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Spring 2009

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Fashion Week Is Here!

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Oh, happy day! It's the start of Fashion Week in New York, and everyone from designers to models to socialites to — of course — New York Magazine is gearing up for it. We're especially pleased to bring back nymag.com's full Fashion Week extravaganza. We'll be posting next-day slideshows of all the shows. We'll be giving our fancy new video player a good workout. We're bringing back our Show & Talk fashion blog, which will bring you instant trend reports, lots of Harriet and Amy, plenty of Video Look Books, and, most thrillingly, the return to New York of our beloved Fug Girls. All that, plus we're letting you post comments on Show & Talk. (We expect to regret that last bit.) It'll be more fun than a Marc Jacobs costume party. New York Fashion Week Preview [NYM]

People Don't Like Lennon's Murderer, Apparently

Some people are boycotting the Lohan-Leto movie about John Lennon murderer Mark David Chapman because they think it gives him too much publicity. Mayor Bloomberg made an ill-timed Leonardo DiCaprio–Bar Refaeli joke. Mary-Louise Parker and Weeds co-star Jeffrey Dean Morgan have split, though in this case she was not pregnant with his child. The Daily News sticks to its claim that Sienna Miller and Hayden Christensen are actually doing it in Factory Girl. George Soros spoke at Davos last week about America's need for a "de-Nazification" process. The U.S. Postal Service refused to ship cards from Chez Josephine owner Jean-Claude Baker because they had pictures of boobies — Josephine Baker's boobies — on them. — on them.

Rocket Rod Dances Back Into the River Café; Nobody Likes Ilan

Rod Stewart, banned for life at the River Café for pulling his own “rod” out, gets readmitted after a penitential jig for owner Buzzy O'Keefe. [NYDN] McDonald's coffee "the cheapest and the best," according to Consumer Reports. Of course, it was only going up against Burger King, Dunkin' Donuts, and Starbucks. [NYDN] Frank Bruni also thinks Marcel got the shaft in the Top Chef finale. Does Ilan have any fans in the media at all? [NYT]

Doctoroff Goes to Harlem, Gets Smacked

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Dan Doctoroff, Bloomberg's all-powerful development czar, very rarely has his ass kicked in public. But at a Harlem symposium on Robert Moses's legacy last night, Majora Carter, who runs the environmental advocacy group Sustainable South Bronx, did just that. As various bigshots praised the vital role of public input in today's successful megaprojects — Atlantic Yards was never mentioned — Doctoroff contended that Team Bloomberg had buried Moses's high-handed legacy. Carter, whose group has proposed a recycling facility where the city wants to build a 2,000-bed jail, begged to differ.

Miss USA Still Likes the Nightlife, Says Miss Universe

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Has disgraced-Miss-USA-gone- wild Tara Conner — who entered rehab to curb her crazy ways, including cocaine use, underage drinking, and kissing Miss Teen USA Katie Blair in public — completely given up her partying ways? Not entirely, according to her roommate, Miss Universe Zuleyka Rivera. "We still party, yeah. Sometimes. We're just trying to be careful about what we do," she said at Wednesday night's benefit gala for amFAR. Besides, pageant owner Donald Trump "trusts us," Rivera says. "I'm a person who shows my real self. If I like to go party, like a young girl do, I do it. Why not? I can't drink. I'm 19. At least not in the United States." Rivera is from Puerto Rico, and "In Puerto Rico I can." And she does get treated better with the sash on. "If I compare when I was in Puerto Rico as a student in college, it's different. Very different. I get into clubs, yes." —Jada Yuan Update: Miss Universe and her flack call us to deny everything!

