Monday, November 29, 2010

Valentino ... God is in the details

Valentino Garavani "I always wanted to make women beautiful"...

Mr. Garavani, you certainly have succeeded!

One afternoon I was walking down Madison Avenue. As I approached VBH near 74th. Street, I noticed a very familiar face. Well tanned, well toned body impeccably tailored. It was Valentino! As I grew closer we held a gaze. His eyes slowly moved from mine to the top of my head, slowly reaching my feet before once again meeting my eyes.

t roughly eighteen inches away, he moved closer touching my arm. Of course I stopped. He whispered "very niiiiiiiiice", in a slow voice only familiar to me via endless episodes of "Style with Elsa Klench' and the like.

said "Thank you Sir Valentino". He responded "No, not, Sir Valentino... Mister Valentino". I wished someone were around to take our picture together. I skipped all the way home!

God is in the details, and one his disciples is standing guard on Madison Avenue. Very niiiiiiiiiice!

All images courtesy of 'A Grand Italian Epic' Valentino Garavani by Taschen

Sunday, November 28, 2010

MIKIMOTO... I Kissed a Pearl and I liked it!

Mikimoto Pearls have been a family favorite for years for many reasons. My sister Stephanie's middle name is Pearl. She was named after my grandmother. Pearl was her first name.

As a child my sister cringed at her middle name. She found it old, perhaps even matronly. That was until the first day she walked into Mikimoto alongside my dad, somewhere around her twelfth birthday. It was then, her love of 'Black Pearls' and all things pearl was born.

Mikimoto pearls are some of the very best in the world. Only 5% of all cultured pearls in the world reach the Mikimoto standard of quality. Their designs are both traditional and contemporary. I adore the many combination's of diamonds, white gold and platinum. Strand lengths vary from Choker size (16 inches) to Opera lendth (32 inches). I find the clasps to be just as divine as the strands themselves. Their details are extraordinary. They too are often handed down amongst family and friends and continue to adorn.

To my sister Stephanie and all of us in love of pearls... I kissed a Pearl and I liked it!!!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

40 What??? Miss Janet Jackson and Blackglama

Janet 'Miss Jackson if you're nasty'... has been posing for Blacklama Furs latest ad campaign. They've been plastered around town and in magazines since the summer. She is astonishing as these depictions tell.

All I can say is 40 What???

I don't know what her modeling fee was, but I know she was able to keep the furs. Not a bad day at the office! What becomes a legend most? Wrinkle cream and good genes!

What does a 'Power Bride' sheath to a Royal wedding?

The late Princess Diana also known as Princess Diana of Wales, has got to be most pleased. She has produced what must be an astounding son, eager to continue her legacy. One reaching all people, despite his very insular upbringing and lifestyle.

Call me crazy but I have gotten all whopped up on this one! I love, love, love a wedding. There are very few moments in life when you are blessed enough to see people at their absolute happiest. I simply adore all the pomp and circumstance of a Royal Wedding. I only wish Fred Astaire were alive to dance in it!

rince William and Kate Middleton, who I refer to as 'Power Bride' will marry sometime next year. As many have begun to do, I too have begun great speculation on what the new Princess will be wearing on her wedding day. I only hope my husband Nick Carter were photographing it!

I can totally see this Monique Lhuillier dress with an extended train (approximately 40 feet long) and its entry into the cathedral. I certainly see Princess Kate, in a dress of this grandeur. Nothing else would do.

This Amanda Wakeley silhouette is very much in line with the dress worn by Princess Grace Kelly many years ago.

A tad too modern for Kate, but I imagine the train will be just as long. How would you bustle something like this? This would be an amazing dress for a beach wedding, but for a royal wedding, perhaps not so much.

The stunning Vera Wang at work here. Frothy organza, chiffon and tuelle worked up into a dazzling concoction. Likely Vera will not be asked to design, as she may be considered too American to take on the fete.

I could see something close to the bodice, definitely beyond ballgown bottom. We are talking theatre here, of untold proportion. This one is a Monique Lhuillier.

