Friday, February 22, 2008

I want an easyWATCH!

Yet again, the British have all the good stuff.

easyGroup, who have brought you such family favorites as easyJet, easyMoney, easyCruise, easyHotel, and my personal fave announce easyWATCH!!!

I was skeptical at first. I mean these watches are cheap, ranging from $20 - $50...but then I saw the designs, and now I want me an easyWatch! Peep my picks below.

Via Switched On Set.

SWINGIN PAD: Perfection in a Stairwell

Interior design meets your wildest dreams...coming to us out of London. Click here for more info and drool-worthy views of this masterpiece.

Via Apartment Therapy.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

RIDILUX: A cashmere/gold blend jacket

This $12,000 cashmere-and-gold woven jacket is one of those pieces you read about, and immediately you have to show to everyone around you, so that you can all form a loud "whoaatt?!" in disbelief.

Well, that's what I did. Saw it in Departures Magazine a couple months ago, and thought of it while I watched hot men try on discounted Helmut Lang suits at the Barneys Warehouse Sale today.

So this is the Luigi Bianchi Mantova Golden Jacket, and it is indeed 12K. It's only available from Burdi in Chicago, which is a boutique I've never heard of, despite my having lived in Chicago and been on its retail scene for years...


IN GOTHAM: $200 for a hunk of hollow neon plastic

Always a fan of bright colors and modular design, I popped into the Karim Rashid opening this evening at Elga Wimmer Gallery in Chelsea. The show is "Bloblove," and ummm snap judgment: Rashid should stick to product design and stop trying to like, sell his artistic residue.

Anndd that residue is listed as $4-6K for a print he digitally turned out, and $200 for each of those plastic pieces above. Or...BARGAIN! You can have 20 of them for $1500. Mr. Wearing-white-from-head-to-toe-well-almost-cause-his-
shoes-were-pink-tonight better not quit his day job.

Going into the gallery as a fan of Rashid's Dirt Devil Kone, his packaging for Method, and his chair for Veuve Clicquot, I was expecing some...funky originality. BUT, it was all very 1990s Trapper Keeper.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

On Retail.

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a minimum wage worker in possession of a retail job must be in want of a life.

If you have, or are currently working retail, or you only feel safe shopping chain stores, please read the stories below. They are from "the only gawker blog worth reading, Jezebel,"* and they are rife with illicit content. Just another argument to be an educated consumer.

From the "I Work Retail" category on Jezebel:

I have been lucky. Successfully avoiding clothing chains, I have worked for retail companies who not only valued my contributions, but who have allowed individually awesome people to work next to me; this includes a dude with a huge nosering like a bull, others who chose to wield weapons of razor-sharp cynicism and sarcasm instead of sex appeal, and many who really didn't give a damn and thus maybe actually liked what they did. Despite my good fortune, I still feel for people stuck in retail hell, knowing that I barely skirted it myself.

I've heard similar tales from friends: starbucks dealing more addictive substances than just coffee and chocolate, h&m s&m, and the all-too-common stories of Abercrombie driving its associates to shoplifting. And people wonder why I have NEVER purchased anything from A&F (or ANY of their stores), or American Eagle, or American Apparel, or ... noticing a trend here.

The Italians have all the good stuff the best freaking art exhibitions, not to mention culture in general. OK so this show is over as of 5 days ago, but I am still totally into the concept. You see, the ruling office in Italy is like a hallway in a slapstick comedy, with various players good and bad chasing each other in and out of doors, crawl-spaces, and kitchen appliances.

Recently the comedy seems on fast-forward, with Prodi deposed, parliament dissolved, and an election at hand. This is manifest especially on the streets, as election posters layer over ads layer over election posters. Above is a poster for an exhibition studying these paper layers of contemporary history...and I think it is brilliant. The Italians have all the coolest political drama/poster design/cultural exhibitions.

(and a woot for the IHT)

Freaking finally! Ketchup-flavor Crisps!

