Tag Archives: New York

Spring/Summer 2016: 4 Celebrity Collaborations

It’s always fun to learn of celebrity collaborations with notable brands. Here, we take a look at some of the most anticipated lineups for Spring 2016 you’d want to include on your shopping list.

Rihanna for Manolo BlahnikManolo-Blahnik-Rihanna

Rihanna isn’t showing signs of slowing down when it comes to collaborations. This spring, she adds yet another exciting project to her busy fashion plate with famed luxury shoe designer Manolo Blahnik for a capsule footwear collection entitled “Denim Desserts”. The collection includes six models: ankle boots, stilettos and thigh-high boots. The embroidery and beading featured in the designs, are inspired by the award-winning singer’s many tattoos.This very limited-edition collection goes on sale from May 5 in Manolo Blahnik stores in London, New York and Hong Kong.

Sonia Rykiel & Robert ClegerieSonia-Rykiel-Robert-Clergerie

One of Robert Clergerie’s most iconic designs makes a come-back from the 1980s with the help of Sonia Rykiel. The closed-toe wedge sandals with an ankle strap that sealed the brand’s success got a breath of fresh air with bejweled, striped and sequined designs. Fans looking to embrace the iconic style of the ‘80s can do so in June when the updated designs head to both brands’ stores.

Liberty London for Uniqloliberty-london-Uniqulo

Uniqlo has quietly edged into the top spot for designer collaborations after working with some of the industry’s best – think Pharrell Williams, UNDERCOVER and Jil Sander. This season, in celebration of Liberty London’s 140th anniversary, the Japanese chain brings a selection of charming floral prints by the English label to bloom on 20 Uniqlo designs, including T-shirts, dresses, pants and lightweight down jackets for women, men, children and babies. The range is out now in stores and online.

Kendall & Kylie Jenner for Neiman MarcusKendall-Kylie-Jenner-Neiman-Marcus

Kendall and Kylie Jenner have taken over the world one Instagram post at a time, and now they’re about to take over our wardrobes too. The capsule collection of chic, high-end pieces designed for Neiman Marcus as part of the label’s “#OnlyatNM” program sees moto jackets, shorts and maxi dresses designed by the powerhouse sisters, and is available in the luxury label’s stores or online at neimanmarcus.com.

 

J.K. Rowling Chair Sells for Close to $400,000

The chair J.K Rowling sat on as she churned out the Harry Potter series has sold at auction for $394,000, some 14 times the price it last fetched at auction in 2009. The modest 1930s-era oak chair, part of mismatched set of four was sold in New York, in an auction we reported on in the previous version of this story. Adorned all over the chair are words in pink, gold, and green paint. Pre-bidding for the chair over the net reached $65,000 earlier this week.

“This was the comfiest one, which is why it ended up stationed permanently in front of my typewriter, supporting me while I typed,” Rowling wrote in a letter accompanying the chair that Heritage Auctions, the house in charge of the sale, placed on their website. “My nostalgic side is quite sad to see it go, but my back isn’t,” she added.

The words written in paint includes her signature, and the words “You may not find me pretty but don’t judge what you see” on the back rest, and “I wrote Harry Potter while sitting on this chair” on the wooden frame around the cushion. The front legs are also marked by lightning, invoking the famous lightning-scar of the boy wizard, painted on it.

Rowling donated the chair in 2002 to an auction benefitting the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children after adding the paint. The chair sold at auction again in 2009 for $29,117, Heritage Auctions said.

The Harry Potter series has been translated into 67 languages and sold more than 450 million copies, as well as become  a series of box office record-breaking films that made Rowling the first female novelist billionaire. Perhaps just a little bit of that writing magic may be left inside the chair for the next hopeful author who uses it. At the price it fetched though, we are quite sure the current owner (no names are forthcoming) is something other than a struggling writer…

Balmain First Flagship Opens New York

Although Olivier Rousteing from Balmain was involved with dressing up the (in)famous Kanye West and the Kardashians for his Yeezy Season 3 show, the French fashion brand has never really taken a step into the US fashion market – until now. A New York flagship store, the first in the US, will open May 2, confirming the growing popularity of the luxury fashion house stateside. Located in the SoHo neighborhood, the boutique will offer menswear, womenswear and, as of this summer, children’s clothing.

“It had to be SoHo,” explained Rousteing. “Anyone who knows me knows that I find America incredibly inspiring”. The space is 2,150 sqft. The store takes design cues from Villa Balmain, the mid-century vacation home on the Italian island of Elba that served as founder Pierre Balmain’s retreat. It also follows the simplicity and lightness of post-war American design.

A post-Met Ball party will be held to celebrate the opening of the house, and we can probably expect the West family on the guest list, as well as other names of note.

Images courtesy of Balmain

Focus: Art Collective TeamLab

TeamLab is an artist collaborative that brings together creative professionals from disparate disciplines to realise visionary art projects. Founded in 2001 by Toshiyuki Inoko, the team has grown to more than 400 people, including architects, artists, composers, computer graphics animators, editors, engineers, graphic designers, mathematicians and programers.

A multi-tasking outfit, TeamLab operates out of its Tokyo-based office. It offers creative solutions and innovative ideas through products such as interactive software and mobile applications, and of course, its artworks. Calling themselves ultra-technologists, the members contribute their unique expertise to create signature cross-disciplinary artworks that blur and push the boundaries between art and technology.

TeamLab had its first exhibition in 2011 at Japanese contemporary artist Takashi Murakami’s Kaikai Kiki Gallery in Taipei. Since then, interest in its artworks has grown steadily. TeamLab has exhibited in other parts of the world, such as at the Singapore Biennale 2013, at Pace Gallery in New York in 2014, and in Europe at events such as Expo Milan 2015 and Art Paris Art Fair 2015. Earlier his year, TeamLab was also shortlisted for the ‘Best Emerging Artist Using Digital and Video’ award at the Prudential Eye Awards, and exhibited new works at START Art Fair 2015, presented by Prudential and held at Saatchi Gallery in London.

Interactive Digital Art

Installation view of Harmony and Diversity for the Japan Pavilion at Expo Milano 2015

Installation view of Harmony and Diversity for the Japan Pavilion at Expo Milano 2015

TeamLab creates digital art. This is different from video art, which runs from beginning to end in a finite pre-choreographed sequence, and when exhibited, is played in loop that remains the same each time it is presented. Video art is also independent of the audience’s actions. In contrast, the digital art that TeamLab creates is neither pre-taped nor replayed. Rather, it is a computer program that is able to run endlessly, and what is seen is dependent on the audience’s interactions with the artwork.

