The New Yorkers for Children fall gala Tuesday night was the first in many games to be played this season and a large roster showed up at Cipriani 42nd Street for the event, sponsored by CIRCA and St. John. Within minutes of the start time, a bottleneck of servers and long trained dresses clogged the entrance (as if we hadn’t already endured the General Assembly traffic outside).
“Waiters trays and handbags!” said Daniel Benedict as he tried to maneuver with three drinks in hand (they weren’t all his).
“It’s a mosh pit,” said a nearby acquaintance.
From left: Cristina Greeven Cuomo, Coralie Charriol Paul, Ivanka Trump, Maggie Cordish, Julie Macklowe
Ivanka Trump, Julie Macklowe, Debbie Bancroft, Muffie Potter Aston, Alexandra Lebenthal, Melissa George and Tinsley Mortimer hung near the bar during cocktails as Sotheby’s Jamie Niven jokingly tried to weasel his way out of manning the live auction later in the evening.
“I’ve lost my voice,” he said, sounding perfectly fine to me. “Do you want to do it for me? It’s easy.”
It certainly wasn’t easy corralling people to their chairs, as waiters tried to usher them towards the tables in vain.
“It’s more fun at the bar,” said one woman, ignoring their pleas.
“The anthropology of this event is as interesting as the event,” remarked Alexandra Kerry as she took her seat. No kidding. Where else would you find society grand dames rubbing shoulders with a Victoria’s Secret model (Selita Ebanks), a basketball player (Carmelo Anthony) and a tennis star (Serena Williams)?
From left: Selita Ebanks with Serena Williams; Carmelo Anthony
“My husband was just looking at Serena Williams’ butt. He was like, ‘It’s amazing!’” said my seatmate of the athlete, who was wearing a purple jersey body-conscious dress that showed off every curve. “She’s got buns of steel!”
Over a dinner of beet salad and filet mignon or fish, guests listened to humbling stories from NYFC Guardian scholars and Spirit Award recipients (the non-profit helps provide scholarships and education opportunities for children in foster care), before Anthony received a special honor for his work with underprivileged youths.
“I haven’t been nervous in a long time,” said Anthony, wearing thick-framed eyeglasses. “I grew up in the projects. I didn’t always have it easy.”
As the speeches ended, glow sticks were passed out to some confusion, which Nivens quickly cleared up when he approached the podium.
“This, ladies and gentlemen, is not a suppository, it’s a glow stick. And you raise it when I glower at you,” he said as he began a live auction that started with $50,000 lots and moved down to $1,500 pledges.
“And now this is the part I’ve dreaded,” he finished. “I once introduced ‘N Sync as ‘N,’ ‘S,’ ‘Y,’ ‘N,’ ‘C.’ This is ELEW.”
The performer then took to a piano center stage before dessert and dancing ensued.
Photos: Billy Farrell Agency
From left: Alexander Wang shoes; Narciso Rodriguez shoes
White shoes were a runway staple this season—best done at Alexander Wang and Narciso Rodriguez.
#2: GEOMETRIC PRINTS
Top: Derek Lam bag. Bottom, from left: Phillip Lim bag; Diane von Furstenberg bag
Bold, geometric prints on oversized clutches and totes.
Top, from left: Altuzarra shoes; DKNY shoes. Bottom: Tory Burch bag.
A floral print shoe or bag is a great spring statement.
Top, from left: Donna Karan shoe; Donna Karan bag. Bottom, from left: Michael Kors backpack; Michael Kors necklace.
Donna Karan and Michael Kors focused on tribal accessories.
Top: Phillip Lim shoes. Bottom, from left: Reed Krakoff shoes; Oscar shoes.
The new neutral—a pastel shoe.
Top, from left: Marc Jacobs bag; Derek Lam bag. Bottom, from left: Carolina Herrera bag; Reed Krakoff bag
Eye-popping yellow bags make a statement.
#7: MIXED TEXTURES
From left: Proenza Schouler bag; Marc Jacobs shoes.
Metallics mixed with wooden details.
From left: Thakoon shoes; Ralph Lauren bag
Accessories with hippie accents like fringe and gold palettes.
#9: CAT EYE SUNGLASSES
Top: Proenza Schouler sunglasses. Bottom, from left: Jason Wu sunglasses; Prism sunglasses
Classic fifties cat-eye sunnies still look fresh.
From left: Marc Jacobs bag; Marc Jacobs shoe
Marc Jacobs used green and yellow gingham on boxy bags and ladylike pumps—perfect garden party accessories.
Photos: Fairchild Archive
Juan Carlos Obando
Oscar de la Renta
Photos: Fairchild Archive
Awakening at BAM
For those who plan on attending the September 22 performance, purchase a ticket for a pre-show artist’s talk about Awakening—moderated by NPR’s Brooke Gladstone, the panel will feature Julian Laverdiere, co-creator of the Tribute in Light, Dianne Berkun, artistic director of the BYC and Iranian novelist Porochista Khakpour, author of Sons and Other Flammable Objects, along with David Harrington.
