Wednesday, May 31, 2006

The Coolest Summer Shoes


Let's face it. You can't really wear your Havianas in the city without coming home with your feet caked in dirt, grime and who knows what.

These rubber gladiator sandals by Marc Jacobs are my coolest summer find yet and protect your feet, well, sort of. Whatever, they're cute and cheap!

Final Word: A total no-brainer and best in black paired with a flirty white sundress. Available at www.shopbop.com.

Smells Like Teen Spirit





Back in the day, I lived for grunge. I was completely head over heels for dirty, disheveled, crunchy combat boots by Doc Martin, baby doll dresses by Anna Sui and flannels by Contempo Casuals. Yes, Contempo Casuals. Hello, I was 13! Sadly though, once I entered high school and the cruel world of adolescent judgement, I traded my oversize shirts and baggy jeans for tight Paris Blues and even tighter baby polo tees. Leaving my inner Courtney Love and Manic Panic hair dye behind, I never thought I’d see either again. Cue a decade later.



This fall, Marc Jacobs will bring back the trend he pioneered some ten years ago for Perry Ellis and make people scream, “He’s gone plaid!” Fashionistas around the globe are already itching to throw down cold cash to look like they came out of a Stone Temple Pilots concert.

But this is not the same grunge as your Nirvana head-banging days- this is grown-up grunge. It’s as if the flannel generation grew up and now wants cashmere instead of polyester, ashrakan instead of fleece. Patchwork knits, thick plaids, canvas burlap dresses – all beautifully made pieces, all hobo chic…Is that PC?



Another modern indicator is volume. Some of the looks are so big, you could potentially turn your LL Bean flannel sleeping bag inside out, wear it as a coat and look fantastically current! That’s Marc Jacbos for you. If he put a garbage bag down the runway, you’d see it on Fifth Avenue a season later.

Bring on the Glady bags, I say.

Final Word: Need inspiration other than from your Junior High Yearbook? Modern day muse Lou Doillon emanates grunge chic, combing teen carelessness with a Parisian je ne sais quoi. (See above.)

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Vive la Blackberrie!


This Memorial Day, part of the Blackberrie stayed far from the masses flocking to the the Hamptons, the Jersey Shore and Martha’s Vineyard, hopped on the Air France shuttle and skipped to the cobblestone streets of Paris for a weekend of French fabulosity. Nothing was too luxurious for Miss Blackberrie, from brunches at George V, macaroons from La Duree, catered dinners at haute boites L’Etoile and Castel, and a black tie wedding a stone’s throw from the Arc de Triomphe to finish it off. Pas mal, eh? Sure the weather was gray and dreary, but the fashion and overall chicness was simply brilliant!

As most of us know, Parisian women are the most stylish in the world. So what current trends are sure to hop the pond in months to come?

1. Skinny jeans with sneakers
Doesn’t sound that incredibly chic, but it’s all about what kind. The favorite casket (sneaker en francais) seems to be the old standby Converse, and high-tops all around to be sure. This was paired with Diesel low-rise or Notify high-rise jeans. Jeans available at AB33, Rue Charlot.

2. Ankle Booties
French women are not waiting for fall to sport the hot new shoe du jour. The most popular style is platform and round, of course paired with skinny jeans or a barely there miniskirt. Perfect for a night out on the town at VIP or Le Baron! Check out Prouenza Schouler’s version at Colette, Rue St. Honore du Faubourg.

3. Leather, cropped motorcycle jackets
So bad–ass cruising on a Vespa or lunching at Café Flore, these are the perfect touch to an all black outfit and are the number one outerwear choice for les filles. Available at Barbara Bui, Rue Etienne-Marcel.

4. Bangs
The quintessential Parisienne’s accessory, this coiffure is still banging in the City of Lights from the bar at Plaza Athenee to brunch hotspot L’Avenue. Every fashionable girl has them, so you might want to consider getting yours too. Carita, Rue de St. Honore du Faubourg.

5. Grays
Color is so not the point right now. Matching the skies perfectly, this non-hue has stormed the city from charcoal to heather on cocktail dresses and cotton jumpers. All available at Vanessa Bruno, Rue St. Suplice, Paris.

Final Word: Tips straight from a Parisienne's Christian Louboutin, perhaps we have discovered a bit of the French allure...

