The Weekend Report: Jan 15-18

Fashion

Rag & Bone sample sale this week
Rag & Bone sample sale this week

The Rag & Bone sample sale returns to Chelsea Market (410 West 16th St, New York) this weekend. The sale opens on Wednesday (January 13) and runs through Sunday. Hours: Wed-Fri 10:30-8:00PM, Sat 11:00-7:00PM, Sun 11:00-3:00PM.

Museums

Archibald Motley at the Whitney
Archibald Motley at the Whitney

Last chance – Archibald Motley: Jazz Age Modernist currently at the Whitney Museum of American Art closes January 17th.

Archibald John Motley Jr. (1891–1981) was a bold and highly original modernist and one of the great visual chroniclers of twentieth-century American life. He first came to prominence in the 1920s during the early days of the Harlem Renaissance—the cultural flowering of African American art, music, and literature that extended beyond the New York neighborhood of its name to other cities, notably Chicago, where Motley spent most of his life.

Motley was born in New Orleans, but his family moved to Chicago when he was quite young, and he later became one of the first black artists to attend the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. His training there was academic, rigorously focused on the human figure, and steeped in European tradition. Motley’s sophisticated understanding of art history is especially apparent in his sympathetic portraits, but it was a history that he challenged and advanced with his raucous scenes of everyday urban life.

As the work on view in Archibald Motley: Jazz Age Modernist eloquently attests, Motley rightly holds a place among the great American modernists. The artist created a far more daring visual language than many of his contemporaries, fusing vivid narrative with dizzying spatial distortion and jarring hues to produce striking settings for characters of diverse racial backgrounds and social classes.

Movies

Best bets for a few recently opened movies . . .

Anomalisa
Anomalisa

Anomalisa – A lonely motivational speaker goes on a business trip to Cincinnati, where he meets an extraordinary stranger who might be able to change his negative view of life. This stop-motion-animation feature was penned by lauded screenwriter Charlie Kaufman, who also co-directs alongside Duke Johnson. I am not normally a fan of animation but this movie is getting great reviews and buzz.

The Revenant
The Revenant

The Revenant  – In 1820s America, frontiersman and fur trapper Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio) joins a pelt-gathering expedition along with his teenage son Hawk (Forrest Goodluck). When attacks by Arikara Indians claim the lives of many of the men in the party, Glass leads a small group on a new path back to a U.S. fort. While attempting to hunt game on the journey, Glass is mauled by a grizzly bear and horribly wounded. Assumed he’ll be dead soon, Glass is left under the care of roughneck John Fitzgerald (Tom Hardy), and the young and inexperienced Jim Bridger (Will Poulter) as Hawk watches on in horror. Fitzgerald betrays Glass and leaves him for dead, alone and unarmed. Glass nurses himself back to health and charts a course of revenge. Directed by Alejandro G. Inarritu.

The Hateful Eight
The Hateful Eight

The Hateful Eight – Bounty hunter John “The Hangman” Ruth (Kurt Russell) and his dangerous prisoner Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh) encounter a treacherous blizzard en route to her sentencing in Wyoming. During their stagecoach ride they come across another bounty hunter, Major Marquis Warren (Samuel L. Jackson), and former Confederate rebel leader Chris Mannix (Walton Goggins). Seeking refuge from the weather, the group chart a course for a mountain cabin to wait out the storm. There, they meet four other traveling strangers (Tim Roth, Demián Bichir, Michael Madsen, and Bruce Dern) with whom they must share the stuffy confines until the end of the blizzard. Tensions eventually boil over as each individual has his or her own agenda in this inventive Western, which is set in the aftermath of the American Civil War and written and directed by Quentin Tarantino.

Sisters
Sisters

 

Sisters – SNL alumni Tina Fey and Amy Poehler co-star in this comedy about two daffy adult sisters, one an irresponsible single mom and the other a kindhearted nurse, who decide to throw one last wild party at their childhood home before it’s sold by their parents. However, their bash ends up going disastrously awry.

 

The Mr Porter Seasonal Sale: Get it Before It’s Gone!

