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The Time Traveler's Handbook


The Sixties: Get Into Mod World

A Day in the 60s
A little silver hair dye, a low-rise daybed, and the immortal words of Donovan are all it takes to get into mod world.

Sixties fashion was statement-making, so break with the present by starting your journey in the closet: A vinyl-trimmed dress and Roger Vivier patent-leather flats for you, and a form-fitting Pierre Cardin suit for your friend (Resurrection; 212-625-1374). Then head to Bumble and bumble, where Amy Farid will dye your hair (men’s and women’s) silver, and razor-trim it for an Andy- or Edie-esque shaggy cut (917-606-5000). Go for the full mod effect with a set of spidery false lashes and some pale lipstick from Shu Uemura (212-979-5500). Whet your Pop-acquisition appetite with a stroll through the retrospective of Claes Oldenburg’s early works at Zwirner & Wirth (212-517-8677). The crumpled toilet is probably beyond your budget, but there are still affordable artifacts. Sixties furniture hasn’t quite hit the insane price bracket yet, so be ahead of the craze and take home a low, streamlined daybed by Maria Pergay, whose designs have begun a rapid climb on the collector circuit (Demisch Danant; 212-989-5750). Curl up on your new purchase with Do You Sincerely Want to Be Rich?, the reissued history of master swindler Bernard Cornfeld, or delve into the trippy side of the sixties with the brand-new Autobiography of Donovan: The Hurdy Gurdy Man (Strand Book Store; 212-473-1452). If his tell-all gets you stressed, mellow out by strumming a few bars of “Jennifer Juniper” on your 1966 Martin D-18 (Main Drag Music; 718-388-6365). Got the munchies? Serendipity might be a catering hall for tourists and Upper East Side tweens now, but it was once the favorite eatery of Andy Warhol’s Factory cronies. Sit in the first alcove, where Warhol paid for his ice-cream sundaes with sketches of staffers (212-838-3531). Make sure to get tickets for the last screening of What’s Happening! The Beatles in the USA at MoMA on December 28 (212-708-9480). Start practicing now, so you can frug like a pro while the credits roll (Alee Reed at Pierre Dulaine Dance Club; 212-244-8400).

Living the Life
The Pop Lover
Lisa Perry fell hard for the sixties as a teenager; after a class trip to London and a life-changing visit to the trippy fashion emporium Biba, she redecorated her suburban bedroom in Op Art. Some 30 years later, Perry lives in the ultimate grown-up version of her teen fantasy—a gleaming, museum-quality temple to Pop on Sutton Place. “The sixties look makes me smile,” says Perry, who was born in 1958. She’s always worn the clothes; when she and her husband bought a penthouse in 2000, “I decided to do sixties world, and my husband said, ‘Let’s go all the way and do the art too,’ ” Perry says. (Their previous apartment was French Empire).

Over four years, with the help of an open checkbook and decorator Tony Ingrao, by power-browsing and buying online, Perry built a hyperconsistent world of artifacts and newer pieces. She scored twenty mint-condition Saarinen dining chairs at Machine Age in Boston for “half the amount I would pay for them in New York,” four Panton shell lamps and a Lucite bench by Charles Hollis Jones at R 20th Century in Tribeca, and dozens of “Marilyn” mugs from The living room is lacquered white, the master bedroom is white vinyl, and white rugs cover the floor. There are Warhols, Lichtensteins, and Rosenquists everywhere, bought with the assistance of art consultant Dominique Lévy. “We were late getting into Pop by a couple years, but it was still decent,” she says. “Now you can’t touch the stuff.”

Perry’s style role model now is Audrey Hepburn circa How to Steal a Million; she’s mastered the teased bouffant (“I’m a nightmare in the rain”), and her pristine wardrobe includes a rare Paco Rabanne chain-link dress from Decades in Los Angeles and lots of Courrèges from Resurrection in New York. Friends have given her their mothers’ Puccis and Pierre Cardins. “One downfall of vintage is that seams split and buttons pop, so I am always equipped with a needle and thread,” she says. “At first I bought everything. Now I can wait for the really special pieces.” Top of her wish list: Yves Saint Laurent’s 1965 Mondrian dress. For that, “the sky would be the limit.”

What’s Hot Now
Wendell Castle Lamps
It’s hard to beat the groove factor of Castle’s plastic floor “lamps”; they’re more like neon-trimmed solid-form Lava lamps than illumination tools. At $18,000 to $30,000, they aren’t exactly a steal; they are one of a kind, however, and their wild colors and emphatic style have them cued up as the next craze (R 20th Century Design; 212-343-7979).

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