Thursday, May 25, 2006

East Meets West, Chelsea That Is


The Capri Hotel may be the single most glorified road-side motel on Earth, but that doesn’t stop it from ruling the Hamptons club scene.

Last year’s Cain moved out of this on-27-locale in Southampton to make room for West Cheslea it-club-of-the-moment, Pink Elephant.

But whatever you call it, its still a small, sweaty, claustrophobic bar-with-banquets accompanied by a sandy, crowded patio with bottle-service on futons.

The crowd—if you can get in to see it—is a guaranteed mix of Manhattan’s most enthusiastic socialites, club kids and wannabes. But if the music is good and you show up drunk, you can have a damn good time.

Cain will still head to the Hamptons, antlers and all. This season they’ll take their African drumming and inflated ego to a larger space on North Sea Road, in the former home of Jet East (yes, after years and years on life support, the party people have finally pulled the plug on Jet).

Tavern will open its doors again, kicking off the season with DJ AM this Saturday, but who knows if they will pack a punch after that.

Bridgehampton’s Boutique has been a hidden gem for the last few years. This season, they are starting out big with talented up-and-comer DJ Berrie spinning all weekend.

Final Word: If you don’t want to stay home and barbeque, check out Berrie at Boutique. The rest is not worth the holiday weekend headache.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

East-Enders

We are just a few days away from Memorial Day Weekend and in New York that means exactly two things; the unofficial start of summer and the very official start of the Hamptons season.

Self-proclaimed “one of the most fabulous places on Earth,” the Hamptons are also a fickle, frustrating market.

Each season, restaurants, nightclubs and retailers start out strong only to fall prey to the long, lonely winter, never to be heard from again.

I’ve been keepin’ my ear to 27 all year and there’s plenty of new faces this season. We can only predict who will make it to round two for summer '07.
I wanted to give you a brief list, but I just have too much to say. So I’m gonna keep it moving slowly, from West to East, just like the traffic.

We’ll start in Westhampton Beach. WHB has always lacked on the restaurant scene. Sure, Starr Boggs re-incarnated itself in the old Westhampton Grille spot behind town last year as a superb fine dining establishment. But as far as casual meals go, you can only eat so many quesadillas at Margarita Grille.

Thankfully, fool-proof Tony’s Asian Fusion has opened an outpost in the old Le Bistro just off of Main Street. Although the Japanese-Chinese-Thai menu may be as un-authentic as the restaurant’s name, the chain is doing something right.
With its original location in East Moriches and the largest in East Quogue, Tony’s has emerged as the only successful year-round dining franchise WOTC (that’s “west of the canal” for all you “visitors”).

It’s no Nobu, but it’s not trying to be. The sushi is fresh, the saki is potent and all locations are a damn good time if you make it.

Completely new to the scene is Annona. Located atop the Coachworks/Manhattan Motor Cars showroom on Riverhead Road, posh Annona is attempting to fit in with its’ downstairs neighbor; a sprawling marble space home to Bentleys and Ferraris. But then again, it is a car dealership and this is Westhampton, so we have to have our doubts.

But head chef Sara Jenkins and owner Rich Rubio bring modern Italian to new heights on the East End. Tickled your palette with the strawberry risotto and seared halibut after downing a “Grappa” at the bar. They’re even attempting, dare I say it, bottle service in the lounge.

In a town where nightlife has existed on tap beer and frozen margaritas, I warn them not to test their limits. But overall, Annona is a fabulous, promising new addition.

Final Word: Next post, nightlife in Southampton followed by the retail re-incarnation in EH. And I promise to get it all to you before you get in your cars, or train, or Jitney at 1pm on Friday. Or is it 3pm, or 8pm?
*PS-The above photo is DMoney (with a weave) lookin' fly on the dock in CMO.

Monday, May 22, 2006

All Grown Up



There comes a time when a girl must graduate from her Ikea meets West Elm apartment to something a little more grown-up, a little more refined, a little more well, real. I for one have lived in about 4 rentals in Manhattan, the longest time spanning one year. Yes, I am the leasing equivalent of a bag lady, schlepping my goods around like a wandering nomad, spending loads on Target furniture every season only to have my drawers fall apart after month 2. Sadly, I’ve graduated college over 2 years ago. It’s time to grow up.