In making its digital artworks, TeamLab is deeply influenced by what has come before in Japanese art. It has coined a special term, “ultrasubjective space”, which refers to “the logical structure of the spatial awareness of ancient Japanese”. Although Japanese paintings are often considered flat in contrast to Western paintings, TeamLab sees it as an equally logical perspective to view the world. This is an underlying principle in the making of its digital artworks.

Play! TeamLab Future Park at Miraikan

Play! TeamLab Future Park at Miraikan

 

Japanese Culture and Way of Life

In August 2014, Pace Gallery New York presented TeamLab’s first exhibition in America, aptly named ‘Ultra Subjective Space’. On display were six artworks including five large-scale digital monitor pieces, as well as the immersive digital installation ‘Crows are Chased and the Chasing crows are Destined to be Chased as Well, Division in Perspective – Light in Dark’. This was spread out across seven staggered screens, showing Yatagarasu, a three-legged crow in Japanese mythology, flying through the screens, leaving in its wake what TeamLab called “spatial calligraphy”, a digital trail of the crow’s movements.

Another work in the exhibition, ‘Cold Life’, was equally inspired by Japanese culture. Based on the Japanese and Chinese character 生, pronounced sheng, meaning life, the strokes that made up the character morphed into a tree – a fitting commentary on the magical power of nature. It was also a technological marvel in its Ultra High Definition (Ultra HD) display – four times the resolution of Full High Definition (FHD) – to show off the technical intricacies that made the work possible.

Dance!@ Art Exhibition at Miraikan

[email protected] Art Exhibition at Miraikan

There is inherent pride in Japanese culture that comes through in all of TeamLab’s works. For the Singapore Biennale in 2013, the work ‘Peace can be Realized Even without Order’, drew from the traditional Awa Dance Festival. The artwork, exhibited at the Singapore Art Museum, featured a group of male dancers in holograms wearing printed kimonos playing instruments. When a visitor came into proximity with a dancer, he would stop moving and making music, which in turn made his neighbouring dancers do the same. Soon however, the dancing and music resumed. Peace, represented by the convivial atmosphere of merry-making, would be restored.

It is not only from cultural forms that TeamLab takes inspiration for its works, but also the Japanese way of life. For the Japan Pavilion at Expo Milano 2015, which opened in May this year and will close at the end of October, two works are shown: ‘Harmony’ and ‘Diversity’. In ‘Harmony’, screens are placed horizontally at knee and waist levels for visitors to walk past, transporting them to the rice fields of Japan. This simulation allows the visitor to experience the change of seasons throughout the year. The artwork effectively communicates the delicate and harmonious relationship shared between people and nature.

Complementing the focus on Japanese food, in ‘Diversity’, images of food items from Japan are placed against a computer-generated waterfall. Visitors are able to transfer these enticing pictures, together with details about the delicacies onto their smartphones, taking away the experience of the artwork with them. It is an innovative way to share information about a distinctive part of the Japanese way of life.

Play! TeamLab Future Park at Miraikan

Play! TeamLab Future Park at Miraikan

Nature in Japanese Art

The imageries that TeamLab uses are for the most part derived from nature, including water, birds, flowers, insects and trees. TeamLab is particularly taken by the depiction of water in traditional Japanese paintings, which it remains faithful to in their digital artworks. Speaking to Art Republik, Takashi Kudo from TeamLab noted that the way water is traditionally depicted in Western art and Japanese art are vastly different. For example, while the former may hint at rain through the subjects’ use of umbrellas or the glistening of a wet rock, the latter uses curvilinear lines to represent rain itself.

In an exploration of the Japanese way of portraying water, TeamLab created ‘Universe of Water Particles’, a waterfall made of digitally created water particles and lines. It has been exhibited at different locations, including the Dojima River Biennale 2013 and Art Stage Singapore 2014. In March this year, the work was projected on the façade of the Grand Palais by invitation from Bogéna Galerie, as part of Art Paris Art Fair 2015 in March.

Installation view of What a Loving and Beautiful World at Shake Art Exhibition

Installation view of What a Loving and Beautiful World at Shake Art Exhibition

Flowers often take centre stage in TeamLab’s artworks. ‘Floating Flower Garden – Flowers and I are of the Same Root, the Garden and I are One’ is a work by TeamLab that is made up of an explosion of flowers. The colourful work features over 2300 flowers, each with an accompanying insect. As each visitor enters the space, flowers that are “disturbed” by the intrusion float up and hover in a dream-like flower halo. As the visitor moves away, the flowers float back down to occupy the space that he or she has left. If there are many visitors in the interactive kinetic installation at a time, then the flowers move to form one big dome that surrounds all of them. This will be shown at the 20th anniversary instalment of the Maison&Objet Paris fair in September.

Flutter of Butterflies Beyond Borders, interactive digital installation for START Projects at Saatchi Gallery, 2015

Flutter of Butterflies Beyond Borders, interactive digital installation for START Projects at Saatchi Gallery, 2015

TeamLab often makes variations of a work. For instance, there is ‘Flowers and People – Dark’ and ‘Flowers and People – Gold’, which show shifting fields of flowers in two colour schemes. As one walks through each installation, the flowers goes through their life cycles, budding, blooming and finally withering away. Similarly, the works ‘Ever Blossoming Life II – Dark’ and ‘Ever Blossoming Life II – Gold’ present the predictable life cycle of flowers, one with a dark background and the other with a gold background. Surrounded by responsive screens of animation, the viewer experiences a simulated Zen garden that responds to his or her movements.

Besides recreating nature in controlled environments, TeamLab has worked directly in the great outdoors where the digital worlds it creates co-exist with the natural world. In an upcoming project for 2016, ‘Resonating Trees – Forest of Tadasu at Shimogamo Shrine’, a light show will be installed among the trees that line the way to the World Heritage site of Shimogamo Shrine. With the approach of people or animals, the light that each tree is bathed in will change its colour, bringing attention to the presence of other living beings in a serene and poetic commentary on the ecosystem we all live in.

Sights and Sounds

To facilitate its immersive environment, TeamLab adds sounds to its visually captivating artworks, giving the audience a multi-sensory experience. In ‘Resonating Spheres and Night Fish’, currently on show until December at the Enoshima Aquarium in Kanagawa, Japan, spheres of light on the walls and ceilings change their colours upon touch, accompanied by a change in sound, which is unique to each colour. As this happens, the other spheres also react to the shifts, and momentarily emit the same colours and sounds as part of a chain reaction.

