When you think of white shirts, the brand Anne Fontaine comes immediately to mind. I met with the designer during a trip to Boston at her flagship store, 280 Boylston St, Heritage On the Garden. (I tried not to get too distracted by the big orange box on the corner of the street where Hermes is getting its makeover.) Upon entering the cozy boutique, I was drawn to a wall of shirt collars. Anne told me in her shy and sexy portugese accent (her father is French and her mother Brazilian), that the collars developed initially because she uses them in the design process. She has about 3,000 of these collars in her atelier in the North of France–Normandy to be exact.
And she likes to “play” with them, experimenting with the shirt designs by changing the collars. She initially put them up as a gallery in her store in Paris about 5 years ago. They weren’t for sale, just for display, but immediately customers wanted them. A new idea was born, and she started selling the collars as accoutrements to her beautiful shirts. They can be worn over round neck shirts, as well as with strapless gowns–as a sort of collar/necklace, skin showing between the two. Their versatility is endless. I am even reminded of the green beaded collar that Scarlett Johansen wore to the Oscars this year. Anne’s collars tend to stay in the black and/or white color scheme and vary from extremely conservative to supremely fabulous.
Anne is currently working on her Summer 2016 collection. She is inspired by life and the silhouette of the femme fatale–a strong 60’s influence with idols such as Marlene Dietrich serving as muses. The Anne Fontaine woman in her eyes can be a young lady, a mother, a grandmother, anyone who wants their first white shirt.
After studying marine biology, she ended up in fashion and launched the brand in 1993. Anne has always had a passion for nature, and felt that it was time to give back. The Amazon rainforest is close to her heart because she lived there when she was 17. She established the Anne Fontaine Foundation to benefit the Brazilian Atlantic Rainforest, an area in peril, and once a year on Forest Day, 50% of the proceeds from any sales in her store go to this charity.
It’s well known that the French are great dog lovers, and that your pooch is welcome to enter almost any shop or restaurant that you are when you find yourself traveling with Fido in Paris. But cats? In a cafe in the tony 3rd arrondissement? Cat lovers rejoice! If your family is missing its feline member during your travels, there’s a place in France…
Le Café des Chats now has two locations in the center of Paris. The original one–which opened in 2013 in the Marais, a stone’s throw from the Centre Pompidou — proved so popular (reservations are recommended generally, and on weekends, essential) that its owners opened a second kitty emporium last autumn nearby in the 11th arrondissement, near the Place de la Bastille. Marie-Claire of the Café des Chats told me that the second neighborhood “is very different and attracts yet a wider range of cat lovers.”
The lucky cats are all rescues that are being given another chance at life in an enviable situation. While the cafe is not itself in the cat adoption business, a portion of its profits go to rescue activities. “We wanted to show how a cat from a shelter is deserving and capable of affection,” says M-C.
Les chats have pretty much free run of the place, although lunch guests are prohibited from feeding them table scraps, tempting though it may be. The cafe calls itself “un salon de thé et un restaurant,” and happily the food from its full-service kitchen is not an afterthought to the gimmick, but is absolutely delicious in a traditional Parisian way, and the management seeks out organic produce. Both restaurant locations are open for lunch and dinner, and they also serve a yummy weekend brunch. Our daughter had a croque monsieur, and her parents enjoyed a veggie-and-chevre quiche with a salad. And a bowl of cream.
Is this proof that Parisians treat their pets better than they do their children? Peut-etre. Meeooooow…
Paris, Texas and Chicagoland is Where It All Starts for this band. Magic Man is a five-piece, major label, synth rock band from Boston. Formed in 2010, they released their first EP You Are Here in September 2013, followed by their first major full-length release, Before The Waves on July 8, 2014. In February 2014, their song Paris debuted at #39 on the alternative charts and in March 2014, Alt Nation debuted Paris at #1 on the Alt 18 countdown. Also in March, they decided it was time to take things to the next level and perform at the well-known Austin, Texas festival (SXSW) alongside other bands such as Smallpools, Grouplove, New Politics and more. Shortly after opening for these bands, they embarked on their west coast US tour, headlining for the first time alongside Panic! At The Disco and Walk the Moon.
If you’ve listened to these guys, you’re probably familiar with their Passion Pit vibe. They released their first music video (PARIS), which debuted on VH1’s Mid Morning Buzz with Nick Lachey, and in a few days they sold out their first concert in NYC. Signed to Columbia Records, this band is a must see.
