By Noelia de la Cruz, October 19th, 2010
By Noelia de la Cruz, October 13th, 2010
It may come as a surprise, but the first thing you have to do upon arriving to Maison Martin Margiela’s new e-boutique, powered by Internet retailer YOOX Group, is click enter. Using an archetypal platform as its template, the website pays homage to the Internet of days past. Links in MS-DOS font might evoke nostalgia in the old-time Internet user, but Martin Margiela’s target audience includes all fashion lovers, code-savvy or not.
By Noelia de la Cruz, October 4th, 2010
There’s little we love more than vintage posters—especially ones whose intentions are to deliver powerful messages using striking and colorful designs. This month, “Vox Populi” (or, in Latin, “voice of the people”) at the Guggenheim Museum reminds us of recent CITYist favorite, MoMa’s London Underground. But while the posters stem from a similar era, (think the tense but equally creative years of the 1920s and 1930s) Vox Populi covers a wider reach and includes posters conceived by French, Italian and German artists. Take a blast to the past from an international perspective; the exhibition runs through January 9, 2011.
R. Faye, La Houppa, 1925 (detail). Lithograph, 157.2 x 115.3 cm. Courtesy of Posters Please, Inc.
By Noelia de la Cruz, September 29th, 2010
Subtle hints of Middle Eastern and Medieval pattern and dress appear in Philip Lim’s Spring 2011 collection—and we’re loving it. Paisley-embroidered suede pants paired with a suede zipper-down gilet is a bold move. Layer the ensemble with a beige trench coat and you’ve got an enchanting casual men’s outfit. In addition to suede, lambskin and silk also generate most of the men’s and women’s collections. While the men’s line evokes perfect tailoring, the women’s line allows freedom—flowy dotted track pants and loose chiffon shirts are ideal attire for warm spring weather. The earthy palette (think peaches, creams and nudes) in both is complemented by the occasional splash of a vivid cognac or the brand’s bougie blue—creating a contrast captivating to the eye. Philip Lim masters fusing all of these eclectic elements and constructs a product that’s natural yet sophisticated and exquisitely refined. See more pictures after the jump.
Images by firstVIEW.com
By Noelia de la Cruz, September 21st, 2010
Ra Ra Riot has come a long way since its first days at Syracuse University in 2006—far gone are their days of playing house parties and small shows. They immediately won the hearts of many an indie rock fan with their debut The Rhumb Line. Now, two years later, their sophomore album The Orchard (released August 24) makes a wonderful addition to their repertoire. And with four shows in New York City starting today—two each at the Bowery Ballroom and the Music Hall of Williamsburg—there’s no excuse to miss them.
By Noelia de la Cruz, September 17th, 2010
For many Hispanic New Yorkers, the city was “Nueva York” first. Thus, appropriately named is El Museo del Barrio’s newest exhibition. Opening today, Nueva York is a collaborative effort between the cultural institution and the esteemed New York Historical Society. The multimedia collection, comprised of paintings, sketches, documents, books, maps, artifacts and more provides nearly 400 years of context through which to understand the compelling history of the Latin American, South American, Caribbean and Spanish people who journeyed to (not always by choice), settled and lived in New York.
Joaquín Torres-García, New York Docks, 1920.
By Noelia de la Cruz, September 15th, 2010
If you weren’t invited to the Burberry Prorsum Spring/Summer 2011 womenswear runway show, don’t fret—the renowned brand’s Retail Theatre concept is just as, if not more, exciting. On September 21, Burberry invites loyal consumers to 25 of its flagship stores worldwide (luckily we have two—the 57th street and Soho locations) for an interactive online experience occurring simultaneous to the event.
By Noelia de la Cruz, August 31st, 2010
World travel is the inspiration behind this fall’s collection of leather handbags by Patricia Nash. Each named for some of the most popular European destinations—Barcelona, Paris, Prague and Milan, for example—the buckle-heavy purses are constructed of vintage Italian leather and perfect for exploring the streets of the cities they represent. Whether you’re into the dipped leather (Barcelona), the flap (see Prague) or the convertible satchel (Milan), each flairs with sophistication and a slightly worn quality that enhances its appeal—all at very affordable prices. (Like, say, under $250.) Pick them up this September in department stores.
By Noelia de la Cruz, August 26th, 2010
Prepare for a new kind of industrial revolution—the kind you can wear on your shoulders and hold in your hands. Wendy Stevens gives women a futuristic alternative with her comprehensive collection of handcrafted metal handbags. Yes, metal. The woven steel yields intriguing designs while managing to retain the brand’s self-described “50s sensibility” with its timeless shapes. Styles range from a strapless evening clutch perfect for a night out (Billfold $340) to a scaled tote that comfortably accommodates all of your essentials (Bib Bag $630). More of our favorite models after the jump.
