Gallery Show: A View From Above
Artist Olive Ayhens draws downtown Manhattan as seen from a skyscraper.
September 21, 2011
A drawing by Olive Ayhens
Olive Ayhens’ Lower Manhattan is a “field of towering organic forms in the process of growth and decay,” animated by resolute strokes of transparent watercolors and ink. This and other similarly illustrated neighborhoods currently occupy the Adam Baumgold Gallery (through October 8) in an exhibition called “New York Drawings” that depict the artist’s personal and anecdotal connection to the city.
Ayhens describes her process of looking at the city from above as a viewing of a growing organism through a microscope. She began drawing New York as a recipient of the World Views residency, which granted artists studio space in the former World Trade Center. Part of her practice includes working inside high-rise buildings for the unique perspectives each provides. A Wall Street office building afforded her a view of the location of her former studio (now the construction site of the 9/11 Memorial). Included in the exhibition are cityscapes showing the September 11 Monument in various phases of construction. 60 E. 66th St., 212-861-7338
Daphne On Display
Daphne Guinness showcases more than 100 pieces from her inimitable couture collection at the Museum at FIT.
September 20, 2011
Daphne Guinness has arguably the most covetable closet in couture. A fashion icon in her own right, the heiress is a serious collector with a keen eye and a bold, fearless personal style that changes the way people think about dressing—which all warranted an exhibit devoted solely to her. Valerie Steele, director and chief curator of the Museum at FIT, spent two years with Guinness selecting which 100 pieces would be displayed. A strappy body-hugging black Azzedine Alaïa dress made the cut. As did a bright kimono dress by Alexander McQueen when he was still at Givenchy. If you didn’t get enough at the Costume Institute’s McQueen exhibit earlier this year, this is your change for more: Daphne Guinness includes more than two-dozen McQueen garments that have never been displayed, in addition to extraordinary haute couture from Chanel, Dior, Givenchy, Lacroix and Valentino. The exhibition will be on view through January 7, 2012. fitnyc.edu
View From Above: Central Park
Photographer Betsy Pinover Schiff captures Central Park from a vertical vantage.
September 20, 2011
A photograph of Central Park by Betsy Pinover Schiff
Betsy Pinover Schiff spent a lifetime taking photos of landscapes and gardens (she authored six books on the subject), but the past five years have been spent tackling the 843-acre expanse of Central Park—from above. Her new book Windows on Central Park: The Landscape Revealed ($45) includes more than 140 dazzling photos taken from private apartments on all four sides of the park. Celebrities, including Candice Bergen, Donald Trump and Giorgio Armani, occupy some of those residences. From intimate third-floor scenes to panoramic vistas 67 floors up, we get a glimpse of beloved Central Park from a rare vantage in different seasons, from morning to night.
Fitness Find: Barry’s Bootcamp
LA’s favorite boot camp is now in NYC—prepare to get fit.
September 16, 2011
Instructor Joey Gonzalez, Barry’s Bootcamp COO and celebrity trainer
Barry’s Bootcamp, a longtime fitness favorite based in LA that has sculpted thousands of bodies into its signature sexy shape, has finally found a home in New York City. Opening earlier this summer to great fanfare, the super-challenging boot camp beloved by celebrities (Katie Holmes, Selma Blair and Josh Hartnett included) and mortals alike is well worth a visit. (Co-founder Barry Jay Stitch started the workout in West Hollywood 13 years ago.) Boredom is simply not an option. Sessions are broken into 25 to 30 minutes of cardiovascular intervals on treadmills and 25 to 30 minutes of strength work on the floor. While one half of a class does moves like bicep curls, dumbbell twists, tricep dips, wall sits, planks, chest presses and push-ups, the other half sprints away on the treadmills. The movement never stops, and neither does the calorie burn. Each day focuses on a different body part, which keeps the body guessing and—even more importantly—progressing. During one treadmill interval during our workout, a woman leaned over with a pleading look and asked, “Is this the last one?” It wasn’t. The final one did arrive eventually; our body had no idea what had hit it. And that is just the way Barry and his team likes it. 135 W. 20th St., 646-559-2721
Fashion Week Wraps Up
The final night of fashion week held several star-studded parties, including one for the film Straw Dogs.
September 16, 2011
The final night of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week started with a scream courtesy of the Cinema Society screening of Straw Dogs, a thriller that left everyone a little spooked. “I’m not a fan of horror movies,” Alexander Skarsgård, one of the lead instigators in the film, told us. “But I do like psychological movies that have a build to something.”
James Marsden, who plays the lead, recounted one recent moment worthy of inclusion in a thriller. “I was in my house in LA, and I swear there was a person walking on my roof," he explained. "So I called the cops and they came immediately and there was no one there. I heard it again, and went out and looked and it was a raccoon the size of a Great Dane. But the funniest part was when the cop left earlier, he told me just to give the prowler the old Cyclops blast with my eyes.” (Marsden played the laser-eyed superhero in X-Men.)