Mr Porter Seasonal Sale

 

Mr Porter just reduced sale prices from 50% to 70% off retail prices. They usually take one last markdown to 80% off but the pickings are pretty slim by then. There is still a decent selection of great brands at great prices. A few favorites:

Balmain Peacoat - was $5270 now $2635
Balmain Peacoat – was $5270 now $2635
Tomas Maier Faux-Shearling Lined Jacket- was $1250 now $625
Tomas Maier Jacket- was $1250 now $625

 

 

 

Boglioli Blazer - was $1345 now $673
Boglioli Blazer – was $1345 now $673
Lanvin Wool Blazer - was $1450 now $580
Lanvin Blazer – was $1450 now $580

 

 

 

 

 

 

Richard James Herringbone Shirt - was $290 now $87
Richard James Shirt – was $290 now $87

 

 

 

 

Bottega Veneta Cotton Shirt was $680 now $204
Bottega Shirt was $680 now $204

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Neil Barrett Sweater was $525 now $210
Neil Barrett Sweater was $525 now $210
Tomas Maier Sweater was $690 now $276
Tomas Maier Sweater was $690 now $276

November 27 – 29

Movies

Once the tryptophan wears off after your Thanksgiving feast the following look like some of the better bets for the weekend new releases.

The Danish Girl
The Danish Girl

The Danish Girl – This movie was inspired by the remarkable love story of artists Lili Elbe and Gerda Wegener. After standing in as a female model for a painting by his wife Gerda (Alicia Vikander), Danish artist Einar (Eddie Redmayne – already getting buzz about an Oscar nomination) becomes enamored with his feminine identity and begins living as a woman named Lili Elbe. Wegener stands by Lili as she explores her true self and eventually undergoes the world’s first gender reassignment surgery in the 1920s. Directed by Tom Hooper.

Victor Frankenstein
Victor Frankenstein

Victor Frankenstein – Told from Igor’s (Daniel Radcliffe) perspective, we see the troubled young assistant’s dark origins, his redemptive friendship with the young medical student Victor Von Frankenstein (James McAvoy), and become eyewitnesses to the emergence of how Frankenstein became the man – and the legend – we know today. After the monster puts the scientists and others in grave danger, it’s up to Igor to save Frankenstein from the monster, and for himself.

Legend
Legend

Legend – The film tells the story of the identical twin gangsters Reggie and Ronnie Kray (played by Tom Hardy), two of the most notorious criminals in British history, and their organized crime empire in the East End of London during the 1960s. The film is adapted from John Pearson’s nonfiction tome The Profession of Violence.

Museums

And should you live in New York City Jacqueline de Ribes: The Art of Style recently opened at the Met’s Costume Institute.

Jacqueline de Ribes The Art of Style
Jacqueline de Ribes The Art of Style

The exhibition focuses on the internationally renowned style icon Countess Jacqueline de Ribes, whose originality and elegance established her as one of the most celebrated fashion personas of the twentieth century. The thematic show features about sixty ensembles of haute couture and ready-to-wear primarily from de Ribes’s personal archive, dating from 1962 to the present. Also included are her creations for fancy-dress balls, which she often made by cutting and cannibalizing her haute couture gowns to create nuanced expressions of her aesthetic. These, along with photographs, video, and ephemera, tell the story of how her interest in fashion developed over decades, from childhood “dress-up” to the epitome of international style.

 

Fashion Favorite – Alden, the Best American Shoe-maker

Alden is arguably the best-made American shoe available to buy today. The company was founded in 1884 by Charles H. Alden in Middleborough, Massachusetts. Alden is the only original New England shoe-maker remaining from the dozens or hundreds that were in existence in the first half of the Twentieth Century. Alden survived by focusing on quality construction and continues to be family-owned.

The shoes are available in calf or shell cordovan.  The pair below is one of my favorites.  A cordovan wingtip with a heavy Goodyear-welted sole this shoe will last for years.  For those of you not familiar, shell cordovan is horsehide (and, coincidentally, usually from the horse’s ass . . .). The only company in the United States currently producing shell cordovan is the Horween Leather Company. Shell cordovan is expensive, rare and extremely durable.