By Noelia de la Cruz, August 23rd, 2010
It’s no secret that we’re excited for the fall—with all the nail polish, makeup and accessories (Fernando Akasaka’s collection screams Halloween) appearing in preparation of the season, how could we not be? Now we’d also like to direct your attention to TOPSHOP’s latest LEXI heel ($145), a scalloped suede sandal whose platform block heel takes us back to the 70s. Available in black, red and blush (a purple-champagne fusion), these retro suede shoes with metallic detail offer the perfect transition from outdoor patio to indoor dance floor.
By Noelia de la Cruz, August 19th, 2010
While being called catty isn’t exactly a compliment, cat-like eyeliner is certainly attractive. This Fall, walk the catwalk with MAC’s Fabulous Felines line, which celebrates the daring, mysterious and unpredictable side of the fairer sex. The collection draws inspiration from the eyes, coats and personalities of three distinguished breeds—the wild leopard, the captivating Russian Blue and the sleek Burmese. Depending on your mood, choose from a selection that includes glamorous golds and royal purples or subdued olive greens, and finish the look with the aforementioned swooped cat eye (the Superslick Liquid Eye Liner should do the job). And the MAC nail colors we were raving about yesterday? We’d say definitely the perfect complement.
By Noelia de la Cruz, August 17th, 2010
Like we mentioned yesterday, it seems that natural elements are increasingly finding their way onto the fingers and necks of many a jewelry fan. In Sophie Monet’s collection, the earthy substance of choice is wood. The large carved rings and necklaces feature an array of geometric shapes—triangles, squares, half circles and pentagons, to name a few. But what makes this line especially unique are the ethereal crystals and stones that adorn the pieces; each possesses a translucent, mesmerizing quality that is in stark contrast to the darker wood, physically and conceptually. Tribal, environmental influences mixed with luxury living? We love a good juxtaposition.
By Noelia de la Cruz, August 12th, 2010
Fashion never stops—even when you’re gliding down snow-covered mountains at very high (and exhilarating) speeds. D&G knows this well: its new ski mask collection launches this October, just in time for the winter season. Customized for both men and women, the masks are big and bold—think: gradient lenses and thick rims in dramatic red, blue, gold and silver (and additional black and white for guys). What’s more, the goggles don’t just look the part; high-tech features like the double lens and antifog system are designed to increase visibility. And did we mention that the women’s pairs come encrusted with 2,500 Swarovski crystals? Just a minor detail. (Pick up the limited-edition Swarovski pairs at D&G boutiques in New York, Milan, Paris and London.) If your moves on the slopes don’t get you noticed, we’d say these definitely will.
By Noelia de la Cruz, August 10th, 2010
There’s no better place to nurture and celebrate the creative mind than in New York City. It’s fitting, then, that every year the most radical (and impressive) assortment of performances and presentations takes place here, in the form of the New York International Fringe Festival. Twenty venues dispersed downtown will open their doors to fans of all art forms: film, improv, stand-up, performance art, the musical—you name it, it’s on the Fringe Festival’s lineup. On opening day alone (August 13), choose from the comprehensive list of shows, including a burlesque musical (SHINE), a murder mystery (Ruby Wilder), a sex sketch (Love In The Time of Swine Flu) and a political drama (Picking Palin). We’ve got a photographic preview for you after the jump.
By Noelia de la Cruz, August 6th, 2010
Outdoor concerts at Central Park and Governor’s Island? Been there, done that. Starting August 28, you can catch none other than an outdoor opera performance at Lincoln Center, home to the world renowned Metropolitan Opera. Following its successful debut last year, the Summer HD Festival is back, featuring ten stellar productions that will be screened on the Met’s grand facade. The 10-day festival features opera classics such as La Boheme (September 2) and Aida (September 5) , as well as an interpretation of the popular children’s tale Hansel & Gretel (September 3). Newer productions, such as the Italian show Tosca, described as an “operatic thriller,” will show on opening night. With more than 3,000 free seats available each night, you really don’t have an excuse—it’s time to add some high brow entertainment to your summer routine.
By Noelia de la Cruz, August 5th, 2010
In a small, nearly hidden section of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 44 photographs are now on display that offer a snapshot of New York in days gone by. “Hipsters, Hustlers and Handball Players,” a collection featuring the work of the late Leon Levinstein, will be on view through October 17th. Though born in West Virigina, Levinstein eventually moved to the city and focused his lens on everyday New Yorkers from the beat scene of the 50s through the drug culture of the 80s. Close-ups often prevent identification of the surrounding scene, but some of his favorite settings included Times Square, the Lower East Side and Coney Island—places that were always hip but not always happy and often infested with drugs, prostitution and crime.
By Noelia de la Cruz, July 28th, 2010
It’s not a simple task—wearing the same piece again and again in a variety of different ways. But when you can master the art the way Funktional has for its Summer 2010 collection, the idea is charming, and indicative of a wider trend. A romper, crop top and layered dress are all cut from the same black silk thread, yet still lead to distinctive looks. Think it could be a bore to wear the same flower print three times? Not when it decorates a zip up dress, cropped layer dress and one shoulder zipper top. Royal blue silk is fashioned into a T-shirt dress, tunic and open-backed tank. Get the picture? In this day and age, it might not be such a bad idea to spend a little less and use your imagination, as this New York Times article, which explores the movement toward a smaller, more effective wardrobe notes. Similarly, Funktional demonstrates that it’s not what you wear, but how you wear it.
