Archive for March, 2012

Three Decades of Vogue (aka “Vog-way”)

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

My mother loves to remind me that when I was learning to read, I used to pronounce Vogue as “Vog-way” (look at the word carefully and it kind of makes sense, right?).  Granted, I couldn’t make it past the cover, but even so, my early impressions of the magazine as a phone book for women who liked to wear high heels weren’t so far off-base.

Every issue came brimming with stories to read and photo spreads to get lost in, but the covers told a story on their own. Last fall, Abrams published Vogue: The Covers, an anthology comprising over 120 years of cover images dating as far back as the magazine’s 1892 launch.

It’s hard not to get absorbed in every page charting the magazine’s progression from a bi-weekly publication with painted imagery, to the fountainhead of style that it is today, as well as the histories of what was considered “in vogue,” told through those covers.

Just looking at the last 30 years is a trip. First we have the 80s where everything was indeed larger than life, from the shoulder pads, to the cover girls’ faces. It wasn’t until Anna Wintour’s arrival in 1989 that the magazine pulled out and ditched the conventional headshot image to showcase the clothes as much as the girl wearing them (Wintour’s first cover was also the first Vogue cover featuring a model in jeans).

Then we had the 90s, a decade when the covers were the domain of supermodels. Seeing those images makes me think how overrated and easily bandied about the term “supermodel” has become these days. It’s arguable, but a good case can be made that Gisele is the only model of the new millennium who’s ever come close to matching and surpassing the critical mass produced and maintained by Cindy, Linda, Kate, Christy, Naomi, etc.

And in the 2000s, the model took a seat to another female icon: the actress or all-around celebrity, which of course comprises the issue’s main story inside its pages as well. It’s not to say that anyone really “knows” an actress once they’ve read a profile or interview, but that multidimensional appeal speaks to modern times and our transparency-based culture’s need to draw more from a cover’s two-dimensional image. Forever changing, but always what’s in vogue.

Gender Bender

Monday, March 26th, 2012

It’s interesting to think that given the traditional convention—and sheer number—of men designing clothes for women, the notion of women heading up menswear labels is still fairly atypical.

Paint It Black

Sunday, March 25th, 2012

Remember that episode of Beverly Hills 90210 when Kelly painted her room black? Clearly the girl was depressed over Dylan’s reunion with Brenda, but black paint jobs like this one on East 9th Street (left) and the newly-opened restaurant Atera in Tribeca look thoroughly in tone with modern times. It’s a risky hue, but it works, no?

Well THIS Is a Surprise

Friday, March 23rd, 2012

Purse by Ugg. Yep.

(Well-played, Ugg. Well-played…)

Fashion Week, The Musical

Thursday, March 22nd, 2012











Between all the karaoke parties and dance acts of late, the fashion world seems just  a swig of champagne and a few runway twirls away from starring in its very own musical. Some favorites:

Given the economics, politics, and drama surrounding the hiring and firing of designers these days, it’s always so charming to see a more lighthearted side of the industry.

Designing Your Urban Kitchen

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012

An open kitchen has its perks — it allows you to entertain guests while preparing a meal, for example — but the all-in-one-kitchen and living room layout comes with its share of drawbacks, too (for example, couch pillows that smell like last night’s beef stew). More often than not, the impetus behind the open kitchen plan, especially in urban apartments, is to maximize real estate rather than accomodate an actual flow of space. Reed Woodson, founder of the design firm Beedus & Jardin, faced this kind of layout when renovating his own apartment in NYC’s West Village. The final product is one enviable kitchen that deserves to be seen from the living room sofa.

Here, he offers some expert advice on the subject.



Happy Birthday, Albert (Yahoo!)

Wednesday, March 14th, 2012

Happy 133rd Birthday to Albert Einstein (and a special shout-out to the “Young Einstein” I fell in love with at the tender age of seven: Yahoo Serious)

Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner

Tuesday, March 13th, 2012

I’d love to have Cindy Sherman over for dinner some night—give or take one or two of her alter egos. Maybe Robert Downey Jr., too. Whether or not they’ll actually come is hardly the point.

Call it the adult’s take on MASH, that pen-and-paper preadolescent game that predicted your future spouse, car, job, family size, and residence, and left more than a few of my friends in tears at sleepovers (we took these matters very seriously), but dreaming up different dinner party scenarios is, if nothing else, simple fun, and far less mindless than playing Angry Birds.

It’s trivial and entirely make-believe, yes, but in some sense we already do make our lives look more enhanced and attractive through Instagram and other artsy photo filters, so what’s wrong with being a little starry-eyed and entirely transparent about it? Who would be on your dinner party guest list?


Highlights From The Fountain Art Fair

Sunday, March 11th, 2012

Known for its avant-garde, outsider artwork and selection of smaller independent galleries, the Fountain Art Fair can easily be likened to the rebellious kid sibling amongst the Armory Show’s satellite art fairs. Despite being in a new location this year—the 69th Regiment Armory building (renowned for housing the original 1913 Armory show)—Fountain’s 60-plus galleries and exhibitors reliably showcased the same punkish, boundary-pushing attitude that has become the show’s trademark. Here are four artists whose work caught our eye and lingered on our minds after a dizzying day of art-spotting.



Will Torres Is Not a Fan of Liquid Diets

Friday, March 9th, 2012

Will Torres knows a thing or two about getting fit. As the powerhouse owner behind Willspace, the discreetly low-key personal training studio in NYC frequented by Bravo’s Andy Cohen, among many other stylish gents bearing jacked physiques under their fitted suits, workouts are his love and labor. But what we didn’t expect when we stopped by his newly opened 2,000-square-foot gym in the West Village, was to find someone who’s as equally passionate and knowledgeable about food as he is about total body conditioning. A self-professed Brussels sprouts lover and peanut butter addict, Torres gives us the rundown on his daily calorie intake, and explains his beef with juicing.