with ice and pour equal parts of sake and green tea and stir gently (use genshu or undiluted sake for the recipe if possible). Half a teaspoon of powdered green tea further deepens the flavour. It cleanses the aftertaste and even works as a wonderful digestive.To chill with “Samurai Rock”, pour in sake over a generous amount of ice in a rock glass and twist lime to bring out the sweetness of the sake. It is just perfect to wash your palate after rich dishes like tempura.Sake can be mixed into creamy concoction as well. Unconvinced? Fill half a glass with nigorizake (unfiltered sake) and milk and stir gently; top up the concoction with ice. Add soda water or a twist of lemon if you like. Reminiscent of a yogurt drink or makgeolli (Korean rice wine) it pairs beautifully with spicy dishes. Nothing beats summer heat like a glass of delicious sake in “cool sake style”!The author is a sake sommelier.