Pumpkin Sweets at Payard
Delectable Thanksgiving treats arrive at the lauded patisserie Payard.
November 10, 2011
Pumpkin macarons at Payard
How does Francois Payard say “Happy Thanksgiving”? With exquisite pumpkin pastry, of course. For holiday travelers, an airline security-friendly sleeve of Payard’s pumpkin macarons makes a lovely homecoming or hostess gift. The luscious pumpkin tart, made with spiced, roasted pumpkin and topped with a soufflé of orange blossom marshmallow meringue, will instantly elevate any holiday table. Pick one up, or have one delivered straight to your door. 116 W. Houston St., 212-995-0888
The New York Times Presents “Fifty Photographs”
Five fashion designers partnered with the The New York Times to curate a special kind of photography exhibit.
November 09, 2011
The New York Times has partnered with five fashion designers for its “Fifty Photographs” exhibit. Diane von Furstenberg, Prabal Gurung, Zac Posen, Michelle Smith, and Vera Wang delved into the newspaper’s photo archive and selected the images that most closely resembled—and inspired—their own sense of style. The result is on display at Bloomingdale’s 59th Street through November 26. Below, Zac Posen discusses his photo choices, his fashion sense, and the influence New York has had on his lines.
How did you choose your 10 images? What drew you to them?
ZAC POSEN: I started by pulling different topics of the moment that interested and inspired me. I followed up with a trip and sifted through the amazing New York Times archive. I was interested by the idea of focusing on abstract and ethereal imagery of the universe and its similarities to close-up and detailed shots of our own planet’s imperfections.
What is your relationship like with New York? Does it inspire your fashion sense?
ZP: As a born and raised New Yorker, it’s in my blood. I have drunk the water everyday. I love interacting with the people of my city, and am inspired daily by their energy and creativity. I think New York is the greatest city in the world.
What is the future of fashion? Where do you see the business going?
ZP: I believe that the inevitable advancements in technology and machinery will create a higher quality, more imaginative, and quick-to-market products. I love the highs and lows of fashion and its ever-evolving conversation with the times.
The Fifty Photographs collection is available for purchase at fiftyphotos.com.
Jennifer Lopez, We Love You
Notes from the Glamour Magazine Women of the Year Awards and the Accessories Council's Ace Awards.
November 08, 2011
Busy month. Not only was Dispatches invited to the Accessories Council's Ace Awards at Cipriani 42nd Street on Monday, he caught (that same night) the Glamour Magazine Women of the Year Awards sponsored by L'Oréal Paris.
At the Ace Awards, Coco Rocha wore a necklace with claw-shaped crystals that she designed for Senhoa, an organization that employs and benefits young women caught up in human trafficking in Cambodia. Designer of the year milliner Philip Treacy mentioned that when he came to America some 20 years ago, people would say to him, "You make what? Like I was committing a crime." Award presenter Christian Louboutin said he was traveling with Diane von Furstenberg the next morning at 5 AM to Brazil. "We travel all the time together," he said. "We're best mates."
Glamour-ous Women of the Year
Dispatches then raced across town to Carnegie Hall for the Glamour Women of the Year Awards. I arrived so late the will-call window was closed, so I watched from the uppermost balcony in a sea of youths. T, a woman who had experienced human sexual trafficking firsthand in California beginning at age 10 and now fights to end it, spoke on stage. "A part of me wants to break down and cry," she said. "But I cannot mess up this fabulous Tory Burch dress."
The memorable moments didn't stop. "Egyptians are a very great people who deserve to be known," said Esraa Abdel Fattah, the architect of the Egyptian revolution, who waged a war on Facebook and was at one point jailed. "This honor means that the Egyptian people deserve freedom and democracy." She received a standing ovation.
Condoleezza Rice introduced Laura Bush and her daughters. Young Barbara said that she learned in Glamour that seven out of 10 women try to give their men serious makeovers. "I tried," deadpanned her famous mom.