Alden Cordovan Wingtips
Alden Cordovan Wingtips

Other features of Alden shoes: hand-stained and polished leathers, leather insoles, full leather lining, a layer of cork under the insole for additional comfort and a tempered steel shank.  The shoes are expensive – Alden’s nearest competitor is probably Allen Edmonds and Alden is more expensive – but if quality is important to you these are the best.

Alden are not widely distributed but not terribly difficult to find.  The company’s website (which is not e-commerce enabled)  has a store finderJ. Crew has had a partnership for the past few years. There is also a retailer with stores in New York and Brooklyn – Epaulet (whose owners have a great eye and taste level) that has a relationship with Alden and produces the occasional exclusive via special order.

The Weekend Report: October 30 – November 1

Theater

Gin Game opened October 14
Gin Game opened October 14

The Gin Game – Two-time Tony Award winner James Earl Jones squares off with three-time Emmy and Tony Award winner Cicely Tyson in D.L. Coburn’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play The Gin Game. I saw the play recently. I am glad I had the opportunity to see these two masters work. James Earl Jones is 84 and Cicely Tyson is 90 so there won’t be many more opportunities. The play is directed by Leonard Foglia (Master Class) in this brand-new Broadway production.

King Charles III opening night November 1
King Charles III opening night November 1

King Charles III – Winner of the 2015 Olivier award for best new play which opens on Broadway on November 1 after a successful West End run.  This drama of political intrigue was written by Mike Bartlett and directed by Rupert Goold. King Charles III has been deemed “the most insightful and engrossing new history play in decades” by Ben Brantley of The New York Times. This production explores the people underneath the crowns, the unwritten rules of Britain’s democracy and the conscience of its most famous family.

China Doll opening November 19
China Doll opening November 19

China Doll (opening night November 1) –  Oscar, Emmy and Tony Award winner Al Pacino and Tony and Pulitzer Prize winner David Mamet join forces in a riveting story of a man of means, ready to walk away from it all to start a new life with his young fiancée. Directed by Tony Award winner Pam MacKinnon (Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Clybourne Park).

Fashion

The James Perse sample sale is back from October 27 to November 1 at 260 Fifth Avenue in New York City. Find signature knits at savings of up to 75% off retail prices. For more information: James Perse Sample Sale

Movies

Rock the Kasbah opens October 23
Rock the Kasbah opens October 23

Rock the Kasbah – Barry Levinson directs Bill Murray in this comedy-drama about a down-and-out music manager who follows a USO tour to Afghanistan to visit his one remaining client, in the process discovering a talented young singer who he sneaks into Kabul to compete on the country’s popular reality talent show “The Afghan Star.”

Suffragette opens October 23
Suffragette opens October 23

Suffragette – In this galvanizing feminist drama, a working-class laundress (Carey Mulligan) in 19th century London becomes radicalized when she meets a brave cadre of women organizing to obtain the vote. Also stars Helena Bonham Carter and Meryl Streep.

Our Brand is in Crisis opens October 30
Our Brand is in Crisis opens October 30

Our Brand is Crisis – This satirical comedy gives viewers an inside look at the high-stakes, win at all costs world of politics. Sandra Bullock plays”Calamity” Jane Bodine who is hired to work on the campaign of a Bolivian presidential candidate that has fallen behind in the polls. She faces off against her rival Pat Candy (Billy Bob Thornton) who is working on the opponent’s campaign and is looking for every opportunity to antagonize Jane. Produced by Oscar-winning producers George Clooney and Grant Heslov.

TV

Angel from Hell starring Jane Lynch
Angel from Hell starring Jane Lynch

Angel from Hell (premiers November 5, 9:30PM CBS) – stars Jane Lynch as Amy, a colorful, brassy woman claiming to be a guardian angel to Allison, an organized seemingly perfect young woman. Did I mention it stars Jane Lynch?