There Either Will or Will Not Be Six More Weeks of Winter

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• We can all agree it's Groundhog Day, but there's little agreement beyond that. Contradictory early-morning behavior from local groundhogs Staten Island Chuck, Holtsville Hal, and Malverne Phil casts uncertainty on the duration of winter. [Newsday] • Hillary Clinton has announced that her presidential fund-raisers must pony up a record-breaking $1 million apiece to make her BFF inner circle. (By comparison, Dubya's BFF benchmark in 2000 was a trifling $100,000.) The burning question: Should the HRC BFFs be called "Pathfinders" or the naughtier "Hillraisers"? [NYT] • Just in time for Black History Month, and egged on by rap legend Kurtis Blow, the City Council ponders a resolution to urge all New Yorkers to stop using the N-word. And even when you end it with an a, dawg. [amNY] • In the political equivalent of wearing the same dress to the dance, '08 rivals Giuliani and McCain learned they'd be sharing top billing in May at a big New York State GOP fund-raiser — and some party insiders are calling it a major dis to Rudy. [NYP] • One day after he suggested that Barack Obama was the first black presidential candidate to master both English and personal hygiene, Senator Joe Biden hit Al Sharpton's radio show to insist he had the highest regard for the Rev's syntax. [NYDN]

Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand Dines at Sony's Private Restaurant

For the past month, Franz Ferdinand front man Alex Kapranos has been spending long hours in a Chelsea studio producing a record by tourmates the Cribs; staying at the Greenpoint apartment of his girlfriend of four years Eleanor Friedberger, lead singer of the Fiery Furnaces; and celebrating the publication of Sound Bites: Eating on Tour With Franz Ferdinand, in which the culinary adventurer and former chef recounts everything from buffets in Singapore to bull’s testicles in Argentina. Before he returns to Glasgow next week to start work on a new record (and to tuck into his favorite curry), we thought we’d ask him where he’s been finding nourishment in his adopted city.

Welcome Back, Fug Girls!

Spring 2007's Fashion Week introduced jaded new eyes to Bryant Park: Heather and Jessica, creators of the celebrity whipping post Go Fug Yourself. The Fug Girls are back this season to excoriate the A-list and chastise the B-list. Our favorite part of 2006, including the heroic news of Britney kicking K-Fed to the curb, was Fashion Week. We came, schmoozed, and boozed our way through a week of haute couture and hot parties. So we're thrilled to be returning to spot celebs in the front row and spy on them at the after-parties this winter. But this time, we're coming prepared — even blasé. We vow that, this go-round, we will not be horrified by interpretive dance on the runways, nor will we fly into a vicious rage when some forward-thinking designer tries to convince us that we should be wearing pants on our heads. (Don't worry: Both of these statements are lies. There will totally be horror AND rage. Probably during the first show on our schedule.) But what we're most breathlessly anticipating is the moment when we find out if we're in for yet another six months of leggings or if our long national nightmare is finally over. Our poison pens are poised and ready.

Party Preview: The Week's Best Bashes

Forget about the clothes, it's the parties! There are too many to fêtes to mention all of them, but here are five you don't want to miss. Don't have an invite? New York's Jada Yuan and the Fug Girls will be there to report back on the glamour and the gaffes. Check our continuing party coverage throughout the week for all the photos and gossip. What: Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week kickoff Where: The Box, 189 Chrystie St., nr. Stanton St. When: February 1, 9 p.m. Who: Mena Suvari, Nick Cannon, Michael C. Hall, and L.A. band Shiny Toy Guns. Why to go: Patrick Bateman may not be there, but Jessica Stam can still cozy up to Dexter. What: Vionnet launch Where: Barneys New York, 660 Madison Ave., at 61st St. When: February 2, 6 p.m.–8 p.m. Who: Everyone. Victoria Bartlett, Gilles Bensimon, Valerie Steele, Phillip Lim, Olivia Chantecaille, Meredith Melling Burke, Padma Lakshmi, Sally Singer, and, of course, Sophia Kokosalaki. Why to go: To get a first glimpse of the resurrected French label. What: Rock & Republic after-party Where: Hiro Ballroom, the Maritime Hotel, 371 W. 16th St., at Ninth Ave. When: February 2, 10 p.m. Who: Mark Ronson, designer Mark Ball, and a gaggle of catwalkers. Lady Sovereign will perform at midnight. Why to go: Promises to be the best concert of the week. What: Marc Jacobs after-party Where: The MJ bash is the most sought-after invite. Details are on the deep DL. When: February 5 Who: The Olsens, the Roitfelds, Jessica Stam and every model worth looking at. Why to go: If you have to ask, that's why you're not there. What:Heatherette after-party Where: Roseland Ballroom, 239 W. 52nd St., nr. Broadway When: February 6, 10:30 p.m. Who: Lydia Hearst, Tinsley Mortimer, Amanda Lepore, and Paris Hilton. Why to go: Best place to fly your freak flag.

