Monday, November 03, 2014

Neiman Marcus Giltz-alog, 2014 Edition

Well, the weather outside is frightful – a demi-rager with plenty of wind and those gloopy big flakes of no-stick snow – and, while I don’t have a fire to make it delightful, I will take the opportunity to start thinking about Christmas.

I used to pride myself by being done by Labor Day, and wrapped by Thanksgiving, but I’m not so compulsive these days. NM Xmas Book 2014

I still pick things up as I see them throughout the year, but sometimes that backfires, and I just plain forget I’ve already gotten someone a gift. (Generally stumbling on the original idea after I’ve wrapped what I’ve just bought.)

With no desire to step toe outside – which leads me to believe that my recently-acquired, One-a-Day Long Walk habit won’t withstand the rigors of a New England winter – I thought I’d thumb, at least metaphorically, through the Neiman Marcus Christmas Book 2014, with its sixties-ish, retro-ish cover – think silver tree with turquoise or pink balls – and the promise of all sorts of expensive goodies, little and big, once I look inside.

Oh, I’m not interested in the pedestrian stuff, like the faux-fur gloved ice scraper ($35) – I think my mother had one of these, although hers didn’t come from NM, and there’s a safe bet that it didn’t cost $35. And that mink backpack ($7,830) holds little appeal. My Patagonia will do me just fine.

No, I’m heading straight to this year’s real luxury items, the Fantasy Gifts, which start with the $35K Tanqueray shaker.

Well, shaker isn’t quite accurate, what this is is:

The world’s coolest cocktail making machine. Recreated from a nineteenth-century drawing under the meticulous guidance of spirits impresario Jason Crawley, the 6'-tall Imperial Shaker oozes authenticity, from its cast iron, brass, copper, and silver materials to the elliptical shake (versus a pedestrian up-and-down shake) created by the crank.

And since Neiman claims to be as much about the experience as it is about the object, this one includes a starter (one-year – “not to exceed four cases”) supply of Tanqueray, and a “personal cocktail education session for up to twenty guests with a Tanqueray mixology expert is included.”

If you want to up the gift ante, there’s a $425K a trip to the Oscar’s Vanity Fair party, with the requisite Chateau Marmont dinner and loaner jewelry.

With all of its Crazy-Luxe gifts, NM makes a charitable donation, and most of the hefty price tag for this one ($400K out of $425K) goes to Neiman’s own charitable foundation.

So the question is: does the purchaser get the deduction?

And if not, I just don’t get it.

But, hey, I’m not a rich Texan now, am I?

For $475K – only $5K of which goes to charity, so who cares about the deduction – the House of Creed in Paris will design a signature scent for you. You get a fancy-arse trip to Paris so they can pick up your scent, and:

A few short months later, a fragrance nonpareil will arrive at your doorstep in 24 14-karat gold-gilded six-liter flacons and 12 14-karat gold-accented leather atomizers featuring your bespoke scent.

Gets me thinking about what my scent might be. Old books and chocolate? Who wouldn’t want to have 24 six-liter flacons of that?

If you chose the bespoke scent, you could use the gold-accented leather atomizer to spray a bit of it around your new $95K, limited edition Maserati Ghibli, the next item on the Fantasy Gift roster.

Then, gee whiz, there’s a locket…As a kid, I’d always wanted a locket…Gee whiz…

So who could begrudge me if I chose to fritter away $100K on one designed with me in mind? (Other than those who might rather inherit that $100K than deal with the disposition of an ugly locket, and they know who they are. Speak up if you’re not down with my signing up for this bijou.)

Although never for Mardi Gras, I’ve been to New Orleans a couple of times. Glad I’ve checked it off my list: really liked the bread pudding; enjoyed my ride on a streetcar named Desire, found the shotgun houses interesting. But Mardi Gras is to me, more or less, a leaping, screaming, flaming nightmare. And I’ll take my leaping, screaming, flaming nightmares at a distance, thank you, happy to watch them summed up on the evening news.

No, I’m just as happy if I end up my life without laissez-ing the bon temps rouler-ing while tossing plastic beads off a parade float, and watching while a bunch of drunks scramble after them. But if you’ve got $125K in loose change sitting around…

Although the thought of my husband and I ever in a million years racing around in his and hers Quadski duos – a hybrid of jet ski and ATV – did make me laugh. And even though you don’t need to buy the two – you can just get a “hers” – I’ll pass on the Vilebrequin, $50K Quadski. Maybe Zipcar will have them someday, and I’ll be able to take one out for a spin for $11.50 and hour.

Anyhow, I don’t think those suckers go all that fast, and speed’s the real thing, now that I think of it.

And if speed’s your thing, you can get a 1:32 scale model of your favorite track.

I, personally, don’t have one, but I suppose an enthusiast would, and for $300K, that scale model would be his. Because in NM-ville, this is definitely a boy-toy:

Iconic structures, pit crews, period slot cars, and more help get you into the action while integrated track cameras capture and display it on mini screens. Need help revving up the crowd? Racing legends, such as Vic Elford and David Hobbs, will cohost your inaugural race night party. Gentlemen, start your engines.

Vic Elford? David Hobbs? Be still my heart. Hope that whoever buys this one invites me to race night.

With its next fantasy gift, NM brings the cost down to mere stocking-stuff level, with a $25K 3’ tall silk flower-tailed peacock. ($65K if you want to spring for the 6’-tall outdoor version.)

Also on the stocking-stuffer end of the scale, there’s a $55K linens trousseau.

And to think that I’d been considering replacing my tatty sheets and towels at Bed, Bath and Beyond…

It’s still miserable out, so I think I’ll tuck the virtual NM Christmas Catalog under my very real pillow and take a nap. (Isn’t that what the extra hour we just got granted is for?)

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