Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Paper Dreams

In a world where friend requests have replaced awkward first impressions, pokes have replaced flirtatious winks and Twitter has replaced the right to personal musing, it is easy, if not inevitable that we will soon retreat from the real world altogether to co-exist in a virtual cyberspace where one never has to interact with another human being again.

That was then. Recently there has been a backlash among the cultured youth who are craving something real. Many of my friends have taken to not accepting pin requests, commiting "Facebook suicide“ and actually picking up a phone to (gasp) talk. But none of these well-meaning actions can compare to the ultimate representation of nostalgic, traditional correspondence—the written card.

Cards have always represented something more than a piece of paper. Whether it is an invitation, a thank you note or the ever-elusive love letter, that small piece cardboard, however slight, represents the thought and time taken to write to someone you care about.

Cue Downtown STATionary. Created by Emmett Shine (artist/photographer and co-founder of LOLA New York), this whimsical line of greeting cards were spawned from Shine‘s everyday sketches. Why greeting cards? "I like greeting cards because they are a two part joke or story - an opening and a closing. It is fun to do the most basic storyline in a way that is a bit off-setting, or seemingly non-linear.“

Each card displays one of Shine’s drawings with a tongue in cheek message inside. For the flippant fashionista? A pair of Wayfarers with the message "Ur so cool.“ For the aspiring rocker? A guitar and an amp. There’s even one for the perennial hipster, complete with a fedora and skinny jeans. Printed on recycled paper, these quirky cards are the ideal alternative to Hallmark’s pre-packaged gush. But to Shine the message is simple, like his cards. “My ideas come from walking around, friend's conversations, childhood inspirations, and sometimes just doodling."

Just because the name proclaims a downtown vibe does not mean this stationary is just for those living below 14th Street: "It‘s making fun of high-brow and low-brow at the same time in a way that both brow levels can appreciate, with winks at the same time.“

Final Word: Downtown STATionary is available exclusively at TheBlackBuoy.com and The Smile, NYC.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Fall in Love All Over Again: Green Day Hits The Stage

I grew out of musicals at about the same time I grew of out Steve Madden platform loafers. And while I have since vehemently discarded anything resembling a chunky sole, I can still recite, by-heart, basically every show that ever hit the New York stage. This is partially due to my alarmingly adept audio-memory, but it’s mostly because I loved them. And when you really love something you’re bound to grow up, but you may never truly grow out.

Having said that, I nearly started blushing when I read that Green Day (another past/present/future love) is teaming up with "Spring Awakening’s" Michael Mayer to develop their 2004 album “American Idiot” into a musical. Lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong tells The New York Times “It doesn’t make a lot of sense, but that’s what I love about it. When people see it, it’s going to be my wildest dream.” My thoughts exactly.

The yet-to-be-elaborated-on production, also called “American Idiot,” is scheduled to debut at California’s Berkeley Repertory Theatre in September. No word on whether it will make it to our Big City, but if the 12 million copies of the album sold, the Tonys behind "Spring Awakening" and the success of shows like The Who’s "Tommy" are any indicator, I doubt we’ll have to transverse the nation to further stimulate our obsession. Which is good, because I already have a major crush and I am not into long distance relationships.

Final Word: Since we’re talking about old loves (or is it just me consumed with that lately?), "Whatshername," the final track on “American Idiot,” is the perfect place to begin revisiting the album. I already, obvi, know it by heart. 

Saturday, March 28, 2009

The Money Shot is The Money Shot

Final Word: The Moonstruck Collaboration. Image by DMoney, editing by KirillWasHere. 

Friday, March 27, 2009

Why? Because I heart you.

Go Ask Alex: Tribal

The Blackberrie is excited to announce that we’re expanding our team. We have a lot of amazing new projects in the works (you just wait) but our first official debut comes from our girl AWill with her soon-to-be reoccurring column, Go Ask Alex.

AWill is our resident web archaeologist. She’s excavated the cyber goodies to find you all diamonds in the rough. Each week she’ll take couture taste and match it to contemporary cash-flow. Let’s see what she’s dug up for her maiden mission:

Dear Alex: I am totally smitten over the tribal-inspired jewelry on Marc Jacob’s runway for Louis Vuitton’s Spring 2009, but I have yet to find anything that comes close at a decent price. Can you please recommend some pieces?
-Desperately Seeking Louis

Dear DSL: Since it’s my job to scour the market for our stylish readers, I have managed to dig up a few pieces that are definitely tribal-esque, but won’t break the bank.

Word of advice: as these are meant to be statement pieces, don’t pile on all my suggestions at once for fear of looking like a true warrior princess. One or two will suffice!

These red and black stone hoops are reminiscent of Cleopatra.

Paired with a white cotton dress, this black resin
necklace is so chic for summer.

wooden bangles smattered with coral and turquoise beads.