Summer Must-have: The White Sneaker

White sneakers are one of my spring and summer staples.  There is something about the clean, simple look of a white sneaker I love – so of course I have multiple versions: Adidas Original Stan Smith, Superstars and Sambas (although the black with white stripes is the more classic version), Jack Purcells, Dior Homme and a few others. I am also partial to low-tops which will become obvious as you read the post below.  Most of them to have a high-top version, however, if that is more your style. A few of my favorites:

The Wilson in Grey by Greats
The Wilson in Grey by Greats $49

Greats: Greats is a Brooklyn-based direct-to-consumer sneaker company. The company launched in August 2013 and has received lots of press, a 1.5MM investment in 2014 and a wholesale partnership with Mr Porter in 2015. I am partial to The Wilson in grey (ok not technically white but a nice variation). http://www.greats.com/

Frank & Oak Park Leather $135
Frank & Oak Park Leather $135

Frank & Oak:  Frank & Oak’s product line has gotten more diverse and more sophisticated in the past few years.  Originally launched with well-priced more basic apparel in a subscription model (“The Hunt Club” – similar to Trunk Club) the have expanded beyond the subscription model (although still available) and basics.  They recently launched shoes and have a great looking line of clean-looking, modern sneakers (and also have other colors than white!) https://www.frankandoak.com/product/23869

Stan Smith x Raf Simons $450
Stan Smith x Raf Simons $450

Stan Smith x Raf Simons – While I love both my Stan Smith’s and Raf Simons’s aesthetic I probably won’t be exchanging my $60 Adidas Originals for the $450 Raf Simons version.  But it doesn’t cost anything to look. And how cool is the perforated “R” on the side of the shoe? http://needsupply.com/mens/brands/adidas-x-raf-simons/raf-simons-stan-smith-in-white.html 

Jack Purcell Tumbled Leather
Jack Purcell Tumbled Leather $80

Jack Purcell – The Jack Purcell by Converse comes in many variations.  I have the classic canvas (as well as a great pair of blue stripped/dotted ones I found at Mr Porter).  The ones above are a slightly more expensive tumbled leather ($80). http://www.converse.com/regular/jack-purcell-tumbled-leather/147575C_095.html

Adidas Originals Superstar
Adidas Originals Superstar $80

Adidas Originals Superstars – Another great classic sneaker. I have a pair in patent that I found (on sale!) at Barney’s LA. http://www.adidas.com/us/superstar-shoes/C77124.html

St Laurent Sneaker
St Laurent Sneaker $595

St Laurent – and for a splurge ($595!) the St Laurent sneaker.  I love the touch of color on the heel.  I have an old pair of Dior Homme (from the Hedi Slimane Dior Homme days) that is still a favorite.  Since Hedi took over at St Laurent the sneakers have taken on a bit of the old Dior Homme style. http://www.ysl.com/us/shop-product/men/sneakers

Hickies – Don’t forget accessories.  Hickies recently developed a revolutionary new responsive, no-tie lacing system.  Check it out at: http://www.hickies.com/ 

And if none of the above work for you.  See the post by Esquire on 5 Minimalist Sneakers: http://www.esquire.com/style/mens-accessories/g2060/5-minimalist-sneakers-go-workweek-to-weekend/?thumbnails

Or the post from Esquire on the coolest sneakers of 2015: http://www.esquire.com/style/the-coolest-shoes-of-2015/

Or the post from Valet of the 10 best summer sneakers: http://www.valetmag.com/2015/10-best-summer-sneakers

And last but not least . . in honor of summer see this post from Valet about summer foot care: http://www.valetmag.com/grooming/summer-proof-your-feet

Saint Laurent vs. Dior and I

Saint Laurent movie poster
Saint Laurent
Dior and I starring Raf Simmons, Marion Cotillard, Jennifer Lawrence
Dior and I starring Raf Simmons, Marion Cotillard, Jennifer Lawrence

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I had the opportunity this weekend to bookend the movies Saint Laurent and Dior and I. Both movies give an interesting peek behind the haute couture curtain and between the two of them portray three periods in fashion: the fifties when Dior launched his label, the late sixties and early seventies when Saint Laurent was at his peak and present day during the period that Raf Simons takes over the helm as creative director at Dior.

