Thursday, November 30, 2006

Lady In Red (Or Citrine and Amythest)

Yes the holidays are upon us and stores are selling out of ubiquitous glitzy gowns that shine and sparkle, but for the girl who wishes to beat to a different bass, there is the option to go matte in jewel tones such as scarlet, aubergine and emerald. This way she won’t be confused with the disco ball at Pink Elephant.

My personal picks? A sweet shift from Miu Miu that exudes peasant-chic in an unexpected urbane way, Marc Jacobs’ violet vision of a sexy slip or Development’s jade charmeuse camisole perfect paired with skinny black jeans.

Final Word: Whichever way you go, plan to wear your opaque Wolfords with those ankle booties…you wouldn’t want to make a slip a la Britney, Paris or Lindsay. Overexposure is and never will be au courant.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Modernity at the Met: Madame Butterfly

Vive la revolution! This Saturday evening, I witnessed history in the making in the most visually breathtaking rendition of Madame Butterfly at the Metropolitan Opera since, well since I can remember. Anthony Minghella, director of brilliant oeuvres such as The English Patient and The Talented Mr. Ripley, has created a modern violently vibrant vision of Puccini’s tragic story of young Cio-Cio-San and Lieutenant Pinkerton.

Butterfly has always been a beautiful opera for me; the costumes have always been colorful, the set always pretty and straightforward with its ubiquitous dojo on a hill and cherry blossom tree that expectedly shook in Part 1 of Act II. However, the innovative-mirrored black set of Michael Levine, contemporary choreography of Carolyn Choa with designer Han Feng’s breathtaking costumes made for a modern-day dream that shook the retinas of the audience to experience eye candy at the highest saccharine-soaked level.

It was Kabuki Theater meets Japanimation with symbolic props and lighting as sliding paper doors for a house and a cascade of rose petals for the tree coupled with ninja-like dancers and brilliant lifelike puppetry. Too bad for the “technical difficulties” that prolonged the 1st intermission followed by soprano Cristina Gallardo-Domas falling ill just in time for Part II of the second act. Very strange incidents, yet even these hiccups did not take away from the startling image branded into my mind.

In fact everyone who is anyone surfaced for the occasion- including fashion A-listers Julie Gilhart of Barney’s New Hork, Grace Coddington of Vogue and Mr. Valentino himself. Even star du jour Sacha Baron Cohen and fiancĂ© Isla Fisher sat a few rows behind the orchestra, canoodling and whispering sweet nothings before sneaking out after the second intermission.

Final Word: Perhaps this marks a new movement at the Met where modern day rules and tradition is played out. Either way, it seems the audience is ready for the change.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Tuscany in Tribeca

I’ve made a new discovery in the culinary word and it goes by the name of Bread. No, I’m not talking about the starchy glob of mass that tastes so good going down and not so good going directly to your hips and other undesirable places; I’m talking about the restaurant Bread that has taken Tribeca by storm with its super chic crowd, sexy lighting and melt in your mouth meals thanks to the newly revamped menu by chef Sara Jenkins of Il Buco fame.

Bread Tribeca, the much larger sister of Bread in Nolita, is a true restaurant by all definitions of the word. The loft-like space is minimally decorated with frosted plexiglass booths and concrete seating. From amuse bouches of ricotta on toasted peasant bread to a powder room the size of my bedroom, this contemporary lofty space was meant for fine dining, and drinking. While its sibling offers more of a “lunch” atmosphere with a menu of sandwich and soups for the shopping crowd, this Tribeca outpost is all grown up.

We were 15 minutes late for our reservation, but we were led by warm, German hostess (vive la contradiction) to the packed bar where we were given gallon-sized glasses of Gavi di Gavi and were content to people watch, who were an eclectic mix of arties, stylish couples and the young and beautiful.

Everything we tasted was comforting and delicious from the fried calamari to the whole grilled shrimp served on a wooden butcher block with rustic grilled vegetables. The fresh mozzarella risotto compliment of a very flirtatious chef wasn’t bad either.

Final Word: If dinner was this good, I cannot wait to go to brunch, which I hear is their specialty. Bread Tribeca, the corner of Church and Walker Streets, (212) 334-8282.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Walk This Way

Ray-Ban to Re-Lauch The Wayfarer.

This Wednesday, Ray-Ban will officially re-launch the most iconic sunglass frame of all time; The Wayfarer.