The crystal stone on this
wood cuff adds that cool shot of art-deco glam.

You don’t need King Tut’s treasure to keep it tribal this season. AWill's got you covered.

Final Word: When in doubt, Go Ask Alex, email inquiries to theblackberrie@gmail.com.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Why the 90s Are Back

Earlier last week D$ gave us a few reasons why the 90s are back in full effect. Here are some pics from my birthday party to drive that point home. 

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Art Battles is Victorious

We’re all familiar with the phrase work-in-progress. Regardless of how and to what it’s applied it consistently connotes incomplete, unfinished, ill-suited for public consumption. We don’t read books before they’re bound or hear songs before they’re recorded, we barely look at a Facebook photo before it’s been cropped, resized and retouched. Our role is often limited to viewer of the polished product, not voyeur to the process; they never let us watch.

This is the appeal of Art Battles, a freestyle art competition that is uniquely reliant on audience participation and approval. At Art Battles, creation is celebrated and transformation encouraged. And while the final product determines the winner, the entertainment relies on the interim.

I attended my second Art Battles Friday night at Le Poisson Rouge. My first was about 4 years ago. It was held at a random empty space in Soho, music was playing though a DJ may or may not have been present, they were serving cold beers out of a cooler.

Nearly half a decade and an MTV special later, Art Battles has raised its' profile. This time, DJ Jus Ske hit the ones-and-twos and Danny Simmons--creator of Def Poetry Jam--MC’ed. Though apart from that and the venue swap, not much has changed. The formula doesn’t need much tweaking.

During Round One, entitled KongZilla, NYC-based artist and Art Battles creator Sean Bono battled three unknowns to determine who would advance to the finals. The artists were provided a live model as well as cardboard cut-outs of both King Kong and Godzilla. They each created their own vastly diverse interpretations of the male/female struggle as the equally diverse audience looked on.

With a colorful celebration of the female model, NYC-native and University of the Arts graduate, Andre “Dre” Trenier, advanced to Round Two. There he battled the most recently victorious Art Battles alum, Leif McIlwaine, an “aerosol artist” from Salt Lake City. The two went head-to-head on large black-and-white canvases and freestyled into the night.

By the time they were done a divided audience was unable to determine a winner, a sudden-death over time ensued, taking us well past 2 a.m. I believe a victor was eventually determined, but I can’t even recall who it was. Once you’re involved in the process, you become far less concerned with how it turns out. You’ve already gotten your fix.

Final Word: For more information on Art Battles visit their website. Images on this post have been provided by KirillWasHere.

I Got The Blues

Whether I am the first person in the world to discover this or the last, I don’t really care. But after much effort, downloads and QT with T-Mobile I have successfully synched my laptop and my Blackberry using Bluetooth. I am now able to have an Internet connection on my computer wherever I have a data connection on my phone.

This is pretty much blowing my mind right now because A) I had been living without Internet in my apartment for about six months (ironic, right?) and B) I had previously been led to believe that Bluetooth was only used by crazy Euros attempting to anonymously connect in public. So I guess it makes sense that it would serve another purpose.

Final Word: Take that Time Warner. I knew I could live without you. Next up, figuring out how to watch Gossip Girl on my refrigerator.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

That's Like, So Ten Years Ago

Us gals at The Blackberrie are celebrating all things 90’s this week. We’re whipping out our best Calvins, Keds and Scrunchies to celebrate N-Bizzle’s birthday tonight with a bash strictly dedicated to the decade of our youth.

But we’ve been so consumed with finding our mini-backpacks and figuring out how to feather our bangs that we nearly missed the obvious—the 90’s are back! Or at least it's starting among the fashionable set.

French fashion magazine Jalouse—one of our faves—has dedicated their entire April issue to the pre-millennium decade, while MTV is re-launching the Cindy Crawford classic, House of Style.

To elaborate on the latter, TeenVogue.com just released an exclusive interview with host Chanel Iman (Bar Rafaeli shares the duty).

When Teen Vogue asks the 19-year-old model if she watched the original she replies, “That was before my time. I was born in 1990! So no, not really.”

Now how old do you feel? Though upon further research, Chanel Iman was actually born in 1989. So if 19-year-old supermodels are lying about their age, how are we supposed to deal with reaching our mid (mid)-twenties?

Final Word: I would harp on that for a while, but I have matte mauve lipstick to locate. Outie.

Betty & Veronica: Why? Because We Like (are unhealthily obsessed with) You

Final Word: Thank you Terry Richardson.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The World According to Alber

Lanvin designer Alber Elbaz is a man after our own hearts. In the recent feature on Mr. Elbaz in The New Yorker's Style Issue the jovial createur was quoted saying: "The highest compliment a woman can recceive is, 'My God, she looks smart!' Not that 'she's sexy,'". We could not agree more.