I liked them both – having been in both the Dior and YSL showrooms in Paris to buy the collections (but not behind the scenes in the ateliers) it was a fascinating look at a rarely seen side of the fashion industry.  Dior and I is a documentary and chronicles the development of Raf’s first collection for Dior interspersed with flashbacks to the early days of the house. Saint Laurent is film based on real events (but takes some liberties) and focuses on the period in which Yves was at his peak.

There is strong connection between the houses: Saint Laurent become the head designer of the house of Christian Dior in 1957 (at the age of 21) upon the death of Dior. His first collection for the house is credited with saving the house while at the same time catapulting him to stardom. Saint Laurent’s later collections were not as well received and (if you believe the rumors) Marcel Boussac, the owner of the house of Dior, arranged his conscription in the army so that he could replace Saint Laurent at Dior. If you are interested in fashion I recommend seeing them (but beware Saint Laurent runs a bit long . . . ).

 

 

The Week Ahead June 22-28: What to see watch and do this week

Fashion

Rag & Bone sample sale this week
Rag & Bone sample sale this week

The Rag & Bone sample sale is back – it starts this Wednesday June 24th at 10:30am and runs through Sunday June 28th. 410 W 16th St in New York (Chelsea Market).

Movies

Ted 2 starring Mark Wahlberg
Ted 2 starring Mark Wahlberg

Ted 2 (opens June 26th) – Newlywed couple Ted and Tami-Lynn want to have a baby, but in order to qualify to be a parent, Ted will have to prove he’s a person in a court of law. In 2012 Seth MacFarlane racked up half a billion dollars by having a cute bear talk shit to Mark Wahlberg. Will he get lightning to strike twice? Let me know as I probably won’t be first in line.

Big Game with Samuel L Jackson
Big Game opens June 26th

Big Game (opens June 26th) – A timid Finnish boy serving a rite of passage by spending the night alone in the forest must protect the President of the United States (Samuel L. Jackson) from terrorists who have shot down Air Force One in order to hunt the most powerful man on the planet.  The movie has a great cast – in addition to Samuel L. Jackson the movie stars Victor Barber, Felicity Huffman, Jim Broadbent and Ted Levine. Maybe they can rescue what sounds like a movie I have seen many times before.

TV

Humans by AMC
Humans by AMC

Humans (June 28, AMC) – A new AI concept. Robots are among us, tasked with simple jobs like babysitting and house cleaning. They’re part of the family. They look mighty convincing, too. Of course, every machine malfunctions every so often…

The Week Ahead June 15-21: What to see watch and do this week

Restaurants

Fuku from David Chang

David Chang opened his new casual fine restaurant Fuku this week to general acclaim and hour-long lines around the block. He aims to do with the fried chicken sandwich at Fuku what Danny Meyer did with the burger at Shake Shack. I haven’t been yet but plan to go this weekend – early to hopefully avoid the lines. Eater NY had few on-scene write-ups and first impressions you can find here: http://ny.eater.com/fuku-first-look-chicken-sandwich-review

The chicken sandwich from Fuku
The chicken sandwich from Fuku

TV

Deutschland 83
Deutschland 83

Deutschland 83 (June 17th, Sundance)an eight-part thriller, Deutschland 83 is Germany’s answer to The Americans  — a Cold War thriller set amid the nuclear paranoia of 1983. According to reviews, the series captures well the mood of the divided city of Berlin, with the backdrop of the United States and the dying Soviet Union playing chicken with the threat of nuclear war.

True Detective Season 2
True Detective Season 2

True Detective (June 21st, HBO) – The hotly anticipated second season of the hit show debuts next weekend with a new cast and new storyline created by Nic Pizzolatto (who also wrote and created the first season). Taylor Kitsch stars as a war veteran and motorcycle cop who enlists two detectives (played by Colin Farrell and Rachel McAdams) to help investigate a strange crime in California. Vince Vaughn also stars. If the review from Stephen Marche of Esquire is an indication the second season will be as popular as the first:  http://www.esquire.com//tv/reviews/true-detective-season-2

Ballers on HBO starring Dwayne Johnson
Ballers on HBO starring Dwayne Johnson

Ballers (June 21st, HBO) – stars Dwayne Johnson (who seems to be everywhere these days with two movies currently in theaters) as a Spencer Strassmore, a retired football player well as a financial manager. This “Entourage for athletes” series would not normally be my type of show but the previews with the fast cars and fast money are strangely compelling.


