Cate Blanchett Feb28

Cate Blanchett

I’m sure that many will disagree, but my vote for best dressed is (hands down) Cate Blanchett. She’s such a fashion girl, and almost always shuts it down on the red carpet. There were a lot of gorgeous dresses on the carpet tonight, and lots of dreamy, princessy silhouettes – but I really love Cate’s quirkiness and originality. She always takes risks, but never goes too far. Her dress is Givenchy haute couture – from Riccardo Tisci’s Spring 2011 collection. I loved it then, and I love it even more on Cate! Here are a few of Cate’s past looks at the Academy Awards. From left to right – 2005 in Valentino (the night that she won for Aviator) – 2007 in Armani Privé – and 2008 (pregnant) in Dries Van Noten. Love her! Photos courtesy of Just Jared and...

Abstract Painting Feb27

Abstract Painting

If you haven’t made it to MoMA’s Abstract Expressionist New York exhibit – you have until April 25th. I finally made it there yesterday afternoon, and I must say that it’s a fabulous exhibition! I have always loved and responded to abstract painting – Pollock, Rothko, Kline, Twombly et al., even before I knew any of the theory behind the movement. People respond differently to art, and many people prefer to look at more traditionally pretty paintings – so Abstract Expressionism seems to be one of those art movements that a lot of people don’t really get. Many of the paintings might seem to be messy, overly simple, or even ugly – but I’ve always loved the drama and rebelliousness of it all! Abstract Expressionism was the first, specifically American art movement to reach the world’s stage – and with it, New York displaced Paris as the center of what was new and avant-garde in the art community. Anne Temkin, MoMA’s Chief Curator of Painting and Sculpture says that “it was really the great big, international, avant-garde movement, and it happened in New York City in the 40s and 50s – and had an intensity of creativity, and a kind of collective burst of ambition to put New York City on the map, and to put post war painting on the map – in a way that would both respect, but challenge and overturn the clear domination of the early 20th century giants, such as Picasso and Matisse…” While this group of artists don’t have much in common stylistically, what they did share was a profoundly emotional response to the genocide and utter devastation of post World War II Europe. With much of the planet in political upheaval, this small community of artists had a sense...

Unconventional Chic Feb25

Unconventional Chic

I’ve been wearing Lacoste shirts since before I could dress myself. Being a big tennis buff, I also love the rich history of the Lacoste brand. La Société Chemise Lacoste was founded in 1933 by the French tennis player, René Lacoste – and produced the classic, white polo (or tennis shirt) that he wore on the court. The unmistakable crocodile logo was taken from René’s nickname, ‘The Crocodile’. Several theories exist to explain the origin of said nickname – one of which was that it was given to Lacoste as a result of his aggressive determination on the court. Another tale that has been told (and my own preferred theory), involves a bet that was placed between René and his team captain – over a certain match. The wager? A beautiful, crocodile-skin suitcase. Lacoste lost the match, and the wager – but gained a nickname. His friend, fashion designer Robert George embroidered a green crocodile onto the white blazer that Lacoste wore before every match. Fabulous! The classics never go out of style, and I’m absolutely loving their new ‘Unconventional Chic‘ ad campaign – it’s so fun and super...

Singin’ in the Rain Feb25

Singin’ in the Rain

It’s a very cold and rainy night in New York – and sadly, it’s not looking like the rain will let up for a while. You know the adage – if you can’t beat em’, join em’? Well that’s exactly what I did. Before venturing out for my boys’ pre-bedtime walk, I threw on my Wellies, grabbed my Burberry umbrella – and took a page from the late, great Gene Kelly. Ok, so it was more like hummin’ in the rain – but it was fabulous nevertheless. Gene Kelly – Singin’ in the Rain If you’ve not seen the classic film, Singin’ in the Rain, I recommend it most enthusiastically. Seriously, it couldn’t BE any cuter – one of my all time faves! Gene Kelly is as dreamy as can be, and Debbie Reynolds is more than adorable. Do yourself a favor, and at least watch the eponymous scene. Recently the cast of Glee (avec Ms. Gwyneth Paltrow) – did a mashup of the classic tune. Glee – Singin’ in the Rain I’m singin’ in the rain. Just singin’ in the rain. What a glorious feelin’, I’m happy again. I’m laughing at clouds so dark up above. The sun’s in my heart, and I’m ready for love. Let the stormy clouds chase everyone from the place. Come on with the rain, I’ve a smile on my face. I walk down the lane with a happy refrain. Just singin’ – singin’ in the rain. Dancin’ in the rain. Dee-ah dee-ah dee-ah. Dee-ah dee-ah dee-ah. I’m happy again. I’m singin’ and dancin’ in the rain. I’m dancin’ and singin’ in the...

Currently Coveting Feb24

Currently Coveting

I’m currently coveting these ridiculous Christian Louboutin sneakers – the price tag for which, is just too embarrassing to discuss. Louboutin’s offerings for men are pretty limited at this point – but the collection will likely grow over time. Yes, they’re a tad showy, and perhaps too punk rock for this preppy – but I’m still enamored. Don’t judge,...