Went on an innocent trip to the grocery store the other day, and discovered that FINALLY, my international gustatory vice of 5 years ago has made it to the States. Ketchup-flavor potato chips, and many other savory combinations, have been long available outside of our culinarily (is this a word?) backwater country.

Traveling out of Roma-Termini countless times yet years ago, ketchup-flavor crisps were always in my bag. Because of this, when I crunch through a bag of these I am transported to musty Trenitalia compartments, or the smoking car of the 7am Eurostar through Bologna (this was before the smoking ban on the Eurostar). Thus, I've truly missed having these chips!

Granted, Herr's is an obscure brand, but it is a step in the right direction! Perhaps one day this nation will embrace prawn cocktail-flavor crisps, but let's take it one step at a time and start with a minority president.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

IN GOTHAM: MoMA Store <3 Alessi

I love primary colors like a fat kid love cake. Last night the MoMA Store hosted a small fete to reveal their exclusive re-release of classic Alessi products. I've been an Alessi junkie since high school, so I got myself on the list and wore my best black-and-white mod print smock dress.

At the party on Spring St in Soho, the scene outside was all confused passers-by angry at the concept of having to be on the list, while inside the prosecco flowed and the only people who seemed to be on the list were Europeans with gravity-defying hair and personal clouds of musk. Ugh, I love these people. They are the kind I'd love to have full photos of, where I can take a pencil and make notes and comments all over them.

SO...making a break for the excellent finger foods (thank god for the northern Italian theme), I was quickly distracted by the bright colors and geometric shapes of the Issey Miyake Bilao tote. That is kinda how the evening went... all bold colors and shapes interspersed with beams of bright light and cocktail gherkins. And they still have MUJI stuff downstairs.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

SWINGIN PAD: Bathrooms only Cavalli could love

WHOA! Animal-print bathroom tiles from Settecento. Whoa.

I have to say, the texture on these tiles is amazing, but I'd imagine that they only look great in super-modern, model homes. Or hotels. I can totally see these in a future Vikram Chatwal property...or you know, Cavalli's house.
Via Trendir here and here.

FASHION WEEK 08: YY and Y-3 Joint Opening

Fashion Week? More like Yohji Yamamoto Week. Yea, sorry about that. Someday, I promise, I'll be more proactive about varying my Fashion Week attendance.

So I totally hit up the Meatpacking District joint opening of the Y-3 store and the Yohji Yamamoto store. It was also one of those nights where I had many spots on the "list," but everyone I invited was either sick or uninterested. So this party of 1 quickly did what anyone trying to pass as a fashion week insider would do: appeared as unaffected as possible, all the while stalking the pretty drink and hors d'oeuvres boys with my peripheral vision.

Free to be my product-obsessed self, I passed the ice bar at Y-3 only to stop in my tracks and affectionately pet the limited-to-50 NY-edition $500 Y-3 sneaks (see below), made with denim from Yohji's atelier. Not a minute later did I spy my love across the room, and made a bee-line before the server with the pretzels could block my way. There it was...the pair of Y-3 bootie wedges featured in the F/W 07 ad campaign (below)! You may think they were inspired by the odd heels on MJ's S/S 08 shoes, but NO! those came a full season after these.

Anyways, both stores were gorgeous, and the merchandising was sooo intensively thought out that I wonder how different they will look once the star pieces sell out. Also, the triangular brick Yohji store was covered in a temporary plastic cocoon (see pic above) which effectively glowed, and made it seem (along with those light balls which appear to have fallen onto the street straight from the S/S 08 YSL runway) that a ginormous ethereal bug has made a comfy home in the MePa.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

A LA MODE: Plaid like whoa

...and these are only a sampling!! Plaid is apparently the THING for fall/winter 2008. This is even after I saw the dude above (the one in purple plaid) at the Caravan show last September wearing yet another head-to-toe plaid ensemble. Turns out, that's his constant schtick.

