Home Page / Insights

Dispatch: The Week in Parties

From celebrity-studded screenings to charity runs and Kentucky Derby outfits, Jeffrey Slonim delivers the dish.

May 07, 2012

FROM LEFT: Leelee Sobieski and Emma Roberts at The Shops at Target Launch Party

Tuesday: Friends of the High Line & The Shops at Target Launch Party
I was late to The Shops at Target Launch Party event, because I had to stop by the fab Friends of the High Line gala across the West Side Highway first. Bronson van Wyck lit the long walk to cocktails with candles in hurricane cylinders. At the bar, in a kind of faux park with grass and trees, Sarah Jessica Parker wore L’Wren Scott. Dinner tables were loaded up with fried chicken and watermelon. Van Wyck had hooked a faux sun up on a track that ran the length of the dinner room. The machine turned all the different shades of sunlight as it moved.

Across the highway, at the Gehry-designed IAC building, Target had strung summery merchandise from its store in the air, like a cloud of must-haves.  

“I do like Target,” Leelee Sobieski mentioned on her way into the event. Sobieski had on a slim-cut blue jacket. “My friend Laure [Laure Heriard Dubreuil, The Webster] made my blazer for Target,” she said. “Super-affordable.” Other fashionable stars in attendance included January Jones and Emma Roberts.

FROM LEFT: January Jones at the La Revolution Bleue screening; Chloe Moretz at the Hick screening

Thursday: Two Celebrity-Studded Screenings
It was off to a screening of La Revolution Bleue, a documentary on artist Yves Klein, at the Paris Theater held by La Mer and Christie's. A portion of the proceeds benefited ocean advocacy organization, Oceana.

Oceana Ambassador and event host January Jones wore a frock by Mary Katrantzou. “I had my doula zip me up,” said the new mom. Jones finds her work with Oceana, bringing attention to the plight of sharks, rewarding. “I’ve enjoyed being in the water, swimming with sharks,” she said. “I get very emotional about it.”

Downtown, The Cinema Society screened Hick at the Crosby Street Hotel, with a dinner at Ken & Cook—a cool new space with brick walls painted white. Emma Roberts wisely got right into the food line when she arrived. Chloe Moretz, her mom, and her very tall brother, Trevor, took a long table along the far wall.

Olivia Wilde, Jimmy Fallon, and Emma Stone at the EIF Revlon Run/Walk

Saturday: Charity Runs, A Clubbing Couple, and the Kentucky Derby
Emma Stone hosted the EIF Revlon Run/Walk for cancer research that started in Times Square. She finished in 1 hour and 20 minutes. Olivia Wilde clocked in at 1 hour and 7 minutes.

In Vegas, Pink and her hubby Carey Hart—whose ripped abs have a tat that reads “Vida Las Vegas” —hit XS nightclub. Hart had received the Legends & Heroes Industry Leader Award at the Supercross finale that night. They arrived just after 1 AM to catch dance maestro DJ Tiesto.

Did anyone else spot Tom Brady at the Kentucky Derby? He wore Tom Ford: white pants, no belt, dark shirt, dark tie, collar pin, dark glasses, and slicked back hair—a kind of Gatsby metrosexual look. Team Gisele.

Fern Mallis with Calvin Klein at Pratt Institute

Another Note: Fashion Icon Honored
Pratt Institute
honored Fern Mallis recently, with Calvin Klein himself giving Mallis the Pratt Institute Fashion Industry Lifetime Achievement Award. She not only revolutionized Fashion Week when she was the executive director of the CFDA, she is also a generous friend and saved my rear end on many occasions by giving me the seat next to her at fashion shows.

—Jeffrey Slonim
Photography by (clockwise from top left): Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images; Neilson Barnard/WIREIMAGE; D Dipasupil & Charles Eshelman/FilmMagic; Stephen Lovekin/WireImage; Ben Hider/Getty Images


Helmut Lang, the Sculptor

The fashion designer makes a quiet transition into the art world with a new show in Greenwich Village.

May 07, 2012

Though Helmut Lang is an old pro at putting on a show, the celebrated fashion designer will make his New York art-world debut with a series of sculptures this Wednesday. The show (through June 15) will take place at a makeshift gallery in Greenwich Village at 24 Washington Square, a place run by Lang's friend Mark Fletcher. The space itself is an intimate living room, a perfect setting for the personal nature of the show, which is made possible by Sadie Coles, a London gallery-owner, and Neville Wakefield, an art curator. Lang has created these sculptures using rubber and plastic materials from tires and other industrial products, reworking them into new objects. Also in the show are pieces made from scraps of clothing salvaged from a 2010 fire that ravaged Lang’s studio archives. These pieces, too, have that personal feeling of metamorphosis and change.