This Phillipa Lepley is a bit simple, but the lines are beautiful and ultra feminine. As one of Londons top bridal ateliers, I consider them a top pick. Question, does the Queen Mother have final say or is young Kate able to make final selection. One thing for sure... everything about it is bound to be BIG! BIG!! BIG!
Still cannot imagine the Queen Mother dancing at the reception to Fergie and The Black Eye Peas singing "Let's get it started"!

Then again, I could be wrong! Afterall, she is on Twitter. Who saw that one coming?

Monday, November 8, 2010

Solis Betancourt - Essential Elegance

Let the coffee table pile high! May the legs give way!

Jose Solis and Paul Sherrill of Solis Betancourt have released their first of what I hope will be many interior design books. I have been a longtime friend and supporter of Jose Solis Betancourt and later Paul Sherrill. Their work is exquisite, and unbelievably refined. Jose's is classically trained in architecture via Cornell, and their projects are usually testaments to that school of thought.

If you are unfamiliar with their names, you surely have seen their works, as they have been published in many shelter magazines like Architectural Digest, Southern Accents, Interiors, Country Living and Hampton Style to name a few.

Jose and I go a long way back. We worked together at Skidmore, Owings and Merrill (SOM), and he preceded me at John Saladino as well. I am so proud of them both.

Sidebar: I have to mention one funny story. Years ago at my home, Jose wanted to prepare dinner. The table was beautifully set (although we were all casually dressed). Jose brought beautiful bowls to the table filled with vibrant consomme and perfectly sized honeydew melon balls. One friend, who shall remain unnamed came in from outdoors, sat down abruptly dipping and swishing her fingers into the bowl before her thinking they were 'finger bowls'. Jose was astonished! It was the funniest thing.

Here is information on the book signing, if you're up for it.

Essential Elegance

Book Signing with Jose Solis Betancourt & Paul Sherrill

Thursday, November 18th.

5:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Rizzoli Bookstore

31 West 57th. Street

New York, NY

Monday, November 1, 2010

Mariano Vivanco, Photographer

Mariano Vivanco is a favorite fashion photographer of mine, (Nick Carter is my ultimate first) who hails from Lima, Peru. He has shot for Vogue Nippon, Another Magazine, Man About Town, CG Italy, and Vogue Homme to name a few. I love the richness in his photographs and find myself lingering into the eyes of the subjects for an eerie amount of time.
He's published four books for the Dolce and Gabbana label.

Images courtesy of representative jedrootinc
Jed Root, Inc.
61A Walker Street
New York, NY 10013
tel: 212-226-6600

OC Concept store- Orianne Collins sings a sweet tune

I know exactly the place Jay Z, Kanye West, Drake and Eminem will likely do the bulk of their Christmas shopping this year. That is, if they don't want to leave the country for some wicked international finds.

Madison Avenue isn't known for inexpensive shopping, and the latest offering to the luxury strip, OC Concept Store, won't exactly lower the average price point. The letters don't refer to the Cali coast, or even the hit-show of the same name (though Summer would def be down for shopping here), but rather Swiss-born entrepreneur Orianne Collin's new temple to decadence—the 3,400 square foot boutique, primarily men's focused, carries an array of upper-end brands (Armani/Casa, Audemars Piguet, and Chopard), plus items custom-created for the store—think limited-edition helmets, candles, and even champagne.

In addition to the signature Orianne Collins Jewellery line, jewelry from Chopard, Jacob & Co, Audemars Piguet, Richard Mille and more, exclusive to the OC boutique, line the downstairs showroom accompanied by a fully stocked bar with the OC brand champagne and a VIP caviar bar. Orianne, a true Swiss patriot, has generously sprinkled treats from Switzerland all over the store, from Swiss Chocolatiers to a few pieces from the Roger Federer Nike line.

The boutique boasts a lavish spread of luxury items you won’t find anywhere else, with an added touch of completely customizable keys to any clients desires. Whether you’d like to build your own yacht, chalet, trunk, jewelry case, or beauty product, virtually everything in the OC Concept store can be molded to fit your needs.

have to tell you, some of these watch cases will have your head spinning! They actually are designed to hold a multitude of watches that do exactly that - spin!

