Brooklyn’s DUMBO is Becoming a Destination Unto Itself

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DUMBO is at last becoming a thing.

Emerging as a new Brooklyn “it” neighborhood in the post-Millennium, it somehow managed to avoid the out-of-control development of Williamsburg and Greenpoint. But now no longer just a sleepy, formerly-industrial swath of land sitting under the Manhattan Bridge, DUMBO’s burgeoning dining, shopping and cultural scene has made it a destination unto itself. Much can be attributed to David and Jed Walentas’ Two Trees, which has seen to the slow and careful growth of the area – while also supporting the local creative communities.

Notably, those same creatives will surely be congregating at the newest outpost of Soho House, fittingly named DUMBO House, which will be opening thus summer. Expect a lot of hobnobbing around the rooftop pool.




On the walkway along the East River between the Manhattan Bridge to the north, and the iconic Brooklyn Bridge to the south, is the Empire Stores – a beautifully restored brick warehouse and garden. The open air complex is home to West Elm, the Brooklyn Historical Society, and Cecconi’s, a fashionable Italian eatery imported from LA – with outdoor dining, spectacular views of Manhattan, and a creative selection of cicchetti, gourmet pizzas and pastas like agnolotti del plin with black truffle.

It’s also home to Lauren Bush’s FEED. Founded to provide sustainable livelihoods to underserved populations, each sale of the artisan-made totes, bags and accessories provide meals to the community. We love the Go-to Canvas bag and the burlap Beaded Kenya Bag – hand beaded and sewn by locals in Kenya.

For an exquisite collection of furnishings art and decor, including their own namesake line, Mark and Kristen Zeff’s 3000 square foot BLACKBARN (at 20 John Street) is a must stop. The candles and wicker baskets are particular faves.




Running parallel to the park is the quaint, cobblestoned Water Street. Pop into The Modern Chemist, a neighborhood pharmacy, for a selection of hard to find personal care and beauty products, or chat with one of their in-store wellness experts. We can’t resist a stop at the beloved Seamore’s, where you’ll instantly be transported to the beach. Replenish with a Hook, Line + Sinker cocktail, w/ Hendrick’s gin, strawberry, fresh lemon, mint and peach bitters, paired with an order of blackened shrimp Big Fish Tacos. Before heading off to gallery hopping, pick up a decadent handmade truffle or ice cream sandwich at Jacques Torres.

Round out your day at 16 Main Street, a former horse stable that is now home to DUMBO’s gallery scene. From the abstract works at Minus Space to contemporary fine art photography at Klompching Gallery and United Photo Industries, you’ll see thought-provoking works from emerging and mid-career artists.

For post-gallery-hopping happy hour, head back to Empire Stores and the Sugarcane raw bar grill – for oysters, sushi rolls and $7 mojitos and caipirinhas.


Minus Space 



Maastricht FASHIONCLASH 2018 Celebrates the Bleeding Edge of Avant Garde Style

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Positioned at the crossroads of The Netherlands, Belgium and Germany, the surreptitiously sophisticated Dutch city of Maastricht obviously goes about its business without the corresponding fanfare of London or New York. But beyond hosting the world’s biggest art fair (TEFAF) each March, and perpetually acting as an incubator for contemporary culinary experimentation (check out all those Michelin stars), it also notably moves the avant-garde needle by producing the absolutely perception-altering annual FASHIONCLASH Festival.

Debuting in 2009, its mission was to present young designers to an international audience, including press and industry – which makes perfect sense, considering the talent regularly turned out by its prestigious Maastricht Academy of Fine Arts & Design (MAFAD).



But it has since become something of a marker for the bleeding-edge of fashion design, letting participants imaginations’ run wild – and then presenting it all in a fearlessly theatrical, thought-provoking manner. It now includes crossover collaborations with performance art, theatre, dance…all meant to forge a new cultural context and challenge the boundaries of our visual language.

With FASHIONCLASH 2018 just a month away (June 15-17), we caught up with Branko Popovic, co-founder and co-director (together with Nawie Kuiper and Laurens Hamacher), to discuss its ongoing mission. 


What would you say is the overall mission of FASHIONCLASH?

