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March 15, 2011
By Dispatch Departures | Arts + Culture

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The ribbon cutting at the Yohji Yamamoto exhibit at London's Victoria & Albert Museum marks the UK's first solo show of the designer's work. Laid out by his longtime collaborator, scenographer Masao Nihei, it is a collection of 80 garments spanning the Tokyo-born artist's 30-year career. Shown on the main floor are 60 mannequins wearing Yamamoto's most iconic styles, noted for their asymmetric cuts, bold curves and Japanese embroidering and dyeing techniques. The other 20 pieces have been strategically placed in other galleries and in hidden corners of the museum, creating an artistic dialogue between the clothing and the art surrounding it. Don't skip the gift shop, where a selection of Yamamoto shirts and billowy Furoshiki shoulder bags (created specially for the V&A) are available for sale. Through July 10 at the V&A Museum, Cromwell Rd.; 44-207/907-7073; vam.ac.uk.

Photo Nick Knight Art Direction Peter Saville

March 15, 2011
By Dispatch Departures | Lifestyle

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Two labels are indeed better than one: The proof is in the latest partnership between venerated automaker BMW and cult fashion house Trussardi. The pair have teamed up to create a limited-edition version of the 5 Series Gran Turismo, inspired by the hues of Trussardi's leather gloves. The exterior is a warm, metallic, Heraldic brown, which changes gradation as three layers of paintwork are exposed to light; inside, beige leather is offset by contrast stitching, a design inspired by a classic glove from the Trussardi archive. The brand's symbol, a coat of arms between two greyhounds, is embossed on the headrest and appears on the front fenders and blinkers. Everything under the hood, of course, is based on BMW's 530d xDrive model (unless otherwise requested; customization requires six weeks). The special 5 Series marks the beginning of Trussardi's centennial anniversary. Start your engines. Price upon request. For more information, call BMW Italia at 39-02/5161-0111.

Photo Pierpaolo Ferrari

March 15, 2011
By Dispatch Departures | Travel

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After an exhaustive renovation, what used to be the Yountville Inn has been rechristened as the Hotel Yountville, an 80-room resort designed in the style of a European stone village. Set on five acres of heritage oaks and olive trees in Napa Valley, the hotel was reimagined by DLS Hotels Design Director Lisa Holt, who used California river rocks, giant timber beams and copper accents to create the building's arts-and-crafts exterior. Inside, the lodge-like rooms have vaulted ceilings, reclaimed wide-plank floors, fieldstone hearths and four-poster beds fitted with Bellora linens. The hotel hosts painting and black-and-white photography classes in the vineyard, led by noted Napa artists; for more heart-pumping diversions, there are helicopter tours of the surrounding vineyards. A few finishing touches are still under construction, like the outdoor fire pits and the soon-to-open Y Bar. But San Franciscans up for the weekend are already filling the pool, the 4,000-square-foot Acqua spa and the 40-seat Hopper Creek restaurant, where dishes like eggs Benedict with crushed pistachios and crispy salt pork are challenging the nearby Michelin-starred restaurants for best breakfast in California wine country. Rooms start at $395. At 6462 Washington St., Yountville, CA; 888-944-2885; hotelyountville.com.

Photo Courtesy Hotel Yountville

March 15, 2011
By Dispatch Departures | Dining

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A little bit of Texas arrived in Washington, D.C. when Hill Country Barbecue Market opened in the city's Penn Quarter neighborhood over the weekend. The two-level, 300-seat spot, like its sister restaurant in New York, doles out pound after pound of dry-rubbed meats slowly smoked over Texas post oak, a hard wood brought in from its native state. Upon entering, guests receive a "meal ticket" which doubles as the menu and—after the server behind the counter weighs, tallies up and hands you your order on butcher paper—the check. Trimmings include traditional Texas Toast white bread, collard greens and pickles; executive chef (and BBQ expert) Elizabeth Karmel has also updated a few Southern classics like campfire black beans with burnt ends, confetti coleslaw and Longhorn cheddar mac and cheese. At the downstairs Boot Bar, expect to hear live roots rock by bands slipping through town, five nights a week. At 410 7th St. NW; 202-556-2050; hillcountrywdc.com.

Photo Courtesy Hill Country Hospitality

March 15, 2011
By Julie Coe | Whims, Books

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On July 21, 1933, Buckminster Fuller’s Dymaxion Car made its debut to cheering crowds in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Looking nothing like the standard Fords that were its contemporary, the teardrop-shaped three-wheeler had the curved hull of a yacht and was almost zeppelin-like in stature—in fact, it had been built by William Starling Burgess, a preeminent aircraft and boat designer who moonlighted as a poet. It also offered superior gas mileage (35 mpg to the Ford V-8’s 18) and roughly three times the passenger space as the V-8. The car was part of a larger Dymaxion project—the word is a combination of Fuller favorites: dynamism, maximum and tension—that the inventor was working on, which included plans for a Dymaxion house. A combination of setbacks resulted in producing only three of the vehicles. Then, in 2008, British architect Norman Foster, who had worked with Fuller in the ’70s and early ’80s, decided to commission Crossthwaite & Gardiner, a British firm that reproduces ’30s racecars, to create a fourth. Like the originals, no. 4 was built from the chassis and parts of a 1934 Ford V-8 Tudor sedan. The rest was crafted to order, and the creation debuted last fall at Ivorypress Arts + Books Space, a Madrid gallery and bookstore founded by Foster’s wife, Elena Ochoa Foster. Out this month from the gallery’s publishing venture, the 223-page Buckminster Fuller Dymaxion Car uses archival and contemporary blueprints, handwritten notes and sketches, and period photos, including images of the plaster models done by sculptor Isamu Noguchi, to tell the full story of a visionary vehicle that looks just as futuristic today as it did in 1933. $75; ivorypress.com.