Although I haven’t matured enough to spend some real cash on real furniture that isn’t made of cardboard, I have found the perfect antidote for chic, elegant interior décor that will do until I make it to Green Street’s furniture row. Decoupage darling.

Decou-what? Decoupage, not to be confused with a woman’s décolleté, this is the art of decorating a surface with cutouts and finishing it with an enamel surface. Fashioned into decorative pieces like plates and paperweights, it’s the hottest thing in interior design right now, or so I hear. A mix between the old and new, your home is instantly fashionable and current with a decoupage piece subtly emanating elegance on your coffee table.

John Derian, the master of decoupage has been selling his wares at his lower east side store since last spring. When you first walk in, it feels as if you’ve found an indoor Secret Garden, chockfull of tiny candle lanterns “Handmade in Paris,” huge weirdly shaped hunks of raw sponge, pots with sprawling ivy oozing out and of course, lots and lots of decoupage. From ashtrays to paperweights and plates to huge framed centerpieces with cats, dogs, initials, street maps of Paris, cacti, insects, butterflies, skulls and of course the ever-popular coral, there is something for everyone’s taste. You just can’t leave empty-handed.

The ideal gift for a loved one or for even better, for yourself, I look at it as baby steps to becoming a real grown-up with real things.

Final Word: Now plates aren’t just meant for eating on, John Derian, 2nd Avenue and 2nd Street. www.johnderian.com

Friday, May 19, 2006

Margherita Takes the Stage


So not only is she the heiress to the Missoni legacy of the eternally chic zig-zag sweaters, dresses and scarves, and not to mention the face of the family brand's perfume- Margherita Missoni can act!

Ok, ok, before you belt out that beleagured groan, oh god, another it-girl attempting to act, kill me now. Let's hold our judgement and see if this girl has any other skill besides pairing Missoni with vintage pieces and looking ingeniously fashion foward. Odds are she doesn't (Sorry but Paris, Nicole and Kimberly haven't exactly paved the way.) But that doesn't mean we're not interested. This weekend you can see the Italian bombshell in the off-broadway production The Maids and you can decide for yourself. Who knows maybe Miss Missoni will be the first it-girl to actually have a talent other than posing for photo-ops.

Final Word: True thespian or not, the girl has a knack for timing. The new M Missoni flagship bouqtique opens on June 7 at 426 W. Broadway. The Maids will show for 3 nights at 7pm at the Marilyn Monroe Theater on 115 East 15th. Street.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

King of New York



Without a doubt Mr. Chow Tribeca is the hottest place to be in New York. A who’s who of the New York elitist set, every night diners like Mariah Carey, Beyonce and troops of basketball players including Patrick Ewing pack the tables, creating a scene that resembles more a caricature of larger than life personalities than the real thing.

So why have the stars been immigrating en masse to Mr. Chow? Well, it’s Mr. Chow. Perennially chic, infinitely classic and unabashedly 80s, Mr. Chow is like home- comforting because you know what to expect, reliable because it’s never going to change and no matter what happens, you’ll keep going back. In a city where a restaurant’s life span averages a few weeks, people cherish the familiar. The fact that there’s a new one just compounds the cool factor. It’s Mr. Chow saying, “I’ve still got it, baby.”

There’s no question the new restaurant flaunts the same deliberate ostentation as it’s former, a quality so rare these days. Or is it? With large and in charge bullies like Buddakan and Buddha Bar that are sprawling theme parks with their multi-million dollar budgets, Mr. Chow is small-scale (by Tribeca standards) and almost discreet. However, unlike its gargantuan contemporaries whose décor and patrons reek of “nouveau restaurant”, Mr. Chow is strictly aristocratic.

Shimmering glass beads hang from the ceiling against a stark black and white black marble backdrop. Photographs of a foggy Christopher Walken smoking a cigarette span the wall, while a framed homage to Mr. Chow himself serves as the central focal point of the sparkling room. But it would be wrong to say there even is a focal point, since everyone’s too busy craning their necks to spot who’s the hottest there.

In addition to the aforementioned celebs, the rest of the crowd includes modelizers and their prey, young Wall Street types trying to keep their “cool” factor and arties channeling the Mr. Chow/Warhol love affair in an ironic, post-contemporary sort of way, of course.

With the coming of Mr. Chow Downtown, you have to ask, are the 80s back in full swing? You know, when Madonna was touring, girls wore leggings, and Donald Trump was King of New York? Hmmm…I’ll let you decide.