Apollo’s Angels Feb24

Apollo’s Angels

I’ve always been a one book at a time kind of guy, but lately I’ve been switching back and forth between several. The one about which I’ve been most excited, is Jennifer Homan’s “Apollo’s Angels – A History of Ballet” – which The New York Times Book Review named one of the 10 best books of 2010. I first heard about this book when the author appeared on Charlie Rose last December – in an engaging interview that was chock full of interesting tidbits. To my surprise, this is really the first book on the history of ballet – and even if you’re not a huge fan of dance, the history is fascinating. While the origins of the art form date back to 15th century Italy, ballet, as we know it, really began in France – in the court of Louis XIV. Apollo’s Angels The Sun King (Le Roi Soleil), as he was known, was positively fixated on etiquette – and thus, ballet was born as an aristocratic, social dance – performed by kings and noblemen. It was in his court that the basic steps (the 5 positions) were first codified. According to Homans, the same symmetry and formal aesthetic that can be found in the gardens at Versailles, were imprinted in the dances at court. So while an aristocratic form of expression, early ballet was also strictly a male art. Louis XIV, himself, performed a now famous dance, known as The Ballet of the Night in 1653 – where he portrayed the Sun King, Apollo. Louis XIV as Apollo In essence, ballet, at this time, was a political art – part of the garish spectacle of the French state. Somehow it managed to survive the French Revolution – but in doing so, was reborn as a...

Une Jeune Fille Feb23

Une Jeune Fille

I first saw this video last month on The Huffington Post – and since then, I’ve watched it approximately three thousand times. This beautiful, little girl has the most fabulous imagination. Watch as she breathlessly recounts her very own version of the classic tale – Winnie the Pooh. According to the video description, it is a breathtaking story starring baby monkeys lost in frightening trees, a witch, crocodiles, a tiger, a “popotamus” and a lion – and even a “tremendously very bad mammoth”. There are also magic powers and an orange ring, but sometimes, “something goes amiss”. Bring your popcorn and enjoy the...

Canopy Chairs Feb23

Canopy Chairs

Speaking of Bergorf Goodman’s BG, my absolute favorite part of Kelly Wearstler’s design is the canopy chairs. I’ve always loved a canopied chair – they’re super chic, and beyond comfortable! Isn’t there just something so regal about them? In 16th century France, canopied chairs, known as “guérites”, were used primarily by the sick or elderly – their high sides and backs were perfect for protection against the drafty cold. While to many, these chairs hold aristocratic connotations, the etymology of the name (guérites – sentry in english) suggests that they were, in fact, first used by servants. During medieval times, wealthy homes often had servants known as hall porters – a man who sat at the door of the home and acted as gatekeeper. His hooded chair (the porter’s chair) protected him from the cold, and acoustically, aided in his vigilance. Oh, if only those hall porters could see us now! Sources – Wikipedia / Apartment Therapy / The Household...

Wearstler Style Feb22

Wearstler Style

Kelly Wearstler is a rock star among interior designers – and last week during fashion week, she introduced her very first ready-to-wear collection. At the Soho loft that she designed for some Texas clients, Wearstler previewed the collection for a select group of buyers and editors. According to Kelly, she “wanted it to be an intimate experience where everyone could feel like they were fully immersed in my environment.” Much like Barneys New York is Simon Doonan / Jonathan Adler-land, Bergdorf Goodman is quickly becoming rather Wearstler-centric. The seventh floor of Bergdorf’s currently plays host to BG, the Wearstler designed eatry – as well as her line of luxury baubles and home accessories. Now, the department store has the exclusive on her new line of clothing, clutches, and jewelry. When the Fall collections hit the stores in a few months, Wearstler’s clothes will be found among other contemporary labels, (in a KW designed space, no less) on Bergdorf’s fifth floor. Like her fabulous interiors, Kelly Wearstler’s clothes are playful and positively brimming over with loads of texture, pattern and bold colors. According to style.com, “her reputation will be a boon to the business, but the contemporary market is a crowded one, and if she wants to make a real go of it, she’ll have to insert more personality into the collection next time. The clutches and costume jewelry, maybe because they’re closer to her bread and butter, had a stronger point of view.” Enjoy the slide show… Pictures courtesy of Kelly Wearstler, style.com, and...

Axel Vervoordt Feb22

Axel Vervoordt

I subscribe to far too many magazines, and buy so many more – that reading them all usually feels like a game of catch up.  One magazine that I always look forward to, is Australia’s Vogue Living. The November / December issue has a beautiful feature on the Swiss ski chalet of famed Belgian designer, Axel Vervoordt. In recent years, Vervoordt has become a disciple and practitioner of wabi-sabi, a Japanese aesthetic focused on simplicity, humility, and the beauty of the imperfect. Perched in the hills high atop the village of Verbier, his family’s chalet is a perfect example of these principles – sparsely furnished with artisanal mountain furniture, but full of warmth and soul. According to the article, the home was completely “handmade by local craftsmen, pegged not nailed, waxed not varnished.” While the tony village below is known as a party destination for the jet set, Axel and his wife, May, never intended for the home to be used for entertaining. It is, rather, a simple family retreat – and a stunning one at that! Sadly, I don’t think that we’ll be able to see the chalet in person – but if you’re a ski bum, you can certainly visit Verbier! The skiing in the Swiss Alps can’t be beat! If you’re interested in learning more about the principles of wabi-sabi and their application in Axel Vervoordt’s work, pick up a copy of Vervoordt’s most recent book, Wabi Inspirations – which was released by Rizzoli just...

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