Flutter of Butterflies Beyond Borders, interactive digital installation for START Projects at Saatchi Gallery, 2015

Flutter of Butterflies Beyond Borders, interactive digital installation for START Projects at Saatchi Gallery, 2015

TeamLab has a long-time music collaborator, Hideaki Takahashi, who has produced soundtracks for many of its works, including ‘Resonating Spheres and Night Fish’, as well as ‘Floating Instrument’ back in 2010, ‘Flowers and People – Gold and Dark’ in 2014, and most recently ‘Flowers and People, Cannot be Controlled but Live Together – Dark’, ‘Floating Flower Garden – Flowers and I are of the same root, the Garden and I are one’ in 2015, among others. The music serves to envelop the visitors and helps them to transition from real world to the alternate realities that TeamLab creates.

Inspiring the Next Generation

As innovators, TeamLab is far seeing not only in the works it realises, but also in the potential for their works to connect and inspire people. In particular, the artist collaborative has its sights set on grooming the younger generation through introducing them to new ways of learning, playing and eventually, in the future, working. A key idea is the importance of working in collaboration with others rather than in isolation.

Back in Japan, TeamLab’s first major solo exhibition at home opened at Tokyo’s National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation, also known as Miraikan, in November 2014. The exhibition had two sections that displayed 18 artworks from the artist collective’s oeuvre: ‘Dance! Art Exhibition’ and ‘Learn and Play! TeamLab Future Park’. The latter featured children-friendly artworks. The exhibition was a huge success, with nearly half a million visitors coming through the museum’s doors. ‘Learn and Play! TeamLab Future Park’ was a first step in the artist collaborative’s forward efforts to provide a platform for children to see the fun in being creative, an indispensable quality that TeamLab believes is not encouraged, let alone groomed in an education system they believe places emphasis on rote learning.

Nirvana at Shake Art Exhibition

Nirvana at Shake Art Exhibition

One artwork, ‘Sketch Town’, was a three-dimensional town built on the two-dimensional drawings of cars, buildings and the like from children, allowing them to see “in reality” the fruits of their imagination. Furthermore, the children’s drawings were also made into paper-craft patterns that they could then take home to turn into three-dimensional models. Another interactive installation, ‘Sketch Aquarium’, worked on the same idea, and to make it more interactive, the children could touch the sea creatures they drew to feed them or make them swim away.

Coming Up

The momentum that TeamLab has gained over the past few years shows no signs of slowing down. At START art fair from 10 to 13 September, TeamLab showcased as part of START Projects. This marked the first time the artist collaborative exhibited in London, and a book documenting its oeuvre launched at the same time.

Altogether, TeamLab showcased three works: ‘Flowers and People, Cannot be Controlled but Live Together – A Whole Year’, ‘Dark, Ever Blossoming Life II – Dark’ and ‘Flutter of Butterflies beyond Borders’. As with other TeamLab works, the visitors’ movements have an impact on what happens on screen.

Flower and Corpse Glitch at Shake Art Exhibition

Flower and Corpse Glitch at Shake Art Exhibition

In addition, the artworks will interact with each other as well. The butterflies are free to flit through the other two works that are on display, creating a single immersive experience. The butterflies’ flight paths are altered by the visitor’s direct interaction with it. Kudo explains that if one touches a butterfly, for examples, it dies, as it might in real life, where human interaction with nature has the potential to nurture and equally to harm. The butterflies’ movements are also influenced by what happens with the other movement-sensitive artworks in the same space.

TeamLab is daring and ahead of its time in the execution of their artworks through ground-breaking vision and advanced methods. While TeamLab’s artworks seem avant-garde, they are also accessible. Combining the traditional with the contemporary – and at times the futuristic – TeamLab has pioneered a new model of art-making that pays homage to and preserves its country’s artistic heritage by presenting it in a way that is entertaining and exciting. More importantly, it is encouraging a new way of thinking and working for the next generation – a legacy that any artist can be proud of.

Peace can be Realized Even Without Order at Singapore Biennale 2013

Peace can be Realized Even Without Order at Singapore Biennale 2013

Story Credits

Text by Nadya Wang

This story first appeared in Art Republik.

Life Is Suite: The Carlyle

Staring out of my window at The Carlyle and appreciating the stunning view of the Manhattan skyline, I couldn’t help but reflect on how I had spent my time in New York up till that point. To put things in context, it was my first trip to the Big Apple and I was eager to soak up as many experiences as I possibly could.

I spent the better part of my two-week trip living out of an apartment in the hipster district of Williamsburg, Brooklyn and taking the L-train every day to the city. I walked up and down the entire Times Square stretch, twice, where I got tricked into taking a photo with an Asian Elvis, something that cost me $5. I strolled through Central Park and witnessed no less than two marriage proposals in the span of half an hour. I even queued up for 45 minutes to have dessert at Serendipity 3 – the famous dessert café where John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale fell in love in 2001’s rom-com Serendipity, a movie that, I proudly and freely admit, helped me through a particularly rough breakup.

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All in all, it had been a pretty action-packed trip and I didn’t think there was much else I had yet to experience. And then, I was invited to spend the last couple of nights of my trip at The Carlyle. To be honest, I hadn’t even heard of it prior to receiving the invitation. But, as I later found out, that is what The Carlyle secretly wants.

Built in 1930 and named after British essayist Thomas Carlyle, the 35-storey hotel prides itself on being a time capsule of art and culture. Its rooms and suites boast of classic Louis XVI style with audubon prints, architectural renderings by Piranesi, and English country scenes by Kips on the walls, Nero Marquina and Thassos marble finishes, and even Steinway and Baldwin grand pianos.

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But above all else, The Carlyle is proudest of its discreet nature. Situated in Manhattan’s Upper East Side, The Carlyle is surrounded by galleries such as the Guggenheim and the Metropolitan Museum of Art and designer boutiques on New York’s posh Madison Avenue. Its classy, albeit unassuming front may just make you walk past it without realising what is it or the immense history and heritage that lay within in.

Over the years, the hotel has housed just about everyone – from politicians to business moguls, film stars to musicians. Every American president since Truman has stayed there. Visiting royals and heads-of-state include the likes of the late Princess Diana and Kings and Queens of Denmark, Greece, Spain, and Sweden. It used to be the meeting place for Frank Sinatra and George Harrison and continues to be a regular haunt for people like Mick Jagger, George Clooney, as well as fashion figures such as Vera Wang and Carine Roitfeld.

H0HLP_36653814_car_suite_1701_v1

Café Carlyle has made an indelible mark on the entertainment and social landscape of New York since its opening in 1955, playing host to legendary talents such as Bobby Short, Woody Allen, Elaine Stritch, Steve Tyrell, Eartha Kitt, and Judy Collins. Bemelmans Bar, on the other hand, is where artist and author Ludwig Bemelmans’s childhood fantasies are given free rein, with fine works of art and drawings of books including his children’s series, Madeline.