As the Tents Turn: Isaac's Back, Marc by Marc's Gone, Look Out for Agyness Dean

With the collections hitting Bryant Park for the last time (please, Mayor Bloomberg, don't make us hoof it to the Javits Center), we're armed and ready for the season's big changes. London calling: One of Fashion Week's hottest invites will be missing this season. Marc by Marc Jacobs is now showing across the pond, coinciding with the opening of the designer's new flagship store. Model down! Runway favorite Gemma Ward is skipping the season to shoot The Black Balloon with Toni Collette. We're not saying Ward was typecast or anything, but she is playing a pretty young thing. Couldn't she work in a coal mine? Target hawker Isaac Mizrahi makes his grand comeback with a new collection and show on Monday, February 5, at 475 Tenth Avenue, near 36th Street. Jeremy Scott is moving his often ridiculous, always outrageous show back to Paris, where he debuted in '97. We'll miss the strip-club after-party. After first canceling his show (his "goods" didn't arrive on time), Stephen Burrows is now hosting a fall press preview. Tara Subkoff and Trovata shows, however, aren't rising from the dead. Trovata split earlier this year citing "creative differences."

Fab Five Wonders if Party Invite Lost in Mail

Glamour Fashion Gives Back event. Milk Studios penthouse, 450 W. 15th St., nr. Ninth Ave., 7 p.m. Tim Gunn, Anna Paquin, Elie Tahari, Padma Lakshmi, and Jamie King are among the expected guests. Todd Oldham has to sit this one out. In case of a catastrophic event, Bravo requires a designated survivor to ensure reality-TV continuity.

Sheryl Crow Will Save the Newspaper Industry!

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So there are all the standard problems newspapers are having with their readerships — that they're too old, that they're moving online, that they never call or write anymore — and at the Wall Street Journal there's a whole other set on top of that: Long seen as only the businessman's paper, the Journal has a readership that's particularly old and significantly male. How to bring younger, womaner readers to the paper? With a new ad campaign, of course. People like the New York Giants, Alice Waters, and Sheryl Crow will be depicted talking about why the Journal is important to them, according to a reporting today's Times. For example:
Ms. Crow, 44, for example, learned last year that she had breast cancer; the ad with her includes part of a Journal article about breast cancer.
You know, as opposed to all those old Journal ads featuring men talking about their prostate cancer. Newspaper Readers of a Different Kind [NYT]

Park Slope Gastropub Serves Guinness on Tap — and as a Foam!

A few months ago, we alerted you that the “gastropub” phenomenon, deftly explored by Rob and Robin, was infiltrating Park Slope. Well, on February 21 the eagle lands in the form of Alchemy, the love child of former Lucky Strike barkeep Kevin Read and Jared King, previously a chef at Peacock Alley, Windows on the World, and Oceana. Their collection of antique jars isn’t the most impressive in town (guys, how could you let Simon Hammerstein beat you? Those things come so cheap at the Seventh Avenue flea market), but the menu, available for you here exclusively, is nothing to scoff at. Hanger steak served with bone marrow? Scallops with acorn-squash purée and Guinness froth? Cuttlefish with chorizo-oil mayonnaise? O’Connor’s across the street better step up its game — bar nuts ain’t going to cut it anymore. —Daniel Maurer Earlier: The Slope Gets Gastropub — With Garden, Perfect for Six Months From Now

