Riding the Metrospiritual Wave

The growing ranks of the hip and holistic are seeking their inner bliss with serious style.

Continued from page 1

The Triumph of Advertising in America" (1995), attributes the demand for luxury goods to a need for salvation or epiphany through consuming. Throughout history, Twitchell argues, "The primary deliverer of sensations was the church. That's where you went to have an epiphany. . The sensations of luxury mirror the sensations of epiphany-the ability to give the consumer the sensation that I've come to the end of the line, I'm saved, I'm there, I don't have to wrestle any more." The metrospiritual takes luxury-buying to a new level--reaching outward for connection to the planet and to each other.



According to Sharon Lee of youth-trend forecasting firm

Look-Look

, "There's lots of desire to be spiritual and have more meaning than a commercial, purely secular lifestyle provides. And there's a smorgasbord of product offerings that have gradations of spirituality woven into them." The words you see and hear again and again on the many products that help define and support the metrospiritual lifestyle-like

Fresh's

Crème Ancienne which is made by hand at a monastery in the Czech Republic--are "calm," "enrich," "renew," "inspire," "experience," "connect," "heal," "ancient" and "conscious," for starters.

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Spirituality with Style

Gwyneth Paltrow
is a metrospiritual

Metrospirituality is the mainstreaming of Taoist, Buddhist (thanks to Richard Gere and Uma's dad, Buddhism scholar and practitioner Robert Thurman), and Hindu values, among others, into an easily digestible, buyable form. Take

Hampton Chutney Company

, for instance. This highly popular New York-area food empire makes traditional Indian dosas and uttapams-the kind of thing you might make and eat at an Indian ashram-which is exactly where the owners, Gary and Isabel MacGurn, met in 1990. They now have three thriving outposts at very tony addresses-one in Long Island's Hamptons, one in New York City's Soho, and one on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. At the Soho store, pictures of yogis decorate the walls and devotional Indian chants pour soothingly out of the stereo.



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Ariana Speyer
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