Having gone down the list of The Carlyle’s VIPs, guests might visualize a movie-like scenario that sees them rubbing shoulders with Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, sipping cocktails with Emma Watson, nodding to fashion designer Michael Kors and former Vogue creative director Grace Coddington chatting at the next table, while Mariah Carey walks up to sing a tune simply because she felt like it.

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But The Carlyle isn’t a place to go just to see and be seen. Instead, it is a place to immerse yourself and engage in its heritage and tradition-rich stories rather than simply bearing witness to them. It is a place to make your home away from home and to create your own narratives.

At the end of day, you want to be able to say, “I stayed at The Carlyle on the 15th floor suite that overlooks the Upper East Side, sat at the Café Carlyle listening to Steve Tyrell sing It Had To Be You, before taking an elevator that Marilyn Monroe used to ride on her many secret visits to John F. Kennedy’s duplex suite to rest your head on your very own pillow with your initials embroidered in gold on it.”

That’s the Carlyle way of life.

Story Credits

Text by Patrick Chew

This article was originally published in Men’s Folio

Francis Bacon Self-Portrait Auction in May

The famous painter of tortured expressive psychological landscapes, Francis Bacon, will have a self-portrait of his go on sale on May 11 at Sotheby’s New York. This is the first time “Two Studies for a Self-Portrait” (1970) has been at auction ever; since it was completed, it remained in the same private collection. The painting is worth an estimated $22-30 million.

Bacon was born in 1909 and had a bad relationship with his family (and especially his father) due to, among other things, his homosexuality. The artist lived in poverty for a period of time, and over the years developed his now-famous style. Knitting together his own inner torment and experiences with his technical skill, Bacon’s art depicts a monstrous and haunted reality, returning to many key traits that he was obsessed with, such as screams and religious motifs like the crucifixion.

In a characteristic Baconian way, the portrait eschews normal artistic representation and ‘disfigures’ its subject, Bacon’s own face, to point to an underlying psychological state. Bacon has done such permutations before with older forms, such as a portrait of the Pope done by 17th Century Spanish Artist Diego Velázquez. In his take, Bacon turned the religious figure into a grotesque screaming nightmare with purple and dark streaks running downwards. In this self-portrait, various smudges of colors run across the artist’s face until some of the discernable features are obscured. Yet all this leads up to an overall ‘lighter’ feel (at least relative to his other works) because the colors involved here are vibrant reds, pinks, blues, and whites rather than his characteristic black horrific tones. The result is less distraught and poignantly calmer; it is worth noting that this self-portrait dates from before the suicide of George Dyer.

“‘Two Studies for a Self-Portrait’ goes straight in at number one of all the paintings I’ve handled in my career. Discovering a work such as this is like finding gold dust. To my mind, the painting is worthy of a place alongside the very finest self-portraits of Rembrandt, Van Gogh and Picasso. It’s certainly among the greatest self-portraits ever offered at auction,” said Oliver Barker, Senior International Specialist in Contemporary Art. Indeed, the rare work has only been exhibited to the public two times. The first time was in 1971 in Paris, and later, 1993 in London. It was also chosen as the cover of Milan Kundera and France Borel’s book “Francis Bacon: Portraits and Self-Portraits”.

Tate Liverpool and the Getty Museum in Los Angeles will both be hosting Francis Bacon exhibitions in 2016. “Francis Bacon: Catalogue Raisonné” edited by Martin Harrison will also be released this year. It is expected to feature around 100 works by Bacon that have never been seen before.

8 Most Eco-Friendly Luxury Hotels

From collecting Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certificates to managing water resources wisely, and serving own-garden produce, hotels are balancing luxury with eco-responsibility. We journey across four continents to explore several luxury accommodations and learn more about how what makes them different from other luxury hotels and how they do their part in protecting the environment.

ENDEMICO

Baja California, MexicoEndemico-Mexico-Form

With a name that is Spanish for endemic, or native to a specific region or environment, this hotel was designed to highlight the isolation of the desert and thus single out the area’s indigenous qualities. Situated just one and a half hours from San Diego, Baja California is home to some of Mexico’s largest wineries and offers a blend of Mexican culture and artisanal activity.

The hotel has 20 chic and eco-friendly cabins arrayed on a hill overlooking the valley, interspersed by natural boulders, and raised off the ground to minimise impact on the landscape. Built with Corten steel and wood, the cabins are designed to weather over time and eventually blend seamlessly into valleys.

The cabins were created by Gracia Studio, a firm with a passion for creating economical architecture, with a particular interest in using modular and flexible buildings. Each cabin is furnished minimally with simple yet sleek furnishings, featuring a king-size bed, wireless Internet, and private terrace with a clay kiva. Concealed among the rocky slope is a pool, restaurant and bar, which all have views out over the seemingly infinite valley.

www.hotelendemico.com

 

ROCKSRESORT

Laax, SwitzerlandRockresort-Switzerland-Form
The 122-room Rocksresort and its immediate environment run on sustainable energy consisting of hydroelectricity, solar power and more. The resort, which takes its name and design identity from the surrounding landscape, is situated adjacent to the base station in Laax. The property is an environmentally sensitive and a bold architectural concept.

www.rockresort.com

 

ROCKHOUSE RESORT

Negril, JamaicaRockhouse-Resort-Jamacia-Form
The rainy season in Negril sees Rockhouse Resort collecting rainwater in five catchment tanks placed across the property. The collected water irrigates the gardens in the property’s eight-acre grounds. These gardens are fertilised with compost made from the resort’s kitchen and bar wastes mixed with shredded garden refuse.

The property’s Environmental Management System (EMS) promotes sustainability and overall reduction of carbon footprint. The resort itself adapts environmentally friendly building material and design expressed in local wood, thatch and open-air restaurants. A preventive maintenance schedule ensures optimum performance of equipment, while a weekly  haul of plastic, glass and cardboard waste is dispatched to the local recycling centre.

