December 31, 2012
© James T. Murray.
Back in 2007, Tom Ford led the way for men’s scents in the ultra-prestige-fragrance market with the introduction of Tom Ford for Men. Those who never wore cologne or were mostly familiar with the likes of Brut and Old Spice suddenly paid attention, and the idea of spending a little extra for some masculine essence gained traction. Fast-forward to 2012 and the house of Ermenegildo Zegna, which has just launched an exclusive collection of five scents called Essenze by Ermenegildo Zegna, inspired by its couture line. Just as the house owns mills for its suits, it has planted and harvested a field of bergamot in Calabria, Italy, to create these very individual eaux de cologne. $195 each; zegna.com.
Indonesian Oud: Crafted from rare oud wood, this scent is long-lasting. It was designed with an eye toward men in the Middle East, especially those who must wash when they pray five times a day.
Florentine Iris: A mix of three iris varieties paired with bergamot, jasmine, violet and musk, this fragrance attracts the modern Frenchman.
Javanese Patchouli: This is not the patchouli of incense and the hippie movement, but rather a scent that will appeal to men worldwide for its unique blend with Italian bergamot, pink pepper, tonka bean and cedarwood.
Sicilian Mandarin: Mandarin oil formulated with bergamot, spearmint, petitgrain and moss creates a scent as complex and alluring as the Latin man who may wear it.
Italian Bergamot: The lead scent in the collection, it represents the epitome of a refined Italian nobleman. The peel of the fruit is cold-pressed, like olives, to release citrus oils. Neroli, rosemary and vetiver finish it off.
December 27, 2012
Photo courtesy of Jonas Mekas
“Memories?” asks Jonas Mekas, the Lithuanian-born, 90-year-old filmmaker from off screen in the opening of Outtakes from the Life of a Happy Man. “They say my images are memories. No, no, no. It is all real, what you see.” Called the “godfather of American avant-garde cinema,” Mekas premiered Outtakes earlier this month at London’s Serpentine Gallery (Kensington Gardens; 44-20/7402-6075; serpentinegallery.org) for his eponymous and long overdue retrospective (on view through January 27, 2013).
Outtakes will unspool alongside six other films and walls of photographs, poems and installations culled from 64 years of work—from the hundreds of binders and boxes that line the walls and windowsills of his New York studio to his thousands of hours of film. “If It Moved, Jonas Mekas Shot It,” read a headline in The Times when the retrospective opened. And he did: John Lennon’s birthday parties, Salvador Dalí’s happenings, friends at dinner, a baptism, a cat.
Over the title card of As I Was Moving Ahead Occasionally I Saw Brief Glimpses of Beauty, he reflects, “I have never been able, really, to figure out where my life begins and where it ends.” A light flashes on and dims in a window. He confesses that he wanted, at first, to make meaning by giving order to the moments he caught, these seemingly random glimpses of lives led. But then, “I gave up. And I began splicing them together by chance, the way I found them on the street.”
Photo: Colourscapes, 1993 © Nobuyoshi Araki, courtesy of Michael Hoppen Gallery
A more traditional form of collection is on view at the Michael Hoppen Gallery (3 Jubilee Pl.; 44-20/7352-3649; michaelhoppengallery.com) in “Finders Keepers” (through January 31, 2013), which features three floors of 130 photographs from the private collection of director Hoppen. It is the largest public exhibition the gallery has put on to date. “I found these images in markets, other dealers, auctions, meeting families of photographers and, of course, pure chance,” he explains. They are hung with notes that describe the incidents surrounding their creation (“A large stag hangs outside an ice-cream parlor somewhere in the Midwest”) and the encounters that led Hoppen to find them (“When I took over the lease at 3 Jubilee Place in Chelsea in 1984, I was clearing out an old cupboard there and came across a group of pictures”).
“I am always looking for interesting things to look at,” says Hoppen. “Pictures that change my point of view or inform a particular attitude. For the show I wanted to select mostly unknown pictures.” Some moments in these images are caught at random—a powerful mobster or an image of nude legs in the sun by Jacques Henri Lartigue—but most are artful, staged scenes, like the anonymous portraits of boxers or chimney sweeps and Richard Avedon’s Dovima with Elephants.
There is something delectable about seeing it, the same naughty delight one would get from riffling through the file cabinets of a museum. The show neither fears the grotesque nor disdains beauty, but it delights in surprise: Garry Winogrand’s Park Avenue, New York involves a convertible, a fashionable couple and a monkey.
As Mekas puts it in Outtakes, “I like what I recorded with my camera… Why else would I show it, share it with you? I like these images. This reality of images.”
