Thursday, September 30, 2010

Ladies Who Lunch: I Scream, You Cream........


After a hectic Fashion Week running all over the city from show to show, I was happy that the last day was on a Thursday.  Why, you might ask? Because Friday was my Birthday and I wanted to do nothing more than enjoy being at home in New York.
So after an afternoon of wandering around streets that hold so many memories and dinner with a best friend at a favorite restaurant, how did I want to finish off the evening? Ice Cream!!  But not just any ice cream. I grew up during the birth of what became known as “premiere” ice creams and cut my teeth while working at the Häagen-Dazs on Columbus Avenue back in the day.  Needless to say, like with most things in my life, I am spoiled and really want the very best.
Admittedly, I am not an East Village type of guy, only venturing over there for a few specific reasons: Veleska, Veneiro’s and DiRoberti’s.  However, I had heard about a supposedly awesome Vegan Ice Cream spot called Stogo that I was dying to try.  I have tried the different alternative ice creams that you find at places like Whole Foods and even though I have liked some of them, they have never quite lived up to my expectations of “ice cream”.  Somehow the consistency and flavor is always a near miss.  So off to the East Village we went.

Located on the corner of East 10th Street and 2nd Avenue, Stogo lured me in with it’s bright lights and the promise of excellence.  Opened and co-owned by Kyra Sedgwick’s brother, Rob Sedgwick and Steve Horn, Stogo promises the best in gourmet organic dairy free ice cream.  I am here to confirm that they live up to their promise!

Concocting their frozen goodness using either soy, coconut or hemp milk, and offering around 30 flavors, I dove in and tried three scoops of three different flavors: soy based chocolate hazelnut, salted caramel pecan and coconut milk based toasted almond joy.  My first impression was that this was not your typical ice cream, but more like a fine gelato.  The texture is creamy and smooth for a real “ice cream” mouth feel that I have found lacking in the commercial brands and none of that gummy sticky feeling.  As for the flavors, all of them were exceptional and tasted as described.  I really appreciated that they concentrated on delivering intense flavors as opposed to concentrating on sweetness.  I found this to be especially true when I tasted my friends selection of Mint Chocolate Chip, cool clean mint flavor.  This combined with the texture reminded me a lot of ice cream from Berthillon in Paris.

Stogo also offers an amazing array of toppings: cookie bits, golden Himalayan raisins, raw cacao nibs, seasonal fruits.  Particularly for my first time, I took my servings sans toppings, wanting the purist experience.  Next time however, I think I will have to give those toppings a whirl as well.  Needless to say that I am impressed and I am looking forward to exploring their other flavors and experiencing more of a treat that unless you told me, I would never guess to be vegan!

Stogo: 159 2nd Avenue (Entrance on E10th St btw 2nd and 3rd Avenues)
             New York, NY 10003  212.677.2301

Ladies Who Lunch: YSL, Bergé & L'Amour Fou

Yves Saint Laurent et Pierre Bergé, en 1982, rue de Babylone, à Paris.
Fashion history will remember Yves Saint Laurent as one of the great designers of the 20th Century for his beautiful and innovative designs.  Saint Laurent's genius created a fashion empire that continues to this day.    A new documentary film, L'Amour Fou by Pierre Thoretton, examines the relationship of Saint Laurent and his partner Pierre Bergé, chronicling their lifetime together and the building of the empire.  Originally, Thoretton set out to document Saint Laurent and Bergé's decision to auction off their lifetime collection of art and precious objects, but realized the much greater story behind their partnership.  Those of you who are lucky enough to be in Europe can see this brilliant film in theaters now.  Those of us in the US will have to wait for the much anticipated release in 2011.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Ladies Who Lunch: Rebecca Minkoff Spring/Summer 2011 Collection

After conquering the fashion world and celebrities by storm with her awesome bags and clothing line, Rebecca Minkoff presented her Spring/Summer 2011 line complete with the debut of her own shoe line as well.  Talk about being able to control your image, Ms. Minkoff can now do it by dressing you from head to literally toe.

Rebecca Minkoff’s collection showed what she does best: chic wearable clothes that make a girl look fashionable without making it look like she had to work at it.  Great separates and sexy dresses that can take you from day through evening make this a winning collection and it is no wonder that celebs like Michelle Trachtenberg are fans of Minkoff’s style.  One stand out that can be worn more day or more dressy for events was a dress with a beige micro-pleated top and black skirt.  A real knock-out.

The colors of the collection are black, white, browns, grays, beiges and just a few bright reds for a shot of color. Like her bag collection, the clothing line has fun hardware accents that give them that oomph that make them so appealing.   And you can have matching bags and shoes for the outfits for a put together look.  The shoe line, like the clothing and bags, is wearable and sexy with an urban edge to it complimenting both the clothing and the bags very nicely.

This fan of Gossip Girl fashion totally gets this collection and gives it a special XOXO.  Selfishly, I am especially looking forward to Rebecca Minkoff’s bag line for men, “Ben Minkoff”.  Can you see me smiling?
Photos Courtesy of MsFABulous

Ladies Who Lunch: Michelle Trachtenberg at 6th Annual Pink Party

Hello Upper East Siders and everyone else!!  Michelle Trachtenberg was spotted on the Pink Carpet at the 6th Annual Pink Party at Drais in Hollywood. The annual event is a fundraiser to find a cure for breast cancer and other women's cancers.

Ms. Trachtenberg looked amazing in a dress from Rebecca Minkoff's Spring 2011 line.  For those of you who can't wait to get your hands on this stunning dress, it is called the Clara Chain Back Dress and will be available this Spring at the bargain price of $425.00.

