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AN ALT HOLIDAY
GIFT GUIDE

Be a last-minute queen and grab an ace present for that tricky someone from our eclectic wishlist.

It’s the most wonderful – stressful, wasteful – time of the year, and about seventy percent of us have Omicron! O, rejoice! Nae bother, though, you can cheer yourselves up with some proper retail therapy, either for last-minute presents for loved ones or self-gifted treats to make your (score out as appropriate) | isolation | family fallouts | cancelled travel plans | a little easier to cope with. In this spirit, we’ve compiled a sackful of gift ideas, from Haeckels to Hennessee and everything ace in between. So, jump into bed, scroll down this list and spoil yourself silly – honest to God, you fucking deserve it this year.

BEAUTY

SPECTRUM COLLECTIONS x KJH ARTIST BOX

If there’s someone’s makeup kit we’d love to take a peek into, it’s Katie Jane Hughes. One of our fave IG creatives, KJH blurs the boundaries of artistry and looks damn good whilst doing it. Teaming up with sustainable, vegan, female-owned beauty brand Spectrum Collections to create a rather beautiful brush collection earlier this year, they’ve curated a limited-edition selection of brushes and accessories to keep you sparkling all season long.

Katie’s Artist Box, £139.99 from Spectrum Collections

GLOSSIER MAKEUP SET

It’s hard to pick just one thing from Glossier, every time you step foot into the shop (digitally or IRL) it’s real tough to not slip an extra Balm Dotcom into the basket (especially when they launch something one as delicious as sounding as ‘cookie butter’). So why pick? Glossier’s super cute new set of three essential products – Lash Slick mascara, Boy Brow pomade and Cloud Paint blush – comes in a sleek pink and red Beauty Bag so you can keep all those balms safe and sound.

The Makeup Set + The Beauty Bag, £55 from Glossier

R.E.M BEAUTY LIPSTICK

If we were going to trust any star to create a covetable beauty line, it would be Ariana Grande. An icon inside and out, who wouldn’t want to replicate her delicately sharp makeup looks? For r.e.m. beauty, Ari has created a space-age design for her outta-this-world products. One of our faves has got to be the gorgeously pigmented on your collar matte lipstick: “i wanted to show the shades of the lipsticks through the packaging, almost like an astronaut’s helmet” she explained. So cute, yuh!

on your collar matte lipstick, $19 from r.e.m. beauty

CUTANEOUS GIFT SET

This puts the cute in cutaneous, if you’ve had one too many eggnogs and you can’t spell anymore. It features all of Margate-born, much-adored natural lifestyle brand Haeckel’s bestselling products, from Eco Marine Cream to Bladderwack and Buckthorn Cleanser. Like all of their creations, everything in this gift box is made in-house: Haeckel’s harvest and collect the seaweed, ocean mud, marine algae, and marine minerals from the coast, which is walking distance from their home base. Guilt-free glam is just what this holiday season needs.

Cutaneous Gift Set, £200 at Public Fibre

BOY SMELLS TANTRUM

We’ve been waxing lyrical about cult candles brand Boy Smells for a while now. From their Italian Kush collection to their collab with Kacey Musgraves, they sure know how to make covetable candles. This year though, they entered the fragrance market, and TANTRUM is a fragrance oozing chutzpah, from its loud notes of peppercorn and mint to its heady, cedarwood body. A rich genderful cologne de parfum perfect to spread some wintertime joy.

Tantrum cologne de parfum, $98 from Boy Smells

STYLE

ARIES NO PROBLEMO SCARF

A bad slogan piece can appear wishy-washy and rushed; a better one, though, can speak to you on a deep level. Enter Aries’ ‘No Problemo’ Scarf, a football scarf silhouette emblazoned with two words that cut through the complex world we currently live in. Have to isolate for ten days? Ah, no problemo! Can’t get enough fuel? Ah, no problemo…

No Problemo scarf, £60 from Aries

NADINE MERABI’S DARCIE PAJAMAS

Lebanese-British designer Nadine Merabi knows how to make a statement, from dressing London’s elite to the red carpets of Cannes, her designs bring the glitz and the glamour. So who better to turn to for some seasonal sparkle, and Merabi’s red Darcie pyjamas bring just the right blend of comfort and charm. Whatever your holiday vibe this year, these will surely bring some Christmas cheer.

