Christmas Shopping: Day Five
Thanks to the gods of fashion who have decreed its trendiness, cashmere for men and women can be found at just about every retailer across the country this season. (Holt Renfrew, Banana Republic, Eaton's, Harry Rosen, you name it.) With the advent of private label, you can get your downy goat-fibre sweaters cheap ($125 to $250), or you can go for Italian and English gold ($400 to $2,500). A sliver of the stuff, in the form of a cashmere muffler, runs about $135, say both Rosen and Martha Fruchet, Holt Renfrew's personal shopper. The Rolls Royce version is called a pashimina, a scarf made from an Indian silk and cashmere mix, as delicious as the name sounds ($225 to $395). Cashmere robes - and really, why would you ever leave home if you had one? - run about $1,000. For the aspiring Hollywood mogul, there is cashmere loungewear, otherwise known as "sweats" when executed in cotton (about $570). Fruchet says their terry cloth robes for both men and women are popular (at $100). (Hey, cotton can be luxe, too.)
Those in search of not just the average sweater should check out the Wayne Gretzky line at the Bay, where several styles could make your favourite hockey head forever thankful that you didn't go for the reindeer motif. Julie Magner, the Bay's fashion director, reports that what she calls cabin sweaters, those of the woolly, chunky, hand-knit variety, are being snapped up in the women's department.
"Practical luxury" is also what Luci Wyers, a wardrobe shopper at Eaton's, is shilling. That means, she says, an affordable cashmere sweater, a shearling coat instead of mink, a velvet scarf. "One thing I thought was really silly when it came in and now, with the weather," it makes sense, is Jean-Paul Gaultier's umbrella trimmed in faux fur." ($160) Very hot items from L.A. are Betty Paige's "girdle".
Out if they're sallow-skinned, dirty-nailed stress cases. Consider the services of a personal trainer or nutritionist, or fitness club memberships. Natale gives the gift of aromatherapy massages ($60 to $70) and days at the spa (about $200 for men or women). Or do it yourself at home with Tom Girls' Beauty Parlour Night kit in a can, at Holt Renfrew ($40).
For the person who has everything: Why not give a water buffalo? Or honeybees? Or trees? Through the Heifer Project International, you can give your humanity-minded friends and family the gift of an entire sheep ($120 US), or a share of a sheep ($10 US). The project helps hungry people feed themselves, earn income and care for the environment in poor communities all over the world. For $5,000 (US), you can come to the rescue with the Ark - that is, 15 pairs of farm animals that are shipped off to needy families in India, Guatemala and Zimbabwe. Call 1-800-422-0755 or visit the web- site: wwwheifer.org.
Bringing new meaning to the ditty All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth, Dr. Edward Philips, a Toronto cosmetic dental surgeon, has half-a-dozen perfect smile gift ideas: tooth whitening, laser whitening, smart brushes. One patient gave his girlfriend yeneers, a porcelain laminate that can cost $650 to $1,000 per tooth; another wanted to subtly suggest some drill work, and gave a gift certificate for a consultation.
Apparently, it is also not uncommon to tuck a tune-up in to the Christmas stocking. Dr. Stephen Mulholland, a Toronto cosmetic plastic surgeon, has gift certificates. Just fill in the dollar value: Breast augmentation costs $5,000 and up, a tummy tuck, $5,000 and up, face lift, $6,000 and up, liposuction, $3,200 and up, endoscopic browlift, $4,000 and up. The gift lasts three to 10 years, depending on the procedure.