It may take a muscle to fall in love, but bestowing someone you care about with a token of your affection on Valentine's Day is sure to help keep romance in the air. It's one of the more difficult holidays to shop for, but we've pulled together a handful of creative items which serve as a physical reminder of your perpetual admiration. Below are a few standouts from the array of thoughtful goods found in our Cool Hunting gift guide.
Applying his signature irreverent style to a beautifully hand-thrown platter by master ceramicist David Bogus, Brooklyn-based illustrator and artist James Victore created a one-of-a-kind dish fit more for your wall than kitchen table. Emblazoned with "Eros"—the Greek god of love—the unique, collaborative work of art is one for the ages.
Founded in 2009, New Zealand label Lonely perfectly treads the line between romantic, sexy, modern and classic. While their entire collection is covetable—with cut-outs, velvet straps, lace and an impeccable eye for detail—the Sabel bra in black, deep green, electric blue and (as of 4 February) in red and navy, is as comfortable as it is alluring.
Gravel & Gold is a San Francisco-based shop of kitschy wonders that's serious about knowing (and supporting) the artists behind the wares they stock. Their in-house line G&G Goods is nothing to scoff at either. Bare it all with their hand-printed and hand-sewn canvas Boob Tote, which adds a little thrill to those routine activities, such as the commute to work or venture to the grocery store. Details like an interior pocket and heavy, red leather straps make the bag as high quality as it is provocative.
There's definitely a romantic spirit to wine. A delicate dance for the tastebuds, Lillet Rosé keeps it light and sweet, but with fuller Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Semillion grape flavors. Rosé has established itself as a glamorous alternative to champagne and with its vintage stylings, Lillet lends an elegant touch to this classic tipple.
Handmade in NYC, the Embrace Cuff is a striking piece of polished arm candy by Brooklyn-based designer Rebecca Mapes, who manifests her love for antique and vintage jewelry into bold, modern designs. Like the wrist that bears it, the solid brass will also change over time by developing a rich patina through use. The sterling silver version sports 10 champagne diamond bracelets on each "hand" for even more eye-catching bling.
Virtue Doll: Kindness
London-based The School of Life is "devoted to developing emotional intelligence," and this hand-painted resin figurine is a beautiful upshot of such altruistic thinking. Their Kindness virtue doll—created in collaboration with the designers behind Momiji Collective—is a physical reminder to spread joy and affection to all.
Solution 247–261: Love
For a thoughtful read, "Solution 247-261: Love (Ingo Niermann, ed.)" from Sternberg Press broaches affairs of the heart in our modern world through essays and manifestos, as well as fictional tales. From the biopolitical to the psychosexual, the ninth volume of the Solution series invests in connection and transformation through the wise words of acclaimed international contributors.
2x2 Stripe Hat
All Knitwear is lovingly made by Annie Larson, a blogger and knit enthusiast, who operates on a made-to-order basis. It's a rarity to find a fashion label that truly stands out for originality and design, and even less common to find one that is made by the name behind the brand. Her 2x2 stripe hat is knitted from 100% ringspun cotton and comes with a handmade pom for extra zeal.
Sex Oil from Toronto-based Province Apothecary doesn't hide behind any vague adjectives or cute lingo. The name is as clear as the oil's list of ingredients, blending coconut oil, sunflower seed oil, evening primrose oil, GMO-free vitamin E and more—a blessing for those with sensitive skin. This personal lubricant can also be used a body oil—it dries to a satin finish and doesn't need to be washed off.
Made from solid sterling silver, Digby & Iona's Stump Cufflinks are a charming way to show wholesome, teenage-style love in adult form. The Brooklyn-based jewelry designers have created an accessory that will become as classic as the book they drew inspiration from—Shel Silverstein's "The Giving Tree"—by personalizing each set with initials of your choosing.