Flights of Fancy
Until now, airport ennui has been best battled on the treadmills and massage chairs of hospitable Heathrow. But New York is picking up the gauntlet: In Virgin Atlantic's new Clubhouse lounge at JFK, plastic chairs and industrial carpet have been replaced by Warhol works and Eames chairs. British Airways' first- and business-class lounges are being dressed up by Terence Conran with waterfalls, flowers, and chaises longues. And over at La Guardia, they're actually trying to tempt travelers' palates: An offshoot of Figs, Boston chef Todd English's gourmet-pizza shop, will open this fall, serving customized pies in temperature-controlled boxes.
BETH LANDMAN KEIL
Used to be that you could just let nature take its course when you were on summer holiday. No longer. "Everyone ruins their eyebrows on vacation," sighs makeup artist Robin Narvaez of Borja Color Salon, who has been flown to London to maintain clients' arches. Brows aren't the only concern of maintenance mavens: Longtime charges have spirited nutritional consultant Oz Garcia to the resorts of Italy and France to supervise their carb consumption. A bikini-ready body means nothing, however, if your admirers can't see past your roots. Scott Peper, head colorist at Oscar Blandi, provides regulars with a bottle of specially mixed color to be applied with a hotel toothbrush. If only a DIY bikini wax were as easy.
In an era when women tote two handbags at a time (a larger one for gym gear and a mini-me for makeup), it's no surprise that the train case -- the travel companion of choice for medicine-cabinet junkies -- is back on the conveyor-belt circuit. Tumi's new women's travel collection includes a case in the company's signature black nylon ($175); Bottega Veneta's beauty box ($1,250) matches the Marco Polo luggage line; Acqua di Parma's camel-colored leather case ($825) echoes the company's perfume packaging. And while T. Anthony's purple canvas box (pictured; $375), has been in the legendary luggage-maker's repertoire since the forties, the company hasn't seen sales this brisk since people were last riding the Orient Express.
Spritzing Evian on your face in mid-flight won't do much if you then bury it in one of those greasy dryer-sheet headrests. "Using airline pillows and blankets is like having sex with strangers," sniffs Page Khalajestani, who created Pakah luxury travel linens after a job as an international trader confined her to a life of sticky tray tables and ratty communal blankets. Each men's satchel or women's purse ($395 and $340 at Bergdorf Goodman) includes a wool or cashmere throw, an Irish-linen pillowcase, a tray tablecloth, and "restaurant-style" napkins. Too bad there's no restaurant-style meal to go with them.