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luxury

February 09, 2011
By Dispatch Departures | Travel

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Edition, a partnership between hoteliers extraordinaires Ian Schrager and Bill Marriott, got off to a successful start last year with the unveiling of its first property, the beach-chic Waikiki Edition, in September. Next up is its 15-story, 78-room tower (with a 2,900-square foot floor-through penthouse) in Istanbul's Levent neighborhood, which soft-opened February 10. The hotel was designed in collaboration with the New York architectural firm Gabellini Sheppard, whose résumé includes retail spaces for high-fashion names like Giorgio Armani, Vera Wang and David Yurman—so it's no surprise that its style is modern yet understatedly luxurious. Each room has a silver-gold and bronze palette, hardwood floors with silk carpets, custom furniture, seating areas and wall-to-wall windows overlooking the city. (Book one of the Superior or Loft rooms with a teak-floored terrace.) There's also an in-house Cipriani restaurant, a three-story, 20,000-square-foot spa by Espa with private Turkish hammams, a screening room and a nightclub and bar. Rooms start at $415, but special introductory rates can be found on the hotel website through March 6. At 136/1 Buyukdere Cad.; 90-212/317-7700; editionhotels.com.

Photo courtesy Edition Hotels

February 09, 2011
By Dispatch Departures | Shopping

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Buying art is an art form in itself, and nonexperts who are starting personal collections may need a few trusted tastemakers to advise them, especially when it comes to contemporary works. For beginners, there is ExhibitionA.com, a just-launched website headed by Bill Powers (owner of Half Gallery on New York's Lower East Side), fashion designer Cynthia Rowley and cofounders Laura Martin and Gabby Munoz. Every week the site offers a limited-edition print by a renowned contemporary artist such as David LaChapelle or Richard Phillips, whose well-known "Der Bodensee" prints-an upside-down close-up of a woman's heavily made-up face-were available in January. The prices are in the three-figure range, and each sale closes after one month (or sooner, if the pieces sell out). The new selection, a stark Terence Koh rooster print, went up for sale February 7; soon to follow are by works from Steve Powers, Olivier Zahm and George Rahme. And for those seeking to learn collecting from the pros, the site also has a blog that features interviews with prominent collectors like Simon de Pury, Waris Ahluwalia and Robert and Cortney Novogratz. exhibitiona.com.

Photo courtesy Exhibition A

February 07, 2011
By Shannon Adducci | Shopping, Jewelry, Openings

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© Courtesy Mauboussin

Last week French jewelry firm Mauboussin opened the doors
of its shop on Madison Avenue in New York to celebrate the launch of its new
e-commerce site, mauboussin.us. Guests filled all three floors of the townhouse
boutique to snack on macarons, sip La Caravelle Champagne and peruse the new
collections, which include large candy-colored amethyst and citrine cocktail
rings
and diamond necklaces and bracelets done in Mauboussin’s signature shooting
star. The Manhattan boutique, which opened in 2008, is the company’s first American
flagship and houses its colored-stone, diamond and watch collections on the
first two floors, while the third floor serves as its bridal salon.

The online shop, meanwhile, is an ode to Mauboussin’s
flagship on the Place Vendôme. Most of the collection will be available online,
though the emphasis is on the company’s steel-and-diamond watches (from $545)
and popular cocktail rings (from $1,100), which come in sapphire, amethyst and citrine
and have poetic names like Couleur Baiser (Kiss of Color) and C’est Toi la Star (You’re
the Star).

Mauboussin, 714 Madison Avenue; 212-752-4300; mauboussin.us

January 31, 2011
By Dispatch Departures | Fashion

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Leave it to Bruno Frisoni to rethink the norm. Back in July, the creative director of Roger Vivier opted to skip the house's customary couture show and instead presented Rendez-Vous, a limited-edition collection of handmade shoes and bags that married the craftsmanship of couture with the energy of prêt-à-porter. Two weeks ago during the Paris shows, Frisoni unveiled his second version of Rendez-Vous with 20 new pieces that put a rock ‘n’ roll spin on the traditionally elegant Vivier sensibility. It's a collection rich in textural contrasts and drama: a high heel with gold chain mail draped over black velvet, a gold-striped Mondrianesque wood-and-resin clutch and a decked-out reworking of the classic Pilgrim clutch, its iconic buckle framed by braids of sequins and chains. Frisoni also reimagined other signature items, like the Tube clutch and the comma-shaped Virgule (now Vertigo) heel, which comes in styles flaunting feathers, sequins and wood. The pieces—numbered and produced in small quantities—will be available this September by special order in Vivier boutiques worldwide. rogervivier.com.