March 14, 2011
By Deborah Frank | Whims, Automobiles

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We recently drove the all-new 2011 Cadillac CTS-V Sport Wagon on the icy backroads of the Adirondacks in upstate New York, en route to a few days of skiing at Whiteface Mountain in Lake Placid, and can honestly say we haven't had this much fun winter-driving in a while. Granted, we were in a six-speed manual, which made handling the 556hp supercharged 6.2L V-8 engine even more exhilirating, but we were also happily surprised with the wagon's nimbleness, the control we had in cornering and the solid grip of the 19-inch Michelin Pilot Sport PS2 tires. This outstanding performance was enhanced with heated Recaro leather-and-suede racing seats and a suede steering wheel and shifter, not to mention the superior sound emanating from the ten-speaker Bose 5.1 digital surround system. At a starting price of $62,000 (our model priced out at $68,500), it's definitely worth considering if you're in the market for a wagon that offers all the space and comfort of a large vehicle but has the performance of a sports car…and looks good, too (we did get double takes wherever we stopped). The one caveat: We estimated about 14 miles per gallon driving around town and only 19 mpg on the highway. cadillac.com.

March 09, 2011
By Dispatch Departures | Lifestyle

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Despite their sleek lines and modern looks, most computers lack character: They all look more or less the same. Not those designed by Southern California-based technical artist Richard "Doc" Nagy, who builds custom monitors, laptops and accessories from materials like brass, marble, copper and wood. The two latest additions to his four-year-old line are both keyboards: The Silver Marquis, made from polished aluminum with chaise-longue curves and engraved silver acrylic keys, and the New Yorker, a brass-and-aluminum style inspired by the Art Deco look of the Chrysler building, with the owner's initials engraved on the space bar. Available for Macs or PCs, both models are made to order and take two to four weeks to construct. Nagy's next project, due out in May, is the Clacker, a full setup complete with keyboard, LCD screen, speakers, table and matching chair, all done in high Victorian style. Other quirky-cool gadgets available now include a Scrabble keyboard made from real game tiles. Silver Marquis, from $1,500; New Yorker, from $2,800. For more information, email datamancer@datamancer.net.

Photo Richard Nagy of Datamancer.net

March 09, 2011
By Dispatch Departures | Fashion

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The star of Chanel's spring-summer accessories collection is most certainly the new half-moon-shaped Mademoiselle bag, but the house is also debuting some chic reinterpretations of its classic flap bag. Of the new styles, two standouts are the pastel-flecked tweed adorned with whimsical gold ladybugs and a bejeweled dragonfly ($3,150), and a gold goatskin covered in glitzy gold strass ($7,000). When it comes to bijoux, Chanel is never one to shy away from a bit of costume drama. An eye-catching enamel brooch is accented with pearls and interlocking Cs at its center ($475), while a resin cuff is inlaid with hundreds of stones ($3,795). Both feel thoroughly modern but would pair perfectly with a timeless Chanel tweed blazer. Spring has sprung rather stylishly, it would seem. Mademoiselle bag, price upon request; 800-550-0005; chanel.com.

Photo Courtesy Chanel

March 09, 2011
By Candice Chan | Dining

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After a buzzy, successful start in late January, "temporary restaurant installment" What Happens When has launched its second movement. The concept eatery from Dovetail chef John Fraser—in New York's NoLIta through October—is completely reimagined each month, with a fresh menu, soundtrack and design scheme. For round two, Fraser has whipped up inventive selections like venison tartar, short ribs with cheddar cheese polenta and, for dessert, a gingerbread house with spiced panna cotta. Insider's tip: Though not listed, a special eight-course tasting menu with wine pairings is available for those who ask, and before being seated, diners should sneak a peek at the blueprint from the restaurant's first iteration, outlined in white on the floor. Act quickly—the third movement begins the first week of April. Three-course prix-fixe menu, $58, with wine pairings, $96; eight-course tasting menu, $110, with wine pairings, $175. At 25 Cleveland Place; 212-925-8310; whathappenswhennyc.com.

Photo Felix de Voss

March 09, 2011
By Dispatch Departures | Arts + Culture

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Based on the 1982 children's novel by British author Michael Morpurgo, War Horse is the story of a young boy in search of his beloved horse, who has been sold into the cavalry at the outbreak of World War I. Adapted by Nick Stafford, the play premiered at London's National Theatre in 2007 and spent two sold-out seasons there. The production, which is still showing to full houses in the UK—Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip even ventured out to see it for their first private theater appearance in four years—makes its highly anticipated American debut when previews begin March 15 at New York's Lincoln Center. The cast of 35 includes members of the Handspring Puppet Company, who maneuver the painstakingly—and, at times, heartbreakingly—realistic life-sized horse puppets that show the animals' every sinew and breath. Through June 26 at the Vivian Beaumont Theater, 150 W. 65th St.; 212-239-6200; warhorseonbroadway.com.

Photo Simon Annand

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