The lovely Kate Bosworth, who plays Marsden's wife in Straw Dogs, has a similar reaction to things that go bump in the night. “I automatically assume any sound I hear when I’m alone is definitely something or someone lurking in the dark for sure,” she told us, wide-eyed. How does she handle it? “I’m one of those people who has the phone in the hand and waits to see if there’s another sound," she replied. "I’ll call my mom within the first ten minutes. When I’m old and gray, I’ll probably still be calling my mom when this happens.”
Marsden also told us the best part about filming Straw Dogs in the South was the heat. “It was really 100 degrees every day, so when you see us sweating in the movie, that’s authentic," he said. "I remember James Woods wanted none of the air conditioning they were pumping in in-between takes. ‘Turn it off, let’s sweat, let’s get into the Southern feel.' I was very excited to take a shower at the end of every day.”
Fashion Afterparty Fever
Post flick it was on to the Marc Jacobs fashion show afterparty, held at the brand-new event space at the Dream Downtown Hotel. Michael Pitt, Sofia Coppola and Dakota Fanning all sat in a neat row on a banquette in the corner of the room (right in front of an enormous poster of Fanning’s ad for Jacobs’ fragrance—not that Fanning seemed to mind much). All went smoothly until Lindsay Lohan blew in like a gale-force hurricane, led by Dream hotelier Vikram Chatwal (whom she’s been romantically linked to for some time). Lohan and her group of 10 hangers-on took over a sizeable section of the corner just two seats down from Fanning, who looked on with a confused, perhaps slightly scared look. (No surprise given Lohan's bloody antics the night before.)
But she was gone less than 10 minutes later and resurfaced downstairs at The Electric Room for a third night in a row. Mick Jagger was also in the intimate, subterranean venue. The Rolling Stone came with girlfriend L’Wren Scott and Daphne Guinness and commandeered a huge center table. Everyone fawned over the rock icon, who was effusively polite and courteous to all around him. He ended up engrossed in a deep conversation about touring in his native England with two friends near the bar. After staying for a half hour, he quietly slipped out a side door and into his waiting ride.
photograph by gettyimages.com
Drybar Blows In
The trendy Los Angeles blow-dry bar sets up shop in the Flatiron district.
September 16, 2011
Whether your locks are curly, straight or in between, a good blowout will send you into the day or night feeling lighter, bouncier and gorgeous. Such is the case at Los Angeles import Drybar, which opens today in the Flatiron district. We bellied up to Drybar earlier in the week at an exclusive preview, where an army of stylists clutching bright yellow brushes and blow-dryers coiffed editors’ locks into the salon’s bouncy blowout styles: Southern Comfort, Mai Tai, Cosmopolitan, Manhattan and Signature. (There is also a Shirley Temple for pint-size clientele.) All styles run $40 with wash included and scalp massages ($10) and treatment shooters ($20) are also available. We love the bar setup where clients and stylists sit on one side and bartenders serving Champagne, lemon-infused water and sweet treats man the other side. A back room with a chic blow-dryer chandelier is available for bachelorette parties, birthday celebrations and the like. Yet another NYC Drybar will open soon in Le Parker Meridien hotel. 4 W. 16th St., 212-561-5392
Lichtenstein in a New Light
A new exhibition showcases Roy Lichtenstein’s less famous works.
September 16, 2011
Roy Lichtenstein may have been famous for his stenciled benday dot paintings, but the artist’s repertoire went beyond comic-strip art. Shortly after the climax of the American Pop Art Movement of the 1960s, Lichtenstein experimented with a series of entablatures—architectural moldings horizontally placed above columns. An exhibit of his entablature paintings from 1971 to 1976 will be on display at the Paula Cooper Gallery from September 17 through October 22. Some are replications of ancient Greek and Roman designs, but a large source of inspiration came straight from Manhattan’s own famous façades. 534 W. 21st St.
Matthew Williamson lends his expertise to new packaging for macaron purveyor Ladurée.
September 16, 2011
Just when we thought macarons couldn’t get any more fashionable, New York newcomer Ladurée taps Matthew Williamson to makeover its signature boxes. The new packaging is covered in a psychedelic pink-and-blue butterfly print and available for a limited time at the Upper East Side store. 864 Madison Ave.
'Tis the Season
From (a badly behaving) Lindsay Lohan and Jay-Z to Gus Van Sant, the stars come out as a busy September rolls on.
September 15, 2011
Bryce Dallas Howard at the Restless screening afterparty
Jay-Z was in the house as Nas celebrated his 38th birthday party last night at Catch Restaurant. The sunglasses-clad rapper posed with Nas and Zoe Saldana before munching on some fantastic bites from the kitchen. Common, Bradley Cooper, Tyson Beckford and Ne-Yo were also in the house.
Down the road at V Magazine’s fashion extravaganza at Boom Boom Room, guests untangled themselves from myriad dangling balloon strings as they tried to navigate the beyond-packed room. We spotted Lindsay Lohan, who changed dresses during the brief hour we were there. While she managed to keep her imbibing to water, her table of friends—including her mother Dina—hit the Champagne like it was going out of style. They also used their table as the backdrop for an impromptu photo shoot: One of Lohan’s girl friends—dressed only in a gold skirt, black bra and teensy jacket which covered nothing—hit the shutter so many times we thought André Balaz had installed a strobe light in his venue.