December 26, 2012
Courtesy of Audi USA
Many of us consider skidding across a frozen pond on a cold winter’s day one of the greatest joys of childhood, and Audi has now recreated a similar thrill for adults. Its Ice Experience takes place on a wintertime course—usually a frozen lake in Sweden or Finland—against the backdrop of some of the most awe-inspiring settings on earth.
Audi hired a team of experts to teach intrepid drivers the ins and outs of handling an S5 Sportback, testing their abilities to navigate a slalom course or perfect handling skills while negotiating the frozen tundra. Uwe Fricker, a top driving instructor, says the experience isn’t just for thrill-seekers—there is a practical side, too. “Participants are learning how to maneuver their vehicles to avoid dangerous situations,” he says. “While driving against a stunning European landscape, they are also learning how to perfectly control a drift. Winter conditions are generally dangerous because people tend to lose control of their vehicles. When people participate in this program, we show them how to maintain control in even the most extreme conditions.” Fur coat not included. From $4,000; audiusa.com.
December 26, 2012
Courtesy of Rosewood Resorts
An attentive blend of modernity and local feel, Rosewood Mayakoba in Mexico’s Riviera Maya is a gorgeous getaway made all the more impressive thanks to a $1.6 million renovation that was unveiled in September.
Modernist whitewashed buildings populate the resort. The 128 spacious suites—indoor and outdoor sizes begin at, respectively, 788 and 1,016 square feet—feature indigenous limestone and include private plunge pools, rooftop terraces and boat docks. Guests are transported to their suite upon arrival by a private boat.
Staying on-site offers access to El Camaleón—the signature Greg Norman–designed, 7,000-yard, 18-hole golf course—and Sense, A Rosewood Spa, which resides on its own island. (The treatment menu is long and varied, from facials and massage to body therapies and “Sense Journeys” that utilize a variety of natural elements.) But venturing out presents a nearly endless array of activities. Snorkel and scuba dive at the world’s second-largest reef or in cenotes rising out of underground rivers. Organized day trips journey to Mayan ruins in Tulum, Coba and Chichen Itza and the archaeological site Xcaret. So getting a historical handle on the area is as easy as relaxing at the spa. Rooms, from $475; Ctra. Fed. Cancun-Playa del Carmen km. 298; 52-984/875-8000; rosewoodhotels.com.
December 26, 2012
“I’ve been a photographer since I was 11 years old,” says Michael Chinnici, who founded Photo Workshop Adventures in 2008 as a way to merge his interests in photography, business, travel and teaching. The initiative combines a luxury vacation with top-notch photography instruction in a small-group setting—and not just any setting. The operation travels to some of the world’s most beautiful locations, including Iceland, Spain and Croatia, and is adding even more destinations in 2013.
One of the most exciting recent additions is a nine-day trip to Cuba, a country that has been on Chinnici’s list since 2010 and offers rich photographic opportunities in tobacco farms dotting the countryside, French Colonial architecture and a small village where Ernest Hemingway often fished. Though the United States doesn’t maintain full diplomatic relations with the island nation, a special visa program allows U.S. citizens to travel there for cultural and educational purposes. Chinnici focuses on teaching during the trip, and his co-leader, Collin Laverty (who spends more than half the year in Cuba and has written numerous articles on U.S.-Cuba relations and Cuban society), handles on-the-ground logistics. The journey kicks off in Old Havana and winds its way through Cienfuegos and Trinidad, with stops along the way to meet with scholars, artists and local photographers.
Chinnici stresses that all levels of students are welcome. “We attract the enthusiast and amateur, as well as the semi-pro who is looking for a photography-centric, pre-scouted destination,” he says. “Anyone can take great photos.” March 16–24, 2013; $3,895 (U.S. citizens); 888-834-0288; photoworkshopadventures.com.
December 21, 2012
Photo courtesy of St. Regis Hotels & Resorts
Jason Wu had luxury travel in mind when he designed the limited-edition Grand Tourista bag ($1,995) for St. Regis Hotels & Resorts. The houndstooth-check canvas shoulder bag is trimmed in black calfskin and was inspired by the idea of a modern-day grand European tour. Best of all, interior pockets are sized perfectly for tablets, e-books and a passport. Bon voyage! stregis.com; jasonwustudio.com.
December 20, 2012
Photo courtesy of Jacques Levine
Crafted in Spain and lined with shearling, these elegant Pour Votre Domaine slippers ($98) by Jacques Levine, a 75-year-old footwear brand, are a welcome addition to any casual wardrobe. Pictured here in Bordeaux, they are also available in navy. jacqueslevine.com; neimanmarcus.com.
