June 01, 2013
Photo courtesy of American Express
On February 12, Departures fashion director Amanda Ross (pictured above, right) joined Bergdorf Goodman fashion director Linda Fargo (above, left) at the Todd English–designed American Express Skybox, poised between the two tents of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week with a window overlooking each runway. They discussed the role of the modern fashion director. “Fashion casts a wider and wider net these days, especially with the growth of the Internet,” Fargo said. “Each of us attending the shows brings to it our own specific prism through which we are looking.” Ross agreed: “We interpret the designers and try to tease out what’s relevant now.” And oh yes, they both said at once, the accessory of the season is a pair of white suede Manolo Blahniks ($595; available at Manolo Blahnik New York, 212-582-3007).
May 30, 2013
When the Atlanta Food & Wine Festival debuted in 2010, the focus fell squarely on the deliciously expected: barbecue and bourbon. “There was lots of pork and bourbon in year one,” says Dominique Love, CEO and co-founder.
This year, the festival’s third incarnation—held May 30 through June 2 in Midtown Atlanta—displays a whole new kind of flavor, focusing on the South’s Latin roots, locally grown vegetables and women in the industry. And though delectable food is inarguably the star, education plays a sizable role.
“It’s kind of a cross between a festival and a conference,” explains Love, who was born in Little Rock, Arkansas, spent summers on her family’s farm in Mississippi and has lived in Atlanta for 18 years. “We really focus a lot on learning. So at the core of everything we do here is this desire to take our consumers deeper into the South.”
The event is the only one of its kind in the country devoted entirely to Southern cuisine and drink, focusing on the region stretching from Texas to Washington, D.C. Tasting tents take visitors on food-geared journeys via various “trails,” including seafood, barbecue and farm-grown fare, which showcase chefs and mixologists. A hundred cooking and technique classes (as well as cocktail demonstrations) give practical instruction, and festive evening dinners bring things together.
Three key themes—old traditions (classic Southern dishes), new traditions (emerging trends) and “other Southern” (dishes and inspirations from destinations like southern Europe) —anchor the fest. But one motif is sure to rise above as it does every year: pride. “Southerners are born loving their region,” says Love. “It’s in our DNA.” May 30–June 2; 404-474-7330; atlfoodandwinefestival.com.
May 30, 2013
Courtesy of We-Cycle
Forget luxury SUVs—bikes might just become the newest status symbol in Aspen. Adding to an already robust public-transit system, WE-cycle will make Aspen the first resort community in the country to adopt an official bike-sharing program. It’s the third project to launch in the cycling-centric state of Colorado and aims to make getting around town much easier and greener.
Formed in 2010, the long-awaited nonprofit debuts June 5 with 12 fully automated stations spread throughout Aspen’s core, giving users access to 100 bicycles from June through October. Transit is the ultimate WE-cycle goal, so the system was designed to encourage quick, short-distance trips (from $7) around town.
Mirte Mallory, WE-cycle’s director and one of its founders, was inspired by the benefits she saw bike sharing create for cities around the world and wanted the same solution available in her hometown. “Although we are a small community, we still face a lot of big-city challenges—traffic, air quality and especially parking,” she says. “Our hope is to really build on the bike culture that already exists here and have both locals and visitors use WE-cycle as a viable transportation option.”
Daily and season passes are available for purchase with a credit card at WE-cycle stations or online with a 30-minute ride maximum. And if you really want to ride the WE-cycle movement, adopt a bike for $1,500—the personal inscription on the chain guard will be all yours. we-cycle.org.
May 30, 2013
Courtesy of Chanel
Coco Chanel’s life story has been told countless times in many different ways. But the latest is relayed through her most successful commodity, Chanel No. 5, which gave birth to the modern fragrance industry. Through June 5, Paris’s Palais de Tokyo presents the exhibit “No. 5 Culture Chanel,” which travels back to World War I–era Biarritz, Grasse, New York, Cap Martin and Venice, recalling how avant-garde artists like Cocteau, Picasso, Man Ray and Stravinsky influenced the visionary designer.