Final Word: Best dishes (besides the crowd): squab in lettuce leaves, chicken satay and fried seaweed to start. Steamed sea bass filet, green shrimp and the crispy beef for entrees. (Mr. Chow, 121 Hudson St. at N. Moore)

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Devi Does East Hampton


After a long (and fickle) winter, the veritable rites of summer have finally surfaced: rising temps, frizzy hair, and Memorial Day weekend. And while you may have your Clarins sunscreen and Tomas Maier bikini ready for a weekend jet-a-way, have you given any thought to posh summer toting?

On May 26th socialites and stylistas visiting East Hampton for inaugural summer festivities can stop by the first ever Devi Kroell retail store to snap up the designer’s signature metallic python hobos and chicer-than-thou ostrich sandals just in time for the season. The 2,000 sqft. space will house a complete inventory of the accessory designer’s ever-evolving collection of all things exotic skinned — bags, shoes, small leather goods and furs (which arrive for fall) — but if fashionistas just can’t find what they’re looking for amongst the exclusive merch then they can place a special order for a customized piece instead.

Final Word: What are you waiting for? Python luggage tags and Karung clutches are only a Jitney ride away. 2 Main Street, East Hampton

The Pleasant Peasant


What's better than simplicity? Peasant in NoLita brings you just that on a terracotta plate. A few doors down from the ever popular Public, Peasant is a little more demure with its two rustic levels, emanating a cozy warmth, perhaps from the large pizza brick oven in the center of the first floor.

Genius ricotta served with hearty bread is thrown onto your table as the waiter will read you the menu (it's all in Italian). You'll choose a wine and probably start off with some sizzling appetizers baked right in that brick oven. Crackling octopus come spicy swimming in a fragrant olive oil infused with chili peppers and the mozzerella pepporoni dish is just heavenly with those delectable melt in your mouth balls of cheese.

And the entrees aren't bad either. Me and my girlfriend opted for the healthy route (that ricotta will kill you) and ordered the whole roasted seabass on a bed of thyme and broccoli rabe on the side. Perfectly crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside, the fish didn't make us at all envious of the pasta dishes our neighbors ordered (ok, maybe a little).

And that's just the food. The crowd offers an eclectic mix of NoLita hipsters and art intellectuals chowing down on rustic Italian and clustering outside to share that oh-so cherished cigarette after a hearty dinner.

Final Word: Insiders eat downstairs, where the lights are dim, the tables are close and the vibe just emanates clandestine cool. (Peasant, Elizabeth St. between Prince and Spring Sts.)

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Social Calendar


So it may be raining cats and dogs this week but that won’t stop the social set from strapping on their stilettos and getting down for a good cause. For party crashers who’ll brave rain, sleet or snow for a free cocktail and a possible celeb sighting, here’s a list of what’s going down this week:

Tuesday, May 16, 2006
-Gotham Magazine party at Stereo (W. 29th St. bet. 10th and 11th Aves)
Who: Young socials and wannabes
Why: An excuse to party at a club before Hamptons season begins
Wear: Jeans and a flirty tank

Wednesday, May 17
-Roberto and Eva Cavalli host a dinner for at Sotheby’s (E. 72nd St. and York Ave.)
Who: Fashionistas, industry insiders and Euro mania
Why: Fundraiser for Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
Wear: Duh, Cavalli

-Pink Elephant Wednesdays by DJ Berrie (627. W. 27th St.)
Who: The Euro after-hours crowd
Why: Why not?
Wear: Missoni or Cavalli top with jeans and chandelier earrings

Thursday, May 18
-Coach Launches Legacy Collection with DJ Jus Ske and Vice (Michelson Studio at Bank St.)
Who: Fashion press, PR and DJ Groovies
Why: Coach trying to get street cred
Wear: After-office attire

Friday, May 19
-Operation Smile Benefit (Skylight Studios, 275 Hudson St.)
Who: The new generation of social elite
Why: Operation Smile
Wear: A very-in, very vintage Ossie Clark gown

Final Word: In this city, nobody actually gets an invite, so consider this one yours!

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Newly Mint-ed

Just two months ago, The Blackberrie reported painter/photographer Marilyn Minter's Chelsea billboards celebrating the Whitney Biennial. Now, this fashion-photographer-turned-social-commenter has completed her first foray into design.