Presenter Jennifer Aniston swept onstage in a black number with a sheer train. "Um, I rarely comment on my personal life," she said. "But I am here to tell you I'm madly in love with the one and only Chelsea Handler." "Like most logical people in the entertainment world," Aniston quipped. "I only appeared as a guest on her show at first so she wouldn't talk shit about me." Handler then exhorted us gals in the balcony. "You really can do whatever it is that you want," she said. "You just have to get out there and f-ing do it." I felt empowered.
Tears flowed when Diane Sawyer introduced Commander Mark Kelly, husband of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who was shot on January 8 in Arizona. "As the husband of Gabrielle Giffords, I know what it takes to be a woman of the year," he said. "Somebody with her perseverance to get better, her will to recover, who reminds me every single day to deny the acceptance of failure."
Donatella Versace also took to the stage with her trademark voice."I sent her several dresses for the evening," she said of Jennifer Lopez before her appearance at the 2000 MTV Video Music Awards in her infamously sexy jungle print Versace dress. The designer added that she had thought, "She's never going to wear it..."
"You're beautiful!" the gals surrounding me yelled out to Lopez. "What?" she yelled back. "You're beautiful!" they all shrieked. "I had an incredible year of ups, and some not so ups," she said. "But the one thing that got me through were the women in my life... all the way down to my daughter Emme."
"I love you," screamed the shrill 20-somethings. "I love you guys!" Lopez yelled back in my general direction.
photographs by gettyimages.com
Alicia Keys and Friends Keep a Child Alive
Alicia Keys' Keep a Child Alive Black Ball was a showcase of hot musical talent.
November 07, 2011
Alicia Keys and Swizz Beatz
Getting blackballed usually means you don’t get into the club. But not when Alicia Keys hosts her impossibly starry annual Keep a Child Alive Black Ball charity gala (held last Thursday), which posthumously honored George Harrison for his 1971 Concert for Bangladesh. “You gonna know my name by the end of the night,” is a line in the song "Bright Lights" by Gary Clark Jr.—who performed the track at the gala—and Keys wouldn’t have it any other way.
“I don’t know if you’ve heard of him,” said Keys, sparkling in Lorraine Schwartz jewelry, of Clark as she made her way into the event. “But hurry up and Google him before you’re late.” “We’re doing a version of “My Guitar Gently Weeps,”" she added. “I mean rrrrr!” (Clark’s guitar sure did sing like Harrison’s onstage.)
Keys' Keep a Child Alive charity fights to get medicine, care, and support to children and their families living with AIDS in Africa and India. Through her efforts, she has already raised $16 million for her cause and is basically considered a saint. The foundation supports 11 clinical and orphan care centers in five countries. The fabulously talented performer-composer also produces her impossibly wonderful Black Ball benefit concerts, where she gets her well-known friends to sing along with her—for example, unexpected guest pal Usher.
Alicia Keys' Star-Studded Lineup
On his way into the Hammerstein Ballroom, Richie Sambora told Dispatches, “Alicia and I are going to do some George Harrison stuff [a sweet version of Harrison’s "My Sweet Lord"]. I walked into rehearsals the other day, and when she opened up that voice of hers the angels were in the room. It’s beautiful. I get a rush right now thinking about it. And the things she’s does with this charity. I just can’t speak enough about her as a human being.”
“I’m going to be singing "Something,"" said Jay Sean, an ambassador for the foundation, on his way inside dressed sharply in D&G. "I love the song anyway. And then to be able to sing it with Alicia... incredible.”
Later, Will.i.am and Keys performed “Tonight's Going to Be a Good Night” with their fists pumping. His tux featured a large polka-dot pocket square flapping like a flag. “I’ve loved her since I was a child,” said model Chanel Iman, who made her shimmering silver Naeem Khan dress look even better than it had on the runway. “Oh, my God,” she told Dispatches. “I love Alicia Keys’ music, love what she does.”
At one point Sambora worked a double-necked guitar onstage. The killer star combos included Usher and Sambora jamming back to back. Keys and Olivia Harrison, George’s widow, embraced poignantly onstage. Towering supermodel Tyra Banks, in a floor-length purple gown, gave an assist to the auctioneer; the gala raked in a whopping $3 million. “I am overwhelmed by the kindness,” said Keys on Friday.
photographs by gettyimages.com
Ashley Greene Steps Up for Avon
The Avon Foundation for Women Global Voices for Change gala was musical, inspirational and packed with talent.