“Chanel was a cougar!” whispers my personal tour guide, Ingrid, in a velvety French accent as she whisks me past a hall of Lucite boxes containing Chanel’s collection of books, letters and vintage perfume bottles. She leads me directly to a photo of the Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich, one of Chanel’s former lovers and a Russian exile, who introduced her to famed perfumer Ernest Beaux. She created No. 5 with Beaux in 1921; the perfumer presented 24 samples and she chose number five, which was her lucky number. “Chanel may have believed in lucky numbers, but she was deeply modernist and was always moved by forward-thinking artists and intellectuals,” explains Ingrid.
Other samples were later developed and sold, like Chanel No. 22, but No. 5 had the It factor and was the first of its kind to blend various scents—it contained more than 80 different notes—to create an “abstract fragrance.” The beveled square bottle, equal parts whisky flask and Bauhaus architecture, was the antidote to the flamboyant Baccarat crystal vessels popular then. Even its lab-inspired name was a deconstruction of all things gilded and gimmicky, elements Chanel abhorred.
The exhibit’s entryway Chanel garden, designed by Piet Oudolf (the Dutch landscape designer behind New York’s High Line), is abloom with purple and pink flowers. And in a loft bathed in beige, flanked by sofas and inspired by Chanel’s La Pausa retreat in Cap Martin, visitors can watch a series of Chanel No. 5 film clips, peruse a library of flora and fashion books and rummage through a chest of drawers for a DIY olfactory workshop. It is also an ideal place to reflect on the life of Chanel, who was orphaned at an abbey at age 12 but transformed herself into one very lucky woman. For a personal guided tour of the exhibit, ask for the art concierge at Le Royal Monceau Raffles Paris (37 Avenue Hoche; 33-1/42-99-88-00; leroyalmonceau.com). Through June 5; 13 Avenue du Président Wilson; 33-1/81-97-35-88; 5-culture.chanel.com.
May 23, 2013
New Taste of the Upper West Side
In a city like New York, the multitude of food options is as varied as the numerous neighborhoods that populate it. The sixth-annual New Taste of the Upper West Side (May 29–June 1), which celebrates the robust restaurant and culinary scene of the uptown enclave, gives a nod to the chefs, restaurateurs and food that bring it all together there.
Two main events anchor the festivities. On Friday night, Comfort Classics will feature neighborhood chefs and eateries showing off their versions of comfort fare. Food Network’s Adam Richman will host and a People’s Choice Award will allow visitors to vote on what moves them the most. Saturday brings Best of the West, facilitated by Gail Simmons and this year honoring Danny Meyer and Randy Garutti of Shake Shack.
“Danny and Randy can take credit for contributing in a big way to several New York neighborhoods, from Madison Park to Downtown Brooklyn, but their impact on the Upper West Side is undeniable,” says Simmons, a Top Chef judge and special projects director at Food & Wine magazine. “By opening Shake Shack, they have created a vibrant hub for all ages and walks of life to gather and nourish themselves.”
Well-known chefs and restaurants will appear, including Marc Murphy from Landmarc (a six-foot porchetta hero sandwich with pickled vegetables and parsley pistou), Alex Asteinza from Cafe Luxembourg (lobster roll), Shake Shack (buttery caramel-cocoa-nib frozen custard), Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Daniel Boulud (of Boulud Sud and Bar Boulud).
Proceeds will benefit the Columbus Avenue Business Improvement District’s Streetscape Project, the Wellness in the Schools program at the O’Shea School (where the New Taste tent is based) and Roosevelt Park at the American Museum of Natural History. Ultimately organizers hope that attendees walk away with a better sense of the neighborhood’s culinary charisma, from the farm-to-table fare at Telepan to the upstairs café at the Fairway grocery store. “I think the Upper West Side is characterized by a great mix of approachability and elegance in its dining scene,” says Simmons. “There’s lots to choose from for any taste.” Columbus Ave. btw. 76th and 77th sts.; 212-721-5048; newtasteuws.com.
May 22, 2013
Photo courtesy of Princeton Architectural Press
A far cry from the white cube–style galleries that are so popular today, outdoor sculpture parks represent a hybrid of art and nature. As Italian architect Francesca Cigola writes in the introduction of her new book, Art Parks: A Tour of America’s Sculpture Parks and Gardens (Princeton Architectural Press, June 2013), “Works of art in these spaces interact with surrounding landscapes, playing off their character, colors, and makeup; in many cases the boundaries between the works and their settings are blurred.”
