December 12th, 2013
December 9th, 2013
November 12th, 2013
In the last 3 years I’ve seen an explosion in Brooklyn that is unprecedented. Outside my living room window, which faces the harbor of New York and the promenade, I now see throngs of tourists from Spain, Italy and France walking over the Brooklyn Bridge and migrating towards the promenade in large tour groups… Brooklyn is becoming what it was probably originally intended to be when it was created as Breuckelen, the first city in what’s now New York State.
There’s something beautiful about the appreciation of Brooklyn, but at the same time there’s also something slightly melancholy about it. Brooklyn feels less and less like the respite from New York that it used to be
When I was growing up in Brooklyn, if you lived here it was something to be muttered under your breath. Living in Brooklyn came with a string of presumptions of poor behavior, middle class, slightly Neanderthal traits – and definitely not as sophisticated as the people from Manhattan.
These days you’ll see Brooklyn-based brands being sold in Manhattan, the New Jersey Nets moved to Brooklyn, and the branding of Brooklyn has become a capitalistic venture on its own: “Brooklyn” branded shirts and hats are being sold everywhere, there are Brooklyn-themed children’s books, mugs, beer, etc… Brooklyn has become a brand that is globally recognized.
I read in the Wall Street Journal that a development company based in China agreed to back the majority stake of an apartment project in the Atlantic navy yards site that they’re estimating at about $4 billion. This will be one of the greatest real estate investments in the United States by a Chinese company. It was a little odd to see a headline in The Wall Street Journal that read “Chinese Builder Charges Into Brooklyn.” It was definitely a sign that Brooklyn has crossed into a new period…
I hope Brooklyn will maintain some remnants of the old Italian bakeries, the Muslim clothing shops, the Irish pubs, and all the things I love. We’ll see…
November 11th, 2013
At first glance, the clothes seemingly lean towards pure costume and runway pieces. There’s something about the way that they’re constructed that feels very temporary, but at the same time, I can relate to the frenetic pace of designing for a one-time shoot. By the time I was halfway through the exhibit, I realized I had a profound respect for his endless creativity. I could feel his eagerness to share the visions that he had in his mind immediately and not wanting to wait…which ultimately resulted in an overflow of fantasy that ran the gamut.
Gaultier is definitely a dream come true for a movie or a runway. The dramatics abound.
As an extra point a fascination, there was state of the art technology used with the mannequins that creates the illusion that they’re coming alive….that alone is worth going to see if you get a chance to go.
November 8th, 2013
November 6th, 2013
Last week, Linda Fargo, the Senior Vice President of Bergdorf Goodman, and designer Naeem Khan hosted a dinner celebrating Iris and Carl Apfel’s 65th anniversary….it was especially touching because Carl is now 99 years old.
The invitation called for guests to “dress in the spirit of the Maharajah,” which was kind of perfect for the Apfels. The dinner was small and intimate, with a thoughtful mix of people from Iris and Carl’s past including Bruce Weber, Harold Koda, the curator-in-charge of the Costume Institute and the Met, and Grey Gardens documentarian Albert Maysles. Albert just recently wrapped up a three year filming project – a documentary on Iris!
November 5th, 2013
The 2013 ACE Awards were last night in NY…..and I won Brand of the Year!!!!!
Joan Collins flew in from London to present me with the award. Joan has become a huge part of our brand history ever since I featured her in an ad campaign that ran in New York during Fashion Week a few years ago. There’s also that Alexis-Alexis sandwich…Joan single-handedly changed the association of the name Alexis from a boys name to girls name because of her role in Dynasty. As a result, all of my junk mail comes addressed to “Miss Alexis Bittar”…. Thanks, Joan!
But back to the ACE Awards…there were so many great honorees like Hamish Bowles, whose Journalism award was presented by Tory Burch, Nordstroms for the Omni Channel Retailer award, Phillip Lim won the Designer of the Year, Rag and Bone won the Breakthrough award, and Iman won the Hall of Fame award.
It was so powerful for me to win Brand of the Year….it’s one of those times where all you can do is think, “pinch me!”