Thursday, April 29, 2010

Naomi... just because

I am posting this photograph of Naomi Campbell just because.

Just because she is beautiful.
Just because her smile is lovely.
Just because it's a stunning image.
Just because - she isn't throwing something: An attitude, A fit or A shoe.

Just because...

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

You'd better watch yourself!



Van Cleef Arpel


Ah, the allure of a beautiful timepiece. To define these as mere watches is pure sacrilege. Why not treat yourself to something special. Leave the old Timex standby for your daily runs and errands.

After-all, shouldn't something as precious as time should be deeply rewarded?

Monday, April 26, 2010

More than the Rose Bowl ... Pasadena

This refined 1928 ranch retreat in Pasadena, California is home to graphic artist David Hundley. Mr. Hundley has had the incredible task of product design consulting for notable designer by the likes of Tom Ford (during his Gucci days), Ralph Lauren and Aston Martin. Pretty good pedigree huh? As his family owned cattle ranches, David learned to castrate and brand yearling at a very young age. I doubt that's where he developed such style. The fountain, a gift from actress Rene Russo is a former horse trough.

I love the beamed ceiling with its rough-hewn painted white walls. A definite juxtaposition to the sleek chrome arm of the Mies Van Der Rohe Bruno chairs.

So the chair placements don't make sense. Makes you wonder what the stylist was thinking. It's still nice to look at. The lamp is one of Hundley's designs.

What I would give to have such storage for all my books.

I have long appreciate the casual style and subtle elegance of this property. Published in the March 2007 issue of C Magazine, I have held a love affair with its ambiance. Though there is nothing absolutely new about the interiors I just appreciate it.

I would love to see what alterations have been made since. And if the dog finally got a comb out!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

A trench to wrap your face in.... by Burberry

As first reported by WWD on Friday, Burberry famous for outfitting the world in classic trenchcoats, has tossed their chic wraparound booty into the world of cosmetics. Burberry's face paints collection, is scheduled to hit doors in July.

Chief Creative Director
Christopher Bailey told WWD that the line will consist of foundations, powders, bronzers, eye shadow, eyeliner, lip gloss, lip definers, lipstick and mascara. Despite the company’s past interest in fragrances, this is the brand’s first foray into cosmetics. Prices start at $24.

I predict they will do quite well indeed.

Big Slickin' with Shagreen for your Sole... by Giorgio Armani

A great pair of Giorgio Armani's men's casual lace up leather plimsole style shoe. Leather uppers and leather lined with a white heavy duty sole. The upper is in a blue shagreen printed leather, which gives off a slightly metallic sparkle and would look great with a pair of jeans or chino's.
Price is approximately $465. USD.

I wish I could wear these myself. Now all you need is a yacht!

Monday, April 19, 2010

The Final Seduction...

He's Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack! Henry Vlll - crazy, sinister, egotistical, diabolical, womanizing, lady starved Henry. And that's just before noon. Portrayed by Jonathan Rhys Meyers who is utterly delicious to watch.

Courtesy of Showtime, The Tudors is one of the most engaging and dramatic visions on television. From the set design to costuming, both done so eloquently I wish there were more than 60 minutes in an hour.

The Final Season... The Final Seduction... Instead of me explaining it all, just watch...

One of my favorite television guilty pleasures is back, with a fresh new season of 'sinister crazy'. Who will he lust for next? One things for sure... heads are going to roll.

Crazy is, as crazy does and I like it! I like it alot!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Alwyn Court, holds court

Alwyn Court, is a residential terra cotta structure erected in 1909. Designed by the architectural firm of Harde & Short. It commands attention at the corner of 58th. Street and Seventh Avenue in New York. The facade follows the style of Francois l whose reign oversaw some of the finest Loire Valley chateaus. It is listed as an historical site. for obvious reasons.

Its grand apartments ranged in size from 12 to 34 rooms. Many including billiard rooms, wine sellers, music rooms, libraries and various salons. Later many of the residences were renovated and reduced in size. What remains are residences sized at three, four and five bedroom apartments. Still grand in scale, with all the accoutrements.

The Alwyn Court facade is virtually entrusted with terra cotta ornamental flowers, urns, salamanders etc. Look closely and you will find even more jewels. Come closer, no even closer...

Without a doubt, it is one of my favorite structures ever built. I sometime find myself going out of my way just to take it all in. With each visit, I discover a detail previously hidden.

Housed on the ground level is Petrossian, home to some of the most sumptuous caviar ever pulled from the sea. While it isn't on my list of 'must haves', it is rumored this is the place to come get the stuff. Besides, the tins are so decorative and beautiful they always make a very special gift.

Just don't forget the blinis and creme fraiche to go with it.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

If you don't have anything nice to say, sit by me... wanna Gossip?

Got your attention?

