2010 December 15

Extra! Extra! The Daily's Chic Report Haute Gift Issues Out Tomorrow!

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Jill Zarin and Zang Toi get cheeky Jill Zarin and Zang Toi get cheeky
Photo by Giorgio Niro
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Attention, New Yorkers!  Haven't finished your shopping? Chic to the rescue. Tomorrow in our bi-weekly print edition of The Daily Chic Report, distributed inside amNew York, we deal with the most smokin' haute gifts. We also sat down with besties Jill Zarin and designer Zang Toi for the most raucous holiday fest we could imagine. (A man in skirts always inspires us). Pick it up early, before they're all gone!  

2010 December 15

La Vie en Ruffian: All About Williamsburg

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Ruffian designers Brian Wolk and Claude Morais have joined Chic Report to pen their own weekly column, La Vie En Ruffian. What's a Ruffian life all about? Now we'll know!  Last weekend, they introduced friends Lorenzo Martone and Ariela Suster to their neighborhood, Brooklyn's Williamsburg, and revealed tout.  Check out the photos in the Gallery.

The Ruffian Tour de Williamsburg!

"The 400 hundred-year history of Williamsburg is as rich and diverse as the people who currently live there. Since the pioneer days, it has a unique history of harboring those who were seeking refuge from social and artistic persecution. Starting with the arrival of the French Huguenots, and most recently, a new breed of fauxhemian trust fund kids, the neighborhood has a plethora of fantastic restaurants, great vintage stores, world-class furniture shopping, and most importantly, it's home to Chez Ruffian, our own Camp David retreat for our beloved friends and out-of-town visitors.

We thought we might as well start at home for our first edition of “La Vie en Ruffian” and invite two Willy-B Virgins for a one-day cultural immersion. Lorenzo Martone and Ariela Suster made the short list, and invites were sent out. We decided to make the call time at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, considering the vast ground we had to cover. At 11:30, the Latin contingent arrived, and we jumped in to the Ruffian Mobile and headed for some breakfast at 5 LEAVES  Originally conceived by Heath Ledger, this nautically-themed Australian restaurant offers some of the finest grub in the neighborhood. Some of our favorites were the oysters, the Moroccan scramble, the grav lax plate, and the big breakie with homemade chorizo, yum.  With the warm weather on Saturday, we all decided to dine al fresco and enjoy some of the finer things that Williamsburg has to offer, namely its attractive population.

Well fed and ready to rock and roll, we took a turn around McCarren Park and headed to the farmers market in front of the Greek Orthodox Church on N12. Stocked with amazing organic produce, vegetables, meats, and baked goods, this place is the Elysian playground to any foodie east of the East River. The next stop was Organic Modernism, directly across the street. This enormous store has a quirky and extensive collection of taxidermy birds, 60s furniture, deer paintings and antlers. Next stop: The Future Perfect. This spot is a big hit among the kids. A Williamsburg classic, this design store is a refuge for those seeking gifts for those who have everything. From objects d’art to furniture and just damn cool postmodern tchotchkes, we managed to purchase quite a few things for those we love.

All this shopping exhausted our gang, and coffee was the next order of business. We knew Bakeri was going to be a hit on all levels. This charming country-style patisserie has an extraordinary array of delicious cookies, cakes, sandwiches and for the sure, the best latté in the city of New York (and yes, that includes our fair neighbor Manhattan).

Not to mention, the interior of this place made us feel like we were Laura Ingalls Wilder. The staff is dressed in the cutest jumpsuits and all look fresh, healthy and farm-fed. The exposed kitchen allows you to watch the team at work making miracles in the tiniest of spaces. With gas in the engine, we headed to our old time favorite, Ugly Luggage, the haute of junk shops. This store, and its fancy sister Portmanteau, are our go-to for Chez Ruffian and Ruffian Atelier. Its eclectic mix of furniture, objects, and knicknacks is curated by our old friend, Jim, who we think has the best hair in Williamsburg.

Continuing our Bedford Avenue stroll, we made a quick stop at Spoonbill and Sugartown  to catch up on our favorite independent magazines and art books. This filled our niche intellectual moment of the day. Lorenzo picked up a book on criminal Russian tattoos and Claude found back editions of his favorite zine, Handbook. Our next stops included Amacord vintage  (see photo of Lorenzo in his fur boots he bought!!!), Cosmos Furniture, and Moon River Chattel  (where Ariela bought a red kiddy baby sized piano!).

It was nearly dinnertime, and we needed to feed the kids again, so we headed to Walter Foods. We were joined by our friends, writer Heather Summerville and restauranteur Jean Marc Houmard. This charming restaurant with its dark wood furniture, cozy banquettes and bowtie-wearing Confederate-esque serving staff is a Williamsburg jewel. Well-priced and delicious, the lobster club, artichoke crab dip, and prime rib burgers rank as our favorites. Their whisky-heavy cocktail menu is the perfect thing for a winter’s night.