Darcie pajamas, £150 from Nadine Merabi

HOUSE OF SUNNY NIGHT TRIPPER

House of Sunny has become so ubiquitous this year I don’t think we’ll have to introduce you to this cult design house, and their delightful range of cardigans are some of the most coveted pieces of all. The Night Tripper edition is a perfect seasonal number with its winter landscape and embroidery details, it’ll keep you both cool and cosy throughout the coming cold months.

Night Tripper, £99 from House of Sunny

MCQ HYPER WAIST BAG

MCQ have been moving at hyperspeed all year, dropping collaboration after collaboration from Eden High to Fantasma, In Dust to Grow Up. Fittingly, then, this Waist Bag is itself ‘Hyper’, made for NYE raves so good they get shut down before they start.

MCQ HyperWaist Bag, £129 from Flannels

DR. MARTENS X NEIGHBOURHOOD

Coined by Emma Chamberlain in our cover story as the epitome of “timeless”, you really can’t go wrong with a pair of Dr Martens, and when they team up with the kings of Tokyo streetwear NEIGHBORHOOD, you need to get on board. Featuring a limited edition whitened version of DMs’ trademark yellow welt-stitch, the smooth leather shoe is decorated with the exclusive screen-print artwork even a Saint Martins grad would be jealous of.

1461 NEIGHBORHOOD leather shoes, £239 from Dr Martens

MUSIC

KEF MU3 HEADPHONES x ROSS LOVEGROVE

We’ll do a bit of mindreading here – you just lost your earphones, didn’t you? OK, a bit of the Geller Effect, that – but whether you have recently misplaced a pair (on the leftmost seat in Coach C?) or already have your own, these KEF headphones, designed with Ross Lovegrove, are pure audio heaven.

MU3 x Ross Lovegrove headphones, £199 from KEF

VIRTUOSO YEAR SUBSCRIPTION

Usually, the only musical thing we learn over Christmas is the lyrics to ‘Fairytale of New York’, which happens every year because we’re so Bucks Fizzed we instantly forget them. Virtuoso, though, gives you a chance to learn about music via video courses from all over the globe, so grab yourself a subscription and become a literal bedroom producer.

Gift Virtuoso for £34.99 or subscribe for £35.94 billed every 6 months or £7.99 a month 

JOSIE AND THE PUSSYCATS VINYL BOXSET

Put simply, this is the best anniversary vinyl pressing of a band that doesn’t actually exist. Celebrating the cult classic film Josie and the Pussycats and it’s Gold soundtrack, this vibrant neon purple LP also comes with an adorable random colour 7-inch of the one and only DuJour as well as a 12-page booklet full of BTS photos, and interviews with writer/directors Deborah Kaplan and Harry Elfont, Kay Hanley, and Josie herself Rachael Leigh Cook. But beware of the music!

Josie and the Pussycats original soundtrack vinyl, £49.99 from Rough Trade

KORG VOLCA BEATS

Quit beatboxing under your breath on the tube, and actually start making beats with this miniature Korg drum machine. Boasting a loop and step sequencer, six analogue drum parts and a built-in speaker, it’s an adorable little bit of kit to play around with for the whole of Christmas day.

Volca Beats, £169 from Korg

HAPPIER THAN EVER CASSETTE

Unless you’ve been living under a rock this past year, Billie Eilish is kind of the moment. Dropping her sophomore album Happier Than Ever earlier this year, the 20-year-old tmrw cover star proved she’s got a lot up still her sleeve. Available on a series of cutesy colourway cassettes, our fave has got to be the green, reminiscent of Billie’s OG signature hairdo.

Happier Than Ever mint green cassette, £4.99 from Billie Eilish

CULTURE

HENNESSY x JULIEN COLOMBIER

There’s a reason that Hennessy gets rapped about all the time – it’s fucking delicious of course, but it’s also real cool. For the brand’s final collaboration of the year, they teamed up with French artist Julien Colombier, designing bespoke cognac bottles emblazoned with dreamlike forests and eye-popping grape leaves.

