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Times Square

THE SCENE — Broadway. (Nomad, Midtown, Times Square)  A theater extravaganza.

THE MUSTS — Ultimate destinations — within 20 walking blocks

THE STAY —  The Nomad Hotel (stands for ‘North of Madison Square Park’- the newly hyped triangle),  at 28th and Broadway- A Beaux Arts masterpiece, dark and romantic with belle epoque décor; celebrating its three-year anniversary; a secret ‘locals’ getaway.  It is touted as the Ace Hotel for Adults. The service? Just right; hip, attentive, engaging- with a youthful exuberance.  Rainforest shower heads deliver a soothing spa experience; Frette linens and down feather beds for the ultimate ZZZzzzzzs. Furnishings are a mix of high and low, historic and contemporary.  And the push and pull hits the right mix in a neighborhood of the same.NoMad Hotel

THE EATS — DAY ONE:  The Parlour at the Nomad- Brunch – Featuring the ‘ne plus ultra’ of chicken sandwiches masterfully crafted by chef/owner Daniel Humm with buttery brioche, fois gras and black truffle.  Pair it with a glass of Pierre-Yves Colin-Morey Bourgogne blanc from Burgundy France 2011. (One of the many fine wines by the glass sourced from around the world). For dessert: Milk & Honey- a deconstructed sweet with shortbread, brittle and ice cream. Finish with a glass of Sauterne and a white Peony tea. Truly a flawless dining experience.  Ask for Rudy – a dedicated artist in customer service.

Aldo Sohm Wine Bar— Dinner: at 51st and 7th (located across the Galleria from Le Bernadin)- This restrained and discreet Wine Bar is the casual love child of star Sommelier Aldo Sohm and renowned Le Bernadin Chef/Owner Eric Ripert.  It is a marriage of fine small plates and some of the best sourced wines of the world.  Like Le Bernadin, the professional staff hits the right note in service.  Unlike Le Bernadin, no reservations are needed.  In fact, they are not taken at all.  Musts are the Truffle Pasta with aged Parmesan – a decadent delight – both delicate and dynamic, the roasted, spiced carrots and the grilled chorizo manchego Panini.  Wines by the glass never tasted better than in their super fine crystal stemware from Zalto (a collaboration with Mr. Sohm).  Try the 2013 Vouvray Domaine Huet by Le Mont, and the 2012 Cotes de Nuits-Villages Les Essards by Antoine Lienhardt. Perfection.

DAY TWO: Stumptown Coffee OutPost at The Ace Hotel – a neighborhood favorite.  A simple, smooth cup of java.  Authentic Doppio Macchiato. Get it to go and be a ‘flaneur’.

Eataly–Lunch:at 23rd and  5th Avenue- Mario Batali’s– Authentic Italian Mecca delivers sensory overload. A Harrods food court for Italian foodies.  With a curated Alessi outpost to satisfy the discerning designer. La pizza & la pasta served in an insalata de Finocchio – arugula, fennel, shaved parmigiano with lemon vinaigrette and a chewy/ crispy pizza with prosciutto & mozzarella. Molto bene. Simply satisfying.

THE COCKTAIL — Night Cap at The Elephant Bar – the Nomad – craft cocktail heaven. The menu is divided into 3 categories -The Dark Spirited -The Start me Up (for Bourbon Lovers)-Bourbon Rum, Strega, Honey Ginger, Lemon and Orange Bitters; The Light Spirited – The Red Light-Niguraguan Rum, Aquavit, Campari, velvet falernum, vanilla, grapefruit, lime, wormwood bitters, and the Soft Cocktail –the Basil Fennel Soda. Something to satisfy every whim and palate for a creative local crowd.

Cocktail at the NoMad

THE SHOPPING — MOMA Design Store at 5th AV and 53Rd – get your artistic culture on.  This is curated like the Museum with some hi -lo design objects heavy on the functional luxury.  Some perennial favorites include the Sky Umbrella and the Yanagi flatwear.

Fishes Eddy—889 BROADWAY, Purveyor of American Sturdy ware.  Hotel ware reimagined – Many items with humorous anecdotes.  Dare you NOT to leave with a smile

THE SHOWS — “The Audience”: (Matinee) Starring the incomparable Helen Mirren at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre at west 45th St.  A transformative tete a tete with the Queen and her successive Prime Ministers. Intelligent, witty and touching glimpse of the royal weekly behind the scenes meetings. This restrained and elegant production is directed by Stephan Daldry (“An Inspector Calls,” “Billy Elliot”) and designed by Bob Crowley (“Once,” “Glass Menagerie”).