Can't wait to see who of you will be the first to rock this dress when it hits the stores.

You know you love me

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Ladies Who Lunch: Temperley Spring/Summer 2011 Collection

Okay, I admit to being out of the loop sometimes.  I honestly was not familiar with the Temperley line and had no idea what to expect as I went into their presentation. So, I was a little bit surprised when it appeared that at least partially the inspiration for the collection was from Lady Gaga’s song Poker Face: “And baby when it’s love if its not rough it isn’t fun”.  Upon further inspection, I discovered that the actual inspiration for the line was Guinivere, knights and the era of King Arthur’s Court.

Mixing romanticism with elements inspired by armor, this is a collection of contrasts.  A hooded tunic in a chain mail knit, foil-printed draped jerseys, embroidered tulle, leather, studded jackets, and ruffles all mesh together in a collection that play on femininity and its opposing tough side.  Sexy and feminine silhouettes with harder edged metal and leather accents were shone in a color palette of white, blush, metallic golds, metallic grays, and metallic bronzes that were accented with intarsia knits and animal prints.

Underneath the bondage hardware used in some of the outfits for dramatic effect in presentation, this is a beautiful line with pieces that can be worn everyday and pieces for those special occasions as well.  
photos: Mdivani Monroe

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Ladies Who Lunch: Bebe Spring/Summer 2011 Collection

As I made my escape home to New York, I thought that I was leaving California behind. Sure I have a love/hate relationship with Southern California: great weather, great scenery, too spread out, too much driving, etc.  So imagine my surprise when I found myself at the Bebe Fashion Show during Fashion Week in NY and felt myself transported mentally back to LA.

As I made my escape home to New York, I thought that I was leaving California behind. Sure I have a love/hate relationship with Southern California: great weather, great scenery, too spread out, too much driving, etc.  So imagine my surprise when I found myself at the Bebe Fashion Show during Fashion Week in NY and felt myself transported mentally back to LA.

The inspiration for the collection was the Mediterranean and Brigitte Bardot, always a nice combination.  The looks evoked images of BB in San Tropez and the jet setter life style.  With an emphasis on looks that dripped sex appeal, there was also a subtle underlying 70’s hippie vibe to the collection.  Flowing mixed-media dresses with variegated hemlines gave way easily to jumpsuits and rompers.  Short shorts were also big teamed up with jackets or worn a little more casually.  For evening, the closing gown with lace panels oozed sexiness and would look incredible on someone like Fergie with the body and attitude to pull it off.

Even while in NY, it seems that I can’t escape Los Angeles.  And maybe that isn’t such a bad thing :)

Photos Courtesy of New York Post

Friday, September 24, 2010

Ladies Who Lunch: TSE Cashmere Spring/Summer 2011 Collection

TSE Cashmere has been known in the marketplace for its luxurious cashmere pieces that have become a staple in the closets of the well-heeled. I myself own several of their pieces and wear them non-stop.  The company, however, is ready to make the move into becoming a  true fashion force and has brought in Jason Wu to do a capsule collection for the line.

For Spring/Summer 2011, his second capsule for TSE Cashmere, Mr. Wu creates mix and match looks with woven pieces that compliment the knits.  Taking his inspiration from the idea of “Illusions”, Mr. Wu took the knit company in a new direction.  A chunky, yet lightweight, sweater and dress were made by creating a new yarn from stitched chiffon and other pieces were digitally printed on cashmere for a hand painted look.  A nice capsule, it creates a new feel to the line and will bring in new customers.

But make no mistake, the regular TSE Cashmere collection is pusing the fashion envelope as well.  Mixing timeless pieces with trendier “of the moment” pieces, the TSE line also is making great advances.  Like the capsule collection, this line is mixing in more wovens, making it possible to wear the knits with coordinating woven pieces for a look that is both relaxed and elegant.  Mixing linen with silk and cashemere, the line is a collage of textures.  Trimmed with dyed leather, horn and shell buttons, and metal pins, the line has a modern and sensual look.  And while I will still appreciate their classic pieces, these new pieces have a sophistication to them that will appeal to fashionistas everywhere.

With Jason Wu’s capsule collection and the updating of the TSE Cashmere line, I see the company advancing forward and broadening their customer base in a very good way.

Photos: Mdivani Monroe

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Ladies Who Lunch: Alexander Berardi Spring/Summer 2011 Collection

At 24, he was the youngest designer to show at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week this season.  His youth, however, did not hamper him in presenting a nice solid collection that also shows the promise of what is to come.

Inspired by Jean Seberg in the Goddard film "Breathless", Berardi took the nouvelle vague look and translated it to Hamptons chic, naming his presentation "Breathless is a Tribe Called Hamptons". Having grown up on the Upper East Side, the Hamptons is a subject this Parsons grad knows all too well.  There was a definite nautical influence in his daywear, derived from plays on the marinière shirts worn by Segerg in "Breathless" in the form of shirts, dresses, and chiffon capelets.  Trenches, both long and short were big, including a stunner with the bottom half of the trench all in pleats.  Light and breezy chiffon dresses, shorts, cargo pants and even harem pants helped round out the collection which I expect to see pop up all over the Hamptons next Summer with a color palette focused on navy, white, khaki, black and gold.

For evening, Mr. Berardi presented separates and gowns that while still being "Hamptons" relaxed and wearable, were also chicly elegant with a touch of 1930's glamour to them.  From gold sequined shorts and skirts and sexy gold sequined gown to sleekly draped black gowns, Berardi shows that he can bring it on.

Having grown up in the world he is catering to, Mr. Berardi  knows exactly what they want and is giving it to them in his own style.

Photos by Mdivani Monroe & Courtesy of Getty Images