Okay, they aren't a group I would normally would go to. But there's something about her voice. The richness, the passion, the cool. Front(person) for Gossip, the indie-band formed in Washington state (of all places), in 2003 is poised to go somewhere. And fast. They are about to be everywhere. As a matter of fact, I forgot about them until I picked up the April issue of Paper Magazine. Responding "Oh right, them (her)". I always liked the video "Heavy Cross', with its almost 'Gaga' costuming, rifling beat and 'Rihanna-like' art direction.

I say "Washington of all places" because Gossip isn't quite in the usual 'found' hot A&R driven joints like New York, LA, Chicago, Miami, Nashville like that. No disrespect Washington state. Gossip has all the earmarks of the "with a bullet" lingo tied to them, as the 'not-so-new' band to watch. After all, it takes 50 years to be an overnight sensation - right?

Is marketing involved? Yes, but so is talent. Does the lead singer Beth Ditto (surely not her real name) come with a 'story'? Of course, after all stories sell. A bit kooky, silly, lesbian, who cares? When the buds are in my ears I'm just groovin' to the music.

Photos by Dan Monick

A Rose is more than a rose...

Photo by Linda K. Robinson

Flora, by Graphis is one of those stunning photography books that is dual purposed. Firstly, you get to see incredible images. Secondly, the flowers. This is a book published quite a while ago but remains joyful.

Photo by Judith Easterburg

Photo by joSon

Photographers vary throughout the book, which is a masterful composition.

Photo by Amanda Means

Photo by Scott Peck

It is just one of those feel good books. On a rainy day, your happy thoughts are awakened by the color and spectacle of the blooms.

Photo by John Huet

Marcos Galvany at Carnegie Hall

Last night I had the pleasure of attending the premiere performance of 'O' My Son' at Carnegie Hall. The composer, Marcos Galvany hails from Spain. He introduced the piece with the sexiest Spanish accent not heard since Antonio Banderas purred at Rebecca DeMornay in "Never Talk to Strangers".

The casting was stellar. Antonio Gandia, Tenor. (Note: The fact that he was so handsome in his black on black Hugo Boss looking suit made the women give him four standing ovations, myself included). Valentina Fleer, Soprano, Karla Rivera, Soprano. Matthew Osifchin, Baritone all supported by the New England Symphonic Ensemble.

Hailed as “a gifted composer” by John Rutter and “one of the most talented and passionate composers of our time”. Marcos' music is becoming the sound of legend. Heard throughout the USA, Canada, Europe, Russia, Australia, and the Caribbean island of Jamaica to name a few.

The performances were beyond moving. I sat beside Rita about sixty, years old visiting from Israel. Throughout the first act, I would see her shivering. Mid 'aria' I could hear her whimper. Through concertos sniffling. At one point, I turned to find tears rolling down her cheek. Clearly, too entranced by the music to take note or care.

During intermission I had to ask what moved her so much. "I was in a choir in Israel most of my life. Whenever I hear the music, and the voices I want to sing. Because I travel so much, I am unable to make a commitment to the choir anymore. Hearing this, makes me one with the music, the power and the gift of song. It's in my heart. In my soul. How could he (Galvany) compose such music. To be in such a special place as
Carnegie Hall, I can feel the power of my own heart beat".

That is what Marcos Galvany's compositions do to you. They make you feel the power of your own heart. The last act was so emotional, with its moment of silence as Leonid Frolov who plays Jesus rising was so powerful I started to cry myself. The rhythm of the drum, the cellos, the tuba of all things! I never knew the tuba could hold such passion. Angels were in residence in the form of the
St. Patrick's Cathedral Choir.

One of the best things of all is, I was surrounded by many families, couples and singles. Some donned evening attire, while others were very casual in jeans and sneakers. Perhaps having purchased their tickets on the fly after a day of sightseeing. Carnegie Hall is affordable and accessible to everyone. Tickets started at just fifteen dollars. Not much more than the cost of seeing
'Clash of the Titans' and a bag of popcorn.

Let's support the arts more. Get out there and see something if you can. The worst that could happen is, you'll feel the beating of your own heart.

A HauteZone attack! Strut like Tina Turner in Rodarte

I would love to see Tina Turner, strut in these Rodarte 'Light Up Heels' with those amazing legs of hers. Lighting up the stage, stomping like a wildcat in a new totally funked up version of 'Nutbush City Limit'... Do you hear her roar? Feel the bass line thumping? Feel the sweat?


Kate and Laura Mulleavy pulled out all the stops combining design and technology in creating the shoe. Taking footwear to a new height (these are almost five inches tall), applying the same approach and vision, that launched the sisters from Pasadena, California to fame in 2005.

They have acquired multiple awards in the fashion industry in a mere five years. Among them, CFDA Emerging Womenswear Designer Award, Swiss Textiles Award, CFDA Womenswear Designer of the Year and finalist in the Cooper Hewitt National Design Award.

Rodarte is in the collection of the Fashion Institute of Technology, Museum and the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, both in New York City

Now getting back to the shoes... Do you think they can help you find your keys in the dark?

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Michelle Obama is...

