Wednesday, March 4, 2009

A Trip Uptown

I don't get uptown much these days but popped into Bergdorf Goodman last night. They are showing an array of colorful clothes, which I think is great. I saw in the March fashion magazines a lot of beige clothes, a lot of black clothes, and I guess that those are safe and saleable, but especially in the spring, and especially this year, I think people want/need a blast of joyful color.
Before that I had stopped into the Rizzoli bookstore on 57th Street which is one of my very favorite places in New York. Housed in a Beaux Arts building, it features a beautiful selection of literary books, European magazines, and international music. Rizzoli represents to me a life of culture.

On to the Core Club on East 55th Street where I met TD for an event which our friend James LaForce was hosting. James is a partner in the big fashion pr firm LaForce + Stevens which I did some work for recently. I've known James a long time, since he toiled for the fashion pr doyenne Eleanor Lambert. Many years ago we pitched together to do publicity for a woman who had written a book -- James probably remembers the details better than I do. I was going to write it up and he was going to do the publicity. We didn't get the job but she did invite us to her book party in a big Upper East Side townhouse and there I met Joan Juliet Buck.

Last night his event was for Shanghai Tang, the luxury Chinese retailer which has a store in New York on Madison Avenue. James introduced us to the Executive Chairman Raphael le Masne de Chermont who was in town from Hong Kong to talk about the Mandarin Collar Society, a slightly cheeky initiative to get men to forgo ties in favor of a mandarin collar. I personally like mandarin collars, the short stand-up collars based on Manchurian dress. Like the American band collar, they're kind of old-fashioned and romantic but also clean and modern at the same time.

Raphael was sleek and polished in his minimal mandarin collar shirt and jacket, grey wool eye-and-hook closure trousers with no belt, and elegant brown shoes. He told me the shoes were from Weston. At the event we also met Kirk and Derrick Miller, the brothers behind Barker Black, the English bench made shoes sold in their Nolita shop. Grey wool trousers with brown leather shoes was the uniform. Always put your best foot forward: Here is, right to left, Raphael, me, James LaForce and Kirk Miller.

Later we shared a cab with James down Fifth Avenue. In the car, he was recommending Mexico City which is cheap and beautiful. Hola!

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