Todd Oldham Is Not Our Bravo Idol

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Top Chef viewers who dealt with their postpartum depression last night by mooning around Bravo hoping for another toque or two before things were truly cashed found themselves suddenly facing an entirely different kind of high. Coming up next was the premiere of Bravo's new Top Design, in which Todd Oldham wannabes remake rooms for a chance at some start-up cash and a place in a top interior-design firm. The new show, it seems, will stick to the standard reality formula: early ejection of boring contestants, the establishment of a villain (oodles of possible Marcels, don't worry), and a new mentor and host in Oldham himself. But that, sadly, is the show's big problem: Oldham's wooden delivery was in desperate need of some hot Tim Gunn glue. (How Top Chef's Padma was allowed to sound half-asleep all the time, we'll never know.) Which gives us, suddenly, the perfect idea for the next reality show: So You Want to Be a Reality-Show Host. And sorry, Todd, you've got some talent, but we just don't think you've got the stage presence to be an idol. Top Design [BravoTV.com] Earlier: For Todd Oldham, Brunch Is a Prison

Oh, Come On, You've Seen Irma Sandrey

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Irma Sandrey is an actress, a dancer, and an acting instructor. She's a member of the Actors Studio and a teacher at the Lee Strasberg School. So what's her fashion Method? On the day New York's Amy Larocca caught up with her, it was fur, lots of fur. "I do feel sorry for the little animals," Sandrey says between giggles, "but … " But, indeed. It's cold in New York these days! Irma Sandrey [Video Look Book]

Good Eats for Fashion Plates

With Fashion Week almost here, some of you may have switched gears, thinking less about “Where can I find the perfect piece of foie gras?” and more about “How can I fit into a size 0 by Saturday?” We can’t presume to help you with that one, but we can recommend three guilt-free, non-Atkins options for eating well as the models parade into town.

Don't Mess With Bill Moyers's View

Red Hook: The shady demolition of the Revere Sugar Factory is making the neighbors furious. [Gowanus Lounge] Brooklyn Heights: Want a Mexican restaurant? It's yours for only $389,000. [Brooklyn Heights Blog] Chinatown: Some major street changes are in place, including a buffered bike lane on Grand Street, making it safer to eat sticky pork buns while cycling. [Streetsblog] Clinton Hill: Looks like the topiary-stealing first reported two weeks ago by Brooklyn Record continues. Who's the sticky-fingered horticulturalist? [Clinton Hill Blog] South Slope: Developer Gregory Rigas has been quietly been buying up — and not so quietly demolishing — mucho property on Fourth Avenue between Prospect Avenue and 16th Street. [Brownstoner] Upper West Side: Bill Moyers leads a pack of angry rich people against the New-York Historical Society's plan for a high-rise condo off Central Park West and 76th Street. [Curbed]

Al Franken Decides He's Good Enough, Smart Enough to Run for Senate

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It's semi-official: Al Franken is running for the U.S. Senate from Minnesota. This info, coming from a "senior Democratic official," retroactively explains the former Upper West Sider's hasty exit from Air America earlier this week. (He'd already moved himself and his show back to his home state two years ago.) But those that expect the race to be a nice comic diversion from the other 2008 carnage should look elsewhere. Franken is not a novelty candidate — not that that would be a problem in Minnesota, post–Jesse Ventura — and Republicans there, rather than dusting off old Stuart Smalley clips, are already saying unfunny things like "Minnesotans will reject Franken's divisive, scorched-earth attacks." He was also a close friend of Minnesota's liberal, lamented Paul Wellstone, who died in a plane crash in 2002; a Franken candidacy is likely to invoke the specter of the popular senator. At any rate, this should be interesting. Franken to Run for Senate in Minnesota [USAT]

Hillary and Chuck (and the Baileys) Take the Senate for Chinese

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Chuck Schumer's favorite Chinese restaurant in Washington was closed for a private party — his Positively American book party — Tuesday night, and Bernie Sanders, the Brooklyn-born Socialist senator from Vermont, was impressed. "This is a historic night," Sanders said, picking string beans straight from the buffet and chatting with Jerry Nadler, the West Side's man in the House of Representatives. "I've been coming here for years and I've never seen it shut down, but they shut it down for Schumer. He has reached the top. He has shut down the Hunan Dynasty."