All the store’s a stage at Vera Wang’s new Soho outpost. The all-white theater-inspired boutique boasts dramatic spotlights and a multilevel performance space. Wang-bedecked mannequins dangling from the high ceiling aren’t the only reason you’ll be hard-pressed to tell which pieces are from the designer’s lower-priced Lavender Label and which are from her eponymous ready-to-wear line.
A hidden place within the elegant avenues of New York's Upper East Side is currently in the spotlight. The Lowell Hotel is a serene establishment that is tucked away within a residential block and surrounded by some of the top fashion stores in the world. This 74-room hotel is 17 floors full of creature comforts, refined artwork and posh furnishings, and is consistently named one of the best hotels in the world. The minute you walk into the lobby of the Lowell Hotel you are immediately hit with the smell of fresh orchids and hydrangeas. The enticing scent only gets better with the complimentary hot chocolate and cookies offered to guests while checking in (best way to beat off the New York winter chills). The Italian marble lobby is currently under renovation but is still quite extravagant, with no expense spared by the current owners. This boutique hotel has been decorated by famed interior designer, Michael Smith. He is best known for decorating the Obama’s private residences in the White House and being BFF’s with the family. When you get up to your private residence, be thankful you don’t have to deal with the typical flimsy hotel key card; you actually get an wrought iron key to unlock your oasis. One also may luck out and get one of the few rooms with an actual wood burning fireplace, a rarity in NYC. Just make sure to call down to the front desk to have them light it, while you are lounging in your sitting room, drinking fresh made Keurig coffee and wrapped in your c
Although there’s a significant Portuguese enclave across the river in Newark, the homeland’s cuisine has never made much of an impact in New York. Spanish chefs may have lately become major players on the international stage, but no big personalities have been championing the more subdued cooking of western Iberia. George Mendes, the Portuguese-American behind Aldea in the Flatiron District, makes a subtle—not bludgeoning—case for his culinary heritage, offering modern cooking that quietly telegraphs Lisbon, the Algarve and the Douro wine region. His long-awaited solo debut—delayed by construction and bureaucratic snafus—is a low-key stage for one of the city’s most original young chefs. Designer Stephanie Goto’s minimalist set piece quietly conjures up the forest and sea—with birch trees stashed in spotlighted alcoves and a blue wall shimmering like rippling water. Though quarters are tight and the decor is austere, the place still exudes bustling warmth, with service that’s attentive, not cloying, and a jazzy soundtrack—alongside the rhythmic clink-clank of glasses—trickling up from the bar. Mendes (Tocqueville, Bouley) has had an eclectic career—with French, Spanish and Austrian gigs on his rsum. Working in a showcase kitchen at the back of the long, narrow space—with a few spectator stools perched just feet away—he sends out dishes that taste like little else in New York. While the space is restrained, the food certainly isn’t. The menu, priced for the times—entres hov
Retail-store restaurants aren't often more inviting than the shops they're tucked into. Rarely do they become destinations in their own right, stand-alone bastions of revenue muscle. The ristorante atop the new midtown Armani flagship doesn't break much from convention, although it does serve dinner late, after the floors below have closed (during this time, an express elevator whisks you up from the street). Despite the loftier intentions telegraphed by its post-shopping operating hours, the place was barely half full when I dined there at night—and it sits even emptier most days at lunch, according to a spy whose office peers in from directly across the street. The vanity project, insulated from the financial pressures of a typical midtown restaurant by the fashion behemoth behind it, is perfectly fine for a restorative pause before blowing a bundle on Giorgio Armani's monochrome clothes, but not much more appealing than that. Only true fashion groupies would have a reason to make a special trip. The dining room, with sunken white chairs and booths around bare spotlighted tables, is as sleek and antiseptic as a Swiss airport lounge, with LED lights in the windows forever obscuring the time of day by creating the illusion of eternal dusk. The all-male waitstaff, clad neck-to-toe in black Armani, with identical close-cropped Ricky Martin 'dos, are as efficient (and charmless) as the sales assistants manning the fitting rooms down below. One fashion automaton, dutifully tal
New York City is in the grip of an Italian small-plates epidemic. What was once the province of the Spanish tapas bar is now a cross-cultural scourge: With so many shareable platters making the rounds, the formal and soothing rhythms of a grown-up Italian restaurant—tables swathed in white linen, four modest courses from antipasti to dolce—seem just about extinct here in Gotham. Enter Cesare Casella, a literal dean of Italian food in the city (he heads up the Italian Culinary Academy downtown), who makes a formidable case for keeping the old form alive at his new spot on Madison Avenue. Here is smooth buttoned-up service, an impressive selection of Italian wine, and food that’s creative, interesting and properly portioned for a languid meal. The restaurant a second, much larger version of his same-named spot on the Upper West Side showcases the history and regional breadth of Italian cuisine. Beyond the retail window display of cured meats lies a theatrical dining room, from set designer Dante Ferretti, combining faux-Roman statues and peeling-paint frescoes with recessed spotlights and modern white leather armchairs. Casella and his chef de cuisine—American Will Hickox (formerly of Del Posto)—mix regions and eras in a menu that’s just as diverse as the space. Oysters “Apicius”—named for the ancient Roman cook said to have pioneered the long-distance shipping of the bivalve—are gently baked in the shell under a potent coat of bread crumbs, pancetta, walnuts and anchovies.