As quiet as its often kept, Orianne Collins is crooner Phil Collins ex-wife, who walked away with a 50 million dollar settlement. I know, totally gauche to mention it. Between the watch cases, yacht enhancements and chalets - you'll need about 50 million!

Photos courtesy of Poshglam
655 Madison Avenue (at East 60th Street); 212-759-9220

The Lambs Club - the only sacrifice is calories...

If you saw my previous post 'Diana Vreeland would be so proud', you may have noticed the interiors behind the clothing. The shoot occurred at The Lambs Club, here in New York City. Done, so beautifully I wanted to tell you a little more about it.

This project has been on the books and boards for some time. It's nice to see it come to fruition. I project it will be one of the sought after party spots this holiday season. I'll say it opened just in time. Now for some backstory on the joint...

Before becoming The Chatwal New York and The Lambs Club Restaurant and Bar, this iconic Stanford White-designed building was the epicenter of American for the 20th century. The building originally opened in 1905 as home to the prestigious Lambs, America's first professional theatrical club. Organized in 1874 by a group of actors and enthusiasts, The Lambs occupied a series of rented quarters before settling at 44th Street. The American club took their name from a similar group in London, which flourished from 1869-1879, in the name of drama critic and essayist Charles Lamb.

Food prepared by famed chef Geoffrey Zakarian.

Geoffrey Zakarian was born in the great Bordeaux year of 1959. Trained classically under the tutelage of some of the finest French master chefs, he brings a traditional excellence to his cutting edge and innovative approach to the culinary arts.

Geoffrey's meteoric rise through some hottest and most respected restaurants in Manhattan began at Le Cirque where he was named Chef de Cuisine. He moved on to become Executive Chef at the legendary 21 Club where he earned two stars from Brian Miller of the New York Times.

In 1990 Geoffrey assumed command of Restaurant 44 at the Royalton Hotel, and went on to work at the Blue Door in Miami in 1995 and Bice in Paris. His pursuit of a refined balance between old and new led him to Patroon in 1998, where the New York Times once again praised his talent, awarding him three stars and describing his menu "remarkably smart."

Stanford White, a partner at prominent architectural firm McKim, Mead, and White, was the original architect of The Lambs clubhouse. His design principles embodied the "American Renaissance," as seen in his work on summer homes for the Astor and Vanderbilt families and such formidable structures as The Washington Square Arch, Madison Square Garden and the New York Herald Building. For The Lambs, he designed a six-story, neo-Georgian brick building featuring a facade ornamented with ram heads. A boisterous grill room and billiard room were on the first floor, a banquet hall on the second floor and a theater on the third floor. The top floors provided space for offices and sleeping quarters, often utilized by members traveling to The Great White Way from Hollywood. The size of the building was doubled in 1915 when an addition was constructed on the west end of the building, a virtual copy of the original. In 1974, the building was designated a landmark by the New York City Landmarks and Preservation Commission.

Since the club's founding, there have been more than 6,000 Lambs, with an elite roster reading like a Who's Who of American theater and film: Maurice, Lionel and John Barrymore, Irving Berlin, Cecil B. DeMille, David Belasco, Charlie Chaplin, George M. Cohan, Douglas Fairbanks, John Wayne, Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein II, Spencer Tracy and Fred Astaire, who was famously quoted as stating, "When I was made a Lamb, I felt I had been knighted."

The Lambs Club Restaurant and Bar is the collective vision of 5 friends: Chef Geoffrey Zakarian, Will Regan, David Rabin, Jeffrey Jah and Margaret Zakarian, who have created, either on their own or in past collaborative efforts, some of the most talked about and well-regarded hospitality ventures, both here in NY, and beyond.

Available for private dining and events. The restaurant serves Breakfast, Brunch, Lunch, Pre-theater dining and of course has a full service bar.

132 West 44th Street
New York, N.Y. 10036
(212) 997-5262

Images courtesy of the Lambs Club site, Michael Appleton and Phillip Ennis