Showing posts with label New York. Show all posts
Showing posts with label New York. Show all posts

Saturday, April 24, 2010

SATC: Now and Then


We love a good trailer here at The Portmanteau. Whole evenings are devoted to memorising the lines of The Bounty Hunter clips and bottles of sparkling wine are uncorked when a particularly good one lands on youtube. It’s perfect: you get a little insight into how bad these movies are and all from the comfort of your own home. Obviously the most eagerly anticipated trailer of the year has been Sex and the City 2. Could it be as bad as Sex and the City 1? Could they come up with a character as annoying as Jennifer Hudson’s Louise from St. Louis?

Carrie and the crew have often divided people but I’m not ashamed to say that I adored the TV series. I remember the very first time I caught an episode (while on holiday in America aged 15) and just being wowed by the clothes and the glamour and the way in which the characters were allowed to be smart and silly and urbane and slutty all at the same time. As Naomi Wolf so eloquently put it when she named Carrie Bradshaw her Noughties icon in the Guardian “Carrie showed audiences week after week that a lively female consciousness was as interesting as female sexuality or motherhood or martyrdom – the tradition role model options.” The Carrie Bradshaw of the TV series is my hero. But the Carrie of the movie? She’s just annoying. “Women come to New York for love and labels!” Eh, speak for yourself. Or for Charlotte perhaps. But nobody I know is that needy or shallow.

Anyway, back to the issue at hand: the SATC 2 trailer. They go to Abu Dhabi (Now why would you do that?), Carrie considers hooking up with Aidan again (Now why would you do that?) and Big flirts with Penelope Cruz (Can kind of understand why you’d do that). Liza Minelli and Miley Cyrus appear and Miranda and Charlotte get saddled with a boring motherhood-is-hard storyline. All to the sound of Jay Z and Alicia Keyes’s Empire State of Mind. I love it. Yeah so it's sure to fall way short of the glory days of the TV show but I’m still excited.

And if that wasn’t enough, now you can read SATC prequel extracts in the Sunday Times Style. In 'The Carrie Diaries' we meet the precocious teenage Carrie who is beginning to interact with feminism and literature at her local library. Last week’s extract was pretty lame with Carrie talking about “writing a book that would change the world.” Yeah while I do appreciate that her columns were published in book format in series 5, I’m not sure just how world changing that was. Anyway, tomorrow “Carrie gets the boy of her dreams or so she thinks.” LE

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Nomenus Beauty

During my trip to NY, I had the pleasure of meeting Erik Madigan Heck and Catharine Stuart, a photographer and illustrator respectively who work together to create the masterpiece that is Nomenus Quarterly. They’re insanely young, talented and also boyf & girlf – I tried my best to hate them but they were just too nice.

Nomenus Quarterly is a fashion magazine like no other. In fact, the word magazine doesn’t do justice to this publication – a stunning art-meets-fashion wonder would be more apt. They work with artists from all mediums and disciplines within the worlds of fine art and fashion. It’s published online every quarter and in print as a limited edition series of books and folios.

All works are created especially for Nomenus or are previously unpublished. Past collaborators have included Elizabeth Peyton, Rodarte, Sally Singer and Helmut Lang. The current issue features work by Lucien Freud, Anselm Kiefer and Ann Demeulemeester. I am utterly in awe of the lineup of prestigious and influential people that they get to work on this project. The beauty of the final images is just unsurpassed by any publication out there at the moment, and the result of of Heck’s incredible eye and undoubted talent. The only drawback is the exorbitant price tag. Despite my excessive spending on magazines each month, I don’t think I’ll be able to come up with £1275.00 to buy it although the gorgeous online version is a pretty good alternative. NOK







Saturday, June 27, 2009

Chelsea Girl


I get it. What a completely unoriginal title for a blog post, one that has been used countless times before in Edie and Andy themed editorials and articles. But this week, I really was a Chelsea girl – for my first couple of days in NYC, I literally did not go anywhere else in the city. I woke up in my hotel at one end of West 22nd St. and went to do some “work” at the Chelsea Art Museum at the other end. So after traipsing up and down for 3 days, and to continue our street-themed posts, I can now give you an insiders guide to West 22nd St.

