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2011 April 22
Photo Via Getty Images View Gallery
It's truly a good Friday when you come across the Cribs episode of Naomi Campbell's retreat in Jamaica on YouTube. We learn some essential information about the always fascinating Naomi: She tends to get bitten by mosquitoes easily! She barbecues! She keeps Pepsi and cucumbers in her fridge! Feast your eyes on this treasure!
2011 April 22
Photo via Nowness View Gallery
Guess who! Nowness.com toured this Style Guy's Manhattan loft, taking inventory of his butterfly desk lamp and neon-lit baño. Need a hint? Andy Warhol gave him his first editorial job at Interview...Check our Gallery to find out who!
2011 April 22
We're still not quite sure how Rebecca Minkoff manages to travel so much and have an expanding empire, but we don't care because we love reading about her adventures. This week, she takes on Boca Raton. Honestly! That's where she went!
"I find myself exhausted from my lovely, albeit break-neck paced, trips to London and Paris, so I’m ready for some easy peasy fresh and ocean breezy downtime. If you’re like me, you may not jump for joy and immediately begin to pack up your shiniest “going out tops”, sky-high stilettos and skinny jeans when you hear, “We’re going to Boca!” Fair enough. That’s largely due to the pesky reputation surrounding Boca that many have a hard time relating to. That reputation brings to mind (included but not limited to) Buicks & Bentley’s, gated communities, retirement funds, early bird specials and face lifts. That’s not to say that Boca Raton isn’t without its inherent merit and charm. As my Boca-bound plane leaves cold and gloomy NYC in the dust, I take a deep sigh of relief and remind myself that in Boca, the average monthly temperature never drops below 75°…So let the relaxation begin.
The people of Boca take relaxation very seriously. Many full-time residents decided to set up shop in Boca for the sole reason that it moves to the beat of a slower, prettier, fancier, drive-your-luxury-sedan-directly-to-the-beach, kind of drum. On this trip, my drum beats at the Boca Beach Club, a Waldorf Astoria Resort, only wearing a swimsuit and a big floppy straw hat. The resort is full of amazing 1920’s southern tropical architecture, sits right on a very attractive beach, has incredible amenities (including an ahhhhhhmazing day spa) and is, quite frankly, the only place I’ll stay in Boca.
Aside from a few business appointments I have while I’m in town, I have absolutely no plans and that makes me very happy. So I decide to leave the Boca Beach Club compound for breakfast to get a taste of local offerings. I hop in my rental car and head to 4th Generation Organic Market for an energizing breakfast of fresh organic juice from the juice bar. This place is incredible; there is a grand assortment of 100% ORGANIC foods and tons of pre-made raw, dairy free and vegan foods that would be perfect-o for a casually romantic picnic on the beach. Awwww!
Feeling light as a feather and totally energized, I decide to feed the shopping bug (guilt-free) within me at Serendipity because a trip to Boca without a stop-in here just isn’t complete. This place provides a vast array of all things designer--Choo, Vuitton, Hermes, Chanel--at a VERY enticing price. You can find some amazing vintage pieces here that you can’t find anywhere else. The ladies who work here are cute as the buttons on the Chanel tweed jackets hanging on the racks, but don’t be fooled, they love a good game of negotiation.
Seasons 52 in Boca is kind of like a fancy, boca-fied version of Energy Kitchen. The atmosphere is lovely, the food is delicious and the service is charming…Have I sold you yet? No? OK, what if I told you that EVERYTHING on the menu is less than 475 calories! It’s true! I thoroughly enjoy my scrumptious low calorie lunch and I’m ready to hit the beach. Finally!
By 5 p.m., I’ve reached my sun soaking, beach combing, pool lounging maximum for the day and I realize that in Boca, the dinner bell is ringing! So I head up to my suite to get glossy (again… this is Boca) and then head for an early bite at Chops Lobster Bar for some really, REALLY, good Floridian food. I always opt for their steak because it’s the yummiest and juiciest in the area. Chops’ steaks aren’t just any ol’ steaks. These steaks are cooked at temperatures a couple of hundred degrees higher than their competitors and, while I admit I was a little skeptical, I’m a believer now! Plus, this fun little spot really appreciates the importance of the marriage between a great steak and parmesan truffle fries. One without the other just isn’t the same. The corn mash--also to die for.
After dinner, I need a sweet thing like WHOA so I high-tail it to Sloan’s for some ice cream that’s so good that I would come to Boca for the sole purpose of getting a fix. It’s delicious. Like, so delicious I don’t even know how to explain it. The décor is pitch perfect for a cute local ice cream shoppe, the scent of freshly baked waffle cones bowls you over when you walk in the door and whatever flavor you get will probably change the way you look at ice cream forever.
Next week, I’m spicing it up when I take Miami!
2011 April 22
In today's edition of La Vie en Ruffian---make that Revolutionary Ruffian--Chic columnists Brian Wolk and Claude Morais take a historical trek outside the city limits.