For the past forty-five years, The Wayfarer has been hooked on Hollywood, with a dirty little mistress in rock n’ roll.

In 1961, it made its silver screen debut in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.” Audrey Hepburn donned a pair with Holly Golightly’s pearls and little black dress. At around the same time, JFK wore them on weekends.

John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd re-introduced them in 1980’s “The Blues Brothers.” And Tom Cruise became a household name three years later when he wore nothing but his shades, a button-down and tube socks in “Risky Business.”

Musicians from Mick Jagger to Debbie Harry, and Elvis Costello to Madonna have all been photographed wearing them. And I think Pete Doherty is hiding behind a pair right now.

They are iconic, effortless and cool. And prior to this re-release, absolutely impossible to find.

In true Wayfarer fashion, the release party will be a little Hollywood, a little rock and roll.

Taking place Wednesday at Irving Plaza, famed music photographer Mick Rock will exhibit his work as the Eagles of Death Metal find time away from their tour with Gun N’ Roses to perform for a crowd of 700.

Final Word: The Wayfarer makes its official debut in Europe next month and hits the American market in January. No word on whether they’ll be in the goody bag. Maybe I’ll party crash and try to find out.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Balmain in Beantown? The MFA Does Fashion.

This month, two years after I've graduated, my alma mater's hometown, Boston, has decided to host one of the hottest fashion exhibitions of late. and baseball, yes. But fashion?

Regardless of the strange venue choice, this winter, industry insiders are sure to be migrating north on I-95 to take in the show, "Fashion Show: Paris Collections 2006," opening next week at the MFA. A warning for those on the road: Manhattanites aren't exactly known for their adept driving skills or sense of direction outside of a grid. But anything in the name of fashion, right?

The show promises to highlight French designers such as Azzedine Alaia, Karl Lagerfeld and John Galliano among others. The focus will also be on the City of Lights and why, in a world of instant global communication, Paris remains the fashion capital of the world.

For jet-setters looking for a chic place to stay (other than Hotel Commonwealth, which despite the charming name exudes wannabe hotel hostel), try XV Beacon and dine at their eccentric restaurant The Federalist.

Final Word: I haven't been back since my graduation in '04 but perhaps it's time I visited my old haunt for a taste of culture and couture...and of course a couple keg stands for good measure. It is Boston.

"Fashion Show: Paris Collections 2006", November 12-March 18 2007. Museum of Fine Arts, 465 Huntington Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Paris Haute Spots - Black Calvados and Neo

If you happen to find yourself in Paris and if you happen to find yourself looking for the newest, chicest place to have a Kir Royale (or whatever your poison du jour), there two new boites that have all of Paris buzzing. After all, when something nouvelle opens in the City of Lights, it's quite the occasion.

Black Calvados (a.k.a. BC) - Tucked away on a quiet street in the 8th among the ultra-luxe hotels George V and Pershing Hall, this lounge-cum-club only accepts la creme de la creme. Lindsay and Fergie sauntered in last month and last weekend Lenny (Kravitz) and Lawrence (Fishburne) stopped in for a boisson. In fact I saw 2 very fashionable French girls denied before my eyes (pas moi bien sur!). Claustrophobics beware- this pint-size discotheque is walled with mirrors making you Alice in Wonderland...if Alice was an incredibly chic Parisienne with a penchant for hard liquor and table dancing. Tip: Be sure to book a table, since unless you like things below freezing in Siberia (the bar), this is a private party place.

Neo- The old Tangia in the 1st has gotten a brand new makeover. The infamous door brigade from Maison Blanche (think Bungalow 8 with a most severe French attitude. Quelle horreur!) have set up shop here where models and the men who love them flock to hear the Killers and Kelis while smoking cigarettes on banquettes. If ever you want to see the newest fashion trends, this is the place to take notes. It was here where I learned stockings are the new leggings. You heard it here first. The closest thing to a U.S. club, they even have kitschy glow in the dark stirrers - too bad the crowd's too chic to appreciate it.

Final Word: If you get in, we highly reccomend the grey goose and perries...otherwise known as the "bitch 'mince'".
BC, 40 avenue Pierre 1er de Serbie ; Neo, 23 rue du Ponthieu.

For more insider information on Paris check out our new favorite blog Eye Prefer Paris ( It's like The Blackberrie with a certain je ne sais quoi, tres chic!