This Aussie boutique is the brick-and-mortar incarnation of Billabout (billabout.com), an e-commerce site founded in 2011 by director and producer Pete Maiden to spotlight brands from Down Under. Maiden stocks the shop with men’s and women’s clothing ($40–$450), footwear ($40–$350) and jewelry ($45–$1,170) from his favorite Australian designers. The cozy brick-walled spot doubles as an event space and media studio for Billabout photo shoots and interviews. Shoppers can grab a cup of Hugh Jackman’s Laughing Coffee ($2) and hang out at the vintage worktable before scooping up Nicole Trunfio rose-gold studs ($287), Volley men’s canvas high-tops ($45), Mara and Mine women’s skeleton-emblazoned slip-ons ($350) and unisex Mambo printed tees ($40).
In first-class style, this high-end luggage line tapped fancy Parisian firm Guillot + Architects to conceive the slick retail space for its collection of upscale jet-setters’ accessories. The resulting black-and-cream boutique is a passport-free trip in itself: Space-agey orange acrylic cubes spotlight such travel gear as featherweight duffel bags, as well as the company’s collaborative pieces with British couturier Matthew Williamson and Aussie It designer Marc Newsom, among others.
For Time Out New York’s first free issue (which will be distributed next Wednesday), we're bringing out the big guns. We've enlisted a crew of notable New Yorkers to lend their unique eye to the magazine. The twist? Each celeb has taken charge of a section outside their typical area of expertise. Fashion designer Patricia Field, who designed the costumes on Sex and the City and the new sitcom Younger, took over the comedy section, where she edited a profile of comedian Ted Alexandro. Shopping & Style was commandeered by Daredevil actress Rosario Dawson; she helped put together a profile of fashion trucks. And Daniel Kessler of Interpol put together a feature on vegetable-forward restaurants for our food section. Meanwhile, famed chef Mario Batali teamed up with our music team to shine a spotlight on stoner rappers Joey Bada$$ and Heems (just in time for 4/20), and cabaret star Bridget Everett covered the city’s hottest wine bars in our brand-new drinking section. You can watch the guest editors in action in these videos, and pick up the star-studded issue on April 15 at any of these locations.
Yesterday, MTV brought back its classic fashion show, House of Style, as a web series with new host and the "Fancy" voice behind the song of the summer, Iggy Azalea. (You might remember when the show relaunched a couple of years ago with models Karlie Kloss and Joan Smalls at the hosts; and of course back in the '90s when Cindy Crawford was the original host.) The first ep of the reboot featured Azalea thrifting in L.A. with designer Jeremy Scott (You can watch it below). There's no doubt that future installations will take place in New York, and we hope they feature these NYC designers: Samantha PleetThanks to her fun prints and wearable designs, this Brooklyn-based designer is big hit with the indie crowd. It's time for her to get more of a national spotlight. Public SchoolThis menswear line by Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne recently unveiled a collab with Nike and also launched women's items for J.Crew. Public School is definitely this year's "it" label. Mary Kate and Ashley OlsenBecause we love their lines The Row, and Elizabeth and James, but also because it would just be awesome to see the twins on TV again. Daniella KallmeyerThis local designer's latest collection features a lot of pop art prints and tomboy shapes, which would look really good on Iggy Azalea. Alexander WangBetween his fashion show in Brooklyn earlier this year and his new H&M collar launching in the fall, it's been the year of the Wang. (Wait, that sounds dirty.)
