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September 10, 2014
By Robert Khederian | Art
Three Timely Fashion Exhibits Open in September
Walter Steiger. “Unicorn Tayss,” Spring 2013. Courtesy of Walter Steiger. Photo: Jay Zukerkorn

Every September, fashion capitals all over the world light up with designers’ latest collections for spring—but the catwalk isn’t the only source for sartorial entertainment. This month, three cities play host to exhibitions that investigate our relationship to style and fashion’s role in history.

“Hollywood Glamour: Fashion and Jewelry from the Silver Screen”: Joan Crawford, Greta Garbo, Mae West—these names are synonymous with the golden age of Hollywood, when satin-clad actresses of the 1930s and ’40s wore exquisite gowns accessorized with equally dramatic jewels. On display at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts is an indulgent array of creations by the likes of Adrian, Travis Banton and Chanel, just to name a few. Taken from film sets, or from the personal collections of their leading ladies, the curated collection demonstrates how the era’s signature glamour was determined as much by what the stars wore offscreen as what they wore on camera. Through March 8, 2015; 465 Huntington Ave.; 617-267-9300; mfa.org.

“Killer Heels: The Art of the High-Heeled Shoe”: With a history that stretches back nearly four centuries, the high-heel has undergone transformations of form and cultural relevance. From iconic styles by fashion favorites like Manolo Blahnik to architectural creations by Zaha Hadid, the display at The Brooklyn Museum—which includes six specially commissioned short films—proves one thing: A shoe is never merely an accessory. Through February 15, 2015; 200 Eastern Pkwy.; 718-638-5000; brooklynmuseum.org.

Fashion Film Festival Milano: Debuting September 14 during Milan Fashion Week at the Piccolo Teatro Grassi Milano, the inaugural festival draws on the growing popularity of fashion films, from Prêt-à-Porter to The Devil Wears Prada. In addition to showcasing films created in collaboration with the world’s top brands—including Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Cartier—the Festival hosts a competition for new talent, providing a forum for young directors and producers to share their work with designers, brands, artists and the fashion-hungry public. September 14–15; Via Rovello, 2; 39-848-800-304; fffmilano.com.

September 10, 2014
By Shivani Vora | Restaurants
Fall Openings: Three Buzzy NYC Restaurants
©Maya Jiménez

Fall in New York always means a new season of buzzy restaurant openings. While there are many to look forward to (Brooklyn Fare Manhattan, Martha and Upland, among them), the sheer bounty makes prioritizing a must. Here, our top three picks this season.

Aldo Sohm Wine Bar: Le Bernardin’s legendary Austrian wine director gets his turn in the limelight with this eponymous, newly opened wine bar. The bright, 60-seat space is far more casual than the restaurant, with its light-wood touches, high tables and deep couches. “The idea is that you’re coming into my living room,” Sohm says. Expect small plates like salads, panini, charcuterie and cheese, and a list of 230 wines (including 20 sparkling varieties) sourced from around the world. Make a dent in the list faster with the flight tastings and 40 by-the-glass options. 151 W. 51st St.; 646-334-2988; aldosohm.com.

High Line Restaurant: Light fare isn’t exactly a mainstay of the team behind hot spots Carbone and ZZ’s Clam Bar, but that’s set to change with this (still unnamed) coastal Italian-American eatery opening in mid-October in one of the three new Renzo Piano buildings beneath High Line Park. Designed as a neighborhood trattoria, the glass-cubed, 100-seat restaurant emphasizes seafood, featuring dishes like handmade spaghetti with mussels and julienned zucchini and red snapper baked with tomatoes, olives and citrus. “It’s certainly a departure for us to do light cuisine, but we were ready for it,” managing partner Jeff Zalaznick says. 820 Washington St.; 212-254-3000.