Anyways, the last two looks are straight off my Y-3 runway, where Jessica Stam rocked a yellow plaid jacket with scarf that I totally crave. And that second dude, with the bag and pointy shoes, well he is the notorious dandy Patrick McDonald. I kind of love him. I mean, you have to read about his mouse encounter...

So yes...plaid. The other day I saw someone wearing a plaid shirt, which happened to be the spot-on same plaid as my Catholic elementary uniform skirt.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

FASHION WEEK 08: Y-3 Runway

That, my friends, is the runway from Sunday's Y-3 Fall/Winter 2008 show at Pier 40. A solid wall of ice blocks, backlit at first by blue and green, which turned to this bright white when the show started. Before reaching this main area, we walked out onto Pier 40 through a darkened parking level, the way lit only by green light beams across the pavement. Once in, we were handed a double pack of Handwarmers (score!) and found super-soft cream fleece Y-3 blankets at our seats. I was located 6th row, about 30% of the way down the runway, and in front of the Japanese trendspotters.

I uphold my earlier statement that I would (and want to!) wear everything ever produced by Y-3; that includes the plaid swag, Chanelesque jackets (typical Yohji), and head-to-toe scarlet. And yes, that is Irina Lazareanu pulling that suitcase below. Also spotted (model wise) were Jessica Stam, Freja Beha Erichsen, An Watanabe (whom I've met), and that really pretty Japanese male model who opened the S/S 08 show. There were also the requisite celebs, but whatever.

The show closed with the line-up backlit only by the super-bright ice wall, which then began a 2-minute simulated winter storm. I was truly freezing up in there. Alack and alas, Y-3 is hot.

(Note: My camera had some serious issues that night, so please excuse the Getty Images)

I am the Good Samaritan of the blogosphere - HA!

Soooo quick story: Almost 2 years ago I stopped into my local Louis Vuitton to check out their guidebooks set (bet you didn't know they had one!). The store had one set left, sitting in a drawer, and they wouldn't let me open it. Two months later I scored a single book of a 2002 set for $1 at a rummage sale in Chicago's Gold Coast.

Fast forward to late January 2008, when I'm on perhaps my fourth daily visit to, and I see that they've posted about the LV City Guides, and they ask if any readers have seen the contents. If so, does anyone have pictures of the interior? HELLO - I had my single guide sitting to my right. So I scanned in some pages and sent them along to notcot with my love.

Now I'm just going to show off. Jean at NotCot posted my pics and credited me, and now I feel all cool. Check out my awesomeness: HERE!!!
(BTW - The content of the LV Guides isn't great at all. It leans to be as genericly charming as possible, and each book only contains 4 small illustrations. Better go with Luxe Guides.)

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

FASHION WEEK 08: X, Y-3, and Zeal

When you think of NY Fashion Week, perhaps you get excited at the prospect of seeing the hottest new wrap dress at DVF, or what styles from Badgley Mischka will be on the next red carpet. WHATEVER. Even though I wouldn't turn those tickets down, the FW show I live for is Y-3, and funnily enough, it's the only one I can legitly attend.

Why am I so hot for Yohji Yamamoto? It's simple, really.