–Jessica Ferri


Shop Watch: Five Story Opens

A glamorous Upper East Side townhouse boutique makes a star-studded debut.

May 07, 2012

Father and daughter team Fred and Claire Ditzenfeld have opened a beautiful boutique in a classic Manhattan townhouse at 18 East 69th Street. Mr. Ditzenfeld serves as the head of Luxury Accessories International, and Ms. Ditzenfeld has worked in galleries all over the city.

Five Story features two and a half floors of luxury men's and women's apparel, accessories, jewelry, and shoes along with a section for kids and home goods. The store has a decidedly cozy vibe, designed by Ryan Korban, who brought in an iron-balustrade that leads from the garden level to the second floor.

Ms. Ditzenfeld was inspired by the beautiful townhouse to curate a collection that focuses on New York glamour. The opening reception featured cocktails and snacks by Mr. Chow with DJ sets by Cleo Le Tan and appearances from some of fashion's biggest names, like photographer Ellen von Unwerth, model Anja Rubik, and girl about town Annabelle Dexter Jones. 18 East 69th St., 212-288-1338



Brunch Plans: Vinatta Project

Chase a bevy of brunch options down with a bespoke cocktail.

May 04, 2012

Five-month-old Meatpacking spot Vinatta Project adds another reason to visit with its recently unveiled brunch menu. The bar’s custom cocktail draw stays central despite the 11:30 AM-4 PM Saturday and Sunday time slot—a $65 prix-fixe menu gets you an entrée and a bottomless pitcher of the bespoke cocktail of your choice, or pay $22 for an entrée and one tailored drink. Menu options organized by “from the egg” and “from the garden,” with a slider bar and sides to round things out, speak to all tastes.    

Sweet tooths will happily sink into lemon ricotta pancakes plated with blueberry compote and cream Chantilly. An array of egg dishes includes the hearty fry up, featuring two eggs fried to perfection, baked beans, ragu mushrooms, tomatoes, brioche toast, Vermont bacon, and hash browns. Lunch fare ranges from seared hanger steak, served with arugula, Parmesan, and roasted tomato; to tuna tartare, alongisde corn tortilla chips, guacamole, and cucumber salsa; to splurge-worthy sides like truffle fries.

When it comes time to create your bespoke cocktails, Vinatta’s amicable servers lean in and jot down your drink preferences, like doctors taking copious notes. Just as with any seasoned medicine man, the end result is a truly personalized prescription. Cocktails are offered a la carte for those not paying homage to hair of the dog, and a wine vending machine is another means of consumption.

The darker atmosphere—wrought so with wood paneling, modern mobile lamps, and black banquettes—is perfect if you’ve enjoyed too many tipples the night before. Patrons seeking sunlight should ask to be seated at the bar’s front two tables, prime for people-watching well-dressed Meatpacking shoppers. The best part is the bar’s proximity to the south end of the High Line; if your indulgence in the aforementioned pitchers and plates has you feeling full, you’re in a prime spot for a 20-block stroll on the scenic outdoor route. 69 Gansevoort St., 646-398-9125

—Cait Rohan


Openings: The Experimental Cocktail Club

The just-opened Parisian lounge boasts a secret cocktail menu and bites from The Fat Radish.

May 03, 2012

When the first Experimental Cocktail Club opened in Paris, it received much attention from Parisians and Americans alike. Its French owners were inspired by the varied options available to cocktail drinkers in New York and sought to bring American libations, like the Memphis Sour and the Old Fashioned, to the City of Light.

Finally, after five years of success in Paris (with three separate lounges, a wine bar spin-off, and a location in London) the Experimental Cocktail Club has come stateside, debuting on the Lower East Side earlier this week. The menu offers about 14 different cocktails created by bartender Nicolas de Soto and inspired by the history of the neighborhood. Also on tap is a menu of  Scotch eggs and cheeses supplied by the nearby Fat Radish. Given its location and Francophile appeal, the narrow, den-like cocktail spot is sure to fill up fast. Reservations can be made by emailing madameandmonsieur@experimentalcocktailclubny.com. The bar is open from 6 PM to 4 AM daily, but you won't find a menu on their website—these concoctions are meant to be a surprise. 191 Chrystie St.


Weekend Recommender: May 4-7

A modern retelling of The Great Gatsby, an opera infused with ballet, Derby de Mayo at Virgil’s, and more.