December 19, 2012
© Irving Penn
Enormously talented yet decidedly private, Leslie and D.D. Tillett, husband-and-wife textile designers, lived a rich life that, until now, few knew much about. “The World of D.D. and Leslie Tillett,” at the Museum of the City of New York through February 3, is a colorful, textural peek into their world—and the first-ever major retrospective of their work.
D.D., a skilled draftsperson (her freehand flowers became one of the couple’s signatures), and Leslie, a descendant of five generations of textile makers, met in Mexico in 1944. Blending their talents, they adopted a wholly independent approach to craftsmanship. “Everything they created showed their unique hand, and their work possessed a vital authenticity that was very rare in their day and is now increasingly sought after,” says Seth Tillett, the couple’s son.
Their artistry knew no bounds, and the exhibit shows as much. A fish motif, done in white on white on a sheer curtain, seems to glow from inside the fabric, while intriguing prints (red and white lines resembling radio waves; undulating plaids; enormous seashells) stand alone or on robes, blazers and men’s shirts. Sketches, scrimshaw jewelry, like a tiny mushroom charm made of whale’s tooth topped with a gold snail, and clothing that D.D. designed for herself round out the collection. (Head to the gift shop for a selection of pieces for sale in honor of the exhibit, including six different silk scarves, two sets of letterpress cards of flower drawings by D.D. and pillows.)
Though favorites of high-profile clients—Jacqueline Kennedy was a friend and a fan—the Tilletts were also active in communities, leading programs like Design Works of Bedford Stuyvesant in Brooklyn, which trained locals in the textile trade. D.D. passed away in 2008, and Leslie in 1992, but throughout their lives the pair remained a singular yet unified force, rooted to their vision in a way all their own.
“Someone once said to my father that [he and D.D.] were the Rolls-Royce of textile makers,” says Seth. “He answered that that idea was absurd, because Rolls was a household name. ‘We are the Hispano-Suiza of textile makers,’ he said. ‘The who?’ ‘Exactly,’ he replied.” Through February 3, 2013; 1220 Fifth Ave.; 212-534-1672; mcny.org.
December 19, 2012
© Courtesy of MaxMara USA
Sportmax, the MaxMara brand known for its luxurious and eclectic Italian sportswear, also has an eye for creative collaborations, evidenced by its latest Carte Blanche capsule collection. Curated by Italian designer Ambra Medda, the collection features the work of up-and-coming Chinese artist Ying Wu. Her quirky prints, which appear on scarves—like the one pictured here ($190)—dresses and handbags, incorporate a mélange of animal, urban and technological graphics.
“Wu’s work primarily deals with the fact that the world we live in is constantly changing,” says Medda. “The work is somewhat deceiving given that it is highly decorative, yet if you look closer, you start to realize that there is a whole other dimension that brings you back to a starker reality.”
The limited-edition 1,000-piece collection will premiere at the brand’s flagship store in Milan next month, offering Sportmax devotees the opportunity to inject a bit of artistry and awareness into their wardrobes. 20 Via della Spiga; 39-2/7601-1944; sportmax.com.
December 19, 2012
© Tony Soluri, 21c Museum Hotel
Hotels have been beefing up their fine-art programs for a few years now, but the 21c Museum Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky, was unique from the moment it opened in 2006. There is a savvily curated, legitimate on-site museum that is open 24-7, making art more available there than anywhere else in town. The property has garnered heaps of acclaim, and so the eccentric Kentucky-based art-collecting couple behind it—Steve Wilson and Laura Lee Brown—have now expanded the concept to Cincinnati.
The big difference at the 21c Museum Hotel Cincinnati, which opened on November 26, is that the owners have renovated a 100-year-old landmark instead of building a new structure, as they did in Kentucky. The former Metropole Hotel, a beauty clad in red brick and tile, has been respectfully updated to include a state-of-the-art spa while retaining original elements like mosaic floors.
The art program is just as ambitious as in Louisville: 8,000 feet of exhibition space, open all the time. The first show features works by an international cast, including acclaimed British filmmaker-photographer Sam Taylor-Wood and the American artist Kara Walker, a staple of major collections.
For those who prefer their artistry on the plate, the hotel’s German-inflected restaurant, Metropole, is run by chef Michael Paley, who made Proof on Main in the 21c Louisville a destination for lovers of pork, seasonal ingredients and fine bourbon. Rooms, from $199 (weekends), $259 (weekdays); 609 Walnut St.; 513-578-6600; 21cmuseumhotels.com/cincinnati.