The Gift of Luxury

Sunday, November 25, 2012

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What is an SO Christmas without our look at Neiman Marcus's ridiculously creative, opulent fantasy gifts? This year's stocking stuffers on offer, as expected, runs the gamut from a water-propelled jetpack to your personalised mini hen farm, the luxe 2013 McLaren Spider or a $1-million pair of artisan watches. If seven-zero-figure presents are no big deal (or at the very least, you can imagine receiving them), here are nine others for your consideration.

Van Cleef & Arpels 'Poetic Wish' Watches & Trip

Price starting at US$1,090,000.

This tale of love found and lost inspired the "Poetic Wish" watches from Van Cleef & Arpels. Mini works of art on the outside and exemplary displays of technical watchmaking behind the dial, these masterpieces are in need of their own happily ever after. The lucky buyer will also receive two business-class tickets to Paris and Geneva to tour the Van Cleef & Arpels boutique, atelier, and watchmaking workshops.

'Snowy Owl' by Robert Wilson

Price US$70,000

A stoic owl gazes impassively from a screen. Instead of a forest backdrop, the creature is juxtaposed against mod dots. A soundtrack by Carl Maria von Weber loops mysteriously in the background. Suddenly, the bird blinks! Then his head swivels! Exactly who is watching whom? That is one question acclaimed artist Robert Wilson wants viewers to ask. In his Video Portraits series, he features animals and people who appear static, as if portrayed within a painting. But the viewer is caught off guard when the subject unexpectedly breathes, blinks, or shifts. This modern riff on the 18th-century tableaux vivant beautifully pushes the boundaries between reality and imagination.

2013 Neiman Marcus Edition McLaren 12C Spider

Price US$354,000

It's more than just another convertible. Your Neiman Marcus Edition 2013 McLaren 12C Spider-- one of just 12 made --is heralded as the most technologically advanced supercar ever. With the push of a button, the butterfly wing-like doors swoosh open. You glide into the comfortably bolstered seat, taking note of the beautiful red contrast stitching. From the console to the cleverly placed gears and gadgets, it's as though the entire cockpit has been designed just for your comfort. You hit the big silver button and the 616 horse-powered V8 twin turbo engine begins to purr behind your seat. It's all here--everything that makes a McLaren so coveted.

Bulleit Woody Tailgate Trailer

Price US$150,000

A chorus of cheers rings out the minute you pull up. Tailgating will never be the same now that your Bulleit Frontier Whiskey Woody-Tailgate Trailer is on the scene. Designed by interior designer Brad Ford, it's impressive on the outside, but what's on the inside truly astounds: sleek leather furnishings and details from Moore & Giles, rich wood finishings (handcrafted from reclaimed Bulleit Bourbon casks), elegant glassware, and a top-notch entertainment system, including a flat-screen TV, Blu-ray Discª player, and a state-of-the-art sound system, plus a one-year supply of Bulleit Bourbon and Bulleit Rye*. You park, open the hatch, and slide out the bar. Cocktails, anyone?

JetLev R200

Price US$99,500

Like the JetLev R200's creator, you've dreamed about jetpack flight since first seeing it in the movie Thunderball. Finally, technology has caught up with fantasy! One part sci-fi, three parts British secret service agent, and 100 per cent pure adrenaline rush, your water-propelled jetpack is about to send your spirits soaring. Excitement builds as you take to the skies and experience the rush of personal flight. It's a beautiful day for adventure. So, strap yourself in, engage the throttle, and up, up, and away you go!

Pinel & Pinel Arcade PS Trunk

Price US$90,000

Ancient orcs breathing down your neck. A hairpin turn approaching at 258 miles per hour. Enemy soldiers bearing down on your position. These and other threats await as you expertly navigate your custom-made Pinel & Pinel Arcade PS Trunk-- the ultimate gaming toy for the man or woman who has everything. Encased in luxurious calfskin (in your choice of 51 colours), it's all you need for an evening of high-adrenaline entertainment: Formula 1ª racing seats with Thrustmaster T500 RS Force Wheel, a selection of 24 PlayStation® 3 games, Bluetooth® 3 wireless music system, motion-detection camera, 2 SingStar® 3 microphones, and much more.

Annie: The Musical Walk-On Role

Price US$30,000

Leaping lizards! Your stomach is doing cartwheels as you wait in the wings for your cue. A nervous smile spreads across your face as you realise THIS IS IT! You made it to The Great White Way! And soon, you'll be taking the stage in one of theatre's most beloved plays, ANNIE: The Musical. The stage manager gives you the nod, and you step into the spotlight. Your role as a walk-on performer? To help the adorably good-natured orphan and her canine companion teach the world that perseverance and unwavering hope can change lives. After your curtain call, you'll sit down with one of the show's producers for a celebratory five-star meal.

Heritage Hen Mini Farm

Price US$100,000

Dawn breaks. The hens descend from their bespoke Versailles-inspired Le Petit Trianon house to their playground below for a morning wing stretch. Slipping on your wellies, you start for the coop and are greeted by the pleasant clucking of your specially chosen flock and the site of the poshest hen house ever imagined. Your custom-made multilevel dwelling features a nesting area, a "living room" for nighttime roosting, a broody room, a library filled with chicken and gardening books for visitors of the human kind, and, of course, an elegant chandelier. The environment suits them well as you notice the fresh eggs awaiting morning collection.