November 03, 2011
A funny thing happened on my way to the Avon Foundation for Women Global Voices for Change gala on Wednesday. I happened to grab an elevator at the Marriott Marquis with the contestants for the international Avon Voices contest. For most of the seven-floor ride I thought, "Wow, the Avon sales team sure is slinky and hot these days." The ladies wore black feather earrings and rich-girls prom dresses, but they also had swagger like youthful MTV VJs.
As it turns out they are all enormously talented singers and cutting an album for Avon soon. Cissy C., an American, wore a bouffant that had a kind of Mohawk stiffness. Jaclyn D., also from the US, worked a dirty-blond shag. Others included Joy L. from the Philippines, Natalia T. from Russia, and Canada’s Selena G., who ended up nabbing the Avon Rep title. Boy, did she deserve it. She blew everyone’s socks off with her version of "Midnight Train to Georgia" complete with high-altitude gospel flourishes.
Back in the elevator, some dude (not me) couldn’t help but ask the gals, "What event are you all attending?" (Implying, "And can I go?") Pant, pant. "Avon," was the right answer. On floor seven we also encountered Avon Voices judge Natasha Beddingfield, who said she was wearing DVF. Ashley Greene, the new face of DKNY jeans, wore a sizzling custom Donna Karan cobalt satin dress with one strap and material bunched in waves on the front that matched the screen-siren waves in her luxuriant chestnut coif. She is so pale in person. The camera loves her—she lit up the video screen onstage.
The winning and lovely Andrea Jung, chairman and CEO of Avon, which has donated $860 million to women’s issues, including the fight to eradicate breast cancer and to end violence against women, informed the audience that Greene is global ambassador of Avon’s affordable Mark brand and in that capacity has admirably taken on the fight to end dating violence and partner abuse. Nice work. “I was initially drawn to Avon’s Mark brand because I thought the products were great,” said Greene. But ultimately what drew in the young star, she said, was the fight to “end violence against women.”
She then introduced an award given to Glamour’s inspiring editor Cindi Leive for the magazine's controversial, comprehensive, and hugely influential survey that ran in June on dating violence. Greene mentioned the story of Yeardley Love, a 22-year-old political science major at the University of Virginia who was killed by her partner. Shockingly, according to Greene four American women a day are killed by men in their lives.
At the end of the night, a super-animated Fergie, who put on an amusing mid-Atlantic accent, announced the winner of the real people contest, Evelina A. from Lithuania. “Wow, listen to that falsetto,” Fergie yelled out onstage after A. sang “I Will Always Love You," hitting impossibly high notes with astonishing force. “Damn!” offered a flabbergasted Fergie. Facing a dreamy landscape of crystal chandeliers, the young Lithuanian star drew tears when she thanked Avon and said, “I was dreaming about such a moment since I was 14.”
photographs by gettyimages.com
The celebrities came out in full force—and in full costume—this Halloween night.
November 03, 2011
There were two can't-miss Halloween bashes this year. The first was dGi Management’s bash held on Friday at the Hudson Hotel. Thrown by Yoni Goldberg and Damon DeGraff (who dressed up as Larry Bird and Magic Johnson, respectively), the fete got underway early at Good Units with some help from the Svedka Fembots, who passed out vodka shots and glowsticks to costume-clad guests.
The real treat of the night came courtesy of MC Hammer, who hopped on stage and belted out a few of his hits. The best was “2 Legit 2 Quit” because Hammer dusted off all his original dance moves and showed the crowd his fancy footwork hadn’t diminished over the years. Reverend Run and Pete Wentz were also in the house.
Happy Halloween Heidi Klum
At Heidi Klum’s Halloween party at PHD at the Dream Downtown, the celebrities poured in dressed to the hilt in fantastic costumes. British singer Natasha Bedingfield channeled her inner hip-hop backup dancer with pants pulled low and a white tank top, and told us her scariest Halloween memory was the year her parents decided not to give out any treats. “In England people think more about the trick than the treat, so I remember hiding and turning off all the lights hoping no one would see me because I was sure everyone was going to trick us.”