Happy to say that I’m friends with such a talented band. Make sure to see them this year as they headline a show near you.
THE SCENE The Upper East Side. A luxury streamlined visit.
THE MUSTS: Ultimate destinations – all within 10 blocks.
THE EATS – Day One: Rev your engine with – Ralph’s coffee at the Polo Store 5th & 55th – THE best cup in the city – An exclusive blend of Nicaraguan, Peruvian, and Columbian beans. Pair it with a cured salmon sandwich on country bread with watercress and preserved lemons, and an all American chocolate walnut brownie (A secret recipe from Mr. Lauren’s mother-in-law.)
Day Two: Breakfast- La Viand Coffee Shop at 61st & Madison – real authentic diner for locals – can’t beat the eggs over easy, bacon, rye toast and hash browns – in and out in 20 minutes!
Dinner- Le Bilbouquet at 61st between Madison & Park – chic neighborhood spot –order the signature endive salad with granny apple, candied walnuts and Roquefort and the Branzino –practice your French with the uber charming maître d’s.
THE COCKTAIL – Sirios at the Pierre – sip the “PEAR SE” –grey goose pear, alchemia ginger vodka, pear puree, solerno, lemon juice or the “Bitter Love” – a potion of Greenhook Ginsmith gin, Campari, strawberry puree, lime juice.
THE SHOPPING – Bergdorf’s on 5th Ave for Old world experience, Barney’s on Madison Ave for New world experience, and Ralph Lauren Women’s store on Madison for a combination of the two– The Beaux Art Hotel Particular Style Building is a recent addition to the street – All three are a part of the true luxury retail fabric of New York.
THE SHOW – “The River” – Starring the charismatic Hugh Jackman at the Circle in the Square at 50th –get “hooked” on this darkly romantic tale about a fisherman in a remote cabin and the 2 women he entertains there. 1 hour 25 minutes with no intermission.
You’ve heard his song “Yeah, Yeah, Yeah,” quite possibly, two hundred times in the past few months as Apple hounded holiday shoppers to buy iPod mini’s, bouncing in every which direction across television screens.
But Willy Moon is not just your average one-commercial hit artist.
The 23-year old New Zealand native is one of the most anticipated artists for 2013 landing on countless to-be-watched lists including Vogue’s 2013 Hot List. His cool, demure look infiltrates his fashion and demeanor as if he has just stepped out of a 1960’s Parisian Nouvelle Vauge film— have you seen that pout???
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Opposites attract and, this year, hair-ology of the fashion world has pinned together polarized looks that have resulted in a passionate tango featuring low and sleek and messy and free. Said looks have intertwined through a few generations of hair styling but now, they’re hitting center stage (and runways) as a major role in fashion drama. Shall we dance?
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Attention brunchers! Style Boston is celebrating its new encore episode on Sunday mornings at 10 am with an ode to the best of the best in Boston brunching. This weekend, we are giving away a free Sunday brunch for 2 to the ultra chic and delicious Gaslight Brasserie du Coin in Boston’s South End. All you have to do is watch Style Boston Saturday at 11:35 pm on WBZ or Sunday 10:00 am on MyTV38 and tell us what Jerod Mayo’s second favorite sport is on Facebook or Twitter.
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With so many dramatically avant-garde collections saturating fashion weeks across the globe in recent haute couture history, it is unexpectedly refreshing to see a collection so sleek, elegant and right-off-the-runway wearable as is Louis Vuitton Spring 2013 Collection presented during Paris Fashion Week.
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The world of Architecture and Interior Design may not have many rockstars, but what it lacks in quantity it makes up for in quality. Peter Marino, for example. A few reasons why Mr. Marino is cooler than the rest of us:
1. His firm is called Peter Marino Architect. Just in case you don’t know what he does. Being this direct requires chutzpah. He’s got it.
2. He looks like a cross between Karl Lagerfeld, a cleaner shaven Dennis Hopper in Easy Rider, and my all-time flavor fave George “I Want Your Sex” Michael.
3. He designs like a mofo.
Not only has he created breathtakingly sophisticated spaces for the likes of Ermenegildo Zegna, Chanel, Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior, but he’s also the man behind my two all-time favorites: the Zwinger Royal Porcelain Collection at the Oriental & Meissein Animal Galleries in Dresden, Germany, and the whimsical retrospective on the work of Claude & Francois-Xavier Lalanne at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, France.
