The ultimate gift guide for Diwali

Bewildered by the sheer number of gift options this festival season? Don’t be. Our gift guide has the answers you’re looking for.

     Print Edition: October 19, 2008

It’s that time again. The festive season is upon us. And that means gifts by the truckload. Crackers by the ton. Acres of wrapping paper and miles of ribbons. Of course, we’re not forgetting Lakshmi, Rama and Ganesha—we understand that Diwali is principally about them.

But they’re not the reason you’ll see frantic last-minute shoppers scrambling through the malls, the weekend before, desperately searching for an answer to their gift crisis. We at BT More have been those shoppers. We feel their pain. We’ve tried juggling the permutations of all the gift possibilities on offer, matched with all the people you know and how much money you have (side effects include dizziness and nausea).

And then there’s the fear of getting it wrong— giving too cheap a gift, or too common and unimaginative. So, we approached the minefield of gift-giving like scientists. We broke it down to manageable sizes. We talked to experts, retailers, professional gifters and gifted amateurs. And with their accrued wisdom, and the help of a stack of graphs and charts and complicated equations, we have compiled a gift guide that covers, we think, most people on the planet.

Well, most of the people we know, anyway. We’ve focussed on buying gifts for four distinct personality types— Materialists, Good Timers, Leisure Lovers and Sports Freaks. We sought out the most inventive and appropriate gifts for each type, and slung in some trusted old classics, too. So, fret not bewildered shopper, you’ll find a wealth of ideas here, gifts that’ll stand out in the crowd. Here’s to a very happy Diwali to you all!

The vertu ascent TI
The vertu ascent TI
The materialists

Him:
It's not about price, he says, it's about quality and exclusivity. The kind of quality you find in Armani suits, TAG watches, the S-class Mercedes. The Materialist is a shameless lover of labels because he knows what they mean. He likes limited editions and being the first. He's the first one to book a suite at the Four Seasons in Mumbai. He has an account with Sotheby's and he's considering a 3rd car. He loves reading about yachts, even though he's afraid of the water. He glints from the wrist and knuckles. For the Materialist, all that glitters probably is gold.

Her:
She’ll stop listening to you mid-sentence because a woman walked past with a Hermes bag. She can’t help it. She loves Hermes. And Coach and Louis Vuitton. She can spend a whole day in a shoe shop, and spend the whole of the next day talking about the day before. She remembers her friends by the size of their wedding diamonds or the designers they were last wearing. She doesn’t believe in ageing. She only believes in beauty and money and power.

La d de dior, Malachite Dial
La d de dior, Malachite Dial
The vertu ascent TI

Vertu stripped down the plasticky mobile phone and rebuilt it by hand, using gems and precious metals—the display is sapphire, the frame is titanium and there are rubies under each button so they never wear out. It's so well made, you can throw it across the room. Press this button and you get an international concierge service. Press the other and all your data is backed up to a bunker in rural England.
Price: From Rs 3,57,000
See www.vertu.com

The Louis Vuitton damier
The Louis Vuitton damier
La d de dior, Malachite Dial
The most fashion forward Dior watch for women, with the solid gem dial in swimming malachite and 18 carats of gold all around. Price: Rs 20,00,000 exclusive to The Dior Boutique, The Oberoi Hotel, New Delhi

“Kristen� from Gucci
“Kristen� from Gucci
The Louis Vuitton damier graphite leather hold-all
It’s not the chocolate and caramel Louis Vuitton bag, it’s the new masculine Damier graphite version. Luxury and strength, understated and elegant. And the thing about hold-alls is everyone needs one. There’s no gift more versatile. It holds all, just like it says on the label. This is a gift he will use, and use again until that pristine leather finish develops that wonderful ease and crease of age.
Price: Rs 63,000,
From stores at the Oberoi & DLF Emporio, New Delhi, The Taj Mahal Hotel, Mumbai and UB City Mall, Bangalore
See www.louisvuitton.com

Navaratna puja collection
Navaratna puja collection
“Kristen” from Gucci

For fall/winter 2008-09, Gucci's Creative Director Frida Giannini has explored the world of Bohemian glamour. The new shoe collection is all about studded booties and thick-strapped sandals. "Kristen", the high-heeled sandal comes in black satin with crystal studs by—that magic word—Swarovski.
Price: On request.
Available at Gucci stores at The Galleria, Nariman Point, Mumbai and The Oberoi, New Delhi
See www.gucci.com

Fendi b bag
Fendi b bag
Navaratna puja collection
Celebrate Diwali in royal splendour with a stunning gold thali with a gold bell and a gold diya. The combined set features 30.75 carats of navaratna stones—the nine stones which are arranged in a circle around a central ruby. With pearl, coral, emerald, yellow sapphire, blue sapphire, diamond, hessonite and cat’s eye, it’ll up your insurance premiums.
Price: Over Rs 10,00,000,
At Amaris Regalia, Emporio Mall, Vasant Kunj, New Delhi

The “famous� clutch By Swarovski
The “famous� clutch By Swarovski
The “famous” clutch By Swarovski

The clutch that Aishwarya Rai took to the 61st Cannes Film Festival. Lined in duchess satin, with a silver enamelled border for the crystal mesh in the silver version, while gold and silver sequins outline the gold version. Ridiculous and fabulous—what she wants.
Price: On Request.
Tel: 011-41757395
See www.swarovski.com

The victorinox limited edition watch
There are only 333 pieces of the Air Boss Mach 6 Power Gauge available worldwide. And only two of them will be for the Indian market. Get in line.
Price: Rs 1,90,000
From Zahir Irani, Country Head, Watch Division; Tel: 093- 22229059; see www.victorinoxindia.com

The victorinox limited edition watch
The victorinox limited edition watch
Fendi b bag
Already a hit with the Hollywood brigade, Fendi B is inspired by the retro styles of the ‘60s, and is all about contrasting materials, big buckles and buttonholes. An iconic style in Fendi, the details of the bag are similar to the spy bag and it’s available in mirror or patent leather. Bag one.
Price: Rs 85,500, at the Fendi boutique at Apollo Bandar, Mumbai; Tel: 022-66103334
See www.fendi.com

The blue satin sheath dress from Versace
The blue satin sheath dress from Versace
The blue satin sheath dress from Versace
No red carpet event is complete without celebrities sashaying down in Versace gowns. This fall, they’ll be digging in for the classic knee length, sheath dress. Feminine and sexy, the blue satin sheath dress is part of the Versace jeans couture collection, and is a mix of chiffon and satin, with a tabular silhouette.
Price: Rs 68,000,
At G-13, South Extension, Part 1, New Delhi; Tel: 011-24658561

Zegna couture shoes
Zegna couture shoes
Zegna couture shoes
It's perfectly all right to judge a man by his shoes. All real men know this, and the Materialist even more so. He has racks of shoes already, for every occasion, in every colour. He appreciates a shoe, the way an art buff appreciates a Matisse. And he'll love these couture shoes in brown leather with buckles.
Price: Rs 45,000
From Ermenegildo Zegna,Emporio Mall, Vasant Kunj, New Delhi;

Made to measure suit from Canali
Make him an appointment at the Canali store in Delhi, where a top-flight tailor measures him up and helps him choose fabric swatches and designs. The instructions are despatched to the Canali factory in Italy where their cutters make your suit, which is sent to your door 30 days later. Look like Clooney (right).
Price:  Rs 1,00,000
At Canali, Emporio Mall, New Delhi; Tel: 011-46040731

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