Ten arty and unusual Christmas gifts for him
A selection of imaginative and elegant gifts for discerning gentlemen with a keen eye for design
If you want yours to be the best looking present under the tree, look to Turnbull & Asser. This year, the heritage brand has launched a new Instagram tutorial celebrating the Japanese art of Furoshiki, teaching those with nimble fingers how to use their silk pocket squares to envelop gifts instead of regular Christmas paper.
This means the lucky recipient gets a luxurious two-for-one deal: a sustainable “wrapping” to keep forever as well as a main surprise. You can’t go wrong with this extra-large silk scarf with blue snowscape motif, printed in England too.
Silk pocket squares, £70; Large snowscape scarf, £195; turnbullandasser.co.uk
One step ahead
Stockholm-based shoe brand, C.QP, bring a soft, laconic aesthetic to the world of sneakers: all designs follow the “less is more” rulebook using exquisite materials, shaped for maximum comfort thanks to layers of cushioning and proper arch support. The soles are cast from top-performing rubber made by Margom, a small family-owned supplier based in Italy, and each pair is lined with smooth calf leather. What’s more, C.QP collections are 80% finished by hand. The Otium model in Seagull white is an absolute classic.
Award-winning British product designer Lee Broom is famous for sculptural lighting and furniture; with his minimalist touch he plays with volume, light and material contrasts to create things of curvilinear beauty. Broom’s new chrome Musico chair - his first chair design in a decade - is informed by a love of mid-century design and classical music. The lines swoop around the seat with a veritable sense of rhythm.
Bouncing off the walls
This colourful ping pong table doubles as a work of Pop Art: its legs and net neatly fold into the back of the table so it can be hung up like a painting. This particular model is part of a limited series made in collaboration with Mr Porter and there are four different patterns to chose from, with only ten tables made of each design. The husband and wife duo behind this clever home accessory have called themselves the Art of Ping Pong for obvious reasons and have previously partnered with some impressive names in the art world including Camille Walala, Jake & Dinos Chapman and Mr Bingo. You never know, this bat and ball game could be worth a fortune in the future.
Acqua Di Parma is always a safe option for aesthetes: synonymous with elegance and emblematic of Italian savoir-vivre, the marque has never lost its touch as a maker of rich and enlivening scents that exude the romance of the Mediterranean. Holiday sets are a specialty and this year the Chinese artist Oamul has lent his hand to the iconic yellow packaging – the twinkly design is best seen on this amazing advent calender, bound to make someone happy for a full 25 days. Look out too for the special edition Luce di Colonia three-wicked 500g candle made exclusively for Harrods. Part of a series of 200 pieces, each recepticle is handpainted by Tuscan artisans in shades of green and yellow - a subtle a nod to the colours of the famous Knightsbridge store and the Italian marque.
Connolly never puts a foot wrong when it comes to striking a balance between clean luxury and innovative functionality. This toolkit designed in collaboration with Sebastian Conran is a case in point. Made by hand in beautiful tanned leather, the kit includes all the essentials. Never before has a monkey wrench looked so stylish. Also available in a maxi size.
Glass half full
Italian fashion label Marni regularly collaborates with Columbian artisans to produce interesting homeware products, from wire chairs to ornamental birds. This season, the community has created a series of glass vases and goblets which reflect the bright colour palette of the house, using tradition glassmaking techniques. As well as swirly patterned pieces, you’ll find these more unusual glassworks which appear to be covered in drips of paint. Each one of these lava-like vases takes two hours of workmanship and the collaboration of two craftsmen, who work simultaneously on it before the glass cools down.
Prices range from £70-£340, available at selected Marni boutiques
Did you know you can buy a silver harmonica, parmesan cheese knife and twisted cocktail straw at Tiffany & Co? The jewellery house has a generous selection of home accessories that harness a sense of fun whilst maintaining the house’s signature sleek aesthetic. The classic Elsa Peretti collection is particularly lovely – this sterling silver sake cup is perfect for wine connoisseurs who love the ceremony of opening a special bottle.
Kitchen sink art
Copenhagen-based brand Raawii, founded in 2017 by friends Bo Raahauge and Nicholai Wiig-Hansen, is already a success story in the design world. In the UK, the duo’s simple but colourful homeware pieces are stocked at Matches, The Conran Store, Heal’s and Selfridges among other fashionable shopping destinations. The Strøm collection is perfect for art lovers: tall rounded jugs and wide bowls have a Pop Art feel, like those featured in the bold canvases of Patrick Caulfield.
Byredo’s man of influence Ben Gorham has turned his fragrance business into a luxury lifestyle brand in just a couple of years - recent releases include a finely crafted leather goods range (counting some very cool Airpod cases), a make-up collection created in partnership with cosmetic wonder girl Isamaya Ffrench and an apparel collaboration with fashion photographer Craig McDean. The Byredo Alphabet Blanket is a limited edition of 300 pieces. Woven from virgin wool and cashmere, it features the brand’s iconic typeface. The perfect cover-up for chilly nights, it also handsomely dresses up chairs and sofas.