Overall, the mission is to contribute to a better world, firstly by providing a stage to a new generation of designers/artists and their new visions. Secondly, by placing fashion in the context of society; we strongly believe that the art of fashion can stimulate critical debate about controversial issues in our society. By researching and questioning “fashion,” we learn to understand the psychology of human behavior and its role in undermining stereotypes. The central question being asked, “How can we develop the fashion industry to improve well-being and equality?”

How has the festival evolved in the nine years since it launched?

It has evolved in many ways, not in scale, but in quality. First of all, we started in a small town in the south of the Netherlands, far away from opportunities for young designers. We started FASHIONCLASH to create a stage for experiment and to also show our own work. In the first editions we were building up a network and a format; later we started engaging with other disciplines such as theatre and dance. Since 2013 we started working with themes, and since 2016, we have a Forza Fashion House Project, a talent incubator to support designers’ entrepreneurship.

It is now international?

Over the years FC has grown from a single catwalk show into a renowned, full-service fashion showcase. We have developed and organized more than 200 projects in The Netherlands, and abroad in countries like China, Brazil, South Africa, Serbia, Portugal, etc. We are still a small team, working with low-budgets, but still just as passionate.

What can we expect that will be highlights of the 2018 festival?

We of course see all our participants as a highlight; it’s so amazing to welcome designers from all over the world. The 2018 edition format is quite a challenge, we have a program at 26 locations in Maastricht – we have named this ‘The Route’. This whole idea is a highlight and hopefully an inspiring experience for the visitors. Looking into detail, we have several projects we are proud of, such as “God is A Woman!?,” the Koorkappen – choir capes – project and the 10th edition of the CLASH Project that we have done since the beginning. This year we will have 15 performances, crossovers with theatre and dance. We are very excited about this.


(A sample of this year’s featured designers)


  • Maarten van Mulken
  • Dominika Kozáková
  • Filipe Augusto (photo by Ugo Camera)
  • SorteMaria
  • God is a Woman (photo by Fayle & Shayne)
  • Michaela Čapková
  • Mukashi Mukashi (photo by Fredrik Altinell)
  • Dana Jasinkevica
  • Amy Ollett (photo by Kenneth Lam)

‘Project Runway’ Is Returning to Bravo Next Season, Post-Weinstein

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Project Runway is returning to its birthplace, Bravo, after being moved to Lifetime by the Weinstein company. Andy Cohen announced the move back home at the NBC upfronts today for the series’ upcoming 17th season.

Take a look at the announcement below:



The show spent it’s first five years on Bravo before moving to the A&E-owned Lifetime after negotiatinos by The Weinstein Company, who’d owned the series. The contract was breached when Harvey Weinstein became the subject of scores of allegations of sexual assault, thus allowing the fashion reality program to move back to Bravo.

“This franchise will be an important cornerstone to complement Bravo’s original premium scripted and unscripted slate, and we expect it to drive the same level of fan-dom and passion as we experienced last time it was on Bravo,” said Frances Berwick, President Lifestyle Networks and NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment, in a statement.


Coach Teams Up With Disney on a New Fairy Tale-Inspired Collection

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Everyone loves a fairy tale – especially the happy ending. And today, we got our very own. This morning, Coach dropped their Disney x Coach: A Dark Fairy Tale collaboration, which puts a uniquely dark spin on Sleeping Beauty and Snow White. The collection, which fuses Disney’s animation with Coach’s signature cool, is chock-full of hoodies, jackets, purses and dresses all fit for a princess – or an Evil Queen.


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Launching tomorrow, exclusively at Coach’s SoHo flagship, and globally next week, the Dark Fairy Tale capsule is just the latest in Disney and Coach’s ongoing partnership. Coach Creative Director Stuart Vevers first teamed up with the iconic company on a Mickey Mouse collection in 2016. Since then, the brand has also released special edition partnerships with Selena Gomez and artist Keith Haring.


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Photos courtesy of Coach

The BlackBook Guide to Brooklyn Vintage Shopping

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It’s about to be summer, and you know what means – a completely new wardrobe is in order. Yet you face a couple problems: one, your budget is tight and those paychecks (or lack thereof) are just not covering expenses the way they used to. Two, you don’t want to buy the same H&M floral shirt that everyone and their brother has five different shades of at this point. And three: you have no idea where to find cool stuff.

