Tag Archives: New York

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.




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.




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.




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.




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.




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.




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.




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.


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.


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.

The Dead Rabbit in New York named world’s best bar

Sean Muldoon and Jack McGarry

Irish-American tavern The Dead Rabbit, where cocktails hearken “the golden age of American drinking” when the streets of New York were overrun by riotous Irish gangs, has been named the world’s best bar at Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans over the weekend.

Since opening in 2013, the accolades have been pouring in fast and furious for the Water Street bar in New York, where cocktails like Scarlet Lady and Gold Digger — developed after meticulously researching 19th century recipes — allow tipplers to time travel via combinations of Irish whiskey, bitters, sherry and bitters.

The Dead Rabbit

Helmed by a pair of Irish men, Sean Muldoon and Jack McGarry, the bar is divided into two spaces: the Taproom, an informal pub on the ground floor that serves craft beer, bottled punch and whiskey; and the Parlor, where mixologists tell the story of 19th century clergyman and reformer Lewis Pease through a narrative of 64 different cocktails.

Because at The Dead Rabbit, recipes are developed to center around a story and protagonist, not just a combination of ingredients.

The Dead Rabbit bar

The same could be said of The Artesian at The Langham hotel in London, which was named best international cocktail bar at Tales of the Cocktail.

Like the Dead Rabbit, drinks menus change seasonally under new themes. Earlier this month, The Artesian launched “Surrealism,” a menu inspired by Salvador Dali’s “Les Diners de Gala” in which cocktails are served in giant copper ant structures; lit aflame; and spritzed with perfume.


For instance, ‘Heaven is for Sinners’ is a fermented drink made with Zacapa 23, Furikake, pineapple, mango, tonka and Saison and is served  in hot, molten stone to represent volcanoes in Guatemala.

Winners are voted on by a panel of 100 international experts.

Winners from the 9th edition of Tales of the Cocktail:

World’s Best Cocktail Menu: Dead Rabbit, New York
World’s Best Bar: Dead Rabbit, New York
Best New Spirit or Cocktail Ingredient: Amaro di Angostura
Best International Bar Team: 28 Hong Kong Street, Singapore
International Bartender of the Year: Ryan Chetiyawardana, London
Best International Cocktail Bar: The Artesian, London
Best International Hotel Bar: Beaufort Bar, The Savoy, London
Best International Restaurant Bar: Blind Pig at Social Eating House, London
Best New International Cocktail Bar: Dandelyan, London

Vivienne Westwood NYC Boutique Rendering

Vivienne Westwood setting up shop in New York

Vivienne Westwood NYC Boutique Rendering

There’s good news for American fans of Vivienne Westwood: the house has announced the opening of its first flagship boutique in New York.

The new location, set to open in the fall, will offer the brand’s ready-to-wear lines Gold Label, Red Label, Anglomania and MAN, as well as all accessory lines, alongside a bridal and Gold Label Capsule collection eveningwear salon dedicated to showcasing and fitting demi-couture gowns.

The space will stock a special selection of original Worlds End collection pieces, otherwise only available from Westwood’s London boutique.

Spanning six stories of a French Beaux-Arts building, Vivienne Westwood New York will be the brand’s largest retail location to date. Located in the heart of Manhattan on East 55th Street, the pre-war townhouse will feature a new design concept combining modern and classic elements with Vivienne Westwood’s unique British style. New York will mark Westwood’s third retail location in the US, following Los Angeles and Honolulu.

Long considered a symbol of the British avant-garde, Vivienne Westwood is one of the last independent global fashion companies in the world.

Anne-Sophie Pic,

French chefs on the New York dining scene

Anne-Sophie Pic, the only female French chef to achieve a three-star Michelin rating, plans to open a new restaurant in New York in 2015.

Anne-Sophie Pic,

She is far from the first French chef to pursue the American dream in the Big Apple, and many of her predecessors have seen their efforts pay off in star ratings and high praise from critics. Here is a round-up of some of the top French chefs on the New York gastronomy scene.

Daniel Boulud

daniel boulud

Though the latest Michelin New York guide took away his restaurant’s third star, earned in 2009, Boulud remains among the leading representatives of French cuisine in the city. In addition to coordinating the cuisine at his flagship restaurant, Daniel, he owns 7 other establishments in New York, including Café Boulud and Epicerie Boulud, an eat-in and take-out market.

Jean-Georges Vongerichten

Jean-Georges Vongerichten

The Alsatian chef oversees a true gastronomic empire, including no less than 11 eateries in New York. The most prestigious among them, Jean-Georges, boasts a three-star Michelin rating.

Eric Ripert

Eric Ripert

Another three-star restaurant in the Michelin guide is the Bernardin, headed by Ripert. A native of Antibes, the chef cut his teeth at the famous Parisian restaurant La Tour d’Argent and has worked with Joël Robuchon, among others.


Alain Ducasse

French chef Alain Ducasse

In New York, the “godfather of French gastronomy” owns the Benoit, a sister restaurant to the Parisian eatery of the same name. The menu offers high-end French bistrot cuisine.


Laurent Tourondel

Chef Laurent Tourondel

Named Restaurateur of the Year by Bon Appétit magazine in October 2007, Tourondel heads up four eateries in New York, including the Brasserie Ruhlmann on Rockefeller Plaza.

Gabriel Kreuther

Gabriel Kreuther

A native of Alsace, Kreuther was the lead chef at The Modern, listed with two stars in the Michelin guide, before leaving at the start of this year. According to Ny.eater.com, he will soon open a new restaurant in the Big Apple near Bryant Park.

Dinner in White NYC

Dinner in White tradition sparkles again in New York

Dinner in White NYC

With the setting sun glittering on the Hudson, nearly 5,000 people turned out Monday for the fourth edition of “Dinner in White”, dressed to the nines.

In what amounts to a flashmob sunset picnic, diners get details of the event with virtually no notice, and turn up all in white — even bringing chairs.

This year, the surprise locale was Nelson Rockefeller Park, in Manhattan, with its enviable river view. As it is every year, the location was kept secret until minutes before organizers announced it.

Guests turned out with tables, chairs, tableware — all in white. The tradition dates back to an original event 26 years ago in Paris at which the organizer invited guests to all wear white so they would be easily spotted in a park.

The weather was more than cooperative. The music was more than a soupcon French, with tunes from Edith Piaf, to Michel Fugain and Joe Dassin. Guests often get a little whimsical in their dress, with massive hats, masks, feathers and the odd huge string of pearls.

This year, there was sushi, charcuterie, salads, salmon, a cheese plate and champagne before dancing. “It is a challenge to organize but it is worth it,” said a radiant Sandy Safi, co-founder of Diner en blanc international.

At midnight, the park must return to its original state. Guests even collect their own trash and cart it off.