Private Dinner for 10

Price US$250,000

The flowers are in place, the silver shined, and the crystal, sparkling. Tonight, nine of your favourite guests will gather at your home where you'll play host to an epic culinary event. Four of the culinary world's most notable chefs --Daniel Boulud, Thomas Keller, Jerome Bocuse, and Richard Rosendale-- will arrive to prepare a feast. And, they're bringing Bertha Gonzalez, the world's first female Maestra Tequilera, to kick off the evening with a Casa Dragones tequila tasting. Señora Gonzalez is even providing the party favours: personalised, engraved crystal bottles of the sipping spirit for each of the diners. What's on the multi-course menu? Leave that delectable decision to the experts!

Not to be outdone by Neiman Marcus, The Rock has its own luxe gifts you can 'wow' with for the holidays. There's gift wrapping Bolt to fulfil the ultimate fantasy of the need for speed; or getting the keys to the Range Rover Ultimate Edition? Want to surprise with a slice of island paradise? Contemplate taking out a one-day mortgage on Sandals' offshore private island.

Here are SO's nine Rock-flavoured gift recommendations.

Let's start with our own Usain Bolt shall we, who's had a pretty impressive year.

* #2 most popular male in the world —

* Featured in the GQ Men of the Year 2012 Issue

* Has to date 9.8 million fans on Facebook

* 2.3 million followers on Twitter

* Now has six Olympic Gold Medals and remains the only athlete to repeat wins in successive Olympics in three events, 100, 200 metres and the 4 X 100 metres relay

* A quote from him was used to celebrate — World Television Day — 2012, November 21

* Has a foundation which supports 14 charities — all for children

* Won Jupiter Award for the highest individual contributor for United Way of Jamaica — 2010-2011

* Was named Director of Entertainment for Nissan (first this has ever been done)

* L'Equipe one of Europe's biggest sport magazines changed the name of its July edition to BOLT.

* Featured in the Summer 2012 Edition of ESSENCE with his Mom, Jennifer Bolt

Fancy spending Christmas with Usain Bolt's dad Wellesley and mum Jennifer and of course the world's fastest man himself? That price tag, we would reckon, put a damper on all things Neiman. SO might however, be able to affix a price to a coming soon mega charity. Until then, wishes we reckon do and can come true.


With the PNP now in power we reckon comrades might want to splurge on this Edna Manley 'Capricorn' Bronze, 1962. Priced at a cool $1.1 million.


It's red, it's fast and guaranteed to turn heads...

Silent Waters

What to buy your BFF who already has it all? How about this well-appointed villa? Silent Waters sleeps 20, has five guest suites, a tennis court, features a jaw-dropping view of Montego Bay and comes complete with the Great River, helipad, infinity pool and Koi ponds. Asking price:US$ 9.8.

A party on the Sandals Private Offshore Island

Rent the private offshore island at Sandals Royal Caribbean for you and your friends to party the night away. Each party is complete with blazing bonfires, intoxicating cocktails — served with a smile from the hospitable staff — on beach divans in the glow of a thousand Tiki torches. The island includes: a secluded private beach, a gourmet Thai restaurant, freshwater pool and whirlpool with swim-up pool bar. Guests can access the island via the exotic canary yellow dragon boat. So how much does this fantasy trip cost? Only upwards of US20,000 and that's just rental.

Range Rover Ultimate Edition

It's the aspirational vehicle for 2013 — and why not? The Range Rover Autobiography Ultimate Edition sets itself apart from the rest of the Range Rover lineup with its rear compartment, complete with individual power-adjustable rear captain's chairs, and a pair of front seat-mounted Apple iPads for your pleasure. Wait, there's more, between the two thrones is a full-length console that contains HVAC controls and a drink chiller, and which also houses aluminum tray tables for keyboards or caviar. The pampering treatment extends even to passengers' luggage, which will sit upon a "super yacht-inspired" floor of fine teak in the cargo area. It's champagne wishes and caviar dreams at a price of US$175,000?

A weekend escape at Round Hill's Grand Pineapple Villa Suite

At US$1,885 per night, the Grand Pineapple Villa Suite at the cashmere-chic Round Hill Hotel and Villas provides the ultimate in exclusivity. Think, 2000 square feet of space equipped with semi-private pool, manicured lawns immaculate landscaping, cottage house attendants and breath-taking oceanfront views. It's perfect for a romantic getaway.

Ippolita Jewellery

What about the season's hottest jewellery pieces as a Yuletide gift? To make a stylish impression, pick up a gorgeous necklace, bangle or earring from Bijoux's soon-to-be-launched Italian Ippolita collection. Guaranteed to make you showered with kisses -- even without standing under the mistletoe. Cost: Just charge it.

Appleton Estate Limited Edition Jamaica Independence Reserve Rum

For the ultimate rum conoisseur, you can't top Appleton's Jamaica Independence Reserve Rum. Only 800 bottles of this oak-barreled, 50-year old rum were manufactured to celebrate The Rock's golden anniversary. We're sure it will find much appreciation with each treasured sip. Price: US$5,000.

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