Awakening, A Musical Meditation on the Anniversary of 9/11
Photos: Zoran Orlic
The food is—and looks—radical; some Spanish critics, who’ve been following the exploits of Ferran Adria and his disciples for years, say Romera’s food is the most high-concept cuisine in the world. It’s even got its own language: the chef, a doctor by training who maintained a neurology practice while running his Michelin-starred Barcelona restaurant L’Esguard, describes what he does as “neurogastronomy.” Which means that his precision with such banal details like temperature and color of the food is on another level that that of most other chefs; it is, appropriately, a scientist’s precision.
The dining room at Romera New York
A lot of the hype might just be marketing, but it’s obvious this isn’t everyday dining. “It’s the same as an art show,” Romera told me via a translator when I went to visit him at the restaurant prior to its opening last week. “You go three, four times a year.” We were standing in the basement-level dining room. The $245 tasting menu (it’s your only option) is served on a dramatic stage: the room slightly raised on a platform, everything pristine and white, a bit like a canvas for his colorful dishes.
As a youth growing up in Argentina, Romera had studied to be a painter, and it’s clear that he’s built these artistic aspirations into the foundations of his persona as a chef. On at least three occasions the chef, who has a professorial demeanor—earnest, excitable, playful, endlessly tangential—referenced Picasso or Van Gogh to make a point about his cooking. What the food more closely resembles, however, are the geometric abstractions of Donald Judd. (At least the dish that I tasted, a sort of idealized veggie soup Romera calls “Isis,” did.) If Judd’s boxes were more about what was excluded than included, then their minimalist purity have found a new incarnation in the plates of Chef Romera.
I asked the chef to break down the process of how “Isis” is made. Here are his notes: like Judd’s sculptures, what looks simple on the surface is deceptively complex.
“In the traditional vegetable soup, you peel the vegetables, add them to the water, turn on the burner, add salt, and cover it. When it’s done, each one of the elements are still there, but it doesn’t exists in its purity. You’re not eating a piece of potato or a piece of celery; you’re eating something that tastes and smells like vegetables, but they’re not the individual vegetables themselves. The temperature of the water has created a fusion. To make the flavor of each vegetable independent, you cannot use a pot. Which is why I divide the plate into three parts: The dried mini-vegetables; the steamed vegetables; and the consommé.”
“The vegetable squares are dried at 90 degrees Celsius in the oven. There are 15 different vegetables at the bottom of the plate in a mosaic of 48 little squares: including spinach, tomato, daikon radish, carrot, tomato, red pepper, artichoke, broccoli, beet, and green onion.”
“In the second phase, I make individual vegetables one by one. In Barcelona, I grew my own miniature vegetables; here, we have collaborated with the Chef’s Garden farm in Ohio. They are exceptional. I steam them in bamboo steamers, and then we warm them up in butter.”
“Then a consommé made up of the same vegetables is poured over the plate, dissolving the mosaic into broth.”
Photos: courtesy of Romera New York
The tweed jackets are smart and cool, and I want all of the pants from this collection in my wardrobe for spring.
From left: Patrik Ervell; Alexandr Plokhov
Borrowed from the Boys
Menswear designers Patrick Ervell and Alexander Plokhov both introduced women’s pieces into their collections for the first time.
From left: Derek Lam; Proenza Schouler
The New Modernist
A fresh take on vintage silhouettes with bold designs and mixed textures from Derek Lam and Proenza Schouler.
From left: Yigal Azrouël; Araks
A nude dress is the perfect foundation for spring’s best jackets and accessories.
From left: Suno; 10 Crosby
Black and white stripes on jackets, pants and shirting.
From left: Thakoon; Derek Lam
Especially the prints at Thakoon, where western met Maharaja.
From left: 3.1 Phillip Lim; Preen
Strong separates in frothy pastel colors.
From left: Sophie Theallet; Calvin Klein
Light knits at Sophie Theallet and the minimal sheers at Calvin Klein.
From left: Jason Wu; Proenza Schouler
Swimwear silhouettes intended for the street.
From left: Alexander Wang; Rag & Bone
Alexander Wang’s motocross jacket and Rag & Bones sporty, soft layers prove the sports trend is here to stay.
All photos: CNP Montorse
Maripol with her work
Of the 104 lots, nine were live-auction items, and the charming auctioneer rhapsodized, to the best of his ability, about each—working particular magic with a series by Brett Ratner, “We’re all guilty here: Rush Hour, X Men, special edition DVD sets with the Wolverine claw…”—though for the most part, only his gavel could be heard above the roar of the crowd. A particular hush did fall when lot 7, by Patrick Demarchelier, came up. What was Demarchelier’s favorite lot? “I like this one,” he said with a smile in his gloriously thick French accent, gesturing at his enormous installation of hundreds of snaps of his most iconic images. And the audience agreed—it blew the other lots out of the water, selling for $37,000.
From top: Patrick Demarchelier; Demarchelier's installation on display at Philips de Pury & Company
Gaga’s lot, a GL10 covered in spikes and appearing to “print” gold chains, failed to break the $2,000 mark. Perhaps her Little Monsters would have bid more had she made an appearance. Though a male latecomer outfitted in a purple spandex bodysuit (that left little to the imagination) and a bedazzled helmet with visor did draw some Gaga whispers. And after her VMA performance as her male alter ego Jo Calderone, perhaps this latest incarnation wasn’t so out of the question.
Photos: Tracey Wilson
See all of the photos here and watch the video here.