Inside the World of Hussein Chalayan
A comprehensive book sheds light on the experimental designer’s vision.
September 26, 2011
An example of fashion designer Hussein Chalayan's unique work: armchair covers that transform into dresses.
London based Hussein Chalayan is one if the most innovative fashion designers working today. The new Rizzoli book Hussein Chalayan ($85) delves into the madcap mind of the conceptual designer and celebrates some of his most famous creations, including a paper dress that can be folded into an envelope and mailed, armchair covers that transform into dresses and a coffee table that morphs into a wooden skirt. Aside from being extraordinarily original, Chalayan’s designs are also very modern, incorporating high-tech elements such as lasers, holograms and genetics. The book gives a comprehensive examination of his complete body of work—from inspiration to creation. A must-have for any fashion lover’s library.
Handbag Find: Strap Savvy
Shift the focus to the shoulder with the Christian Louboutin Artemis bag.
September 26, 2011
The fanciful Artemis bag by Christian Louboutin is as close as we have come to wearing jewelry on our shoulders. From edgy spikes to flirty tassels, the interchangeable straps are perfect for fickle fashionistas who like to transform their looks from day to day.
Fitist Gets Fashionable
Fitist pairs with designer Yigal Azrouël for a customized fitness plan with a few chic extras.
September 23, 2011
Yigal Azrouël catches a wave
Autumn has officially arrived. And though the summer swimsuit season was ample motivation to prioritize working out, this time of year holds its own driving force: fall fashion. In recognition, Fitist—a one-stop fitness and wellness website offering partnerships with top-notch studios and spas, customized workout plans and centralized class booking—partnered with fashion designer Yigal Azrouël for a plan ($350) that is both fit and fashionable. Azrouël, a rabid surfer, yogi and two-time marathoner, formulated a package consisting of 14 classes (including spinning and yoga) that reflects how he likes to work out himself. (Watch his video here.) Along with the fitness the plan throws in a free Azrouël scarf and a $100 gift card to the designer’s Meatpacking District store. Time to get moving...
Scent of a Woman
DVF unveils her self-titled new fragrance.
September 23, 2011
Diane von Furstenberg built her global luxury lifestyle brand around her signature wrap dress. The seductive, fluid, glamorous, second-skin qualities of the garment also went into her first fragrance, Diane—a musky violet and frangipani floral that hit stores this week. Bloomingdale’s, 1000 Third Ave., 212-705-2000; bloomingdales.com
Beyoncé Feels the Pulse
Beyoncé debuted Pulse, her new fragrance, to a full house of eager fans and supporters.
September 22, 2011
On September 21, amid throbbing music spun later by her DJ sister Solange Knowles, Beyoncé launched her new fragrance Pulse. Penthouse D at Dream Downtown was set with low, rectangular couches on the endless balcony affording killer views. Giant chandeliers and purple orchids (that had what looked like quilted petals) set the scene. Marc Bouwer, who has dressed Beyoncé in recent months, told Gotham his strategy for her maternity superstar look. “She’s showing,” he said. “But she’s really not that big at the moment. It’s still not a problem for clothes. She’s still not afraid to be adventurous. It’s always sexy, feminine.”
Apparently with her original fragrance, Heat, Beyoncé had already joined the troika of celebrity fragrance sellers: Liz Taylor, Celine Dion and Jennifer Lopez. (Hence the unlimited budget.) Waiters passed trays of giant tempura shrimp and plump sliders. The bars held samples of Pulse in a blue-tinged, crystal-shaped bottle that rests headfirst in a chrome vase. The scent smelled fruity and bright... fizzy. But the literature describes a pear blossom note: blue curaçao, bergamot, bluebird orchid, peony, midnight blooming jasmine, Madagascar vanilla, musk and precious woods. It of course sounds a lot cooler when they describe it.