Mon 15 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show Piers 92/94; 8am; $15–$190As fun as they are, puppy cams and viral videos can’t compare with real-life specimens as a cuteness delivery system. Coo over more than 3,000 dogs representing hundreds of breeds and varieties at the 140th annual caninefest, where dogs are judged across seven divisions (hound, toy, nonsporting, herding, sporting, working and terrier). TRESemmé Runway Studios Spring Studios; 8am; freeWhether or not you have invitations to shows, TRESemmé wants you to look fierce for Fashion Week—like, just stumbled off the runway fierce. Grab your girlfriends and head to Spring Studios to watch exclusive behind-the-scenes footage from NYW and nab the latest hair styles and trends from the second they hit the catwalk. Complimentary java and charging stations will be available while you wait for an open chair, but you can book an appointment time at firstname.lastname@example.org. FTL Moda Runway Show Angel Orensanz Foundation Center; 6:30pm; freeLike us, designer platform FTL Moda believes that NYFW (and fashion overall) should be inclusive. At its runway show, The Revolution Continues, the brand highlights models that wouldn’t ordinarily be seen on a catwalk, like Madeline Stuart, who was born with Down syndrome, and Shaholly Ayers, who will walk without her prosthetic arm. FTL Moda always saves seats for the public, so you can preview designs from some of its labels, including Italy’s FuMo Bespoke and Paris’ Lulu et Gigi, on NYC’s
December 4 Fashion Underground: The World of Susanne Bartsch The Museum at FIT ; Dec 4–5, times vary; freeCatch this exhibition on nightlife legend and Haute Couture diva Susanne Bartsch while you can; there are few opportunities to see 80 of her most iconic looks in person. You'll be able to gag over custom looks by designers like The Blonds, Alexander McQueen, Vivienne Westwood and Jean Paul Gaultier. Step into the shoes of one the city's most creative gals-about-town. Crafts at the Cathedral Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine; Dec 4–6, times vary; $6, weekend pass $7Now in its 17th year, this annual holiday artisan market, held at the palatial Cathedral of St. John the Divine, provides a space for more than 60 local crafters to hawk their handmade wares. All admission proceeds go toward the Cathedral and its programs. Neko Case + Søren Juul Apollo Theatre, 7pm; $40, at the door $45Neko Case, a razor-sharp alt-country songwriter with a golden voice, headlines this night at the Apollo Theater (moved from its previous date at the Brooklyn Masonic Temple). She released her last solo album, The Worse Things Get, the Harder I Fight, the Harder I Fight, the More I Love You, in 2013 (yeah, it’s a mouthful), and it’s every bit as knockout ambitious as the defiant title suggests. Baby Jane Dexter: It's Personal! Metropolitan Room; 7pm; $25 plus two-drink minimumNightclub legend Baby Jane Dexter connects with each song on a visceral level; if you’ve got the balls to join a r
Get cultured at The New Yorker FestivalIn the 16th edition of its signature festival, The New Yorker brings more than125 authors, actors, musicians, academics and cultural icons for special conversations, interviews and performances with the esteemed publication’s editors and writers. Today's highlights include an interview followed by a live performance from pop band Haim (Gramercy Theater; Oct 2 at 7pm; $45) and comedian Jim Gaffigan talking hot topics and hot pockets (MasterCard Stage at SVA Theatre, 333 W 23rd St; Oct 2 at 7pm; $45). Tickets have already sold out to events with the likes of Billy Joel, Toni Morrison and Patti Smith, but don’t lose all hope: A certain number of tickets will be released one hour before each show.Various locations, through Oct 4, $40–$120 Dance it off at First Fridays! at the Bronx Museum of the ArtsBXMA’s monthly affair teams up with Ana "Rokafella" Garcia to celebrate the anniversary of her breakdancing documentary All the Ladies Say. Enjoy performances by activists, rappers and other artists, along with live painting and a sensational B-girl breakdance showdown by some of the best acts currently spinning.1040 Grand Concourse, Bronx, 6pm, free Get a new tome at the Designers and Books FairBooks on fashion, architecture, graphic, interior and urban design get the spotlight at this visually illuminating festival. Grab rare coffee table books from more than 70 publishers and hear talks from artists, designers and authors, including Milton