Final Word: The writer went on to say, "Designers make women look thinner or prettier. Elbaz has the power to make women appear more interesting." Only one more reason why we love Lanvin.

Jane and Serge: Why? Because We Like (Love) You

Final Word: An homage to the chicest couple possibly in history and an homage to the chicest girl I know DN...love you!

Friday, March 13, 2009

She’s Baaaackk

Here is an image of Michelle Trachtenberg (carrying a Nancy Gonzalez bag) from yesterday’s set of Gossip Girl.

SPOLIER ALERT: Georgina is back. And she’s paired up with Chuck Bass, which means bad news bears across the board.

How many more skeletons could Serena possibly have it her closet?

S does allude to an incident in Santorini in an upcoming episode (yeah, we’ve seen it). To which N-Bizzle replied “we’ve already seen Sisterhood of The Traveling Pants, how much worse could it get in Greece?”

Final Word: It can’t possibly be worse than that, but Georgina means things ain’t pretty. Can’t wait.

PS-Shout out to my hometown girl Kate French for cameo-ing as Chuck Bass’ elusive love interest, Elle. You GG-go, girl.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Blackberrie Exclusive! Straight from Paris

A spy for the Blackberrie just sent us exclusive photos straight from the runway at Louis Vuitton. As it's happening now! We love the Donnie Darko references! You saw it here first. Eat your heart out Style.com :)

Thigh High

What is the hottest trend below the belt? Tight, thigh-high boots.  Exhibited here by style trailblazers Lauren Santo Domingo and Emmanuelle Alt, this unapologetically sexy look is all about the boots and meant to be worn with simple pieces like a black sweater or mini dress- and perhaps a fur as our girls did here.

And who says DIY is dead? According to Style.com, Santo Domingo (above) took her own pair of over-the-knee Brian Atwood boots, which were originally brown, dyed them black, and added inches of leather with a garter belt for extra S&M appeal.  Meanwhile, the ever-fashionable Alt paired hers with harem pants to create and east-meets-west look to go Lady Gaga for.

Final Word:  Not so blind item? A little birdie told us that a certain New York uptown socialite-cum-reality TV villain found her own pair of haute hooker heels at Stuart Weitzman for a mere $535. Sometimes style reveals itself in the most unexpected places...

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Rx for Perfection

If it’s not broke, don’t fix it, right? Wrong. Well, not when it comes to beauty. We can all always use a little extra enhancement, especially in regard to our skin care regime.

I’ve recently discovered that one of the most missed steps is makeup primer (who knew?) and Cover FX recently launched ClearPrep FX to fill the pre-foundation void we never knew we were missing.

I’ve been using the product for a little over a week now and have already noticed a change in my skin. It not only softens, but helps maintain your foundation throughout the day without creases or drying.

Although the product is technically targeted toward oily and acne-prone skin, it’s actually beneficial to all skin types. And unlike other acne-related products, it has not dried out my tendency-to-flake face, rather it provides extra moisture.

Not to mention, I’ve been break-out free since I began. Prevention without drying? I didn’t know it was possible…

Final Word: You learn something new everyday. But it’s not everyday you learn about something you can’t live without. Buy now at Sephora.com, thank me later.

RELAPSE: “Oh daaarhling, go fetch mummy her pills…”

It never made a huge splash stateside, but I imagine most people reading The BB are familiar with AbFab. I actually think I did a multi-media presentation on the show for a women’s studies class in college (I don’t think, I know, just hesitant to admit…major nerd status).

The 90s-era award-winning BBC sitcom was the brainchild of writer/leading-lady/comedienne Jennifer Saunders, who played Eddy, a chubby, chain-smoking, binge-drinking, 40-something PR firm owner obsessed and consumed by all things young, hip and in her distorted opinion, fabulous.

Her equally washed-up cohort is Patsy, played by Joanna Lumley, a leggy, blonde, nymphomaniac ex-fashion model, still basking in the glory of her swinging sixties glow, still searching for next great party, buzz or lay. Think a far more crude, more British pre-cursor to Samantha Jones. And then add twelve drinks, some pills and a joint.

The combination of these two women and these two characters is what propelled the show to cult status. But eager for a ride on the post-SATC gravy train, an American remake is now in the works.

These are the first images released from filming. The US prime-time version will star Kirsten Johnson (3rd Rock from the Sun) as Patsy, and Kathryn Hahn (Revolutionary Road) as Eddy. Hmm.

I mean, you don’t see us trying to turn Britain’s wildly successful comedy The Office into an American TV show? Or touching other 90’s classics like 90210?


I don’t know where they come up with this remake stuff…

Final Word: To sum up my American AbFab opinion in a sentence, if I had to guess, its no “Lacroix, daaarhling.”

