Saturday, December 21, 2013


Joined Hip Hoppers with
Street Cred for Opening Day of
Dover Street Market
Today was the opening day of Rei Kawakubo's New York Dover Street Market, her new 7-floor emporium in a Beaux-Arts building on the corner of Lexington and 30th Street. This area (called Kips Bay) is a fashion desert and just the place for an avant-gardist like Rei to decamp with the trendiest of the trendy in the midst of a middle-class morass of drug stores, delis and pizza joints. Let's see who follows in this colonization effort.

Rei Kawakubo is the Comme des Garçons (Like some Boys) designer.

Tear sheets from The New York Times
T magazine with Rei's sketch
for the Dover Street Market.

Upon approaching the DSM I spied a lineup of hip hoppers and said, (to myself -- because I was alone) "Oh OH. Not exactly my demographic. What am I getting myself into?" But I got on line, and when the clock struck 11, I was very nicely invited in with the well-dressed group, while the hip hoppers hopped on one foot and waited excitedly to be let in so they could buy a NIKE Supreme shirt for, what no doubt, would be an outlandish sum.
Hip hoppers waiting for the Nike Supreme.
Boring lot, if you ask me.
 Now this is more like it.
She's been featured in Advanced Style
and is wearing a Comme des Garçons coat.
 We're in.
The Jewelry Space.
Salespeople are chic, chic and chic!
 The DSM features not only the Comme des Garçons brands,
but also many other designers
 both established and new.
 This is the changing hut.
 Knit-bombed column goes from floor to ceiling.
Years from now
will he wonder what
he was thinking?
 The Paris Rose Bakery is on the first floor.
 Tea Cakes.
The space is a crazy quilt of color and shape.
A Salesperson.
Hey, I know these blue blocks.
The kids build stuff with them
on the lawn of my co-op.
 An $800 scarf.
 Staircase in a Tunnel.
 Iconic tee.
 Vintage Chinese kimonos.
Un Costume.
 Columns throughout are affixed with objets.

 Wall designed to appeal to the graffiti set.

 Models for the tunnel.
A big, black coat.
 A salesperson.
Appropriately nonplussed.
 Adorable teenager with a possible prom dress.
Hard getting in and out of the limo, though.
 Not actually shoes, just shoe tops.

 Prada has raided the vintage closet for beaded dresses.

My tea cake from the Rose Bakery.
 The milliner, Stephen Jones, was there.
Richard looking at my Stephen Jones book
after I explained who Stephen Jones was.
 Loved these gloves.
Especially the tulle ones.

 Tulle dresses.
So pretty.
 A beautiful coat by Simone Rocha.
Alas, if it weren't in the stratosphere,
monetarily speaking,
it would be mine.
 A box of paper flowers.
I might go back for this.
Although an extreme extravagance at $165.
A salesperson.

So there you have it,
a tour of Rei Kawakubo's
Dover Street Market on
opening day!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

May I borrow a cup of agates?

Natalie Frigo:
My Neighbor and
Jeweler Extraordinaire
The co-op where I live, Seward Park, is a beehive of creative activity. Living here, we have designers, artists, curators, photographers, architects, actors and we have Natalie Frigo, a wonderful jeweler.
Natalie lives in the next-door apartment to ours, and I can peer out my living room window and see a slice of her studio, and usually, reclining in the sun, Pork Chop, one of her three cats. Sometimes one of the other two cats, Evel Knievel or Vito, is in the coveted window spot, and I wave. Who would be dumb enough to wave at a cat, I ask you?

Anyway, Natalie has her work bench on the other side of my studio wall, and I can hear the scratchy sound of her tools as she works. A few minutes ago, I even heard her sneeze. It's not bothersome, mind you. In fact, it's nice to realize that as you labor, another creative spirit is a few feet await, albeit, behind a thick, concrete wall.

This past Saturday, I stopped by Natalie's pop-up shop on East 4th Street in the East Village. It was a freezing cold day, but my spirits brightened upon entering the shop to see her unique and artful pieces.

Natalie Frigo at work in her studio.
Natalie sculpts her pieces by hand. She uses the
ancient practices of metalsmithing and "cire perdue"
or lost-wax casting.
Inspiration comes from early metallurgy, textiles, nature,
and architectural forms.
Natalie Frigo in her pop-up shop.
 On the left, Long Dagger and Lucite.
Natalie uses only recycled metals and conflict-free stones. For example,
she does not use
stones that have been mined in
unsafe or illegal conditions.
I love that she uses the vintage Lucite.
The very idea of it is so charming.
On the right: a bracelet of recycled brass and vintage
Japanese glass pearls.
 Right, a necklace of recycled vinyl beads (of all things)
and jasper. What, were you diving in the dumpster after 
our neighbor's kitchen renovation for the vinyl?
 Chain with rock crystal.
 Pictured, earrings with birds with AAA quality
 fresh water pearls
and talon arm cuffs.
 Natalie's pieces have appeared in most of the
major fashion magazines such as Vogue,
Elle, Marie Claire and Glamour.
Here is Jennifer Lawrence modeling
Natalie's Playing Cat ring
in a Vogue photo shoot.
I believe her rapscallion cat, Vito, was
the model for this ring.
Natalie and her assistant, Andrea, take a miso-soup break
at the pop-up.
Andrea models Natalie's Elongated Rectangle with Pearls.
I rather fancied this piece
of vermeil gold and labradorite.
Natalie has begun to add color as in this hand-enameled
Snake Garnet ring.
All of her jewelry is made in New York City.
Saber Tooth Cat with
light-green sapphire eyes.
A recycled brass cuff inspired by the
stained glass windows of
Frank Lloyd Wright
The brass donut, inspired by
the Donut Plant, a destination situated mere
feet from our building and visited by hordes
of Japanese tourists. 
(Just kidding, Nat.)
And this delightful bunch of kids serenaded me with
"Raindrops keep falling on my head"
as I left Natalie's shop.

Please do take a look at Natalie's website here.

Her next Pop Up Shop is

Sat, December 21 from noon to 7 pm
Sun, December 22 from noon to 5

75 East 4th Street
(between 2nd & Bowery)
New York City

À Bientôt!