Guest rooms are fitted with low-flow showerheads and taps, and low-flush toilets, and equipped with recycle bins for plastic and glass bottles. They are also encouraged to reuse linen whenever possible.

www.rockhouse.com

 

HOTEL KITZHOF MOUNTAIN DESIGN

Kitzbühel, AustriaHotel-Kitzhof-Austria-Form
Guests at the 172-room mountain retreat, Hotel Kitzhof Mountain Design Resort, savour the essence of Austrian alpine living while the establishment pursues soft environmental impact and community integration from spa to table. The building itself boasts a solar-heated pool while the spa program uses products from the organic line Just Pure. On its breakfast table is served milk from just six cows from a small, exclusive farm that processes its milk the old-fashioned way.

www.hotel-kitzhof.com.en

 

HUMBLE HOUSE TAIPEI

Taipei, TaiwanHumblehouse-Taipei-Form
Located on the top floors of a LEED Diamond-rated Green Building, in the heart of Xinyi, Humble House Taipei is focused on giving back to society. Thoughtful design and actionable measures guide the management of the 235-room glass and aluminum skyscraper. Its water and energy conservation has implemented systems to cut down usage and bring guests on board with recycling and linen reuse programs. Its Sky Garden is a rare urban oasis planted with species that were chosen to encourage biodiversity and help reduce air impurities.

www.humblehousehotels.com

 

HOTEL TOPAZZ

Vienna, AustriaHotel-Topazz-Austria-Form

Located in Vienna’s historic 1st district is Hotel Topazz, a prime example of eco-friendly hospitality. Surrounded by the city’s most acclaimed attractions, the hotel pays tribute to Vienna’s artistic heritage. The remarkable façade is inspired by a cylindrical silver vase embellished with oval amber stones by artist Koloman Moser. The interiors also pay homage to iconic Austrian artists of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The combination of design and low-energy initiatives is unique for a hotel in the centre of the Imperial City. Heating and cooling is secured by a groundwater well and a mechanical ventilation system with heat recovery, and LED technology provides a near-natural light spectrum throughout the hotel. The green approach is manifested in daily hotel operations: the Topazz Salon serves organic products from Austrian producers, including their own range of eco-friendly award-winning wine.

www.hoteltopazz.com

 

ANAYELA

Marrakech, MoroccoAnayela-Morocco-Form

From the time it was brought back to life, AnaYela has followed sustainable design. The five-room riad, a 300-year-old city palace in the heart of Marrakech, was restored by hand—absolutely no electric tools were employed—by over 100 Moroccan artisans.

Hotelier Andrea Kolb set out to create experiences “that truly touch the people” with the project, a mission that found expression in the support and preservation of traditional craftsmanship. In a bid to improve access to education through fair working wages, Kolb connected young international designers with local craftspeople, giving the latter global exposure and a successful sustainable model that saw 50 per cent of profits being reinvested into the community.

www.anayela.com

 

CROSBY STREET HOTEL

New York City, New York, USACrosby-Street-Hotel-New-York-City-Form2


Kit Kemp’s signature style is reflected throughout the 11-floor, 86-bedroom and suite Crosby Street Hotel. The hotel is the first in New York to receive a Gold Certification under LEED. During construction, hazardous site material was disposed of and all demolished material was recycled. Besides energy-efficient lighting, green power, and water use reduction, it has an array of integrated green features, from an urban vegetable patch on the rooftop supplying the hotel with seasonal produce, to a woodland meadow with 50 varieties of native plants. Inside, the furniture, fabrics and finishes are largely American-made, sourced regionally from home-bred designers like Philadelphian artisans Galbraith & Paul.

www.firmdalehotels.com/hotels/new-york/crosby-street-hotel

Story Credits

This story first appeared in FORM Magazine.

 

Fashion Week: 9 Models in the Spotlight

We shine the spotlight not on the clothes, beauty or designers; instead we take a look at the models to look out for in the upcoming seasons. Several have already made an impact in the world of fashion as we see their presence at almost every turn. Others are still flying under the radar and we can’t wait to see their talent showcased next season.

Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid

Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid

A favorite of designers such as Karl Lagerfeld and Olivier Rousting, Kendall Jenner was a familiar face on the runways of Paris, Milan, London and New York. Other big names that picked the 20-year-old model were Vera Wang, Michael Kors, Marc Jacobs, Fendi, Chanel and Bottega Veneta. Another member of Taylor Swift’s squad, the other star model of the moment Gigi Hadid walked for fewer designers than Jenner. Selecting her shows carefully, the blue-green eyed blonde model was picked by Chanel, Balmain, and Sonia Rykiel and even closed the Fenty x Puma show.

Edie Campbell

Edie Campbell

Other models that were not far behind Jenner and Hadid in their catwalk appearances were Lexi Boiling and Edie Campbell. The models were seen on the runway, walking for Prada, Marc Jacobs and Fendi amongst others. There is one model who is dubbed to be the most in demand right now and she is none other than Mica Arganaraz. The Argentinian model, with a lean figure, messed-up hair and androgynous looks is another favorite amongst designers such as Hugo Boss, Marc Jacobs, Chanel and Chloé.

Mica Arganaraz

Mica Arganaraz

But the rising star who really got fashion month buzzing was Lineisy Montero. The young Dominican was already tipped as one to watch in 2015 after an exceptional season, and her success looks set to continue into 2016. With around 30 appearances across the four fashion capitals, she’s without a doubt one of the most-booked models of the latest round of autumn/winter collection previews — if not the most-booked model. Jason Wu, Alexander Wang, Lacoste, Tory Burch, J.W. Anderson, Topshop Unique, Burberry, Prada, Moschino, Etro, Diesel Black Gold, Versace, Dolce & Gabbana, Marni, H&M Studio and Loewe — to name but a few — all picked Lineisy Montero to show off their latest collections.

Lineisy Montero

Lineisy Montero

While notable names get our attention during Fashion Week, it is also a time for spotting new faces and observe the steady rise of up-and-coming models such as Alana Arrington, Ruth Bell and Paulina Frankowska. While not every designer books them, these models have indeed made their presence known. While Arrington opened Altuzarra’s show, Bell’s shaved head and masculine looks starred at Jason Wu, Burberry and Moschino. Polish model Frankowska also attracted attention with appearances at Prada, Mulberry, Deisel Black Gold and Marni.

Paulina Frankowska

Paulina Frankowska

Fashion Week: 5 Beauty Trends to Follow

The clothes were not the only things we kept a look out for during Fashion Week. Beauty looks and accessories draw just as much attention, and with good reason. Trends seen on the runway tend to have a major impact for the next season and if the beauty looks we’ve seen at the Fall/Winter 2016 ready-to-wear shows are any indication, drama is key.

We start with the crowning glory: The Hair. We can say goodbye to sleek hair, as designers chose big-attention grabbing hair. While Gucci in Milan featured voluminous hair, models at Rick Owens in Paris donned hair nests that some felt bordered on the conceptual. Other designers who went for the volume with the hair, was Manish Arora as he complemented his designs with crimped, wavy bouffant locks piled high.