Collaborating with logo-loving Coach, this unlikely duo has come together with two other American artists, Kiki Smith and Laurie Simmons, to create one-of-a-kind evening bags. The designs will be auctioned off this Tuesday at a black-tie dinner benefiting the Whitney.

Reed Krakoff, president and creative director of Coach, and his wife, Delphine, are the 75th anniversary chairs of this year’s Whitney American Art Award. Coach’s collaboration with these artists is said to reflect Krakoff’s “passion for contemporary art.”

Minter’s contribution is an elegant evening clutch in turquoise python. The inside satin lining is apparently screen-printed with a glittering eye, an image borrowed from her “Frost-Bite” piece.

Final Word: Should we expect to see some of Minter’s pseudo-pornographic, pulsating images appear on Coach totes this holiday, Anya Hindmarch-style? I won’t hold my breath.

Friday, May 12, 2006

To Laser Or Not To Laser?



That was the question that I was unexpectedly faced with two nights ago when I was in Palm Beach for the Completely Bare Spa opening. I was just going to do my usual editor run through: check out the joint, sample a comped service, collect my goody bag and leave.

But that’s not quite how it went down. The comped service I chose to experience from the spa’s menu was one of their signatures: the Completely Bare bikini wax. (No explanation necessary, right? It’s the whole shebang.) Anyway, so naturally I was a little nervous all day, but when I got to the spa I felt immediately at ease. It was very warm and welcoming. The entrance felt more like a living room. The bright all white décor featured modern chaises coupled around a large fuzzy fur rug. There were candles burning atop simple shelving that also displayed the Completely Bare product line and a sleek little plasma TV.

As I observed my surroundings and maintained my nerves, Cindy Barshop, the owner of the New York based spa chain came in to introduce herself and chat. We sat on the couch and talked about the spa’s unique services. I actually forgot for a moment that I was about the get stripped down to my barest self.

Then as Cindy went on about their signature micro-dermabrasion facial I momentarily zoned out and glanced up at the television. There, right in front of me was a half naked chick pulling down her pants in front of a tongue-wagging Howard Stern. I must have made some sort of facial expression that mimicked complete horror because Cindy immediately interrupted her spiel to assure, “Oh that’s just one of our press clippings.”

I let out an awkward laugh then tried to change the subject like I was totally un-phased. “So what other treatments do you guys specialize in?” This question was a mistake. It was meant to deter from my first flush of embarrassment, but ultimately led to my next even bigger burst of awkward behavior.

So she proceeded to tell me that they were best known for their laser treatments. Then she asked me if I’ve ever had laser hair removal. I haven’t. I always thought I’d love to, but when it came down to it I never actually motivated to go and get it done. The thought of never having to shave again seems nice, but then again isn’t it really painful?

She asked me if I’d like to try it. “What, the laser hair removal?” She said it so nonchalant as if it was something people do on a whim for fun, so I had to double check. “Yeah, it’ll be fun,” she replied. Fun? Of course my answer was flat out, “No thank you.” But then she just threw it back, “Oh come on, it’s not bad. Just try it.”

I couldn’t believe it. Was I being peer pressured? This can't be normal. But she kept prodding and coaxing so I finally gave in and blurted out “Okay, I’ll do it. But… I’m… really nervous.” It was probably one of my most awkward moments ever.

Within an instant a swarm of CB specialists in white lab coats came out of nowhere and surrounded me. I immediately felt like I was in a doctor’s office. One handed me a clipboard where I was to fill out my entire medical history and sign a waiver. Another was asking me questions about my skin while another was petting my arm telling me I was going to be okay.

As I was lying on the chair in the treatment room, a huge white machine with an extendable arm and red light stared at me in the face. As it hummed, I was feeling increasingly uneasy with each passing moment. Everything felt so serious. I began to doubt my spa-like surroundings. Am I having a surgical procedure? I could hear my mom’s voice in my head saying what are you doing? A Completely Bare bikini wax actually sounded so refreshing at that moment. Why was I such baby? Why didn’t I just say I wanted the wax!?

