I don’t consider myself the Palm Beachy type, but there I was. On Worth Avenue, shopping.
All the expected luxury purveyors are there, printing money. Behind them, through archways, there are tiled back alleyways bursting with balconies and hanging flowerpots and ever-more tantalizing shops; I meandered my way up a tiled stairway and into Tomas Maier.
I expected minimal, modern—from what I have read of Mr. Maier. But while it is indeed clean and spare, it is also a store full of delights: Mixed in with the to-die-for bathing suits are arty books and CDs. Then a pile of Turkish towels—which look like Turkish towels but also like some old-school, South of France bathing costume you might’ve found in To Catch a Thief—next to some leather sandals and some cool jewelry. On another shelf sits the ultimate scruffy straw hat with the perfect bohemian fringe.
Off to one side, a long table is punctuated with Cire Trudon candles, each one covered, glamorously, with a bell jar. You pick up the jar, turn it over and smell the scent that’s accumulated inside. You feel like someone in a Beatrix Potter story, overturning a flowerpot in some moss-covered garden, except, no, you are in the Tomas Maier store in Palm Beach, and you have just decided on Roi Soleil. Because it smells like (sort of) a giant fireplace at Versailles and because Louis XIV would have snapped up those Turkish towels in a second. Wouldn’t he?
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