Manish Arora at Paris Fashion Week

Manish Arora at Paris Fashion Week

Volume was not the only hair trend seen on the runways. This fall may see us take a break from the straightening irons with many such as Altazurra in New York and Giorgio Armani in Milan championing the curl. Fendi was another label to favor the look, with tight curls. One designer who put a different spin on the look was Vivienne Westwood where she pinned curls to the models’ heads for a subtle historical spin.

Fendi at Milan Fashion Week

Fendi at Milan Fashion Week

An instantly dramatic trend that some followed is that of the bleached brow. Varying levels of camouflaging and lightening were seen on the runways of Milan, London and Paris. While Armani chose to scuff out the brows of his models, Givenchy chose bleached eyebrows that seemed to appear invisible.

Irina Shayk for Givenchy's Fall/Winter 2016 collection at Paris Fashion Week.

Irina Shayk for Givenchy’s Fall/Winter 2016 collection at Paris Fashion Week.

Fashion Week took a trek back in time to revisit urban grunge with the help from the extreme smokey eye. In Paris, Saint Laurent treated guests to a visually captivating beauty look with models sporting thick-winged eyeliner flicked up to the temple. Others such as Tadashi Shoji and Dries van Noten opted for a softer, smudgier interpretation that was still striking.

Saint Laurent from Paris Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2016

Saint Laurent from Paris Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2016

The last of the beauty trends was the dark lips. Glam-goth was the name of the game at Rihanna’s Fenty x Puma show in New York as models walked down the ramp with black lipstick. Marc Jacobs followed suit though designers chose to lighten it up in London with deep red tones. In Paris however, Dior and Louis Vuitton sealed the deal with the former choosing a lacquered black lip.Fenty-Rihanna-NYFW-2016

 

All images are courtesy of AFP and Saint Laurent.

Tiffany & Co. Opens at ION Singapore

Joining the likes of Louis Vuttion, Tiffany & Co. is hard to miss as you walk by ION Orchard. With a Tiffany Blue façade and prominent place along the main road of Singapore’s premier shopping district, the new store delivers trademark elements from its fifth avenue flagship.

Can’t wait to step into the store to discover that Tiffany magic? Head to L’Officiel Singapore to find out more.

Met Breuer to Open Mid-March in New York

Should you be in New York with time to spare, be sure to check out the new gallery by The Metropolitan Museum. The Met Breuer, which opens March 18, will be dedicated solely to modern and contemporary art. It will be situated on Madison Avenue, in a modernist icon built by architect Michael Breuer in 1966. The site was formerly home to the Whitney Museum of American Art, which has since moved on to a new location.

The Met Breuer will join the museum’s Fifth Avenue address and Cloisters celebrating medieval art in northern Manhattan, in becoming the third location for the highly frequented museum. With the help of Leonard Lauder, the son of cosmetics legend Estee, the museum has now been endowed with millions of dollars that aid in supporting its mission of advancing art scholarship and pushing forward in the area of modern and contemporary art.

By establishing the gallery, The Metropolitan Musuem aims to complement rather than compete with its counterparts in the city. “What our peers do is show modern and contemporary art in the context of the modern and contemporary. What the Met does, uniquely, is that we have the historical traditions that modern and contemporary artists are either embracing or reacting against,” said Campbell. “It’s a different experience,” he added.

Opening the gallery are two contrasting exhibitions. The first is “Unfinished: Thoughts Left Visible” that features 190 works from the Renaissance to the present while the second is a collection of delicate and meditative art by Nasreen Mohamedi. While one unites greats such as Rembrandt, Turner and Cezanne with Jackson Pollock, the second aids in recgonising Indian art. “I think exhibitions like this really help in doing that,” said Brinda Kumar, a research assistant at the Met.

 

Lost and Found: La Tour’s Madrid Exhibition

The works of Georges de la Tour (1593 – 1652) will be on display at Madrid’s Museo del Prado in a new exhibition. Of his 40 surviving paintings, 31 will showcase the progression of the artist with his use of realist treatment of figures and refined religious scenes.

While the French artist was a celebrated in his day, he was forgotten by the art world till an art historian Hermon Voss rediscovered his work. With only four of his paintings being dated and 18 signed, many of La Tour’s works were credited to other artists such as Zurbaran, Ribera and Velazquez.

"The Fortune Teller"

“The Fortune Teller”

The Prado exhibition, which features many pieces on loan from international institutions such as Paris’s Musée du Louvre, California’s J. Paul Getty museum and New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, offers a chronological survey of La Tour’s career. He gained considerable fame when the Duke of Lorraine bought some of his works between 1623 and 1624. In 1639 he went to Paris where he was named Painter to the King. In addition to the governor of Lorraine, Richelieu, the architect Le Nôtre and Louis XIII were customers.

In his early career La Tour painted biblical and religious figures with humble appearances as can be seen in the Albi “Apostle” series, four of which are on show in Madrid. At this time he also depicted ragged beggars as in the work “The Pea Eaters.” The exhibition also features “The Money Lender”, which is more refined in character and the artist’s first-known nocturnal scene, which became more prevalent towards the end of his career, almost always lit by candle, with limited range in colors.

Hurdy-Gurdy Player with a Dog"

Hurdy-Gurdy Player with a Dog”

Later works on display in Madrid include “The Penitent Saint Jerome” or “The Cardsharps,” which, along with “The Fortune Teller,” are considered essential works by the artist.

The Georges de La Tour exhibition is on display at the Museo del Prado till June 12, 2016. For more information, click here.

New York Fashion Week: Runway Beauty

As the first of the classic fashion weeks (not counting haute couture of course), the runways of New York have provided some bold makeup looks. Brands unveiled their Autumn/ Winter 2016 collections to the fashion elite (and the world via Instagram and Twitter) and many designers provided interesting visual treats.

Makeup for Altuzarra (Left) and Tadashi Shoji

Altuzarra (Left) and Tadashi Shoji

For Fenty x Puma, Rihanna’s debut show sent models down the ramp with Goth style looks. Contrasting whited-out, slicked back roots and rich black lips for a dramatic pout stole the crown for boldest of the lot. Other designers such as Altuzarra, Tommy Hilfiger and Tadashi Shoji chose to focus on the eyes. Altuzarra paired rosy lips with abstract spiky liner that ran under and over the lids. Using bright gold glitter on the lids, Hilfiger channelled fun festivity while Shoji chose a sultrier look with gold toned smoky eyes with a bronze base.