Helen Mirren-the audience

“The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre at West 47th St.  A mystery (it’s title is taken from a Sherlock Holmes quote) with brilliant perspective from the eyes of 15-year-old protagonist Christopher Boone—who describes himself as a mathematician with behavioral difficulties (identified as Asperger’s Syndrome). If anything, the play is about being an outsider, about differences.  It is based on a novel by Mark Haddon,  winner of 17 literary awards.  The playwright is Simon Stephens (“A Doll’s House,” “The Cherry Orchard”). Alex Sharp, a 2014 Julliard graduate makes his extraordinary Broadway debut.

Honeymoon in Vegas: (Matinee) Starring Tony Danza at the Nederlander Theater at  West  41st St. – Based on a screenplay by Andrew Bergman, with a rousing score by Jason Robert Brown- (a fine story teller like Stephen Sondheim – only funny, with the angst of Woody Allen).  This has everything a Broadway musical needs – a splashy opening number with a catchy tune (Betsy), humor, shtick, romance, and flying Elvis’.  And, yet, it has a surprising restraint, due in part because of a charming performance by Mr. Danza.

Gigi Hadid/Daniela Corte

Gigi Hadid wearing the Daniela Corte Playa Bustier Top and Knot Bottoms.

Our very own Daniela Corte just reached one of the career pinnacles of swimwear designers across the globe–to have her bikinis featured in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue–an iconic read that has been around since 1964, generates upwards of 35 million dollars in ad revenue yearly, and has featured supermodel greats such as Tyra Banks, Paulina Porizkova, and Elle Macphearson on its covers.

Initially, the idea for the issue came about by then managing editor, Andre Laguerre, as a way to fill the magazine with content in the winter months, when sports reporting was slow. Who knew that this “filler” would take off to become the backbone of the entire magazine and create revenue and promotional opportunities  for several new industries? So tops off to designer Daniela, who spoke to me a few days ago on being chosen for this coveted issue:

IT MUST BE SUCH AN HONOR TO BE CHOSEN FOR YOUR SWIMSUITS IN THE MOST HIGHLY RATED SI ISSUE OF THE YEAR— HOW DID THIS PARTNERSHIP COME ABOUT?

They approached us, it was love at first sight 🙂

YOU’VE BEEN DEVELOPING YOUR SWIM LINE FOR THREE YEARS NOW, WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IS YOUR SIGNATURE STYLE FOR THE LINE?

It’s difficult to choose one, it really depends on the market but a style we always have and repeat is a one piece, deep V!

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 AS IN THE ONE I’M MOST OBSESSED WITH, THE WINE COLORED FRINGE SUIT. WHERE CAN PEOPLE BUY THESE?

The fringe suit is available via special order at danielacorte.com or via phone 617-262-2100

I SEE THAT SI WENT SIMPLE BUT SEXY WITH THE ACCESSORIES FOR THE SWIMWEAR. WHAT’S YOUR OPINION ON HOW THE STYLIST ACCESSORIZED THE LOOKS? DO YOU CARRY THOSE ACCESSORIES AS WELL?

I always love seeing what talented stylists do with my suits. And yes, we are on the same page at DC,  we have a gorgeous line of jewelry called “Lexi” that we offer at our studio. Lots of body chains and multi-layered necklaces.

HOW MANY STYLES OF SUITS DID YOU SEND THEM AND HOW MANY ENDED UP IN THE MAGAZINE?

We sent tons of suits! Three images ended up being chosen for the Sports Illustrated website.

Daniela C_SI lace bikiniWHAT’S IN THE PIPES FOR THE NEXT SWIMWEAR COLLECTION AND WHEN CAN WE EXPECT TO SEE IT?

We are in the middle of collaborating with some great designers, creating really captivating, unique prints while always exploring new suits and techniques and different ways to tie suits. There will be a suit for every body type but, as always, I love curves!

Photos-of-Amsterdam-by-Michael-Matti-4

Photo by Michael Matti

Overall impression: Go for the architecture, the inspired shopping, creative and friendly atmosphere and the trendy dining. A must in Amsterdam? The enchanted 9th Street District for its swirl of everything amazing.