Photo courtesy Roger Vivier

January 31, 2011
By Dispatch Departures | Lifestyle, Fitness

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Since the 2006 opening of its first location on Manhattan's Upper West Side, SoulCycle has gained an impressive following obsessed with its high-intensity, full-body bike workout. Cofounders Elizabeth Butler and Julie Rice have built their company at an equally energetic rate over the past five years with two more NYC openings, outposts in Bridgehampton and Scarsdale and a pop-up location at the Mondrian hotel in Miami. SoulCycle's seventh location—a two-story, 60-bike studio with full-service locker rooms and a sleek in-house boutique carrying private labels and SoulCycle's own clothing line—opened in Union Square in early February. Its signature 45-minute candlelit SoulCycle workout, which combines spinning, hand weights and a mentally challenging course, and the much-raved-about Bands class, a 60-minute ride that tones the upper body and the core using resistance bands suspended from the ceiling, are both on offer. At 12 E. 18th St.; 212-208-1300; soul-cycle.com.

Photo courtesy SoulCycle

January 31, 2011
By Dispatch Departures | Arts + Culture

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To call the works of Belgian artist Isabelle de Borchgrave "paper dresses" does them no justice; they are ornate and painstakingly accurate life-sized replicas of historical garments made entirely of crinkled, pleated, hand-painted, twisted and braided paper. Sixty of these elaborate pieces are now on view in "Pulp Fashion," a four-month exhibit that opened February 5 at San Francisco's Legion of Honor. De Borchgrave calls it "a wink at history," as the collection includes trompe l'oeil facsimiles of Renaissance dresses worn by the Medicis, gowns once donned by Elizabeth I and Marie-Antoinette (one can imagine the attention to detail required there) and couture from the houses of Worth, Fortuny, Dior and Chanel. The four designs created for this exhibit should be of particular interest: As part of the museum's "Collection Connections" series (in which participating artists are asked to reinterpret pieces from the San Francisco Museum of Fine Arts's permanent collection), de Borchgrave will unveil new work inspired by fashions depicted in paintings such as Anthony van Dyck's Marie Claire de Cory and Child. At 100 34th Ave.; 415-750-3600; legionofhonor.famsf.org.

Photo courtesy Andreas von Einsiedel

January 20, 2011
By Stephen Wallis | Arts + Culture, Restaurants

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© Courtesy Park Avenue and Creative Time/photo: Diane Bondareff

The seasonally changing Manhattan restaurant Park Avenue—currently in its Winter phase—has teamed up with the public art organization Creative Time on a year-long project, where a different artist will collaborate with chef Kevin Lasko on a dish for each of his quarterly menus. A few days ago I got an early taste of the first offering, Marina Abramovic’s dessert as performance art Volcano Flambé.

Diners who order the $20 treat are given a white lab coat to wear and presented with wooden box containing headphones and a tiny mp3 player. Put on the headphones, press play and the fun begins. The soundtrack features Abramovic, known for performances testing her own physical and mental limits (including sitting silently across from strangers for the entire run of her two-and-a-half-month retrospective at MoMA last year), intoning instructions in a hypnotic and sultry voice: “Close your eyes…Breathe slowly, deeply…” Timed correctly, you’re told to open your eyes just before the server pours a flaming liquid over the dessert that’s been placed in front of you. As you taste, Abramovic urges you to focus on flavors and textures: “Hot…cold…creamy…crunchy…”

Described as a riff on Baked Alaska, the Volcano Flambé features almond cake, chocolate ice cream, banana mousse, meringue and chocolate cookie crumbs—all topped by a swirl of golden spun sugar. I could have sworn I also tasted ginger, unless that was just my palate falling prey to the suggestiveness of Abramovic’s voice, purring “spicy.” As Cecile Panzieri, executive director at the Sean Kelly Gallery, which represents Abramovic, joked to me: “It’s like phone sex.” Indeed, Abramovic noted at the tasting that many of the dessert’s ingredients are aphrodisiacs.

Volcano Flambé is available through March 15 at Park Avenue Winter (100 E. 63rd St.; 212-644-1900; parkavenyc.com).

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