Thessaly La Force's Valentine's Gift Guide

The New York-based writer Thessaly La Force has interviewed and profiled a diverse range of subjects, including the Australian novelist Helen Garner, the actor Constance Wu, the Indian cook Madhur Jaffrey and the model Emily Ratajkowski. "I'm intrested in where style and culture intersect," she explains. La Force has also worked as an editor at a variety of magazines, including T: The New York Times Style Magazine and Vogue.

Below, a few special selections from her gift and wish list this Valentine's Day.

Seasoning Objets

Designed by the Los Angeles-based artist Ryan Preciado, these lathe-turned salt and pepper mills are gorgeous objects for any home. Permanent Collection — now run by co-founder Fanny Singer — prioritizes sustainability, and these pieces are no different, made from salvaged scrap walnut and red oak from Preciado’s own studio. I love not only the salt and pepper mills’s Danish-inspired design but the weight and size of each — nothing too cumbersome for a simple meal alone on a weeknight, but still stately enough to use with ease when entertaining for guests. Ryan Preciado 'Madre y Padre' Mills, $400.

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Exquisite, Small-Batch Chocolate

I’ve become such a fan of Michiko Marron-Kibbey, a serious small-batch chocolatier who was born in Japan and who grew up both there and in the U.S. She has apprenticed for some of the best chocolatiers in Paris, and now makes Deux Cranes out of Los Gatos, California. Marron-Kibbey’s chocolate tends to incorporate Japanese flavors such as matcha, miso, and yuzu, but she has proven capable of making even the most ordinary flavor combinations, like strawberry and dark chocolate, taste absolutely sublime. It doesn’t hurt that the packaging design is equally gorgeous. I’ve been given (and have gifted) these bars many times over. The Best-Seller Chocolate Bar Set, $110.

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The Anti-Statement Bag

Perhaps, like me, you’ve long tired of the logomania that seems to dominate fashion trends. When I discovered Savette, designed by Los Angeles-native Amy Zurek, I knew I had found a kindred spirit. Zurek has worked at brands like The Row, Coach, and Khaite, and that sensibility—stylish, sexy, but never flashy—shows. She seems to intuitively grasp that I want a bag that feels timeless and beautiful, with gorgeous hardware and equally stunning leather. An object, in other words, and not a statement. The Tondo Hobo Suede Bag, $1,550.

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A Winter Wardrobe Boost

I love my Attersee Cashmere Caftan. It is perfect for these winter months, and made of the most impressive cashmere by Loro Piana: thin, but incredibly warm. It's the only layer I need under my coat. The dropped shoulders, elegant mock collar, and three-quarter length sleeves are all so thoughtful and stylish without being too ostentatious or fussy. I've worn it while reporting, at dinner with my editor, to the grocery store with my toddler and hanging out with friends. It's a gorgeous gift for someone you care about — or to buy for yourself as a treat. The Cashmere Caftan, $995.

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Unique Gems

The French-Lebanese jeweler, Selim Mouzannar, has craftsmanship in his blood. He first began making jewelry at the age of ten, at his father’s jewelry store in Beirut’s jewelry souk (his grandfather and his father were jewelers as well). Today, his work is sold internationally, and it’s impossible not to fall for his sophisticated and feminine designs. His Mina rings, where a semi-precious or precious stone is set in black or white enamel, are my favorite. They are arresting pieces — never feeling too old-fashioned or fussy — and look beautiful worn alone or as a “bouquet,” as Mouzannar likes to call a grouping of them. Mina Black Ring, $1600.

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A Worthy Subscription

When New Yorker editor Emily Stokes became the editor-in-chief of this storied literary magazine (where I once worked in my twenties), I knew I had to subscribe. The Paris Review is a gorgeous publication, offering new fiction, poetry, essays, interviews with legendary writers, as well as stunning art portfolios. Now that it has restarted its print series (Andy Warhol, Alex Katz, and Helen Frankenthaler used to contribute artworks for the magazine, which were originally sold as limited-edition prints), a magazine and poster subscription makes for a thoughtful and lovely gift. Two-year subscription + poster, $105.

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