Makeup for J.Crew (left) and Tommy Hilfiger

J.Crew (left) and Tommy Hilfiger

At J. Crew the look was cleaner and pulled together, featuring a deep pink lip that stood out against a luminescent base, with brows filled in and neatened up to keep the effect sleek. Tory Burch took a similar approach, opting for a neutral but opaque lip offset by bold brows and a low ponytail with a strict center parting, while Victoria Beckham channelled the same vibe, opting for a matte base and using a dab of color at the inner corner of the models’ eyes to open them up.

Makeup for Tory Burch (left) and Victoria Beckham

Tory Burch (left) and Victoria Beckham

Meanwhile makeup was off the menu at Alexander Wang, where the models’ faces looked freshly scrubbed, save for a hint of burnished golden shadow rubbed around the eye sockets. Brows were bleached and bangs cut high to emphasize the quirky look.

Makeup for Alexander Wang

Alexander Wang

Marc Jacobs, Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein Rule NYC

New York Fashion Week came to a splendid finish with chic and cool designs by Calvin Klein and Ralph Lauren, before twisting into an elaborate Gothic dream fantasy as Marc Jacobs dealt the final blow. With the end of the event, the fashion world shifts its attention to London where Alexander McQueen makes its return on the runway.

Ralph Lauren created a playful tri-partite collection. Initial associations called to mind Oxford academics, Holmes-ian detectives and headmistresses, as opening looks featured tweed trousers, button-down cardigans, fishermen’s sweaters and double breasted blazers. But this 1970s nostalgia, or a style “effortless and sophisticated in languid menswear” gave way to what Lauren described as “the bold spirit of a cool rocker imbued with a modern romanticism”. Somber olive greens, greys and beiges segued into glimmering black, and later explosions of shiny blues and golds. It somehow bloomed as a mixture of cowboy and pirate queen. By the final transformation, the whole lineup had changed into dignified ballroom and red-carpet attire items featuring a pleated red slip dress and a satin green fishtail number, finishing with a Mikado evening dress of gold. Lauren melded glamorous masculinity with delicate femininity in a startling display.

Ralph Lauren NYFW16

The typically unfussy Calvin Klein, on the other hand, went with less of a linear narrative than usual while still preserving his status as a pioneer of contemporary urban fashion. Notable to the designs were fur collars (faux, so animal-lovers can rest easy, as seen below), shiny blacks and belts, different check patterns of plaid, and animal print in white and yellow. There was a contrast between the minimalistic and the showy as sleeker designs were placed next to ornamentations of said furs, oversized tribal pendant necklaces, and large jewels sewn on the front of silk dresses. All this was due to the vision of Brazilian creative director Francisco Costa.

Calvin Klein NYFW Faux Fur

Marc Jacobs’s collection stood for the most eclectic marriage of design elements. A quick scan would give the general idea of ‘Goth’, but the designer aimed to live up to an ideal of having “each girl, a show unto herself”. Even well-known shock dresser Lady Gaga was just one among many others. Some designs spoke like the swirling inks of an Aubrey Beardsley drawing. Others spoke like the madcap designs of Tim Burton. Some spoke in Victorian formalism, others spoke punk, and still others spoke court-jester, with somewhat impressive shoes (standouts in the whole collection really). Many of the outfits were oversized, like Gaga’s herself, which was a greyish-black coat with huge fur patches on the sleeve. Black feathers bloomed; some had lace; or even a leather jacket… Yes, even I’m grasping hard for a way to characterize exactly what kind of magic went on. It all finished off with a regal checkered fur cape worn by the eternally-pouting Queen Goth – Molly Bair.

Marc Jacobs NYFW16 Group

Even so, the show has to move on. After London, the fashion world will shift to Milan, and then Paris. Still, these three rest their laurels on this victorious display for now.

Tory Burch: Fall/Winter ’16 Live Stream

Live from New York, it’s not Saturday Night. In fact, it’s the latest collection by Tory Burch. Our friends at L’Officiel Singapore have been so kind as to invite our readers to view the Tory Burch Fall/Winter ’16 Live Stream. Tune in at 10pm (Singapore)/ 9am (New York) for the show, at L’Officiel’s site.

Immaculate: Jason Wu at New York Fashion Week

Jason Wu, the Canadian-Taiwanese designer who rose to fame by dressing Michelle Obama, unveiled his Fall/Winter 2016 collection, ‘Immaculate’, at a New York fashion show on Friday. Wu was juggling between this and preparing for a later show, as art director of womenswear at Hugo Boss. His show occurred before the highlight of the night: Rihanna’s highly anticipated collection for the Puma sports line.

“The idea is about these immaculately dressed women. I want to address the idea of the wardrobe and thinking about what she wants and what she covets”

Wu wants to return to the start of things: Beauty, and Functionality. He expressed his desire to make “just beautiful clothes that fill her wardrobe” while stating that “it’s not about a seasonal trend particularly”.

“She wants things that can stand the test of time,” the designer commented.

The Wu woman of this Winter & Fall: elegant and sexy, yet comfortable and sophisticated – avoiding the pitfall of being merely a ‘one-season wonder’. Lofty goals but Wu has a strong track-record. He dazzled the world when he revealed Mrs. Obama in pure white for her husband’s inaugural ball back in 2009.

“I think she wants quality, and she wants to be sexy and feminine and sophisticated, but she wants that refinement” Wu said, to outline his principles.

Those are quite a few quotes from Wu for sure but rest assured, the collection spoke for itself. We are just being slightly verbose because we only have one picture to illustrate from the AFP. A round-necked navy blue dress, impeccably cut; black lace paired with a long leather coat; another black dress with plunging décolletage, rounded off with a blue fur collar. All in all, a relatively muted array others have compared to a ‘grungier’ and darker kind of style.

Even between juggling two shows, Wu seemed relaxed after the unveiling of ‘Immaculate’. As for the secret of how he managed, this was his very down-to-earth answer: “Working with really good people, I think that’s ultimately what’s very important, and being very organized.”

The Titanic: A New Beginning

All Aboard the Titanic II! No, you are not in 1912 and no we have not let the Monday blues get to us. We are in fact talking about the Titanic replica that Australian billionaire Clive Palmer is creating.

Back in 2012, Palmer had announced his plans to recreate the Belfast liner that sank on its maiden voyage across the North Atlantic Ocean, and set sail this year. However, the plans have now been pushed back to 2018. A little over a century after the Titanic began its journey the replica will mirror the ship —with a few modifications. To meet modern maritime safety regulations, the vessel will measure 4 m wider and the hull will be welded, not riveted, reported The Belfast Telegraph.

When complete, the Titanic II will measure 270 m long, 53 m high, and weigh 56,000 tons. Like its predecessor, the Titanic II will have three cabin classes. The ship will span nine floors and be able to carry 2,400 passengers. Other features will include Turkish baths, a swimming pool and gymnasium. As far as we know, Kate and Leo are not scheduled to be on it.