White Street: Close friends and media personalities Dan Abrams and Dave Zinczenko had long discussed opening a restaurant in the glamorous setting of old New York. With the help of Christine Cole (former BondSt general manager), the pair has turned their dream into reality with this modern American restaurant. Opening September 12 with a 125-seat dining room decked with crystal chandeliers, Venetian mirrors and black-and-white floor tiles, White Street offers a seasonal menu, crafted by executive chef Floyd Cardoz of North End Grill fame, that boasts global flavors like a Thai-inspired crab salad with palm sugar, basil and lime juice and short ribs braised in Indian spices. “We’re going to borrow culinary touches from all over the world, but the food will be distinctly American,” Cardoz says. 221 W. Broadway; 212-944-8378; whitestreetnyc.com.

September 04, 2014
By Kareem Rashed | Jewelry
Vhernier's New Anniversary Collection
VHERNIER – Bisquit Chain

Generally speaking, a 30th birthday marks a significant milestone—an occasion of truly coming into one’s own identity. Such is the case for Vhernier the Italian jeweler that will celebrate its own 30-year anniversary this month with a new collection of its trademark minimalist jewelry.

Founded in 1984 by a collective of creatives—an architect, a sculptor and a jeweler—based in Valencia, Italy, Vhernier has built its brand on pieces that combine modern lines with delicate sensuality (they count artists Constantin Brâncu?i and Lucio Fontana as inspirations). An illusion of fluidity runs throughout Vhernier’s jewelry and is achieved by using softly rounded edges, rather than hard angles, and setting stones with only two prongs to give dense pavés an exceptionally smooth touch.

These core tenets are manifest in the two ranges that comprise the anniversary collection: Freccia, an homage to the triangle rendered in colorful gems and pavé diamonds (rings start at $6,000, bracelets at $18,000), and Bisquit, whose highlights include oval hoop earrings ($7,500) and chain-link necklaces ($24,700) in shades of Australian and Tahitian mother-of-pearl. Both lines utilize materials and techniques that have become Vhernier signatures, including layering mother-of-pearl atop turquoise or jade to lend the richly hued gems a milky opalescence, most luminously showcased in the Bisquit rings.

Vhernier’s relative youth in the august world of fine jewelry—most major players have roots going back more than a century—gives the brand its distinctively free spirit. And while it may be celebrating getting older, Vhernier’s designs are as modern as ever. vhernier.it/it-it/.

September 04, 2014
By Alisha Prakash | Design
Highlight Reel: London Design Festival 2014
100% Design, London Design Festival 2014, 13 – 21 September

From September 13 to 21, London will be brimming with all things design thanks to the 12th annual London Design Festival. With a medley of 300 events, installations, themed workshops, lectures and presentations that focus on interiors, graphics, architecture and furniture from a mix of fledging and established designers, there’s plenty to “Lose yourself” in, as this year’s tagline suggests. Here, some of the highlights:

A Place Called Home: Four designers—Jasper Morrison, Raw Edges, Isle Crawford and Paternity—created their interpretations of the ideal room. Think spaces with large kaleidoscopes, specially created scents and recordings of a kettle boiling to stir up feelings of home. September 18–20; Trafalgar Square; londondesignfestival.com.

The Wish List: Ten established designers, including Zaha Hadid, Allen Jones and John Pawson, pair up with emerging talent to create a never-before-found masterpiece using a single material—American hardwood. September 13–20; Victoria and Albert Museum; Cromwell Rd.; 44-20/7942-2000; vam.ac.uk.

100% Design: London’s biggest original contemporary design show for brand-new and seasoned names reaches its 20th year. The four-day event kicks off with Philippe Starck’s new tile collection, Flexible Architecture, for Italian ceramic firm Ceramica Sant’Agostino. September 17–20; Earls Court Exhibition Center; Warwick Rd.; 100percentdesign.co.uk.

Decorex International: In case the nine day festival isn’t long enough, this luxury interiors “Design Destinations” group-show extends the fun a little further. This year's Decorex International shines the spotlight on Georgian-themed furniture, carpets, flooring, lighting, textiles and wall coverings from over 350 exhibitors, including newcomers Liberty Art Fabrics, Eley Kishimoto and Maya Romanoff. September 21–24; Syon Park; decorex.com.