Worry no longer, sweet aspiring fashionistas. We’ve been scouring Brooklyn for the past three summers for the best in vintage and thrift that this plentiful city has to offer, and now, we’re pleased to report on our ten favorite must-spend spots. Read on for shopping nirvana.


Harold and Maude Vintage

Located in Bed-Stuy just off Nostrand Avenue, Harold and Maude is one of our absolute favorite places in Brooklyn to find unique, quality vintage clothing that you won’t find in other shops. The price point can occasionally get a little steep, but you’ll find reasonable tags on most of their items.



Beacon’s Closet

It’s a chain, sure, but we would like to specifically call out the Williamsburg location of this resale shop – which is not only a great place to sell your old clothes (they’ll donate what they don’t want to buy) but full of amazing goods from the residents of Williamsburg. You’ll be surprised at the variety of shoes, dresses, jackets, and more found on their (cramped) racks.



10 Ft. Single by Stella Dallas

This place is a swing or a miss – sometimes you’ll find the best new item you never knew you needed, and sometimes you’ll get overwhelmed by the price point in the back room, where things get a little more expensive. Regardless, if you ever need a classic thrift purchase, like a t-shirt or some wacky jeans, you’ll always be able to find something here.



Le Point Value Thrift

Here’s the place to go for very cheap, very interesting clothing that may require you to sift through some racks for a while before finding that perfect hidden gem.


Feng Sway

It’s expensive here. We’ll be the first to admit that. But this plant shop / vintage store hybrid in Greenpoint is home to some of the wackiest, most exciting garments in all of Brooklyn. Don’t miss it.



Collections BK

In Bushwick, you’ll find Collections to be a diamond in the rough: lots of variety, curated exquisitely, and at mostly affordable prices. Check it out.



Chess and the Sphinx

Some of the absolute best pieces in Brooklyn – not as wacky and outlandish as some of the other locals on this list, but exquisite, designer vintage and some cool pieces that wouldn’t give your grandmother a heart attack. See below.



Olive’s Vintage

Over on the more southern side of Brooklyn, away from the vintage meccas of Williamsburg and Bushwick, sits Olive’s: a Carroll Gardens classic with (pricey) decades-old gems.



Shop the Break

Another Greenpoint oasis, the Break will give you quality, high-fashion pieces like high-waisted purple leather pencil skirts and tiny cat-eye sunglasses, and lets you sip complementary champagne as you shop. Enjoy.



L Train Gowanus

Okay, okay, we know: L Train is an obvious choice. Except when people think of L Train, they think of the ones in Bushwick. No, those aren’t good. The secret is the Gowanus L train, which is much less crowded because less people know about it.


$3 tees @ the jungle

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All the Best, Worst & Most WTF Moments from This Year’s Met Gala

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photo by John Shearer/Getty Images


So, last night was the Met Gala. What used to be just an event to celebrate the opening of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s newest exhibition, has become one the biggest night’s in fashion. That means lots of amazing gowns, horrible looks and tons of WTF moments. This year, we put together a list of all three.


First, for the night’s best moments:


SZA in Versace and Chris Habana head piece and jewelry


photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images
For her first Met Gala, SZA paired pastel Versace with BlackBook favorite Chris Habana head wear and jewelry. Literally heavenly.


Nicki Minaj in Oscar de la Renta and Tiffany & Co. jewelry


photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images
Coming off of her double feature “Chun-Li” and “Barbie Tingz” video premiere last week, we had high hopes for Nicki. Needless to say, she didn’t disappoint. In a red and black Oscar de la Renta gown, the rapper told photographers she interpreted the theme by dressing as “the devil.” If Lucifer looks like this good, consider us Satanist.


Rihanna in custom Maison Martin Margiela by John Galliano and Maria Tash and Cartier jewelry


photo by John Shearer/Getty Images
Seriously, bow down. Rihanna’s custom Margiela by John Galliano ‘fit wasn’t just a look — it was a moment. And after last night, Queen Rih has just become The Pope.


Kate Bosworth in Oscar de la Renta and Tacori jewelry


photo by Getty Images
I usually find Kate Bosworth pretty boring — and I’m not just talking about her acting. But this Oscar de la Renta look was practically perfect. The gold, white, train and veil combo makes me not want to fight with my boyfriend long enough to actually get married.