The book explores three types of outdoor art parks in the United States: leisure, learning and collectors’ spaces. Leisure spaces, like Griffis Sculpture Park in East Otto, New York, are the smallest and most intimate variety, usually located outside of cities and featuring a harmony between art and nature. At Griffis visitors are encouraged to interact with the art, even if that means touching, walking through or climbing on the sculptures.
Learning spaces, housed in museums or universities, tend to have an educational and aesthetic purpose. MoMA PS1, in Long Island City, New York, holds an annual competition called the Young Architects Program, with the selected work exhibited in the museum garden during spring and summer events.
Collectors’ spaces are private collections. The General Mills Sculpture Garden, at the company’s headquarters in Minneapolis, Minnesota, is essentially an extension of the local heavyweight’s sizeable art collection. Standout works include the towering steel Man with Briefcase (1987) (pictured above), which takes a playful jab at corporate culture, and Stone Court (1988), which features a wall that is dug into the side of a hill, making for a place where employees frequently go to relax.
Whichever park you choose to visit—the country has more than 50 to choose from; there are countless others abroad—Art Parks is the perfect companion on your journey. papress.com.
May 16, 2013
Situated on Grand Avenue in Chicago’s growing design district, Martyn George—a small shop specializing in vintage kitchenware—is a find in and of itself. Owner Johanna Brannan Lowe, a photo stylist and former photographer, sources the store’s “culinary objects” herself, ensuring that the offerings are anything but run-of-the-mill.
“There is the potential to research a piece and have your own story about it, as well as a story unknown and mysterious from other lives before,” she says. “It’s fascinating to me that there are objects existing from one or two centuries ago that are still in perfect condition.”
Those objects make up a well-edited, sophisticated inventory that includes etched-glass coupes from the 1960s, English glass cake stands, bone-handled carving knives, cocktail and wine glasses and enamelware. On the day the store, which is named after Brannan Lowe’s father, opened last summer, a pair of soapstone bed warmers sold to the local prop house; currently items like vintage oyster sticks and a handsome amber-glass decanter from the ’40s are up for grabs.
Perpetually on the hunt for the next treasure, Brannan Lowe travels to her native England (for, in particular, 19th-century ironstone china) and closer destinations, such as Texas, Wisconsin and Michigan, where she has a 156-year-old home in the town of Buchanan. Needless to say, she has an eye worth following. 1855 W. Grand Ave.; 312-340-4666; martyngeorge.com.
May 16, 2013
© Ellsworth Kelly. Photo courtesy Matthew Marks Gallery, New York
The Barnes Foundation—a collection of works by Post-Impressionist masters such as Renoir, Cézanne and Matisse that Albert C. Barnes amassed between 1912 and 1952—is celebrating the first anniversary of its move to a new space on Philadelphia’s Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Marking the occasion is a new contemporary exhibition called “Ellsworth Kelly: Sculpture on the Wall” (through September 2) that includes Kelly’s landmark work, Sculpture for a Large Wall (pictured here). The massive painting, which measures 65 feet wide by more than 11 feet tall, was originally commissioned for the Philadelphia Transportation Building in the 1950s and is returning to the city for the first time since 1988.
“It has been a tremendous honor to work with an artist of his caliber,” says Judith F. Dolkart, the foundation’s chief curator. “Ellsworth’s interest in line, form and color echo elements that were critical to Albert C. Barnes’s aesthetic theories and display practice.” In addition to Sculpture for a Large Wall, seven of Kelly’s other works will also be displayed.
Reflecting on the museum’s first year in its new location, Dolkart seems pleased. The foundation brought in more than 300,000 visitors, many of whom were experiencing the collection for the first time. And those who were already well acquainted with the Barnes Foundation got to see the works in a new light, literally, thanks to a state-of-the-art system that illuminates the pieces in all their detailed glory. 2025 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy.; 215-278-7200; barnesfoundation.org.
May 16, 2013
The Boroli family, owners of Locanda del Pilone—an inn and Michelin-starred restaurant located in the Langhe region of Italy—and a nearby winery called La Brunella, are as tied to the surrounding land as the grapevines they tend. In the Langhe for more than 150 years, the Borolis opened their doors to visitors last fall, introducing their beloved area to a new audience.
“It’s a lovely and quaint environment to indulge in some of the most simple pleasures in life: food and wine,” says winemaker Achille Boroli. “Many guests have told me that they enjoy staying at Locanda del Pilone because even though it’s a luxury inn, you get the feeling that you are at the home of an Italian friend.”