Sophistication is paramount, but it’s also clear he has a well-developed sense of humour. There’s a playfulness to his work that is unparalleled.
Little surprise that he made the famed Architectural Digest Top 100 List in 2010. Needless to say, if there’s anyone to bow down to, it’s Mr. Marino. Just watch out for his spiked boots.
Not as familiar as you ought to be? Get to know his work via the gallery below.
1. Martini Popsicle Truck: Gin, vodka, dirty, extra dry, whatever. I want little more than a full menu of boozy frozen treats on a stick, preferably either olive-, lemon-infused, to roll up my street right about 5 p.m. every day.
2. Nutella-Grand Marnier-Banana Crepes Truck: A heady creation, so overwrought with disparate flavors, they actually taste a little like bubble gum taken altogether. But the combination, while disgusting on paper, is one of the world’s most glorious street foods. Regular orders kept me alive in Paris. And would give me one big reason to live now.
3. Fat-tastic Truck: Dutch chocolate beignets, duck rillettes, Awful Awfuls, triple crème cheese. If it’s jacked up with saturated fat, it’d be peddled off this diet-destroying rig. Healthy? Hardly. Will it all be positively dripping with flavor? You bet your fat ass.
4. Vampire Mobile: A fix for Sooki Stackhouse addicts between Sundays. Think True Bloody Marys, garlicky crostini, red velvet cupcakes. Okay, so it’s a pretty thin concept. But get Alexander Skarsgård to serve it all shirtless, and you’ve got yourself a slam-dunk of a biz.
5. Mean, Lean, Green Machine: Any putz can get a prescription for legal marijuana and fire it up. But to clarify it in butter perfectly and roll it out into beautifully rich chocolate chip cookies takes a special kind of pastry chef. Or, more specifically, a special kind of baker.
Women’s Wear Daily announced that Humberto Leon and Carol Lim, the power duo behind the wildly-successful Opening Ceremony brand, will show their first collection for the 41-year-old fashion house of Kenzo for S/S ’12. Known for a discerning taste that spans from eclectic to avante-garde, the Leon-Lim duo is well positioned to build upon the Kenzo philosophy.
I’m super stoked to see what these two will bring to the label, hopefully using their roles as co-creative directors to inject some much-needed new life into this venerable fashion house. They may not be designers per se, but it’s clear they’re talented merchants, editing and presenting only the most covetable merchandise in their Opening Ceremony mix. It doesn’t hurt that Opening Ceremony has a near-cult-like following. Undoubtedly LVMH was thinking the same.
Keeping my eyes open for more to come…
The illustrious French fashion house Maison Martin Margiela was recently commissioned by Hotel Maison Champs-Elysées in Paris to reconceptualize the interior design of the 5-star hotel. La Maison Champs-Elysées is located on 8 Rue Jean Goujon, in a corner of Paris that boasts all the most distinguished French couture houses, making it most fitting that Maison Martin Margiela would be chosen to redefine the image of such a lavish hotel.
This was a huge undertaking for La Maison Champs-Elysées, and I really would like to sing Margiela’s praises because the result of the redesign is a luxurious universe that completely transcends time. The space allows you to leave reality behind, to forget the worldwide economic crisis that has dominated each and every newspaper, to just sit back and bask in contemporary opulence.
Maison Martin Margiela’s goal was to create “a theatrical environment where reality and trompe-l’oeil blend into a surreal atmosphere,” and it is clear the design house has more than succeeded.
Mirrors abound throughout the rooms, producing hallucinatory spaces within spaces that simultaneously entice and confuse. Intricately designed wallpaper and carpeting depicts traditional French architectural techniques, tricking the eye yet delighting the mind.
This is a building of cool paradoxes, all done in a palette of silvers, whites, greys, golds, and blacks – shades that echo royalty but truly appeal to the modern and cosmopolitan nouveau riche. The highlight of the building is a hallway completely veiled in silver leaf, alluding to the golden pavilions of Edo Japan. This passage is punctuated by a floating white diamond chandelier, and it is here we are pushed completely into the dream world, floating past the most beautiful of diamond jewelry, off to bask in the luxury of Margiela’s desirous illusions.
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CHIEF FASHION CORRESPONDENT
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