Herve Leger = body-conscious bandage dresses. There’s no two ways about it. But for Fall/Winter 2012, designer Max Azria took it one step further and brought a seriously sexy, warrior-equestrian vibe to his lady.
The horizontal bandaging was sleeker this season, spliced into thinner strips that criss-crossed across the ribs and torso like skeletal armor. The highlight of the show were his made-to-measure leather bondage harnesses that fit so closely over the body you couldn’t tell where the dress and harness began. The harnesses went over the shoulder and cinched around the waist. I spied strict instructions back-stage for model fitters informing them, “DO NOT ADJUST BUCKLES” under any circumstances.
While there were some silhouette variations with A-Line and a wide sweeping, pleated finale gown, Leger kept most of his designs figure-hugging enough to please any starlet. He kept to a popular color palette for Fall, with lots of maroon, taupe, and black, adding some metallic chain prints and threads of glimmer. Long, brushed ponytails and gladiator sandals finished the look. What are your thoughts–would you buy a bandage dress + a harness?
Cupcakes, I just can’t seem to quit you. Last night, I chose them over Fashion Week by going to the NYC grand opening party of Georgetown Cupcake. Putting their own twist on the adage, “If you make it in NYC, you can make it anywhere,” sisters Katherine Kallinis and Sophie LaMontagne of Georgetown Cupcake say, “If you can bake it here, you can bake it anywhere.” Throwing their hat into the crowded ring of cupcakeries, the duo and Kardashian favorite are opening their first store in SoHo (official opening day: Saturday, February 11th.) Despite already being open for three plus years, block-long lines are still a mainstay at their already existing locations. When I visited their Georgetown outpost last week, I waited in line for 30 minutes and the tourist behind me asked, “Are the cupcakes worth it?”
Judging by the shoulder-to-shoulder crush of ladies and pink tutu-adorned girls (who sipped milk out of champagne glasses) at last night’s opening party, the answer is a resounding, “Yes.” Even when stacked against NYC favorites (Sprinkles, Billy’s Bakery, Sugar Sweet Sunshine), Georgetown Cupcake bring a little something different to the table. Georgetown Cupcakes are a little richer and decadent then their NYC cousins, with a focus on high-end ingredients (example: the specified usage of Valrhona, Callebaut chocolate and madagascar bourbon for flavoring.) Their everyday menu contains not just one, but three varieties of chocolate cupcakes with a choice of either ganache, whipped, or vanilla frosting. They also mix it up every month with an ever-changing variety of seasonal cupcakes. Snacking from amongst the minis offered at last night’s shindig, my favorites are the densely flavored Peanut Butter Fudge, salty and sweet Salted Caramel, and Vanilla Birthday Cake. Their heart-bedecked Red Velvet cupcakes are a perennial favorite for Valentine’s Day and many a DC bride. And yes, they deliver all over the U.S.
The sisters generously gave each party guest a half-dozen NYC customized cupcakes (pictured above) and a cookbook full of recipes I can’t wait to try out/create a fire in my kitchen. Georgetown Cupcakes are located at 111 Mercer Street (between Prince and Spring.) You can also catch a behind-the-scenes look with their show, DC Cupcakes, airing on TLC Fridays at 10 PM EST.
Adriana Lima, supermodel extraordinaire and one of Victoria’s Secret’s most famous Angels, needs no introduction. I got to meet her yesterday at a press event and like any good blogger would, I jumped at the chance to ask her a few questions.
The Daily Obsession: What’s the most romantic place in New York City to you?
Adriana Lima: The most romantic place in the city is the restaurant La Grenouille, especially on the second floor where they have those magnificent flower displays. My idea of a romantic night out is going for a really nice dinner and this is one of the most beautiful restaurants in the city. I also love Central Park. (more…)
Few things make me feel as emotional about the city I live in than a good love letter to New York..especially in video form. Came across this tribute designer Tory Burch made to the city and it’s so cute and inspirational I just had to share it!