Jersey Shore castmate Vinny Guadagnino came as Zoolander and admitted to us that, “I’m not looking forward to washing off this eyeliner because I don’t know how to do it and it’s supposed to stay on for a week.” We’re sure you can find a lady to help you with that, Vinny.
Actress Michelle Trachtenberg, done up as Sally from The Nightmare Before Christmas, quipped, “Every year, I go with the crazy getups and none of my friends recognize me. I’m like, ‘Hey, it’s me!’ and they’re like ‘No, go away.’ But random people on the street are like, ‘Hey, it’s Michelle Trachtenberg.’ How can they tell!?”
Fergie kept her answers in character—a beauty queen à la Toddlers & Tiaras—when we asked for her favorite thing about Halloween: “It’s Halloween everyday for me because I’m, like, number one!” she said before batting her eyelashes at us and blowing a kiss. You have our vote, madam.
Tyson Bedford, dressed as a US Marine, summed up the night best. “The worst is trying to figure out how to get all your friends to one party, and try to get to the next party," he explained. "Trying to corral everybody... there’s someone who got drunk, somebody’s costume fell apart, and this person is stumbling.”
Hijinks Around Town
Elsewhere in the city, Katrina Bowden, Matthew Settle and Christian Siriano joined Malibu Black for its Skater Zombies and Surfer Chicks extravaganza, which featured a performance by Salt-N-Pepa. At The Electric Room under the Dream Hotel, Mark Ronson hung out with Orlando Bloom. And at V Magazine’s Halloween party co-hosted by Terry Richardson, Victoria’s Secret angel Candice Swanepoel was spotted chatting up Duran Duran’s Nick Rhodes.
photograph by gettyimages.com
New Yorker to Know: Chrissy Crawford
Meet a member of APrivateClub.com, New York’s most elite social networking site.
November 03, 2011
Photograph by ElkStudios.com
When the economic downturn dealt a crushing blow to the art market, Chrissy Crawford, a then independent curator for prestigious galleries and collectors, took her passion for art to the digital space. Armed with the belief that everyone should be a part of the conversation on contemporary art, and a desire to expose young collectors to emerging artists, Crawford founded ArtStar.com, an online gallery of sorts that curates a collection of affordable, limited-edition prints and original works by new and established artists. Similar to ArtStar, Crawford also helms LittleCollector.com, which specializes in contemporary prints for children. Contributing artists include Shepard Fairey, Kenny Scharf and Cynthia Rowley.
What has been your proudest moment?
Launching ArtStar and LittleCollector. I completely underestimated the challenges associated with starting a company, raising money and seeing something through. It took years to get both projects off the ground.
What about New York inspires you?
This city is Darwinian. You have to be smart, talented, hard working or have some edge to make it here. I love talking to people with vastly different backgrounds and experiences and learning as much as I can. Living here challenges you every day.
What was your childhood ambition?
To live in NYC, work in art and dress like Madonna, circa 1986.
What do you love best about living on the Upper East Side?
Central Park is so convenient. Also, proximity to great museums, classic New York restaurants—and the people watching! The women in my neighborhood take it to a whole new level and I admire that.
What is your wildest dream?
Backup dancer for Beyonce.
What was your last purchase?
A Brendan Carroll Polaroid work with text.
Describe your perfect New York day:
Sleep in. Take a walk along the High Line with my husband. Visit the new gallery shows in Chelsea, and then wrap up the day with dinner and drinks with friends in the West Village—preferably somewhere cozy.
Chrissy Crawford's City Picks
To learn more about A Private Club, visit aprivateclub.com
New Fragrance: Gant Pour Homme
Gant's new men’s fragrance conjures scents from the seashore.