My inner dialogue was interrupted by my specialist’s voice, “Now on a scale of 1 to 5, how did that feel?” “What?” I asked. Apparently she had already done the first area and I didn’t even realize. It was that easy. I had heard that it felt like a rubber band snapping against your skin, but painless? I had never heard that. I later learned the laser machines that Completely Bare uses in all of their spas are in fact virtually painless. And from that moment on I was hooked. I’ve already plotted each body part I’m going to tackle next. It’s amazing. I never have to wax or shave again? Sold.

Final Word: Do you dare to go bare? With summer right around the corner a little laser might do the body good. Visit one of Completely Bare’s four New York locations and see for yourself. www.completelybare.com

Thursday, May 11, 2006

No Pain, No Gain


There are those facialists who pamper your skin with avocado masks, let you smell lavender incense and leave you smelling and sometimes looking like a rose. And there are those whose clinical rooms double as torture chambers, where every waking moment is spent in agonizing pain as they extract with surgical precision every impurity in your skin, leaving you looking like a pepperoni pizza. Christine Chin is part of the latter camp.

Why would you subject yourself to such excruciating pain? Why else? For everlasting beauty of course. Like an old Chinese proverb by a wise prophet, “No pain, no gain,” rings true in the realm of physical beauty. Or was that Arnold Schwarzenager? Well, either way, “no pain, no gain” is a theme among Chinese healers- at least the ones I’ve met. From my mother’s masseuse, “Dr. Lee” who made me cry from the pain he induced while massaging the pressure points in my palm to Christine Chin who coolly sticks needles and who knows what in my face as I lie death-gripping my chair, I’ve done nothing but benefit from my suffering. No I’m not a sadist, I just like results.

Like clockwork, 3 days after every appointment with Christine, I discover baby soft, clear skin that I never knew I had. From her extracting facial and her “micro-dermabrasion” that involves taking an actual rough diamond to exfoliate dead skin away – my skin is clean and clear, I might even say luminous. Even my very hard to please Asian mother comments on my now glowing skin.

But good things are never cheap, are they. Indeed Christine’s prices are as scary as her techniques. One appointment for a facial and micro can easily reach $400, not to mention the product you’ll leave with. And you will leave with product, since, like her facials they are truly amazing.

Final Word: The fact is women pay for beauty, especially if it’s the real deal. I will promise you if you go to Christine, you’ll see results. And that my friend, is priceless. (Insider’s Tip: If the “Mean Queen” herself is booked, ask for Lillian her 1st assistant.) Christine Chin Spa, 212.353.0503.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Mommy Dearest


Forget the potted plants and prix-fix brunches this Mother’s Day and get the lovely lady in your life something she’ll actually use.

Woman of a certain age tend to lose their eyesight. Shortly after, they tend to lose their glasses. This year, keep your mom on track and in style with La LOOP.

This New York-based accessories company invented the eyewear necklace category. Their “loop,” with patented 360-degree swivel hinges allows the glasses and the necklace to move as one. Therefore, when glasses are in the loop they do not twist, turn or fall.

All loops are sterling silver or vermeil with necklaces made from materials found all over the world. From white turquoise and pink opal to hand-hammered chains, La LOOP offers a complete jewelry collection as fabulous as it is functional.

Your mother, and her glasses, will be forever thankful.

Final Word: Available at Robert Marc stores throughout New York or www.laloop.com

Monday, May 08, 2006

Blahnik, Baby


Bust out your shoe horns ladies, this will get ugly.

Without sounding like Daily Candy, we feel obligated to alert you of yet another sample sale. But we think you’ll thank us:

Manolo Blahnik
Wednesday, May 10th
Warwick Hotel, at 54th and 6th

Although there is a “list” (obviously), mere mortals can swing through anytime between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Final Word: Save your lunch money; this baby is CASH ONLY.

5 Reasons to Love Anderson Cooper


1. His mother is Gloria Vanderbilt. Who knew? Our beloved news anchor speaking for the masses is one of New York's creme de la creme socialites' second son. It gives him a bit of an edge, wouldn't you say?

2. He knows how to make fun of himself. On Comedy Central's The Colbert Report, Anderson humbly mocked the false air of importance that accompanies most news anchors by showing his "moves" to Stephen Colbert such as unbuttoning his suit jacket and leaning in to his interviewee for emphasis. I'm not gonna lie, it was actually pretty sexy.

3. He dabbles as judge on Food Network's Iron Chef. Taking time out of his schedule of interviewing displaced Katrina victims to sample stuffed squid with braised napa cabbage and seared pancetta? You have to respect that type of joie de vivre.