One Haute, Haute, Haute. Mama in the zone! Looking lovely on the cover of the April issue of Conde Nast Traveler. I love what she had done encouraging children to become involved in natural food sources. and gardening. Did you know 2 out of 5 children go without any fruits or vegetables daily?

Gladly Jamie Oliver has picked up on it and has become most active in petitioning schools to serve healthier meals. Goodbye 'Twinkies', hello broccoli pop tarts!

Strangely, I get stopped by at least two tourist weekly saying I look like her. The shorter form that is. I'll take that as a compliment! John Mayer said it too.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Living Legend - Vera Wang

I remember walking up Third Avenue near 48th. Street here in New York (in the early 90's), past the pink stained mammoth marble structure on the Westside of the street. Somewhat across from Smith and Wollensky's steakhouse. It was just called 'Wang'. Referred to as 'the WANG Building'. Everyone knew it, standing firmly planted like a force to be reckoned with, proud and defiant. It is gone now, at least the marble slab bearing its name.

For those who remember and took note, 'WANG' then was the leading competitor in the computer world.
It has since been replaced by the beloved Apple (home of the iPad, iTouch, iPhone, iBet, iGive-in, iTunes and everything else). There too was Dell, HP all the rest.

Long before there were 'campuses', with espresso makers, and Razor scooters whipping around the office, and think tanks and war rooms where 'on the spot' ideas were hashed out, and no one ever looked at you like you were crazy. WANG was good stuff. 'WANG' WAS computers. As genetics, heritage and vision would predict, standing just as proud, defiant and strong as that slab of marble, once bearing her name is Vera Wang. It was her father who owned the company.

I enjoy hearing the story of her days at Ralph Lauren, as a design director when Vera would collect her paychecks months upon months on end, without cashing any of them, just because she didn't have to. That is 'luxury'. Now years later, she continues luxury of another sort. It is exhibited in all the brands she produces wares for. Be it bridal, evening or ready to wear. Whether for her name sake brands, which continue to expand or Kohls, where the very details of her higher end products are carried through.

During my years at Ralph Lauren, I would often see Ms. Wang in the elevator, as her Vera Wang Maids showroom was in the same building on Madison Avenue. Across the street, the infamous Vera Wang Bridal Salon. Often she would smile softly, then gaze off deep in thought. Many times I became curious. What tuck detail was she so engrossed in? Was there a new hem, the was enchanted with? A lace discovered she couldn't wait to try? I so wanted to interrupt but I wouldn't let my curiosity get the best of me, for fear of her losing her 'stride'. Train of thought, perhaps. Lose her 'stride', never.

I celebrate Vera Wang, as a 'Living Legend'. For she has accomplished a great deal in a fairly short time. She made bridesmaids pretty again. She put 'design' and 'couture' in bridal and made it available on a wider scale. Off the rack no less.

Vera Wangs dresses have become the benchmark, the 'go to' for those newly engaged with their bursting bridal binders buried in the crooks of their armpits. The first stop of the 'must haves'.
You may not always buy one, but trying one one is part of the whole bridal experience. How much fun it must be for her daughters to have full access to her immediate closet, and those shops around the world who carry her multiple lines (Vera Wang Lavender, Celebration Dresses and Ready-to-Wear).

I suppose, while I was looking up admiring the tenacity of that marble structure on Third, Vera was looking up and to the future, envisioning another pink as well. It just happened to be tulle.

(portrait photo Departures Magazine, all others Vera

Sunday, April 4, 2010

I hate Australians!

I hate Australians. I hate that they have an amazing climate year round (for the most part). I hate their access to some of the most succulent seafood known to man. I hate that they get to live in Australia and I don't.

What is the worst things about Australia? They had that awful movie named after them, which had every marking of wrecking havoc on their travel industry. True, Hugh Jackman redeemed himself by hosting the Oscars, Emmy's or whatever that was. He was pretty good too. Nicole Kidman, well I don't think we've seen much of her since.

What are one of the best things about Australia, in addition to the good nature of those there? Without a doubt, the food! I you haven't done so yet, treat yourself to this months issue of Vogue Entertaining and Travel. And if you don't have a trip planned there anytime time soon. Just like me, read it and weep.

Caught you drooling!

Drinking at the 'Coyote Bar' in Santa Barbara's Toro Canyon

Would you like to have drinks at sunset with the 'hottest coyote' in town?

Santa Barbara is one of my favorite towns on the planet. Home to my fave 'home away from home' Four Seasons Biltmore Hotel and 'Butterfly' beach.

Adjacent is Montecito, oh so true to architecture vibrant with Spanish influence. With some surprise, Montecito is dotted with unconventional residential homes, emerging from the earth as seen in the April/May issue of Santa Barbara Magazine, sister to C Magazine.

The transom door tilts high, welcoming relief to the days heat and evening breezes to cool the soul.

Who couldn't see themselves relaxing poolside, mountains close enough to kiss. Certainly, an occasional coyote will emerge from familiar environs, a bit too close for comfort for a drink.

(Photos courtesy Santa Barbara Magazine)