EPISODE:

I love vintage and I really love European vintage. European fashion from a previous era tells a story that more contemporary fashion rarely does. Owning the original version of a fashion moment is more inspiring to me then the “easy get” of that mass produced look today.

My favorite spot to source unique and envy inspiring pieces is Episode. Episode is a small chain, but you can’t hold that against them as they are all about budget friendly, quality merchandise that is organized with dewy decimal precision. The focus on grouping like merchandise together is a godsend when time is tight – and your husband’s patience is growing thin. Their mens collection is just as fabulous as their ladies.  If you’ve never “been into vintage” or found vintage to be too much work, Episode will convert and spoil you.

HIGHLIGHTS OF MY VINTAGE BINGE:

The tuxedo jacket with tails of my dreams – €30.00 (euros) and a heavily metal grommeted ’80’s jacket done in buttery soft suede – €25.00.

Amazing fur accessories: muffs, collars, boleros, hats, scarves, gloves. Sorry PETA but I bought bags full and I certainly wasn’t alone. Everybody is buying and wearing fur in Amsterdam, and with prices that start at €10.00 and topped out at about €50.00, you can see why. The fur coats were all in the €100.00. range and would easily go for much more in the US.

An epic, embroidered lederhosen, with incredible leather braided suspenders. I am obsessed with the buttons, the pewter buckles, and the embroidery. Super flattering and completely unexpected, I can’t wait to wear this with a killer pair of high heels. At only €35.00 , I now wish I had bought more.

VISIT EPISODES ONLINE

LAURA DOLS VINTAGE

My spirit animal has got to be the magpie. Its bad rap for attraction to shiny things hits close to home, because I too am absurdly attracted to everything that glitters – especially vintage. Indulge your inner magpie while in Amsterdam and be sure to visit Laura Dols, located in the heart of the 9th Street District. This sweet, well curated two level shop is filled with a wide range of girly party dresses that will have you feeling ready to go get flirty. Sequins, beading, and feathers embellished on silks, satins, and all varieties of polyester from the last 5 decades boast impressive quality. What did I bring back to my nest? The diaphanous, white belted dress with a subtle metallic sheen, very Kathleen Turner in “Body Heat”.

VISIT LAURA DOLS VINTAGE ONLINE

STOUT LINGERE

lingereAttention all femme fatales: for unabashedly feminine lingerie, a stop at Stout is a must when visiting Amsterdam’s 9th Street District. Don’t let its unfortunate name fool you; this small but incredible boutique is for grown up ladies, who need something more stimulating than Victoria’s tired secrets. All 50 shades of exquisite underpinnings are offered and well displayed. Sexy, bold, sweet, classic, naughty…whatever your personal taste, this is an upscale shopping experience that will surprise and delight you with its wide range of European brands. I’m always impressed with their selection of beautiful bras, panties, teddies, swim wear, accessories and other items that will help you break hearts and get your groove on.

VISIT STOUT ONLINE


I can’t say I’ve ever really been a fan of the murse. I’ve yet to set my eyes on a purse for a man where function meets fashion. Spring/summer lines presented at Paris Fashion Week didn’t help my disapproval for the man purse either, with oversized clutches seen in camo by Valentino amongst others. If I’m going to rock a murse it needs to be able to hold more than my car keys, wallet and phone – which brings me to Berluti,

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Hugo Boss has always been a go-to classic menswear line with just enough edginess for the modest man. We see that executed perfectly in the three accessories pictured above. Masculine lines and deep earth tones are found in the wool blended cap and striped fringe scarf.

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Fashion & design powerhouse Hermes is  gettin’ bizzay: through the 22nd of November they are teaming up with some well-known contemporary Dee-zigners to produce ‘Petit h’, a line of accessories, gifts, and just plain coolness made from leftover materials.

Here’s to making recycling even greater than it already was. Hippy never sounded sooooooo good.

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Frankly, I’m not sure if this vase needs flowers at all.  Created from flexible resins by FISH DESIGN, the white and transparent ochre shades fuse into one another like melting wax, creating a poured quality which defies the laws of gravity, drifting upward at one point, melting downward at another. Few flowers could even compete.

I imagine Matthew Barney would have this resting on his mantel, right next to hexagonal beeswax candles and a copy of the I-Ching. If that’s not reason enough to buy it, I don’t know what is.

GET IT HERE .

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