Beyoncé herself wore a giant Heidi-style side braid. Her jacket: a sparkling Cavalli number with dark and light stripes. Her dress: sparkly and crazy-short. “Nothing was boring, nothing was wishy-washy,” Joe Zee, stylist of the Pulse print ads, said on a video about the clothes B wore on the set of the campaign. “I had on Louboutins with spikes,” she offered in person. “And every time I took a step, they would stab me. But when I have to put a Band-Aid on, I know the pain will pay off. I hope this fragrance will be as successful as the videos.”
Why Pulse? “I’m always really inspired when my pulse is racing,” she said. “Fear and anxiety keep me human. When my career is too safe, when my pulse isn’t racing... that’s when I’m nervous.” Beyoncé agrees that she is currently on a roll. “Right now is the best year of my life,” she said. “I feel more empowered than ever because I’ve been blessed with the gift of life. I’m sorry, guys. I’m a woman—and I’m sooo lucky.”
photographs by gettyimages.com
Exhibit Highlight: “Therapy”
Artist Viviane Silvera’s “Therapy,” a showing of paintings, opens at 511 Gallery.
September 22, 2011
Therapy No. 5 (Bright Window) by Viviane Silvera
The relationship between a therapist and a patient can be both intimate in nature and artificial in construct. Clinical at its roots, yet sensitive and emotional in its tenor, therapy is part science and part cinema. Roles are played, and the arcs of life stories are created. While there is a certain artificiality to the experience—it normally takes place in just one room, after all—there is also a genuine if complicated interpersonal dynamic between therapist and patient. And what is it about that room, that insulated, ascetic little world that serves as the landscape for such rugged emotional journeys?
In her latest body of work—"Therapy," which is on view at 511 Gallery through October 8—artist Viviane Silvera explores the fragile, complex world of psychotherapy inspired by scenes from popular film and television shows, including HBO’s highly addictive drama In Treatment (starring Gabriel Byrne) and the Oscar winning films Ordinary People and Good Will Hunting. A loyal In Treatment fan, Silvera considered many films—including Woody Allen’s Interiors and Klute with Jane Fonda—but ultimately chose her scenes based on body language and atmosphere. “The room is a central character, equally as important as the figures,” says Silvera. “These rooms are heavy with mood, rich in contrast between the intense light outside the windows—the real world—and the dark cave of the therapy room.”
Silvera’s exhibit makes its bold statements through layers of powerful color. Each painting began with a single wash of color (Venetian red, cobalt blue, burnt sienna) to create a strong undertone. Then working from specific screen shots, Silvera sketched the scene in white chalk over the wash before painting over it: brown over orange, red over blue, cool on top of warm, cool on cool. “Sometimes the more information you give the viewer, the more you push them out of the painting,” says Silvera, who paints with intention but revels in her viewers’ storied interpretations. Her layering blurs details but intensifies the mood, creating a sense that something is smoldering underneath—not unlike the process of therapy itself.
In the four-foot-by-six-foot Safe Passage, (In Treatment), the viewer can scarcely make out Byrne’s profile. “April,” his patient, is also abstracted. In fact, these two characters, like all the characters in the series, could be anyone. But Silvera captures an intimacy that feels immediate and relevant. In the smaller Cross Currents, (Ordinary People), the interpersonal tug between the two figures is no less palpable, the body language well articulated despite the shadowiness of the figures. The patient looks to be in a state of collapse, utterly let go. But is it out of release or defeat? The eye can’t help but be drawn to the distinct sense of light behind the therapist’s more engaged posture—as if he is pulling the boy out of the darkness.
Looking at Silvera’s work is not unlike exploring a beach in the dark—it takes some time to get situated and one’s path is not readily illuminated. But whether the eye goes to the light or to the mystery of shadow first, the viewer takes his or her own unique journey through each painting. Silvera’s series is a statement on the fragility and power of human connection, and it is not to be missed. 511 Gallery at Space B, 59 Franklin St., 212-255-2885
Burberry Prorsum puts the men’s coat center stage.
September 22, 2011
Burberry Prorsum’s Fall 2011 menswear collection is a celebration of coats. With nearly 60 styles to choose from, the British heritage brand covers any type of weather Mother Nature may unleash—from checked duffel coats in bright pops of tomato red, blue, yellow, green and tangerine, to subdued pea coats in city camels, neat tweed and herringbone. Fur collars, shearling linings and leather piping add a touch of luxe to the indispensible classics.