4. The Vanity Fair article. A personable account on someone whose job is never to be personable, the article divulges the tormented history behind America's newly it-news anchor.

5. His eyes. Must we elaborate?

Final Word: Anderson Cooper is today's man. Smart, easy-going, vulnerable and complicated. What more could you ask for in a nation's newsman?

Friday, May 05, 2006

It's All About The Space


Ok, so The Blackberrie has recently joined the rest of our generation by becoming OBSESSED with MySpace.

We’ve come to terms with the fact that it’s not just for band-aids and pedophiles; it’s an actual cultural movement. I mean honestly, they profiled it in Vanity Fair.

Now we’re all signed up with a pimped out page and all. So find us and become our friend. We’d love to know who our readers (and haters) are.

Final Word: See you on The Space. The Blackberrie.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Secret Sample Sale


With the most beautiful day of the year upon us, who can help but think of summer? Cue, june. Ok, not the month, but the clothing line. Known for their amazing line of leather designs, this Meatpacking-based design group is having a sample sale!

Perfectly tailored paper-thin leather jackets in all the colors of the rainbow are a steal at $190. Last winter’s rabbit-fur bombers are a mere $150. Uniquely designed tunics, tops and dresses of printed chiffon, suede and silk are oh-too-appealing at $25 a pop.

Final Word: Nobody knows about it but the merch is fantastic! 33 Little West 12th Street, just above Buddha Bar, through Friday.

American Bandstand


First came mini butterfly clips that speckled hair like confetti, then came Britney Spearsesque fedoras and newsboy caps and now the current head décor of choice are the simplest and most divine of all – the headband.

Originally donned by classic ingénues like Audrey Hepburn and Brigitte Bardot, the headband is functional and fashionable at the same time. It’s like an instant touch of femininity without the frills.

I’m not talking about the ubiquitous tortoise shell torture chambers that give any sane girl a migraine by the end of the day. The newest styles are a marriage between a headband and a headscarf lending a softer look that’s more feminine and polished – perfect for fashion’s elegant trend. From Missoni’s colorful crocheted creations to Eugenia Kim’s softly subtle silk headbands, there is a style for every handsome head.

Final Word: To look instantly chic and put together (like Ms. Richie on Larry King above), don one of Cara Couture’s wide bands available at www.intermixonline.com.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

The Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs


The Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs played the Roseland Ballroom last night and I had a front row seat. Or, a side stage pseudo-VIP area seat next to Josh Harnett, but a good seat none-the-less.

Now I must admit, apart from last year’s run-away-hit single “Maps,” and the abundance of positive press surrounding the Indie/Alternative trio, I didn’t know much about the group. But with lead-singer Karen O as the main attraction, I didn’t have to.

In her mini-tank dress and torn stockings she delivered a performance that was theatric, chaotic and completely self-indulgent. Bouncing about the stage like a little girl at a slumber party, she and her audience, were completely lost in the moment.

But it’s that removal from reality makes her so appealing. With a look and sound inspired by the female rockers of the 80s, she brings us back to a time where we can get lost in the moment too.

Final Word: The Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs are headed to the UK to promote their new album “Show Your Bones,” in stores now.

Hump Day


It's Hump Day. You're tired, you're so over this week and the fact that there are still 2 whole more days until the weekend is almost too much to bear. Odds are, if you haven't gone out the last two nights, you're gonna need a little pick me up after work. Happy Hour will turn into Evening Hour will turn into Midnight Hour and you'll find yourself on West 27th Street on some line to get into some club with your inner angel telling you to go home while your inner demon screams, more, more, more.

I'm gonna say that the inner demon will win. So I might as well tell you where the hottest party on a Wednesday night is - Pink Elephant. A party of house, hip hop and the ragin' 80s classics, DJ Dave Berrie makes you forget it's a week night. Not to mention the packed house of models, music moguls and millionaires who will make you think you're one of them. And until that buzzer rings the next morning, you'll forget your worries, forget the week and dance the night away.

Final Word: Another reason to celebrate Hump Day: DJ Berrie Wednesdays at Pink Elephant, 527 W. 27th street. (www.myspace.com/djberrie)

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

The Odd Couple


One word sums up last night’s Costume Institute gala at the Met- weird. What usually goes down in history as one of the most elegant evenings of the year in New York City, last night was a misconceived, ill fitting and just plain garish nightmare. From Anna Wintour’s Cruella Deville meets Marla Maples ensemble to Victoria Beckham’s Miss Universe eveningwear number, you have to ask, what were the guests thinking??