By Noelia de la Cruz, July 27th, 2010
Go to bed happy with Brulee—the lingerie collection whose latest pieces embody sensuality, sportiness and subtlety all in one. The all-inclusive ensembles can easily cater to customers cut from many a different cloth. The corset silk bra—more Victorian era, less Victoria’s Secret—pairs easily with the mesh boy shorts. For the less conservative, there’s always the more skin-baring Vamp collection. The minimal, solid designs and sophisticated palette of navy, amber, black and auburn, however, keep Brulee from falling into overly detailed folly or uncomfortable showmanship (read on for our favorites). And as for the fashionistas, who’ve jumped on the recent romper trend, there’s yet another to add to your collection—and fall asleep with. Sweet dreams.
By Noelia de la Cruz, July 15th, 2010
Indie pop-rock band Rooney made the 24th stop of their Eureka tour in New York City last night. And though it wasn’t their first time at the small and intimate Irving Plaza, the California-based band is on a tour of many firsts: it’s their first major tour after dropping Geffen/Interscope Records and going the independent route, which means it’s also their first tour promoting their independently recorded album, which hit stores June 8th. It’s also the first time without one of Rooney’s original members, Matthew Winter, the bassist who, curiously, quit the band to pursue medicine. But Rooney is a quintessential California band, something like a Beach Boys version of Wavves for the high school set–and the tunes were just as sweet as usual.
By Noelia de la Cruz, July 14th, 2010
Retro/Active, the exhibit at El Museo Del Barrio, is a contradiction–one which accurately describes Rafael Ferrer, who’s worked for more than half a century and is still working today. Unfortunately, Ferrer never rose to the same fame of other 20th century contemporary artists, like say, Picasso or, Matisse, but his notable work is fueled by a passion and curiosity for life: the Puerto Rican-born artist draws on everything from his love of jazz to snippets of life in his Caribbean homeland.
By Noelia de la Cruz, July 7th, 2010
Jam-packed is probably the best way to describe the way Coney Island will look and sound on July 17th. The annual Siren Music Festival is back again—and this time it kicks off with a celebratory bang for its 10th anniversary. You can bet indie music lovers will make appearances by the thousands, especially since crowd favorites are returning for the occasion. Said favorites include Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, who made an appearance at the 2003 Siren, and energetic pop-punk duo Matt & Kim, who return three years after their Siren debut.
By Noelia de la Cruz, June 28th, 2010
Summertime is the best for spending a night at the movies—outdoors, that is. Though films screen nearly every evening of the summer in parks all over the city, Rooftop Films elevates standards (literally and figuratively) by screening underground films several feet above it. Animation, short films and documentaries cover diverse topics that range from Japanese avant-garde music to American tattooing and Brazilian landfill scavengers. Share wide open space with strangers atop such varied venues as El Museo Del Barrio, the Old American Can Factory and Brooklyn Tech while taking in art house films of your choice (read on to see our favorites). And even if the movie doesn’t live up to your standards, the view sure should be nice.
By Noelia de la Cruz, June 25th, 2010
Though she’s known for her liberating, free-flowing designs, Cynthia Rowley took it up a notch for fall with a collection of pure fantasy. Rowley’s inspiration seems to be a mixture of 20s flapper, ski/sports gear and lots (and we mean lots) of color. Altogether, the look is not unlike an über fashionable Na’vi from Avatar—if Zoe Saldana’s character danced the Charleston, that is. Deep purples and cobalt blues, as well as colors extracted from a vivid Spring palette (pinks, reds, yellows), are darkened down for Fall with black and grey hues.
By Noelia de la Cruz, June 23rd, 2010
Sometimes less is more. At least that’s the case with Blu Dot’s office furniture, whose simple yet appealing designs helped the brand win an award at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair in May. Cant, the desk named for its unusual cantilevered frame, stands on four solid walnut legs and is complemented by the Scoop chair, an aluminum seat-shelled desk chair with an ivory exterior. Contemporary and minimal, the pieces are for the post-Ikea era, where everyone wants clean lines but doesn’t necessarily want to see the exact same pieces in all their friends’ homes.
By Noelia de la Cruz, June 8th, 2010
Anything goes and anyone is welcome at Sense of Fashion—that is, if you’ve got one. The new online community (officially launching June 15) invites every aspect of the fashion world—from trendy stylists to perceptive bloggers, aspiring fashion students to working designers—to contribute and connect. A proponent of indie fashion, the site’s most successful sells so far have been of the DIY variety: hand-sewn purses, leather handbags and intricate chain necklaces. The site is also a marketplace for vintage steals (see one of our favorites, an 80s leather bomber jacket, after the jump). And in the great wide world of the Internet, even school projects can create a viral sensation.