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Working Girls

Paris Fashion Week is without a doubt the most important moment in fashion. Not only because the world's top designers reveal what trends are to come for Fall 09 but because it-girls of all catwalks of life make the pilgrimage to the City of Lights to flaunt the hottest styles at the hottest parties first.  The news is not happening on the runway, rather it is sipping a Rose Royale at the Bar at Plaza Athenee or getting down with Olivier Zahn in a smoky corner at Le Baron.  Paris is where style-philes discover what they will be donning in the months to come. 

Two years ago it was bandage dresses a la Christopher Kane (NOT Herve thank you very much). Last year it was scandalously slashed short frocks from Balmain.  And this year the fervor for Christophe Decarnin has not abated with the hit from his Spring 09 runway show, the molded blazer. From Colette's dinner bash for Alexander Wang to Roberto Cavalli's store opening, chic filles everywhere were rocking Balmain's style warrior look armored in his mighty suit.  With accented epaulets, this tailored jacket is meant to be paired with the skinniest jeans (and legs) you can find, as Vanessa Traina and Dasha Zhukova exhibit perfectly here.

Final Word: A clear nod to Decarnin's obsession with strong women who are not afraid to flaunt it if they got it, this look is not Melanie Griffith in Working Girl, but a peek at the powerful women of the future, it's just a matter if you're ready to work it.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Where the Sun Don’t Shine

I have been a relative hermit for the past 6-12 months, so I am not exactly a nightlife aficionado. But based on the times I have gone out, I was beginning to feel like people were not partying as hard, or as much, as they used to.

Perhaps that false negative was due largely to the fact that my random sample was taken at night. Yes, at night. I thought that was a good place to begin assessing nightlife. Well, this past weekend the Saturday “brunch” at Merkato 55 shed some light on the subject. And trust me, you’re going to need your shades.

After a live performance by the Gypsy Kings the real party started. You couldn’t possibly survive at ground level so everyone in the room found some chair or table to crown their personal pedestal for the afternoon. The rosé and magnums of champagnes flowed freely, complete with firework arrivals to upstage the 4th of July.

Every club kid, scenster and professional partier I have ever known, met or laid eyes on were in attendance in their full fist-pumping form. Champagne was being sprayed, girls were getting grabbed and guys looked as though they would never pull themselves away from the hedonism at hand. It was 4pm.

I couldn’t decide if I should embrace, deny or depart. Going to “brunch,” I figured we would eat (call me crazy) but since we arrived on the later side there was none of that. So needless to say, the rosé went to my head a little faster than usual. And, when in Rome...

Or my version of that, which means bop up and down on a chair until I find a familiar face that I want to talk to and retreat to a corner, which is actually what I did. But for those of you who are down to get down, Merkato 55 is just the joint for you.

Final Word: There’s really no hangover when the party ends at 7pm (as if that crowd went home). But either way, sleep it off and work up an appetite for actual brunch on Sunday. Just make sure you brings your shades. Merkato 55, 55 Gansevoort Street, NYC.


Hey Readers,

The Blackberrie has officially gone to Twitter! Check out style inspiration updates and musings on Twitter.com and let us know your thoughts!

Username: The Blackberrie


Friday, March 06, 2009

Dree Hemingway: The Kin Also Rises

Copy-catting isn’t usually my steeze, but I must say that I was quite inspired by today’s WhoWhatWear “Girl of the Month” Dree Hemingway. As far as her beauty and style are concerned, they speak for themselves. So I guess I’m more into addressing her pedigree.

I don’t usually encourage the glorification of celebu-spawn, but a Hemingway is in quite a different category from Rumor Willis or the Geldof girls (not to discredit Live Aid, Bob).

Maybe it’s because I was just watching Woody’s Allen “Manhattan,” where her hauntingly beautiful 17-year-old mother Mariel co-stars as his under-aged girlfriend.

Also, there was a time in my life when I wanted to name my first daughter Brett Ashley, after her grandfather Ernest’s leading-lady in “The Sun Also Rises."

Lastly, I would answer several Proust questionnaire inquires with 1920’s expat Paris, Hemingway, Picasso, Fitzgerald. Not exactly Ashton and Demi, so you get the point.

But back to Dree. She is a model and we understand why (I am still trying to wrap my brain ahead the whole Lydia Hearst thing). Her beauty and style actually deserve recognition. And, she smiles! We love that. Also, did I mention she’s a Hemingway?

Final Word: With all of our digital living and faux-cyber socializing, I’m into any present-day remembrance of the Café Society. Or maybe I just like her plaid and her JBrands. Actually, hold that thought, I just got a BBM…

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Lauren Hutton: Why? Because We Like You

Final Word: A little dose of inspiration courtesy of Dinyell (we’ll revisit that B-Berrie alias later), as for now, just enjoy the perfection.