  1. I love saying his name. I freaking love it. It's become onomatopoeia in my mind...describing the sound of slick aesthetic; if "slick aesthetic" had a sonance, it would be yō'jī yä'mə-mō'tō.
  2. After learning his name and saying it a few times, I took a look at the brand and decided WHOA this is totally hot. I would wear/carry every (and I mean EVERY) piece ever marketed. A Zac Posen dress might make you look chic at one annual fancy event, but a Y-3 outfit gives you a style boost every day and ON THE STREET. It does for me.
  3. Y-3/YY has achieved the perfect triple balance of supply, demand, and price. You can successfully hold the lines up as a style barometer. Supply is limited, and only sold at boutiques where you'd have to be "in the know" to discover even the store (examples: Complex Platinum Club, Flight 001, and George Greene). I spent late 2006 stalking Nordstrom's racks hoping to see a certain blue Y-3 hoodie with white branded elbow patches, which never showed. Demand is high and not solely riding on trend. Y-3 falls comfortably in with street wear, where exclusivity is tops. Also, the Japanese name and superb fits are super popular with current trendsetters, who lust for other international urban/secret brands like Visvim, Surface to Air, and Gareth Pugh. Price is totally within reach, if you manage to find the stuff. Shoes max out around $500 and clothes start at $40 for tees (but particularly unique runway pieces could be closer to $1000).
  4. I've bought into it. I'm not standing here talking about the awesomeness of Yohji with no Y-3 in my closet. I LOVE what I rock, and as it should be with great clothing, there is a story for each piece. Here I admit to also having a single Stella McCartney for Adidas item...shhh...
So there is a primer for what is to come. Now that I have you allll psyched up, I promise a report tomorrow on the Y-3 runway (which was Sunday, but I'm tired right now).

IN GOTHAM: The "weeks" continue...

Ahhhhh, a Sunday all-you-can-drink prix fixe brunch in the Meatpacking. So hit the spot!

Right on the heels of Restaurant Week, we've got good ol' Fashion Week (but at least fashion week is a true week, unlike RW which was 2 weeks). Anyways, I shall report from whatever scraps of Fashion Week get thrown my way, as occasionally I happen to be in the right place at the right time, wearing the right dress ;).

Thanks go out to Amanda, for going with my crazy flow this weekend, and knowing to keep the mimosas coming.

Saturday, February 2, 2008


A ceiling of swords, points down. Kobe Club is one of those New York experiences (albeit newish to the scene) where its combination of red meat, leather, and faux danger attracts the best of the smug B&Ters for a drink at least. In fact, the Lincoln Tunnel seems to funnel directly in here, as I witnessed during my restaurant week dinner here with my roommate.

After following last year's juicy feud between NY Times' Restaurant Critic Frank Bruni and China Grill's Jeffrey Chodorow, I was so tickled by the hilarity of it all that I knew I HAD to pay a visit to ground zero Kobe Club.

Flanked by a bad-mannered Astoria couple and tables of polo-wearing groups with Jersey accents, our 8pm dinner (score 1 for me on awesome reservations) quickly became an exercise in carnivory. Our choices:

  1. Tuna Tartare with creme fraiche, ponzu, citris, mustard-chili oil, and sesame wonton crisps (we both ordered this)
  2. Japanese Wagyu 10z chopped sirloin with Vidalia onions, roasted bacon, and chive mashed potatoes. Glass of Argentinian Cabernet Sauvignon. (Dgenale had the American hangar steak with roasted onions and garlic)
  3. Assorted fresh berries with cream (Dgenale had the Classic Creme Caramel)
For the most part, these items also featured on the regular menu (except my sirloin was 2oz less than the menu one). I totaled it up to compare with our $35 restaurant week cost, and each of us would have paid about $105 for our meals. Granted the service was excellent, but the meal was so heavy it could only sit well with the clogged arteries of the B&T.

SWINGIN PAD: Atomic Ranch Magazine

Look, I'm young, so go easy on me when I admit that only a little more than a year ago did I learn the term "Mid-Century Modern." I was rounding a magazine rack at the Borders at Clark & Diversey in Chicago, when a floor stack of Atomic Ranch Magazine made me halt in my tracks. It was one of those moments where I find myself whispering aloud "what is thatttt?!" with the realization in the back of my mind that this is a miniscule life-changing moment.

This magazine can be tricky to locate at bookstores, but when I'm in the mood for it, I will dig through Budget Living and ReadyMade even for a back issue. So now I know that Mid-Century Modern is my idealllll. I WANT that driveway pictured above, and I WANT a huge print by Shag in my den (ok, I already knew and loved Shag), and I CRAVE colorful ball chairs and floor pouffs like nobody's business. Now, how to translate all this to the interior of my future yacht...