AvroKO Hits the Bottle
Design firm AvroKO launches its first bottle of Parole whiskey.
September 22, 2011
Design firm AvroKO’s new Parole whiskey is just as strong out of the gate as the scrappy American thoroughbred it was named for. The 90-proof rye whiskey has been aged for two years in American oak barrels to imbue subtle flavors of nuts, cherries and leather. (Taken straight up, on the rocks or with a dash of spring water, it will get your heart racing.) AvroKO, the firm that conceptualized Public, Double Crown and The Stanton Social (just to name a few), brought back this old-time firewater label from 1873 with the help of a boutique Brooklyn distillery. It hits shelves this month as the brand’s first proprietary bottle of whiskey and will be served at its newest venture, Saxon + Parole, which replaces Double Crown later this year.
Save the Date for The Divorcée Sale
The charity shopping soirée made popular in LA pops up in a penthouse at the Mondrian Soho.
September 21, 2011
In a social hotbed like New York, it’s no wonder that auctions selling the couture lots of famous divorcées like Ellen Barkin and Patricia Kluge garner historic sales. Take that phenomenon, multiply the inventory by about a hundred and add a charity component and you have The Divorcée Sale, a shopping event that benefits breast cancer research and features consigned treasures from the closets of fashionable former wives from across the country. This Friday through Sunday, The Divorcée Sale will transform penthouse two of the Mondrian SoHo into a sartorial wonderland brimming with Hermès bags, Lanvin jewels, cashmere in every possible incarnation and on-trend fall fashions. “We have quite a few capes, which is really exciting,” says sale founder Jill Alexander, a former brand manager for Tory Burch, of the New York stock.
|The Divorcée Sale founder Jill Alexander|
Alexander began The Divorcée Sale earlier this year in LA as a way for her divorced friends (Alexander herself has never been married) to cleanse their closets of their past lives and raise money for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation and Meredith Israel, a New Yorker fighting Stage 4 breast cancer. The inaugural sale was a knockdown, drag-out success, literally: “At the first LA sale [shoppers] just ran in,” says Alexander. “It was so amazing to open those doors and then just kind of duck and cover.” As news of the LA sale traveled and more divorcées came forward, a second Orange County sale debuted with great success and plans were made for events in New York, Miami and Las Vegas—reality show producers even came calling.
“Who knew it would turn into this big thing?” says Alexander of the sale, which will count New York as the third installment in what promises to be an ongoing national series. The Divorcée Sale inventory, an ever-growing pool of clothing, accessories and shoes, is curated from closets in California, New York, Florida and beyond. Alexander notes that the closet culls (although cathartic) can get personal and, at times, emotional—which is why she often shows up with cupcakes in hand.
When it comes to Manhattan divorcées and their closets, Alexander prefers not to name names but assures us that there will be a wealth of items sourced from fabulous wardrobes in this weekend’s sale. “It’s the fashion capitol of the world [so] the inventory has to be pristine and perfect,” she says. Bookended by the close of Fashion Week and the beginning of National Breast Cancer Awareness month, the sale will bring out members of the city’s most fashionable and philanthropic social circles to sip Champagne, shop and support a cause that, by degrees of separation near and far, touches every woman’s life. Check sale times and purchase tickets at divorceesale.com
Auction Block: Artists for Haiti
Ben Stiller and David Zwirner raise funds for Haiti.
September 21, 2011
No Title (From life to...) by Raymond Pettibon
Twenty-six works by the world’s leading contemporary artists are going up for auction at Christie’s on September 22 as part of Artists for Haiti, an auction with 100 percent of the proceeds benefiting nonprofit groups in Haiti. Ben Stiller and gallerist David Zwirner put together this auction in an effort to raise significant funds for children’s education and health programs in Haiti. Prominent artists including Jeff Koons, Chuck Close and Raymond Pettibon donated some major pieces to get the ball rolling. 20 Rockefeller Plaza