This week, on our way upstate on some classified Ruffian business, we were overcome with a certain sense of déjà-vu as we crossed the Bear Mountain Bridge over the majestic Hudson. Perhaps it was a past life experience echoing from this ancient cavernous gore, or the thunder of cannons from the long gray line of cadets at West Point, but we sensed we were in a holy land, in this spiritual birthplace of America. As we continued our drive on this eerie and rainy spring day, in the distance we saw a sign for the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor. Considering our Ruffian curiosity and love of Americana (especially in uniform) and our current fixation with the color royal purple, we decided to take a short detour. We hopped out of the Ruffian mobile and headed up the path toward the museum. The lovely docent explained that the Purple Heart was created by General George Washington in 1782 to award the brave men who fought for our country in the Revolutionary War. She also explained that the museum is on the Cantonment grounds that 8,000 soldiers, artisans and families endured the winter anticipating a return to the battlefield. That day actually never came. Coincidentally, on the same day we visited, 228 years prior on April 19th, the Revolutionary War ended. After the tour of the Purple Heart Hall of Honor and checking out the interactive museum, we took a walk through the Cantonment on this wet day and traced the path of our forefathers. The grounds include many extraordinary buildings including the Temple of Virtue, where George Washington addressed his patriots, commanders, friends and foes and ushered our country from occupied to independent.
While you’re visiting, you might want to have brunch at the stately Thayer Hotel at West Point or peruse some art a few miles away at Storm King Art Center!
2011 April 22
What's Chic in the Midwest? We need to know! If you've been to Chicago, you naturally know shopping haute spot Neapolitan, so we've asked owner Kelly Golden to fill us in on the latest from the windy city. She starts her column off with a bang!
"We were thrilled to have Derek Lam in Chicago last week for a private dinner and trunk show at neapolitan. It was his first visit to the store and he definitely made a lasting impression with my clients. We hosted the dinner at Sunda in the private room upstairs (a great venue to host a private event, btw), and Derek mingled with clients (most of whom were decked out in his luxurious pieces), while his Fall 2011 runway show was shown on the big screen. Derek seemed to really connect with everyone that night, probably because he designs with my customers in mind---"understated luxury," and everyone went home with an incredible goody bag filled with a few of my favorite things--Vosges chocolates, Chantecaille lipsticks, to name a few..
Having carried Derek's collection since I opened neapolitan in 2003 (the same year he launched his namesake collection), I have had the wonderful opportunity to see his designs evolve and his collection expand into shoes and handbags. And his client following has grown impressively over the years! Every single woman who came to the store to meet him and see his Fall 2011 collection bought something. I think they were impressed by not only his gorgeous collection, but also his down-to-earth, likable personality. It was amazing to see him work with clients he met just moments earlier. He was able to pinpoint their style and the pieces that would compliment them the most. He definitely impressed his longtime followers, and wooed several first-time admirers.
Derek continues to be one of my favorite designers, especially for Fall! I'll be wearing lots of his knits and coats next season, which are luxurious, and modern, yet super wearable and great for travel. I can't wait to get a dress from his pre-collection with a knit top and leather gathered skirt. It will be "the" dress to have for Fall, especially since leather continues to be so popular. And I will be forever dreaming about Derek's ombre grey fox vest with honeycomb texture--the most amazing fur piece I have ever seen!
I'm hoping Derek will come and visit next season, and so do all of my clients! I also had the pleasure of sitting down with Derek to ask him a few questions about his inspirations, Chicago and growing up in a fashion household for my blog, so I wanted to share it with you, too.
So Derek, I know that you grew up in San Francisco in a family that was in the garment business. How did that impact your decision to be a fashion designer?
Yes, my grandparents owned a garment factory in San Francisco. My parents were really young when they had us kids so fashion and style had key roles in our household, a big part of our family make-up. In the beginning, I resisted fashion for just that reason and really thought that I was going to be an artist or a writer. But as I got older, I was able to really see the potential success of combining my fashion point-of-view and creativity with a business model.
How do you feel fashion differs creatively from being an artist or a writer?
I love that fashion is always changing from season to season, year to year—it's always spontaneous. Art and writing are still a big part of my life, but I love that fashion is culturally tangible for anyone and everyone. Because I have new collections every six months, I'm able to constantly re-evaluate what is inspiring me and create collections that reflect those changes.
You are known for your sportswear pieces. Why sportswear?
I love to think of luxury in an informal way. I have purposely removed myself from couture and designs that feel uptight. When I begin a collection, I never think of complete ensembles. I think about silhouettes of items and what cuts or details inspire me for each item, such as my skirts, pants, and sweaters. Then I create looks with my samples once the design process is done. This philosophy is also how I feel my customers shop. They don't necessarily think about buying a head-to-toe look each season but instead want to find unique and special pieces that will integrate into their existing wardrobe.
I read an article on you in a local magazine recently that said that real women inspire you, and that Chicago has those types of women. What is it about Chicago that makes you feel that way?
Chicago, to me, has an indelible mark in culture through its museums, food, and architecture. It is also the epitome of Midwestern values and a beautiful urban center. Since I design with an American point of view, Chicago has an honest persona and exemplifies the best integrity of American values and style.
Wow! Go Chicago! So now that the weather is finally getting nice, do you have any fun summer plans?
I'm really looking forward to finally moving into my beach house. We built it from scratch, so it was a big exercise in creativity and a real labor of love.
Going back to your childhood, you said that you always wanted to be a writer. If you were ever to write a book, what would it be about?
I love exploring different cultures through travel so it would be amazing to write about my experiences going into an environment and discovering the overlying thread that connects us all.
2011 April 21
Photo Credit: Joan Marcus View Gallery
Singing nuns that sparkle? We're there! It's not always fashion, darlings. Sometimes even Chic needs to clear our head, so we were delighted to be invited by Swarovski to a performance of the new Broadway musical Sister Act. The show, based on the 1992 movie starring Whoppi Goldberg (now a producer), opened last night to stellar reviews. Now why was Swarovski there? The show's costume designer Lez Brotherston collaborated with the brand to incorporate over 7,000 crystals into 23 of the show's costumes to create some good, old-fashioned Broadway razzy dazz. Can we get an amen?
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