Ready to put on some Drake? No, we’re not referring to "Hotline Bling." If you’re a hardcore beauty lover (like us), then lipstick is your boyfriend. Tom Ford understands our love and devotion to lip lacquers. That’s why the fashion designer is releasing a new Lips & Boys collection comprising 50 hues inspired by the notable and dreamy dudes he's encountered. Sigh. We wish we could say the same, Tom. Drake is, of course, involved—his track “Tuscan Leather” pays homage to the sultry Tom Ford cologne. But the rapper is sharing the spotlight with 49 other hunks, like actor Jake Gyllenhall (he will be starring in Ford’s upcoming film Nocturnal Animals). Immediately, we have so many questions. Why is Drake the debut artist and not Jay Z? Jay dedicated an entire song to Tom Ford for crying out loud! Will Drake’s shade be an emo purple hue with undertones of Wheelchair Jimmy swagger? If Jay Z is involved, will he be a bright red hue with blue undertones to pay homage to Blue Ivy? Will Beyoncé wear it?!? What we do know: These lipsticks can be yours come October 30 and retail for $32 a tube. A high-price, but we reckon it's worth it. We'll be touching lips with Drake! Oh, you fancy, huh?
COOL THINGS TO DO June 9Museum Mile Festival; Fifth AveFine-art block party! Ten esteemed institutions shut down Fifth Avenue and open their doors for a three-hour free-for-all, featuring live music and DJs. June 13, 14Jazz Age Lawn Party; Governors Island Fox trot over to Governors Island for this 1920s-themed outdoor shindig, featuring Michael Arenella & His Dreamland Orchestra and all manner of costumed revelers. June 20Mermaid Parade; Coney IslandKing Neptune and Queen Mermaid, and over a thousand other marchers, hit Surf Avenue once again to show a little—okay, a lot of—skin and bask in all things nautical. June 26–2817th Annual Del Close Marathon; various locationsThe Upright Citizens Brigade returns with its 56-hour laughathon, boasting 575 improv shows at nine stages throughout Chelsea and the East Village. June 27–Sept 5Warm Up at MoMa PS1; MoMA PS1You'll have to brave a pretty massive crowd at MoMA's über-popular summer party series, but with LuckyMe's Eclair Fifi and Hippie Dance's Pachanga Boys on the decks, it'll be well worth it. AWESOME THINGS TO SEE Through July 19Preludes; Claire Tow Theater In his new music-theater piece, prodigiously talented songwriter Dave Malloy (Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812) explores the tortured psyche of Russian composer Sergei Rachmaninoff. June 3Heisenberg; Manhattan Theatre ClubMary-Louise Parker (Weeds) plays an American in London who kisses an older man in a tube station—which results in a chain of unexpecte
What becomes of oversharing reality-TV egos after the spotlight dims? Most end up on VH1, but Project Runway winner Jay McCarroll managed to regain center stage without stooping to date Flavor Flav. Following the struggling designer in the run-up to his first “real” fashion show (11 minutes long) in 2007, this documentary reveals a more exhausted and conflicted McCarroll than the one that snarked his way to boob-tube victory. The film is less glossy than anything on Bravo, but artifice remains; think Runway Redux, only with grainy shots of artistically shadowed staircases and more obscenities. Granted, Eleven Minutes does have the patience to showcase the fashion industry’s mind-numbing compromises, and gets points for portraying the ebb and flow of actual relationships. Real life doesn’t have camera-mugging villains; the designer and his circle bounce from rosy to vividly hostile as stresses fade and intensify.McCarroll himself fires off plenty of quips: “I’m the fucking poster boy for angry insecurity,” he whines with equal parts self-awareness and performance. We’re not sure the male diva is kidding when he claims inspiration from “diarrhea and vaginal discharge,” but his talent is never really in question. McCarroll’s 15 minutes of fame came pretty easily; it’s his 11 minutes of industry respect that will make his mark.