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WINNING DESIGN: Simply Vera, Vera Wang's line for Kohl's, may have been intended for the masses but it won favor with the elite jury for Travel + Leisure's annual Design Awards, which this year included Richard Lambertson of Lambertson Truex, designer Yeohlee Teng and Nike design head John Hoke. The awards recognize superior design across the travel experience, including best retail space (Van Cleef & Arpels' Paris store, designed by Patrick Jouin), best luggage (perhaps, predictably, it's by Louis Vuitton — specifically the monogram waterproof Keepall) and for best watch, the Tank Louis Cartier Dual Time Zone, which has two faces split in one space. The iPhone, ever intending to be all things to all people, won for best travel gadget, and Amanda Burden is being crowned a "design champion." Winners will accept their prizes Feb. 12. — I.C.
A GRAND DISGUISE: Amid all the hand-wringing about whether the Academy Award telecast and its accompanying fanfare will go on, Food & Wine is placid. Its annual party at Spago is only tangentially tied to the awards, but the foodie gathering likes to see itself as a kickoff party for the frenzy. This year, the invitation is a nod to current events: packaged with a Popsicle stick, a slit and instructions, it doubles as a picket sign. (The magazine takes no stand, instructing, "Your Message Here," above blank space.)
Publisher Christina Grdovic said guests will be served nominee-themed drinks, among them There Will Be Bloody Mary, Sweeney Martini, Charlie Wilson on the Rocks, the Virgin Juno and Atonemint. What about the nominee for best animated feature that delighted the food world? "Maybe we should have 'Ratatouille' playing on flat screens," mused Grdovic. — I.C.