Tag Archives: New York Times


(Tony Cenicola/The New York Times)

I love the Hermes windows on Madison, a wonderful example of birch art by Charlie Baker

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/16/garden/16qna.html?_r=1

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Morceaux de choix


I loved this article in the New York Times by Glenn Collins.. (http://dinersjournal.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/11/02/battle-of-the-butchers/?scp=1&sq=meat%20cutting&st=cse.) It might seem trivial to many but I always thought it was a major cultural difference: The Americans and The French do not cut the meat the same way! As a result,  transatlantic recipes never work and the food does not look the same in your plate. Never seen a carré d’agneau this side of the Atlantic or a real “escalope de veau”. Well, now I know why: the French cut the meat along the nerves and muscles while the Americans cut pieces.“In America, we cut across everything, then cut the pieces off and sell them, whereas the French seam them  out,” explains Tom Mylan, The Butcher of Brooklyn . On the other side is “The Meat Magician of Asnières” — Yves-Marie Le Bourdonnec, a 42-year-old French butcher from Asnières. The moderator of this cutting edge contest called the The Meat hook was  Ariane Daguin,  daughter of famous French chef André Daguin and founder  of Dartagnan, a place to buy your foie gras for Christmas in America. Ariane who will be honored next month at the gala of a franco-american philanthropic association, French Heritage. “In France, we have the best butchers in the world,” Mr. Le Bourdonnec said. “And Americans are the best breeders of pasture-raised beef. If we get together, it should be a paradise.” Yes this is the long story of the Franco-American love-hate relationship! A couteaux tirés!

http://www.dartagnan.com

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Fashion as Art


Great! Fashion week is starting tomorrow in New York and we are all going!

This is really going  to be  different this time  with fashion playing in the same field as art. For the first time – don’t you know it by now?- the shows will be held at Lincoln Center instead of Bryant Park.

Smart move for the City as Mayor Bloomberg will  probably  confirm tomorrow when launching the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week which will be held at Damrosch Park from September 9 to 16. Spaces will be bigger. Also it is right there in the center of Manhattan with lots of subways and buses stopping nearby. It is great business for the city, so they say: “The semi-annual fashion events draw more than 230,000 attendees every year, generating more than $770 million .”

Moreover,  it is  a symbol: Fashion is moving into art territory. These two  worlds  have flirted for a while  and the opening of the Costume Institute at the Met was a symbol in itself. Moving to Lincoln Center is a consecration. There is the Met and there is Fashion Week. I am all for it as I do think Fashion is Art … at times. But what about this famous First Row pinned down in the New York Times this morning this mix of journalists, stylists, bloggers and often wannabe celebrities? It is  a crowd far off from the sophisticated world of  chamber music and operas?

We can also look at it this way: who are the great divas today? Is it not Anna Wintour and Lady Gaga? Lets just hope they will animate the first row  and start singing…  for the back.

“At Fashion Week It’s Where You Sit That Counts”    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/08/fashion/

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prêt-à-p? Marant and others…


Isabel Marant just opened a new store in New York on Broome Street  and we cannot ignore it with all the buzz created around the opening! She is one of the latest  brands of French  prêt-à-porter to cross the Atlantique after Le Comptoir des Cotonniers, Zadig & Voltaire, Jerome Dreyffus and establish themselves for the most part in New York City and more precisely in Soho ..

They all have in common a certain sexy, laid back look that does not quite exist on this side of the Atlantic. Women certainly dress differently in France. I remember researching an article for Madame Figaro on ” The working women outfits”, interviewing powerful women from the president of the RATP,  French equivalent of the MTA, to CAC40 executives. Most of them were quite interested in fashion having personal shopper to save time. Very conservative work environment forced them to wear non casual clothes,  but none of them talked about the pressure of a uniform, the colorless, shapeless, -and should I say boring uniform  – you see most commonly on the fast train to downtown during rush hours in New York. So yes, French prêt-à-porter may have a word to say.

Or rather had a word to say. A  pessimistic view was whispered in my ear by iconic French fashion designer Irene Van Ryb (http://www.irenevanryb.com)who started her first collection in 1971, reigning on women’s pantalon and other attire. She  was recently stranded in New York like thousands of fellow countrymen and we had time to exchange on French fashion. Irene has been a fashion  insider during the heydays of French prêt-à-porter when Agnes B was still focusing on her  cardigans bouton pression, when Thierry Mugler  was empowering women with broad shoulders and eccentrically tiny waists, when Emmanuelle Kahn, hiding her eyes behind over sized glasses was equally and elegantly hiding women bodies behind robe chasuble. Dorothee Bis created by Jacqueline and Elie Jacobson and of course Pierre Cardin … French prêt-à-porter was home-made before manufacturing was outsourced, with a very singular style before the uniformity of globalization.

Where does French prêt-à-porter stand today?. According to the NYT ” What’s in the label say it in French” by Cintra Wilson (www.nytimes.com/2010/04/22/fashion), “French labels may aspire fashion consciousness but can they really create fashion”. Is it really worth its high-end price? was the concluding statement.  It is a rather harsh comment that Isabel Marant will probably not like. For those who really like French prêt-à-porter and like myself have been collecting it over the years, it is the right question to be asked.

Isabel Marant store in NYC

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