This street is fashion meets art central. When you are done sampling the drug store delights of Rite Aid and Duane Reade, there are two designer shops on the street worth checking out, for the buildings as much as the clothes. Enter Commes des Garçons down the steel funnel-like entrance and into an amazing, minimalist space divided into little rooms and sections that perfectly showcase the designs. The interior of the Balenciaga flagship a few doors down is also art gallery-esque, with some trippy paisley carpet thrown into the mix but my God, Nicolas's designs are achingly gorgeous. For your art fix, there's Matthew Marks gallery, currently showing Gary Hume: Yardwork and the Chelsea outpost of PaceWildenstein. Another must visit is the the pop-up art book store Artbook @ X. On the corner of 10th Ave is the Empire Diner where you can gorge on burgers and milkshakes by candlelight around the clock at this Art Deco gem. Stop by Billy's Bakery for exquisite baked goods that beat the offerings of the Magnolia any day and for supplies of Hershey and Oh Henry! at 4am, it's got to be the semi amusingly titled Ha.Ha.Fresh - a name I found Ha.Ha. Hilarious and endlessly entertaining in my drunken state. NOK


Gary Hume @ Matthew Marks



Commes des Garcons




Sunday, June 21, 2009

Models & Monet


After spotting Helena Christensen strolling through the West Village and then Lauren Hutton on the Lower East Side, I was definitely in model mode so off I went to see the Model as Muse show at the Met. Yes - we laughed at Kate's turban and Madonna's horns so it was time to see what all the fuss was about. The exhibition focuses on the iconic models of the twentieth century and features haute couture, fashion photography, video footage and magazines interspersed with clips from Funny Face, Blow-Up and George Michael's Freedom vid. I admit that it's a pretty slight concept for such a large-scale show but for model mad me, it's a dream. Highlights for me were portraits from the masterful Irving Penn, Twiggy by Melvin Sokolsky, Peter Lindbergh's pics of the '90s supers and my beloved Christy in Jil Sander, shot by Ellen von Unwerth. Another standout was the tableau of Charles James gowns and Louis XV furniture used to recreate Beaton's 1947 Vogue photograph. What shines through it all is the importance of the relationship between model and photographer - Irving Penn and wife / muse Lisa Fonssagrives, David Bailey and Jean Shimpton, Linda Evangelista and Steven Meisel.

The show struggles to provide justification for taking over such a huge space and basically filling it with pretty faces and gorgeous clothes. It also doesn't give much insight into the modeling experience and much of the content will be familiar to anyone with even a passing interest in fashion although as some frothy light relief from Eqyptian artifacts and Monets, it more than delivers. NOK







Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Alexa Takes Manhattan


I arrived in New York yesterday and by happy coincidence, our beloved Alexa started her show on MTV on the same day. I am actually here for work and not just to stalk AC - I swear - it's just very good timing.

Alexa has everything we have ever wanted in life and now to top it all off, she has her own MTV show. This was my other The Portmanteau half's dream when we were 15. She wanted to be Donna Air and both of us had a deep obsession with the MTV Europe Music Awards. Sadly, the closest we got to the awards when they were held in Dublin was a terrible after-party hosted by Donna and Richard Blackwood. The good news is that Alexa makes a much better host than Donna who always seemed half-asleep / half-stoned on Select. I'm not such a fan of the overload of texting / twittering interactivity - viewers tweeting photos of themselves watching the show with stuff on their heads etc. It reminds me of Lily Allen's chat show, trying a bit desperately to be hip and now and down with the kids. Alexa still lacks the ability to move a show on seamlessly ("Moving on....") and surprisingly, hasn't toned down her usual mocking, slightly awkward presenting style for an American audience who are used to more high octane TV presenters. But no doubt about it -this is a huge break for our girl Alexa. The days of Frock Me with Henry Holland and its Blue Peter-esque segments on customising denim seem very far away. NOK