Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Vivienne Westwood gives the best interviews

Vivienne Westwood was predictably spectacular when she appeared last Friday on Jonathan Ross’ BBC1 TV show to talk about climate change. She swept in wearing a gown made of 7 meters of lightweight silk duchess satin cinched with a belt, and Ross had to help her fling her train dramatically across the couch.
“This dress is really 7 metres of fabric,” she said of her ensemble. “It’s got a label on it, so there we are.”

During the course of the interview she and said the best-dressed people are over 70, clothes look better over time if you never wash them, and that people should wear tablecloths and towels and only spend money on things that are truly excellent, like Vivienne Westwood.


He had golden chains on his leather jacket

Rock and roll style and cheap, DIY-fashion are two trends that are still going strong as the recession continues. It's an easy project to combine those by decorating random shirts, pants or bags with motorcycle-inspired studs. New Yorkers can pick up studs, as well as buttons, rhinestones, ribbons and other DIY supplies at Daytona Trimming & Braid on 39th st. between 7th and 8th.




They come in silver and gold and can be found in all kinds of shapes like dots, stars, spikes and pyramids. They’re just a few dollars for a couple dozen, and they don’t require any special tools to apply. They have spiky ends on their backs, and you just push those through your material and bend them over with your hands or something hard. Knives and spoons work well for that.

In the window: LV’s dancing bags

Louis Vuitton on the corner of 5th Ave and 57th has updated its windows with animatronics that make bags spin around and glide through doors like model trains.

This logo-stamped mirror-finish monogram Speedy spins around on its axis, flashing at passersby.

Cupcakes and furniture

BoConcept, the interior design concept with 7 stores in New York, has decided to expand its purview a little bit by teaming its Chelsea store with Kyotofu, which makes Japanese-inspired pastries. The co-branded kiosk has a selection of coffees and full-sized and miniature versions of Kyotofu’s signature pastries.



Gift wrap made me do it

It can be such a let-down to spend a lot of time and money picking out the perfect gift and then get stuck having to wrap it up in fat Santas or cartoon chipmunks saying, “Happy birthday!”

Washi, traditional Japanese wrapping paper, makes presenting a gift as elegant and tasteful as whatever is inside. (Or more so. There’s no reason you can’t show up with a 6-pack of edible panties wrapped in fancy paper.)


Styles vary from cute and girly to bold and gilded to dramatically understated. How chic is that striped one on the end?


Rolls are available for $7-$16 at Kinokuniya Japanese bookstore on 6th Ave. between 40th and 41st, across from Bryant Park.

Facebook is so hot right now, says J.C. Penney

Women’s Wear Daily reports that J.C. Penney Co. Inc. is gearing up for back-to-school by launching a website for teenagers and a page on Facebook. According to executive vice president and chief marketing officer Mike Boylson, the move is part of the company’s plan to get deeper into digital media this year.
In a classic, “You’re a great girl, but …” moment to traditional media, he explained the strategy by saying: “Traditional media is still important, but each year they are losing their effectiveness and costs are going up so we are evolving from broadcasting to narrow casting, which is much more targeted.”

That sound you hear is a million print journalists crying over their lost ad pages.

[Women's Wear Daily]

Tie one on

A lot of guys don’t start having to wear ties regularly until they grow up and get jobs at places with dress codes. They probably know how to put one on, but a lot of them don’t know what to do with it once they’ve taken it off. Ties like to hang flat so their insides don’t lose their shape, so it’s not a good idea to store them in a roll in your sock drawer. Besides, you don’t want your head to smell like feet. To protect and store ties, you need an old-school tie rack so they can hang flat.

This one is a good option because it won’t take up a lot of room at the end of your closet. The ties go inside the arms and drape over the side so they won’t slide off. If you hang the ties with their ends towards the back, you’ll be able to slide out the one you want without disturbing the others.

This one spins.
It seems like an inefficient use of space, but it’s a neat toy.

If you’re a fancy guy who owns many leather-bound books, something like this might be more your style:

That one has the benefit of also being able to be used for belts, so your artfully distressed, reclaimed-leather ceinture doesn't start to look scruffy. But belts can be difficult because when you get them all properly stored, the next one you want is inevitably at the back of the belt hook. This belt-holder co-opts three-ring-binder technology to store belts on big clicky circles, so you can open them wherever you want to retrieve the desired one.

Above items sourced from The Container Store

Monday, July 13, 2009

Store Sidekicks: Swatches The Boston Terrier, At Mood

This is Store Sidekicks, a new end-of-the-week feature where we profile the fuzzy wuzzy creatures that inhabit shops across the city. If you'd like to nominate your favorite store animal, drop us a line at


Swatches the super-friendly Boston Terrier is an enthusiastic greeter at the Project Runway-featured Mood Fabrics on 37th. Boston Terriers are known for being intelligent and loving the company of humans, and Swatches’ super puppy brain has keyed him into the prime people-meeting areas of the store. Most days he can be found by the front of the store near the cash registers or the store entrance, wherever there are more customers talking about how cute he is. Swatches prefers back rubs to tummy rubs, and he likes to eat chewing gum, which is hilarious.

Coloring book chic

Designer Berber Soepboer created her “Colour-In” dress with the idea of making clothing that would be partly designed by the person wearing it. The dresses were made for an exhibition about a textile factory, but the Colour-In dress’ flattering cut, graphic pattern and playful, coloring book aesthetic attracted enough attention that it was put into production. The black and white dress comes with textile markers for coloring in the pattern to create a unique garment that is customized for each wearer.


The Colour-In dress is available by special order for 238 Euros or $333 at http://berbersoepboer.nl.

Street Scenes: India at Kinokuniya.

Today's Street Scenes subject is India, shot at Kinokuniya on 5th Ave. between 40th and 41st. Feel free to vote on whether you like or dislike her outfit below. Your choices are 'Perfection!,' 'So close,' 'I feel strangely ambivalent about it,' or 'Who did this to you?'


India is wearing a blazer and shirt by H&M, shorts by Target, shoes by DV Dolce Vita and a bag from Foley & Corinna. Her favorite store is The Reformation.

This is India at Kinokuniya. What do you think of her outfit?

Thursday, July 9, 2009

If Landmarks likes it, then you should put a ring around it

Lately I've been writing a lot about restaurants in Landmark-protected buildings. Historical sites are fantastic for restaurants, because they come equipped with a natural sense of history and ambience that is really difficult, and expensive, to fake. The down side to that, however, is that the Landmarks Protection and Preservation Commission is extremely dedicated to keeping these spaces as they are, and they can be tough about letting restaurateurs change things like lighting and fixtures.

New York Magazine's design editor, Wendy Goodman, discovered that the Ace Hotel in New York found a clever way to get around the problem by installing hanging lamps that ring the space's columns without actually touching them.

From Nymag.com

While we're on the subject of Landmarks, another benefit to landmark status is that your insurance is required to replace everything exactly as it was in case of a fire or other emergency. Without Landmark status, an insurer can, and probably will, argue that there is no need to replace a 19th-century tin roof with another tin roof, when something modern and cheaper would do just as well.

For more landmark restaurants, see also:
The Oak Room