Fashion

Owen Discontinues Men's
Owen Discontinues Men’s

Owen, the men’s and women’s fashion boutique located in the Meatpacking district is discontinuing its mens business and is discounting all spring summer styles 70% from designers that include Philip Lim, Acne, Alexander Wang and Tim Coppens. Shop the store at 809 Washington Street in New York or from the comfort of your own home online: http://owennyc.com/men-sale


Movies

The Overnight opens June 19
The Overnight opens June 19

The Overnight (opens June 19) – Written and directed by Patrick Brice, The Overnight stars Adam Scott, Taylor Schilling, Jason Schwartzman and Judith Godréche as two couples who have a wild night of drinking and debauchery after their children go to bed following a playdate.  The dysfunctions of one couple threaten to destabilize the other.

Infinitely Polar Bear opens June 19
Infinitely Polar Bear opens June 19

Infinitely Polar Bear (opens June 19) – Mark Ruffalo stars as Cameron, a man whose breakdown from a bipolar disorder forces him to leave his family. When his wife (Zoe Saldana) decides to go to business school in New York they decide that he will move back in to take care of their two daughters. I haven’t seen the film but I can imagine the scenes that come next . . .

 

The Week Ahead June 8-14: What to see watch and do this week

Fashion

Vince Sample Sale this weekend
Vince Sample Sale ends Sunday – Chelsea Market

Last chance! – The Vince sample sale ends this weekend – last day is Sunday June 7 (10am – 5PM) – at Chelsea Market (75 Ninth Ave, New York). As of yesterday the men’s assortments included leather jackets for $279 down from $1,250, sweaters from $69 to $99, knits from $29 to $49, woven shirts $59, jeans $69 and shorts $59.

Movies

Jurassic World starring Chris Pratt
Jurassic World starring Chris Pratt

Jurassic World (opens June 12) – Twenty-two years after the events of Jurassic Park (1993), Isla Nublar now features the fully functioning dinosaur theme park originally envisioned by John Hammond. In need of a new attraction, with visitor rates declining, the park’s geneticists create a hybrid dinosaur. Shockingly, the hybrid escapes, goes on a rampage and needs to be contained.  Jurassic World stars Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Vincent D’Onofrio and B.D. Wong.

Live From New York!
Live From New York! opens June 12

Live From New York! (opens June 12) – “Saturday Night Live” has been reflecting and influencing life in the United States for 40 years. Live From New York! explores the early years of “Saturday Night Live” through its evolution into a comedy institution. The film encompassing decades of American politics, media, tragedy, and popular culture as seen through SNL’s irreverent filter. Archival footage is interwoven with stolen moments and exclusive commentary from SNL legends, journalists, hosts, musical guests and crew.

TV

Orange is the new Black by Jenji Kohan
Orange is the new Black by Jenji Kohan

Orange is the New Black (season 3 releases on June 12 by Netflix) – for the few of you who have not yet seen OITNB binge on seasons 1 and 2 now. The first season was ground-breaking in many ways, the second was good – let’s see if writer and producer Jenji Kohan (Weeds) can keep it up for season 3. And for those of you not in the know OITNB is the story of Piper Chapman (Taylor Schilling), a straight-ish WASP-y woman in her thirties who is sentenced to prison after being convicted of a decade-old crime of transporting money for her drug-dealing girlfriend

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell

Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell (June 13 BBC America) – Harry Potter meets Pride and Prejudice? A tale of magicians helping 18th-century England defeat Napoleon, full of wizardly spells and political intrigue. The show is based on Susanna Clarke’s 2004 bestseller, and pairs the gallant young Jonathan Strange (Bertie Carvel) with Mr. Norrell (Eddie Marsan), the grumpy coot from the York Society of Magicians.