Take the ever-chic SJP. We get that she’s the guest of the crazy Brit Alexander McQueen, but does that mean she has to dress like Braveheart?! No, no it doesn’t. The way too literal plaid get-up with, horror of all horrors, a plaid bag to match looked as if the two were connected at the hip, like the result of some sort of horrific Scottish science experiment gone wrong. Where’s Pat Field when you need her?!


Next up on the freakish fashion show? Mary-Kate Olsen. The mini modern muse of fashionable/anorexic girls worldwide, MK exhibited yet another idol misfortune. Apparently the twins just got back from some place hot – and forgot their sunscreen. Blistering skin isn’t exactly a “hot” look, well, you know what I mean. And to top it all off, she added red lipstick! Girls take note: sunburn and red lips do not mix. Ever.


Finally my personal favorite couple of the evening – Nicolas Ghesquiere of Balenciaga and French gamine Charlotte Gainsbourg. No doubt the coolest people at the party, their “I don’t give an f” air exudes French bitchiness. Could they be more chic? My only problem is the boots. Is it impossible these days to be fashionable and not look like a clown doing it? What’s next stilts? I get that they’re supposed to make a statement, but in my humble opinion totally unnecessary.

Final Word: The guests of this renowned gala are supposed to be the most stylish, fashionable and influential people in the industry. I can’t say I’m that impressed.

The Last Emperor


Last night I finally experienced the last of the colossal foodie trinity of what is Morimoto, Buddha Bar and Buddakan. And dare I say I liked the last the best?

What’s so unique about the latter, located on Ninth Avennue between 15th and 16th streets, is that although it’s humongous (a staggering 17,000 square feet), it feels warm and intimate. Bravo Christian Liagre, also the mastermind behind the interior of the Mercer Hotel. Monsieur Liagre has given the Meatpacking District the royal treatment of Chinoiserie with vast Chinese paintings and bamboo finishes, dramatic chandeliers in a cast space and a faux library in the basement fit for Louis XIV. Actually anyone who steps foot in the grandiose space feels as if he or she is an emperor hosting a private dinner party for 200. Indeed the restaurant consists of a multitude of mini dining rooms, which with their individual décor, wait staff and patrons, could be mini restaurants in a mega space catering to hundreds of clients under one roof.

“I feel like I’m in Boston Market,” one friend quipped. But the food was anything but. I’m still dreaming about the steamed edamame dumplings, creamy and delicious, served in a light broth. The truth is, the appetizers are where it’s at with perfectly crisp and chewy tuna tartare spring rolls, poppable beef and lettuce cups and of course the yummy dim sum. Our only complaint, small servings. But I guess that’s what you get when you have 260 ultra-hip, ultra-picky diners eating at the same time.

Final Word: Yes it’s Asian-inspired, yes it’s a monstrosity on lower Ninth Avenue but Buddakan actually stands out from the crowd. Note to Buddha Bar, be afraid. Be very afraid.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Shades of Gray

Don't check the color dial in your control panel, the pics here are as you see them - gray and colorless. Between all the black looks ominously marching down the runways and the ubiquitous bursts of color Pop Art style, it's hard not to make a color statement or lack there of these days. That's why it's wonderful to know some designers are going gray. For jeans that is. For some reason, blue denim just doesn't feel "now" like it used to. Your average Levis seem a bit tired, immature and almost messy. Gray denim on the otherhand feels instantly modern without being too obvious or polished.

Case in point. Sass and Bides sleet colored stovepipe jeans. The perfect modern cut, low-waisted pair is slim and sleek and provides automatic rocker status with the right vintage tee and stacked heel.

Next up, new denim cult label, J. Brand with their high-waisted, highly-fitted cigarette legs in a sultry sooty shade are staple of every hipster girl from LA to New York.



And last, good ol' Joes Jeans (for those less apt for skin-tight slacks) offers a cropped pencil leg in a heather gray, perfect for those warm summer evenings when dark denim just won't cut it.

Final Word: So what are you waiting for? Forget about coloring and let your grays show! All available at www.shopbop.com.