Which made it rather ironic when Lohan completely melted down later over a partygoer snapping photos of her. The trainwreck shouted at the frightened woman, who couldn’t duck in time before a rocks glass came flying her way. Unfortunately Lohan’s aim was spot-on and the glass shattered all over the woman, cutting her severely. The amount of blood was staggering, especially when the lights came on a few seconds later. An ambulance and the FDNY were called to treat the poor victim. Unsurprisingly, Lohan fled the scene quickly. (She was later spotted hanging at The Electric Room, acting as though nothing had happened.)
At the decidedly tamer Cinema Society and Dior Homme screening of Restless, director Gus Van Sant said the subject matter of the film—a girl who is at the end of her battle with terminal cancer—doesn’t make him contemplate his own mortality more. “At least not any more than friends that I have that have cancer,” Van Sant told us. “Friends that maybe don’t have more than months to live. It doesn’t make me feel, though it makes me think, perhaps. But it doesn’t make me obsess over my own mortality. More about theirs.”
At the screening's Electric Room afterparty, sponsored by GQ, we caught up with actress and Restless producer Bryce Dallas Howard, who told us the film made her think more about her own relationship. “I’m a Howard and Howards mate for life, so one of the first people I was in a relationship with was my husband and we’ve been together for ten and half years," she explained. "I’ve always been relying on people over and over and over again, and the consistency of those relationships definitely helped me get through hard times."
Across the room, Hung star Thomas Jane picked up a very pretty blond in a red dress. But unlike his character of a downtrodden gigolo, Jane was suave and confident, slipping his arm around her as they huddled close on a Chesterfield couch. Moments later the duo was out the door. Jane played the gentleman, opening the door to his SUV for the lady.
photograph by gettyimages.com
50 Cent Saves the World
50 Cent has a new charitable venture and a new album on the way. We catch up with him.
September 15, 2011
50 Cent’s multi-platform empire continues to grow. The rapper was on hand at the Library at the Hudson Hotel last night for the launch of his latest venture, Street King, a new energy shot with a charitable twist. The dapper entrepreneur chatted with us about how Street King is going to help feed Africa, his new album and why he would never get into a feud with Justin Bieber.
I often lack energy and am sometimes unfocused. Will Street King be my savior?
50 CENT: [Laughs] This will change your life. It’s a new energy shot that provides an unparalleled boost and focus for people who want to enjoy an active lifestyle.
And it’s good for the world, right?
50 CENT: Yes. I went to Africa on tour and that experience made me want to do something different. The energy and the circumstances that people there live under are so different—far harsher that what we consider the hood or the bottom rung of the ladder. It’s so much harder there than it is under the circumstances that I grew up in. I see that and I want to do something that helps the change. So we came up with each Street King purchase would also provide one meal to someone in need in Africa. We do that through the World Food Program, which is one of the most reliable organizations. To get that type of partnership going wasn’t easy. I worked on it a while. If this business model takes on, I think more people will start adapting.
Your portfolio of business partnerships is so vast. How do you select from all the offers for sponsorship?
50 CENT: I like to do things that reflect my lifestyle. There are no alcoholic beverages. Alcohol is easy. Where is alcohol consumed? Where music is played. The bar, the nightclub, the strip club. Wherever you go to get a drink, there’s music. It’s so simple to make that marriage. I didn’t go that route because it’s not my lifestyle. I don’t drink. It’s got to have a healthy component. But even though health is so important to me, it has be a comfortable fit. I’m not going to turn into Billy Blanks on you and come out with a fitness video. That’ll take some time before I’m willing to do something like that. I’m not at the point in my career where I have to make moves out of financial desperation.
And you’re still creating new music.
50 CENT: That’s right. I’ve got a new album coming out in November.
You and your record label, Interscope, had some differing viewpoints on how to market and release this album. You held off until you settled your issues. How do things stand now?
50 CENT: It’s technically my last album with Interscope and now we go into the negotiation phase to see whether I’m going to stay at the house or if I have to move out.
Are your bags packed?
50 CENT: Whichever way it shakes out, it’s always going to be difficult no matter what label you’re with. You never hear an artist say "I love my system completely." You get that feeling that they’re not doing everything they could do for you. But that’s just how it is.
In the rap game, feuds seem to have progressed from two competing artists to artists publicly fighting with their own label.
50 CENT: Maybe. But the feud still exists. What happens is the hip-hop game is competitive. It’s such a small patch of new hip-hop artists that are really relevant and you have to have the kind of character where you’re sure people will respond for you to get that negative energy to start a feud. I’ve just gotten a chance to [participate in a feud] way more often than Justin Bieber.
You should start a feud with Bieber…?
50 CENT: [Laughs] Naw, naw, ‘cause his fans don’t understand after you say sorry when it’s all over. They might not forgive you. A little 12-year-old girl somewhere will still always be angry with you for saying something bad about Justin. She could stab you! She’ll still be that mad.
photograph by gettyimages.com