Well that’s where this La Vie en Ruffian story ends, although I can tell you there were more hours of fun at Chez Ruffian, and then some after-hours fun at one of Williamsburg’s finest dancing establishment, Sugarland, which is named after the “sweet” industry that supported the local economy here for 100 or so years.

Until next week….

Your Ruffians,

Brian and Claude



2010 December 15

Your Daily Dog: Who's My Mama?

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Mystery designer Mystery designer
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Which blonde designer rides her trike all over town with Stitch in tow? Click on the Gallery to find out!

2010 December 15

Wes Gordon Needs Your Furniture!

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Wes Gordon Wes Gordon
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Designer Wes Gordon is a relative newcomer to both New York City and the fashion world. Thank dieu he's agreed to chronicle his adventures for Chic Report in a weekly column. What's Wes up to this week? Hint: He could use a chair or two.

"After spending a year in a live/work studio space, the time had finally come
for some new digs. When I first moved to New York and starting working on my collection, I had a very romantic notion of a live/work space: I would leisurely wake up, take my time getting ready, have the worlds shortest commute and settle down in another room where I would be joined by one of two other people. This came true---for about...one day. Soon, I was overrun with nearly 20 interns and rapidly multiplying piles of "stuff" (fabric, pattern paper,samples, etc). As you can imagine, living out of a shaving kit gradually became way less than fun. I soon changed from the artist-in-his-studio to office squatter.

Having made the decision to move, I was soon reminded that New York real estate hunting is part game, part adventure, and part hell. With my best friend and soon-to-be-roommate, Alessandra "Sasha" Codinha (WWD eye reporter), we looked at what felt like every single available property in Manhattan. Actually, she looked at them---I was usually out of town for work, squinting to look at the photos she would send me on my Blackberry. Initially searching for a two-bedroom apartment in SoHo, we found and fell in love with a large, open loft on the Bowery, right across from the Bowery Hotel. Located on the top floor of an amazing old building, the space was insanely cool, albeit in need of some major TLC.

Enter George. Like the painter on "Murphy Brown", our handyman George has since become a fixture of our apartment. He's our "Mister Fix-it" with nothing he can¹t do, and we certainly keep him busy.

Once we had found our apartment and completed the initial renovations, the next task became glaringly obvious. The apartment looks great: flooded with light, great views, spacious and....empty. Our current furniture situation is pathetic. Aside from our bedrooms, the apartment contains a stainless steel table (Chinatown restaurant supply store), two velvet side-chairs, and 4 magnums of champagne (I have no idea where
they came from). And a box of Pop Tarts, cinnamon brown sugar flavor. Assorted
swag from the fashion parties Sasha covers for work litter every available surface (of which there are few): Lanvin Halloween treats, ticket stubs, a never-ending pile of branded canvas bags. She assures me she's not a hoarder, but this remains to be seen. Every morning I throw out more sugar packets that she's squirreled away from the coffee shop next-door.

So, what¹s next for us? Flea markets, 1stdibs.com, beg/borrow/steal-ing from our family/friends and maybe even a "Bring Us Your Furniture" Housewarming party: RSVP required. Champagne on tap. BYO Pop Tarts.

Real estate in New York may often be frustrating, exhausting and depressing, but I couldn't be happier with the way it's turned out for us. Even if that means our living room looks like a yoga studio for a bit longer."
Yours, Wes

2010 December 14

Decades Denim's Trunk Show Had Cookies, Live Violinist

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Cameron Silver, Amanda Ross, Angelique Soave Cameron Silver, Amanda Ross, Angelique Soave
Billy Farell Agency
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Barely in its first season, Decades Denim is found in an almost embarrassing number of stores (130) and on an enviable trove of celebs (like just today, Jessica Alba). As part of their tour across America, founders Cameron Silver and Angelique Soave hit New York (OK, the Upper East Side) over the weekend for a trunkshow to introduce their wares to the social set. Click through the Gallery for all the pics, including those of the very junior musical talent.

2010 December 14

Chic Cameos: Lisa Airan in January Elle

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Dr. Lisa Airan Dr. Lisa Airan
Photographed by Laurie Bartley for Elle
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We're so accustomed to seeing Dr. Lisa Airan's name in essentially every skincare story in Vogue that her January Elle appearance in full-page fashion glory is an especially welcome treat. She plays prop to model Valeria Dmitrienko in a story photographed by Laurie Bartley and styled by Charles Varenne. She's wearing what appears to be Erdem...a nice counterpoint her usual Rodarte and Marc.

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