As an aside, it is important to note that as far as cruise liners go, this one is far from the largest, with gross tonnage these days clocking in at above 100,000. The largest such ship in the world, Allure of the Seas, has 2,700 staterooms, for example, and weighs in at an incredible 225,282 tonnes. For the truly curious out there who may wonder if this is a coal-powered ship, given that the original boiler uptakes will be recreated, in fact it is diesel-powered. Four diesel engines power three azimuth thrusters and two bow thrusters.

Instead of Southampton to New York, however, the ship’s maiden voyage will be between Jiangsu, China, where it’s being built, to Dubai. This story remains a work in progress as rumors continue to swirl around Palmer and the health of his businesses but we are tracking it closely. The key question remains, if the project is actually completed, would you book passage?

Repetto shoes

Ballet brand Repetto coming to New York

Repetto shoes

French ballet brand , known for its high-end ballet flats, will be opening its first American stand-alone boutique in New York come fall.

Set to open in Manhattan’s ‘French Quarter’ near Laduree and Bonpoint in SoHo, the brand’s first freestanding store will span 2,350 square feet.

To coincide with the New York opening, the brand will also launch its new Opera line in the fall, the label’s first full collection of high-heeled shoes.

Consisting of a dozen models, the heeled collection will range from €450 to €950 ($438 to $1,040 USD) and will first debut at Colette in Paris November 2 before rolling out worldwide.

Repetto has about a hundred freestanding stores around the world. Plans are already afoot to open a second location in the US.

The Manhattan skyline

New generation of skinny skyscrapers alters NY skyline

The Manhattan skyline

A new generation of New York skyscrapers, some taller than the Empire State building, are altering the world’s most famous skyline.

And it’s not just the masonry that’s soaring to new heights. The prices have also gone stratospheric: three apartments sold recently for more than $100 million a piece.

Half a dozen buildings are planned or under construction in Central Park south, affording views across the park. Others are concentrated around Madison Square Park, or still further south.

“There really is a new type in skyscraper history that is just beginning to appear,” said Carol Willis, historian, founder, director and curator of The Skyscraper Museum.

They “will proliferate in the next five to 10 years and really change the character of the Manhattan skyline,” she added.

The buildings are between 50 and 90 storeys high. Their architects are sometimes international celebrities. Those who buy are multi-millionaires from across the world who consider a “trophy apartment” in the sky an investment or chic pied a terre.

skinny skyscrapers

0ne57 at 157 West 57th Street, known as Billionaires Row just south of Central Park, is one of the prime examples.

Completed in 2014, it stands at 1,000 feet (306 meters) tall, has 75 storeys and 92 apartments in the clouds.

It was fleetingly the highest residential building in New York until it was dethroned by the nearly finished 432 Park, an ultra-thin cuboid of 104 apartments at 1,396 feet.

It is higher than the Empire State Building, minus its antenna — 1,250 feet without, 1,454 feet with.

one57

Another is 217 West 57th Street projected to rise to 1,500 feet and 111 West 57th Street, due for completion in 2018, will be particularly slender at 1,428 feet, and at its widest, 60 feet (18.28 meters) by 80 feet (24.38 meters).

Several other projects have already been approved around Central Park, according to the Municipal Art Society of New York (MAS), the author of a report called the Accidental Skyline.

But it’s not as much the height, which has always defined New York, but the delicacy of the buildings that is striking.

This is explained by the cost of land and New York zoning regulations, which since 1961 have restricted the square feet of land on which property can be built, but not how high.

Developers can buy “air rights” from neighboring, smaller buildings, allowing them to build higher and afford their clients unrestricted views.

217 West 57th Street

Panoramic views come with hefty price tags so air rights are increasingly expensive in a frenetic New York real estate market.

But these skinny towers, made possible by progress in technology and building materials, in particular on how to withstand strong winds, don’t make everyone happy.

The first ones to be built have already cast long shadows over Central Park, sports grounds, the zoo and a children’s carousel, according to MAS.

“We believe that public access to light, air and green space cannot be sacrified,” it said in the report, which has studied in minute detail the shadows expected to be cast.

“Protecting these qualities is critical to the economic health of New York City and the well being of New Yorkers,” it said.

107 West 57th Street

MAS says nearly all the skyscrapers are built without proper public review, so there is no assessment of their impact.

The zoning regulations, dating back 50 years, are out of date, she says and calls for a re-look at urban planning.

According to Willis, these ultra-slender towers will remain unique to New York given their eye watering cost.

“Until the market in New York was able to achieve $3,000 per square foot for construction, you didn’t have any of those towers, because the high price of construction was not repaid in the high selling price,” she said.

 

Diner en Blanc New York

New York’s fifth “Diner en blanc” draws 5,000 riverside

Diner en Blanc New York

Some 5,000 foodies gathered late Tuesday on the banks of the Hudson River in New York for the fifth edition of the Dinner in White.

Organizers of the pop-up picnic where attendees dress to the nines entirely in white chose the huge Pier 26 structure this time in the hip Tribeca neighborhood.

In accordance with tradition, organizers kept the location secret until the last minute. Participants, all signed up ahead of time, brought their own food, along with tables, chairs, dishes, a white tablecloth, roses and hydrangeas — all white, of course.

The uber-trendy picnic had a waiting list of 35,000 people who never made it to the event.

Under an open sky in blistering heat of 91 degrees Fahrenheit (33 Celsius), the crowd by kicked off the evening twirling their white napkins.

In retro style, men and women dressed with extravagant hats, mantillas, feathers and lace dresses.

Guests delighted in their picnic contributions — sushi, garden salads, salmon, deli meats, cheese and red fruit accompanied by champagne or wine provided by the organizers.

For those who are not avid cooks, American chef Todd English provided several options, including garlic and rosemary lamb, chicken Milanese with arugula and poached salmon with wild mushrooms and zucchini slivers.

The yearly tradition dates back to an event 27 years ago in Paris at which organizers invited guests to all wear white so they could be easily spotted in a park.

This year, about 70 cities in more than 35 countries have or will see a Diner en blanc, from Paris to Johnannesburg and from Montreal to Tokyo.

About a hundred cities are on the waiting list, according to organizers.

Last year, the New York event took place at Nelson Rockefeller Park in southern Manhattan with a beautiful view on the Hudson.

In 2013, white chairs and tables were set at Bryant Park, a year after the event took place at the Lincoln Center. For its first edition in 2011, 1,200 people met in Battery Park.