While getting ready to write this piece, I was reminded of an early Vanity Fair piece by Christopher Hitchens (R.I.P) in which he details his experience of getting waxed at the ultra hip, “inventor of the Brazilian” salon, J Sisters. He describes, “I was overwhelmed by a sudden access of lava-like agony, accompanied by the vertiginous sensation that there was no there there. ” “The combined effect was like being tortured for information that you do not possess, with intervals for a (incidentally very costly) sandpaper handjob.” After reading it, I smugly thought, “Sissy” and convinced that men for all their perceived machismo, lack the pain tolerance of women. Try getting that “sandpaper handjob” every single month, Mr. Hitchens and then we will talk.
But to Mr. Hitchen’s credit, the pain of getting waxed differs from salon to technician. You’ve read before about our healthy love of Shobha, for their clean and super efficient experts. Another favorite to add to the list is European Wax Center, who are bringing the advent of the stripless wax to NYC, with their purple, patented wax. A painless Brazilian sounds like an oxymoron, sort of like a painless diet, popular Kardashian, or a faithful Newt Gingrich. But in truth, I had one of the least painful hair-removal procedures of my life at EWC. You start off the procedure by meeting with one of the efficient and friendly technicians, who take the time to walk you through the 4 step hair removal process. The first two steps, cleanse and protect, are to prep you for the removal process using a light pre-wax cleanser to remove any makeup, oil or lotion and a pre-wax oil to create a protective barrier between the skin and the wax. EWC’s exclusive Comfort Wax has a lower melting point than other traditional waxes so you don’t experience the “lava-like” temperatures Hitchens referenced. (more…)
A few weeks before the holidays I was introduced to Dig Inn, a market to table “fast food” restaurant that New Yorkers might categorize as a “work day lunch spot.” Having been a freelancer for a while now working from home, I’d kind of fallen out of the loop with lunch spots for office professionals and was eager to check it out. As it turns out, Dig Inn is the reincarnation of Pump Energy Food, a lunch joint that I did used to frequent while I was working an office job. Pump was originally created for the New Yorker that craved healthy and nutrient rich foods- but the flip side was that it actually had that healthy (no butter, low sodium etc) taste. Dig Inn also serves healthy fare- but with the philosophy that being healthy doesn’t mean depriving yourself- but rather eating dishes prepared with fresh, high quality, wholesome ingredients and making smart choices. In other words, the food at Dig Inn taste delicious but are still made with a conscious effort to be good for you.
Donatella Arpaia, that is. You may have visited one of her many numerous restaurants, seen her sitting next to Jeffrey Steingarten as one of the judges on Iron Chef America or recognize her as the winner of Meatball Madness, beating out chefs like Andrew Carmellini. She returns to the New York Food and Wine Festival September 29th to defend her title. We caught up with her before her meatball battle and next big project: the birth of her baby! Read on to see what pregnant chefs crave and her favorite munchies in New York City.
The Daily Obsession: Legend has it that you used to be a corporate lawyer before going into food. How did you decide to make the switch and why? Were you wrestled with indecision?
Donatella Arpaia: I grew up in the restaurant business and my father and brother are both restaurateurs so it’s in my DNA, but from early on I was encouraged to be a lawyer. I enjoyed the study of law but hated the practice of it. At the time I was living in a small studio above my brotherls restaurant, Cellini on 54th st. I was grabbing a bite at the bar when I saw my brother needed help because his hostess didn’t show up I got up and pitched in. That was it! I knew at that moment I needed to change directions. I struggled a bit because I studied so hard and a lot was invested in my education, but really, I had no doubt about the change of course I was about to embark on. I never looked back!
TDO: For many people, pursuing a career in food is a dream—what advice would you give to them for success?
DA: Food is a wonderful and exciting ride but many people have only a very limited idea of what the reality of this industry is like. It’s hard ! I recommend they work in area of food they are interested in to get a really good taste of the reality of this industry. You must be extremely committed and passionate to succeed. (more…)
Click to enlarge. What are your favorites?