The six-room inn is a restored farmhouse; part of the restaurant is made of bricks from the original structure, which dates back to the 1600s. Food factors in heavily. Executive chef Antonino Cannavacciuolo and chef Misayuki Kondo produce delicious regional dishes at the Michelin-starred restaurant. Fish is popular (the area is a 90-minute car ride from the Mediterranean coast) and Piedmontese recipes, like pasta parcels stuffed with eggplant, mozzarella, sea urchin and tomato water, shine, as does the 1,200-bottle wine list of Italian, French and American offerings. (The surrounding Cascina Bompe vineyard grows Dolcetto and Barbera grapes for the Boroli winery.)
Located near the town of Alba, the inn offers cooking classes, truffle-hunting expeditions, wine-tasting seminars, hot-air balloon flights and horseback riding. But the panoramic views—from the Maritime Alps to Monviso to Mont Blanc to the Matterhorn—could be all you need to properly disconnect. Rooms start at $130; suites, $325; 34 Frazione Como; 39-0173/365-477; locandadelpilone.com.
May 10, 2013
Photo © Valeska Soares, Finale 2013/Courtesy of Galeria Fortes Vilca
Last year’s debut of Frieze New York received some 45,000 visitors at 180 booths. This year’s fair (May 10–13; friezenewyork.com) is likely to draw an even bigger crowd to the white tent on Randall’s Island in the East River. Granted, art fairs—especially those to which visitors take a ferry—are more exhausting than movie nights, but the themes of great classics, art gems and contemporary blockbusters play throughout Frieze’s exhibits. Here, we recommend the booths that will transform the fair from crowd-navigation exercise to cinematic experience.
For Fans of 2001: A Space Odyssey
The Film: Stanley Kubrick’s sci-fi epic famously begins with man’s first defining discovery of the tool and ends with a world devolved into floating, abstract shapes.
The Fair: An array of roughly hewn tools arranged in a constellation on the outer wall of L&M Arts (B1) is immediately visible from the fair’s north entrance. The artist, Nick van Woert, is interested in Westerns, exploration and the pioneering spirit.
Works from Robert Rauschenberg’s “Glut” series, which recasts scrap metal and signage into new forms, are offset by a meteor-like sculpture at the Gagosian Gallery booth (B59).
Just next door, at David Zwirner (C48), enormous, abstract images (space, lunar surfaces, abstraction driven by camera technology) by Thomas Ruff have a magnetic pull.
For Fans of La Jetée
The Film: This disturbing work by Chris Marker, done almost entirely in still images and set in the apocalyptic aftermath of a nuclear World War III, features a man sent back and forth through time against his will, ultimately witnessing his own death.
The Fair: At Grimm (A6), a Nick van Woert contraption made from exercise machines with strap-in seats and Paleolithic-looking stone weights—part mechanism for self-improvement, part instrument of torture—gives the sense that it’s been set in motion by history.
Just across the aisle at Murray Guy (B5), Zoe Leonard’s arresting photos of animals (dead and alive) transform the natural world into something eerie and strange. Bent, burnt sheets of metal curl on the floor.
Outside Sprüth Magers Berlin London (C6), a Barbara Kruger poster reads “Truth” in bold red letters. Inside, the distorted humanity of George Condo and the history-collapsing collages of Cyprien Gaillard and Jenny Holzer suggest a disturbance of the natural order has already taken place.
For Those Anticipating The Great Gatsby
The Film: Premiering today, Baz Luhrmann’s effort promises to be a sumptuous display of romantic excesses with a tragic end, in which Jay Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio) seeks to set-decorate his way into a new identity.
The Fair: At Galeria Fortes Vilaça (C50), Valeska Soares’s work—elegant, partially filled cocktail glasses of every shape and size sitting on a mirrored table—questions whether romantic objects can signify anything beyond the fact of themselves.
The fragility of the worlds we build ourselves is illustrated by Do-Ho Suh’s fine, life-size recreation of an 18th-century apartment, rendered in transparent green fabric at Lehmann Maupin (C11).
The subtle exhibit at Frith Street Gallery (C44) includes vent grills painted silver for a luminescent effect, silver dishes flattened and suspended like mobiles (exquisitely useless) and a condemning archival print from Dayanita Singh’s archive series, in which books lie disorganized and dusty—history ignored.