Hennessy V.S. x Julien Colombier 

PETRA COLLINS x ALEXA DEMIE

If there was ever a sent-from-heaven link up, it would be Petra Collins and Alexa Demie. A dream team duo, Petra’s breathtaking art with Alexa’s ethereal presence is almost too much to handle but their book of folklore is worth every dramatic gasp. Creating nine characters, Fairy Tales celebrates the escapism of the genre through Petra’s celestial contemporary lens, and you need to take a peek.

Fairy Tales by Petra Collins and Alexa Demi, $45 from Rizzoli

AFRICA: THE FASHION CONTINENT

For her first hardback, journalist and LAGO54 founder Emmanuelle Courrèges has documented Africa’s creative diaspora, telling the story via three hundred gorgeously printed photographs and generous blocks of text. It’s a coffee table book, sure, but not one that’ll just be perused by your ceiling.

GANNI MONOGRAPH

These days, we’re all Ganni Girls, so it’s worth checking out Gimme More, the new monograph from the Scandi brand. A compendium of all things GANNI, it features collages of the brand’s (in)famous house parties, essays and interviews, printed on FSC-certified paper. Hopefully, the julemanden will come through…

Gimme More, £40 from Ganni

TRUE ROMANCE BOX SET

Almost 30 years after one Tony Scott teamed up with one Quentin Tarantino and created something real good, True Romance still remains a cult classic for good reason. Starring Patricia Arquette and Christian Slater in some of the most cowboy chic styles you could imagine (yep the original version of what Sydney Sweeney dressed up in for Euphoria’s Halloween ep), it’s only fair that the Blu-ray 4K boxset is just as aesthetic.

True Romance box set, £59.99 from Arrow

STOCKING FILLERS

GUCCI SOCKS

Yes, socks – stay with us, OK! These ones are Gucci, literally, featuring the interlocking monogram and made from light pink lurex. We’re being a little bit ambitious calling this a stocking filler, granted – it’s perhaps in some ways the entire stocking – but get yourself some cropped trousers and show these bad boys off.

Gucci Lurex socks £145 from Farfetch

OLIVIA RODRIGO SOUR NOTEBOOK

What more can we say? It’s the marvellous Olivia Rodrigo on the front of a cute, pocket-sized notebook, with collaged letters saying ‘Sour Notes’. It’s perfect for all your 2022 musings, though there’s only eighty pages, so make sure you don’t think up too many great ideas this year, OK?

Olivia Rodrigo Sour Notebook £10 from Dollskill

ARKET CAFE COOKBOOK

All Arket stores include a cafe, turning its stores into an all-round Scandi dream where you can shop, eat and saunter without a care in the world. Now, their plant-based recipes have been foraged into a beautiful little book, good enough to eat from every single day.

Cafe Cookbook £12 from Arket

DUMBGOOD VHS TOTE

O, take us back to those halcyon, innocent days of shit sequels, overpriced popcorn and royal blue carpets! We’re chatting about Blockbuster, the best franchise ever, which has now been immortalised in this cute, offish Dumbgood tote.

Blockbuster tote bag, $38 from DUMBGOOD

GCDS x BRATZ EARRINGS

Move aside Barbie! The Bratz have taken the tiara for pop culture’s prime dolls, further boosted by this year’s link-up with GCDS. Grab these earrings and have a Y2K Chrimbo, you!

GCDS x Bratz earrings, £200

GENTLE THRILLS TAROT CARDS

Want to help your pal tell the future? Or at least make someone’s coffee table look a bit prettier? Artist Isa Beniston AKA Gentle Thrills has designed a playful pack of tarot cards in a glossy box, with a novice-friendly booklet all about how to use the deck and read the cards to take a deep dive into clairvoyance and astrology.

Gentle Thrills tarot cards, £58 from Lazy Oaf

Words by Kitty Robson and Kyle MacNeill

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