November 03, 2011
Gant Pour Homme Eau
Inspired by the leisurely New England lifestyle, GANT Pour Homme Eau (from $65) combines the talents of perfumer Pierre Wulff and perfume bottle designer Pierre Dinand, who crafted the bottle for Yves Saint Laurent’s Opium in 1977. The resulting scent evokes crisp sea air and wood and tar qualities reminiscent of weathered shipping boats. Refreshing hints of lemon, lavender, coriander and sandalwood cut the woodsy, nautical notes for a refreshingly masculine drydown. The ocean blue bottle, a molded glass design mimicking wicker transport baskets used on olden cargo ships, echoes the maritime theme of the fragrance. 645 Fifth Ave., 212-813-9170
Heidi Klum's Haunted Halloween Bash
Heidi Klum hosted her annual Halloween party and wowed (as usual) with her costume choice.
November 02, 2011
Heidi Klum and Seal
Every year, as Heidi Klum's Halloween costume takes on a greater degree of difficulty, drama ensues when she shows up late to her ever-popular Halloween fete. Last year she kept fans waiting in the freezing cold. This year she and Seal arrived as Planet of the Apes-style primates, but the makeup took forever and she didn’t arrive until after midnight. It wasn’t even Halloween when they walked in the door.
HobNob Wines and Smartwater sponsored the fun party held at the PH-D Rooftop Lounge at theDream Downtown hotel. When the dream couple finally showed at nearly 1 AM, they were clad head to toe in fur fabric. Klum had realistic-looking fake primate boobs with big nipples; Seal was oddly anatomically incorrect, like a G.I. Joe doll. How long did all of this take? "Six hours,” said Klum. “It was supposed to be two-and-a-half, three hours. But you know how that goes.” And what will it be like to get all the makeup and hair off? “Oh my God,” said Klum, her ape lips moving like a Caesar. “It’s going to be awful.” She explained that she had a "prosthetic” glued to her face. Was Seal cool with this look? “Yeah, well, I had two ideas because I had two parties [another in Vegas on Saturday]," she said. "He could only come to one party because he’s on tour, and he picked the monkeys.”
Klum wasn’t the only animal on the red carpet. Jessica White carried a snake, which got oddly close to this reporter's face. Was it tricky to walk the red carpet with the reptile? “Well, if you know how to handle a snake it’s just like dating a man,” said White. “It’s when you stop controlling them-—that’s when they bite.”
Kyle MacLachlan, dressed in orange, offered me a Ritz cracker with spray cheese (a welcome snack even though his finger touched the cheese). “It’s actually Easy Cheese,” he indicated. “They don’t make Cheese Whiz anymore." He picked up his orange Crocks at a celeb golf tournament with Mario Batalli.
Fergie, who arrived carrying a trophy and wearing a tiara, refused to break character. How long did her getup take? “Oh, this is normal for me,” she said, insisting that she was Stacy Ann Ferguson from Toddlers & Tiaras. “I’m number one. I got the crown.” Doutzen Kroes said that she had on a latex Catwoman suit made by a designer who does a lot of work for Gaga. Meow!
Usually when one waits so long for the guests of honor to arrive, a party is dead by the time a worn-down journalist gets inside. But this party had legs--models in bunny outfits and sexy bejeweled costumes. There were superheroes and aliens. And in the back UNICEF had a computerized photo booth which sent pics directly to guests' e-mail addresses. Want a fun Halloween fete? Ape Heidi and Seal’s... but be on time!
photographs by gettyimages.com
The King of Barolo Comes to A Voce
Winemaker Franco Conterno will be the guest sommelier for one night only at A Voce Columbus Circle.
November 01, 2011
Vintage Aldo Conterno Barolo
A Voce continues its Guest Sommelier Nights with a visit from Franco Conterno of Aldo Conterno winery, often referred to as Italy’s “King of Barolo.” Conterno will be at the restaurant’s Columbus Circle location this Friday (November 4) to offer wine suggestions and insight on the nuances and delights of his family’s Barolos. For the occasion, select Aldo Conterno wines normally offered by the bottle will be available by the glass so diners can fully explore the fruity breadth of Conterno’s Barolos. Adding another layer of luxury to the evening is the restaurant’s ephemeral burrata con tartufi bianchi special, a dish of flown-in-weekly Puglian burrata and intoxicating white truffles that is available on weekends only for a limited time. 10 Columbus Circle, 212-823-2523