May 03, 2012

Dances Patrelle

Dances Patrelle
Friday, May 4, 7:30 PM
The DiCapo Opera presents “Dances Patrelle,” a show that blends opera and ballet, with performances of choreographer Francis Patrelle's Gilbert & Sullivan and The Ballet! $35. 84 E. 76th St., 212-288-9438; dancespatrelle.org

Derby de Mayo at Virgil’s
Saturday, May 5
Sport your best Derby hat and begin the day by watching the races and brunching on barbecue, Maker’s Juleps, and other Southern cocktails. At 7 PM, switch gears and celebrate Cinco de Mayo with tacos, panko-fried shrimp rellenos, and a fresh watermelon Margarita. Virgil’s Real Barbecue, 152 W. 44th St., 212-921-9494; virgilsbbq.com

Saturday, May 5, 3 PM
If you missed the first run of Gatz, you’re in luck: theater company Elevator Repair Service has brought it back. In this stunning production, F. Scott Fitzgerald's classic novel is read in its entirety, retold and reinterpreted in a gloomy office setting. Be prepared for a transcendent but lengthy experience—run time is over six hours. $160. The Public Theater, 425 Lafayette St., 212-539-8500; publictheater.org

Gregor von Rezzori’s Bukovina Trilogy Talk
Sunday, May 6, 1 PM
Writers Michael Cunningham, Deborah Eisenberg, and Edmund White discuss Gregor von Rezzori's Bukovina trilogy, a series of novels about the author’s life before, during, and after World War II in Austria, as part of the PEN Festival. The New York Review of Books editor Edwin Frank moderates. $15. The Museum of Jewish Heritage, 36 Battery Place, 646-437-4200. For tickets, call the box office at 866-6811-4111; mjhnyc.org


Mother’s Day at Bliss

The cheery yet serene spa offers packages for every kind of mom.

May 02, 2012

From pregnant moms to new moms to mothers whose children have grown, all mothers can appreciate a little rest and relaxation. And what better way to decompress than with a long, luxurious day at the spa? This Mother’s Day, Bliss spa is offering packages for moms of every type.

The Mother Glows Best ($328) package includes a triple oxygen facial, 75 minute head-to-toe massage, hot milk and almond pedicure, and a hot cream manicure. For expectant mothers, there's the Bump for Joy ($184), which includes a great expectations massage and cold feet pedicure. New moms can be treated to the New Kid on the Block ($228) package, which includes a rookie mom rubdown, an oxygen blast, and a hot cream manicure. Packages can be enhanced with add-ons, such as facial treatments, waxing, or body buffs. Mother’s Day packages are available at the 49th Street, 57th Street and SoHo locations. Call 877-862-5477 for appointments

–Jessica Ferri


Culture Watch: Schiaparelli and Prada at The Met

This year’s Costume Institute exhibit delves into the similarities between two iconic provocateurs.

May 02, 2012

To follow last year’s enormously successful Alexander McQueen exhibit, The Metropolitan Museum of Art will bring together the work of to Elsa Schiaparelli and Miuccia Prada for its spring 2012 Costume Institute exhibition, "Impossible Conversations" (May 10). 

Though the two designers never knew each other or collaborated (Schiaparelli died in 1973; Prada has only been designing since 1978), the commonalities between their work is unmistakable. For many designers, the goal with womenswear is practicality, but both Schiaparelli and Prada maintain an artful approach to style, breaking barriers with their designs. Divided into seven themes, galleries within the show range from Ugly Chic to Hard Chic to The Surreal Body. 6 East 82nd St.

—Jessica Ferri


Dinner Plans: Blue Ribbon Sushi Izakaya

The latest addition to the Blue Ribbon empire promises eight types of fried rice and traditional izakaya bites.

May 01, 2012

Quail and caviar sushi

An izakaya is the Japanese equivalent of a pub, or, more basically, a bar that also serves delicious food. The team behind Blue Ribbon has brought that concept to the Lower East Side’s Thompson Hotel with their newly opened Blue Ribbon Sushi Izakaya. Here you'll find traditional izakaya bites like beef short rib skewers and pork ribs, and a few surprises (beef tongue, chicken feet, chicken liver mousse). Other offerings include eight varieties of fried rice, quail egg sushi, and larger dishes, such as a whole steamed ginger scallion fish, for the hungrier. 187 Orchard St.  

—Jessica Ferri
Photograph by Michelle Feffer


Style Essential: A YSL Card Case

Metal business cardholders are so 2011. Sport your calling cards in this happy-chic leather case.

May 01, 2012

This leather cardholder ($165) is the ultimate in chic business dealings. Its pastel colors work the cheery spring trends and yet, there's something that says "I mean business," about a leather pouch specifically designed to hold your business cards. Barneys New York, 575 Fifth Ave., 212-450-8300 

Around The Web
Aspen Peak Magazine Austin Way Magazine Boston Common Magazine Capitol File Magazine Gotham Magazine Hamptons Magazine Los Angeles Confidential Michigan Avenue Magazine Ocean Drive Magazine Philadelphia Style Magazine Vegas Magazine