For a full schedule of events, go to londondesignfestival.com.

August 28, 2014
By Departures Dispatch | Books
Fall Reads: Paul Theroux's "Mr. Bones"
Photo courtesy of Grant Cornett

In his travel writing, for which he is best known, Paul Theroux eschews the obvious pleasures of the genre for deeper, more acerbic observation. As the writer of more than 25 novels and a half-dozen story collections, he understands the importance of conflict. Few authors are as skilled at both fiction and nonfiction, as well as that particular Theroux specialty: quasi-fiction.

Several of the characters in his terrific new collection, Mr. Bones, are clearly plucked from life—the painter Andrew Wyeth makes an appearance, and two of the stories feature a shoe-salesman dad. (Theroux’s own father plied the trade.) Others, such as a shrewish New England art maven and a bumbling English author, are so incisively carved that figuring out whom they are based on becomes a kind of game.

Theroux’s masterful stories, several of them originally published in The New Yorker, evince a lifetime’s study of human nature around the globe. If they often end in a chilling twist, well, he’s just calling them like he sees them.

Mr. Bones, published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, comes out September 30.

August 28, 2014
By Massimo Bottura | Books
Massimo Bottura's Three Cleverest Creations
Courtesy of Serge Bloch

Chicken, Chicken, Chicken, Where Are You? (2008)

“When my daughter was five, she said, ‘Okay, Dad, I’m going to cook something for you.’ She served a plate full of plastic vegetables and said, ‘This plate is called Chicken, Chicken, Chicken, Where Are You?’ I didn’t know how to express that kind of incredible metaphysical idea. It’s like de Chirico’s [painting] Piazza d’Italia. [Much later] we came out with this recipe that was like a twist on chicken salad [without chicken]. At the end you can find under the salad the roasted chicken flavor from the sauce.”

Cappuccino (1989)
“This is one of the earliest plates we served. You see the shape of a cappuccino and a croissant. But it’s a ‘cappuccino’ of potato and onion, two very poor elements, served with a very, very old balsamic vinegar—maybe the most precious element in the world. It’s a very Pop idea. We serve it with a croissant. Every Italian starts the morning at the bar with a croissant. But instead of being sweet, we make it savory, breaking the border between the two tastes. So instead of representing all of Italy, it represents my terroir, Emilia-Romagna.”

A Potato Waiting to Become a Truffle (2010)
“This dish looks like a potato that has been cooked in the oven. It’s like Arte Povera. The title of the recipe is a message for the young generation: Why do you want to be a truffle? Because the market price is $3,000 instead of $3? If I had to choose to be a truffle or a potato, I would choose the potato, because it is so good. We cook the potato in salt and sugar, empty it and refill it with a soufflé of yolk, white chocolate, truffle, potato and vanilla. It’s a real working-class hero. It’s a potato that is much better than a truffle.”

August 28, 2014
By Madhuri Vijay | Books
Fall Reads: Sarah Waters's "The Paying Guests"
Photo courtesy of Grant Cornett

In one of the most physically immersive novels to come out in recent years, Welsh author Sarah Waters conjures the details of England in 1922 with complete conviction. She depicts a country still reeling from war, adjusting to the disappointments of peace. Her heroine, Frances Wray, is also adjusting—to her dead father’s debts—and she and her mother are forced to take in lodgers: a gaudy young couple, Lilian and Leonard Barber.

Frances, intelligent, wry and unmarried, observes the newcomers with misgivings but is soon attracted to Lilian, who returns her feelings with trepidation, then with abandon. Waters traces their growing bond with a craftsman’s patience—each gesture, each shade of emotion—and the result is as tormenting as if the reader herself were falling in love. A cataclysmic event propels the plot to its tension-filled conclusion, but it is the progress of Frances and Lilian’s relationship—through passion, suspicion and maturity—that ultimately makes The Paying Guests so sad, powerful and brimming with life.

The Paying Guests, published by Riverhead Books, comes out September 16.

August 28, 2014
By Madhuri Vijay | Books
Fall Reads: Joseph O'Neill's "The Dog"
Photo courtesy of Grant Cornett

When the narrator of Joseph O’Neill’s fourth novel, The Dog, accepts a shady job in Dubai, he is merely escaping a broken relationship. However, he finds himself strangely at home in that “abracadabrapolis” (the book is worth reading for that phrase alone), perhaps because Dubai is a microcosm of our globalized world.

Between signing papers he barely comprehends and staring at the inexplicable building rising across the way, the everyman narrator expounds, in sharp, astoundingly funny language, on the impossibility of living a moral life; we are all in the doghouse in one way or another. The cast of characters—a missing diver, a bidoon, a liver-eating millionaire—is rich, but the heart of the novel lies in its vast intelligence, which, for all its Wodehousian humor, pulses with real despair and tenderness for the world we have made, the one that is slowly destroying us. The Dog, published by Pantheon, comes out September 9.

August 28, 2014
By Gabriella Fuller | Arts + Culture
Artist Marcel Dzama at David Zwirner
Still from Marcel Dzama's Une danse des bouffons (or A Jester's dance), 2013 Courtesy David Zwirner, New York/London

Last year, the rapper Jay-Z invited what seemed to be half the art world to New York’s Pace Gallery to participate in the music video for his song “Picasso Baby.” Standing out among the famous artists, gallerists, actors and filmmakers was a man wearing a giant Minotaur head. This was artist Marcel Dzama, whose chimerical stunt perfectly reflected his sensibility in its absurdity, its collaborative approach and its deference to previous generations. (The bull’s head was an homage to Picasso’s own spirit animal.)

But Dzama is no clever music-video cameo. Discovered at 24 by David Zwirner, the artist, now 40, is at the center of a fecund community of hipster creatives hawking transformative nostalgia: He’s partnered with Dave Eggers and Spike Jonze, designed album covers for Beck and illustrated a collection by writer Nick Hornby. His insistence on collaboration, amid the soloists of Generation Me, is a throwback to the Dadaist collectives he often quotes. To wit: The invitation for his new show, “Une Danse des Bouffons (A Jester’s Dance),” at Zwirner’s New York gallery (September 9 to October 25), is a hand-addressed vinyl record with music by members of Arcade Fire. The show’s reference-laden centerpiece, the 17-minute film Jester’s Dance, is a meditation on and a reexamination of Dzama’s hero, Marcel Duchamp (see “Marcel Duchamp at the Pompidou”), which also borrows heavily from Picabia and Beuys and stars Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon.

By reinterpreting the work of his forebears, Dzama inscribes himself in the art-historical cannon while noting, with touching Canadian modesty, that “like an exquisite corpse drawing, I’m just adding my little footnote to the huge mountain of what they’ve done.” At 525 and 533 W. 19th St.; davidzwirner.com.

August 28, 2014
By Jason Chen | Home + Design

New Fabrics by Lisa Fine
Lisa Fine Textiles

Born in Mississippi and raised in Texas, the New York- and Paris-based Lisa Fine often looks to India for inspiration for her hand-printed linens. Her latest creation, available in coral rose and blue, depicts Mughal flowers, a leitmotif commonly seen in block print and embroidery throughout much of South Asia—but it’s no standard interpretation. “The Mughal theme is so familiar that I wanted to do something less literal,” says Fine. “I consider it more an abstraction of the idea.” Fine paints her version of the design on the fabric using watercolor, then distresses it to produce her signature timeworn, almost vintage effect. “That’s the greatest compliment,” she says, “when someone can appreciate the beauty of something new made to look not so new.” From $95 a yard; lisafinetextiles.com.

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