Cardi B in Moschino


photo by Frazer Harrison/FilmMagic
Sorry Bey, there’s a new queen in town and her name is Cardi B. The “Bartier Cardi” singer looked like The Virgin Mary in her Moshino gown and headpiece, baby bump and all.


Diane Kruger in Prabal Gurung, Tasaki jewelry and a Philip Treacy x Tasaki headpiece


photo by Karwai Tang/Getty Images
Diane Kruger gets our vote for best dressed for the night. Her Prabal Gurun gown may not have been totally on-theme, but the entire look was a religious experience.


Solange in Iris Van Herpen and Lorraine Schwartz jewelry


photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images
Solange’s Iris Van Herpen dress was our other favorite look of the night. The total opposite of Diane Kruger’s sweet blue dress and train, this look was like a sexy bondage Medusa moment that made me a full believer. Okay, that was the last religious pun, I promise.


Lily Collins in Givenchy Haute Couture


photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images
To be honest, I don’t really know who Lily Collins is. I think she’s a model-turned-actress. But really, aren’t they all? Either way, I don’t really care who she is, because her Givenchy Haute Couture dress and avant-garde makeup were absolutely stunning.


Lana Del Rey in Gucci


photo by Dia Dipasupil/WireImage
Jared Leto looked absolutely ridiculous in his overdone Gucci look, but Lana Del Rey pulled her’s off perfectly. Though, that’s partly because she always kind of looks like she’s in costume.


Priyanka Chopra in Ralph Lauren


photo by Getty Images
I didn’t see Priyanka Chopra on enough “Best Dressed” lists today. Her velvet Ralph Lauren look gave me serious Joan of Arc vibes — in a good way.


And now for the worst. It’s actually kind of sad when celebrities get it this wrong. For one thing, they’re paying stylists a ton of money to fuck them onto the “Worst Dressed List.” But also, you can tell when they’re posing on the red carpet that they think they totally nailed it. Sorry, guys. Better luck next time.


Mary J. Blige in Versace


photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images
Let me start this by saying I really do love Mary J. Blige. But the girl’s a serious fashion victim. I honestly can’t remember one time I thought she didn’t look ridiculous. I mean, Mary J. loves herself a fedora. And remember the “Family Affair” video? Just tragic. Last night, she tried to amp things up with a Versace gown, but just looked like a kind of sloppy Greek goddess.


The Olsen Twins in vintage Paco Rabanne


photo by Getty Images
It honestly baffles me how I spent so many years worshiping the Olsen Twins. I used to seriously — and I mean this in a literal way — take notes during their shows and straight-to-VHS movies, trying to outline how to dress as cool as them. Of course, Mary-Kate spawned the whole bohobo thing, which I readily adopted for a few seconds. But that was like, 2006, and now, the whole oversized thing with way too much jewelry is just kind of depressing.


Cara Delevingne in Dior Haute Couture and Bulgari jewelry


photo by REX/Shutterstock
We have to forgive Cara Delevingne for this look, because she clearly couldn’t see herself in the mirror with that headdress. The Dior Haute Couture gown looked like a giant fishnet stocking.


Madonna in Jean Paul Gaultier


photo by John Shearer/Getty Images
Oh, and about those fishnet stockings — apparently, Madonna also got the memo. The sad part is, this look actually could’ve been good if it weren’t for its entire top half. Though, she gets some points for her crown — it was epic.

Sarah Jessica Parker in Dolce & Gabbana and Jennifer Fischer jewelry


photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images
At least no can ever say that Sarah Jessica Parker doesn’t go for it. Out of every celebrity, she always leans fully in to the Met Gala’s theme. Unfortunately, this year, it didn’t do her any favors.


But of course, for all the good and bad looks this year, there were also a few WTF moments. I mean, what’s a celebrity event without a nip slip or some self-aggrandizing? I’m looking at you, Jaden.


Frances McDormand in Valentino


photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images
I actually wanted to like Frances McDormand’s Valentino look, if only for the fact that when a reporter asked her about the religious theme, she replied, “I’m a pagan.” But alas, it wasn’t enough to make up for this trainwreck. I will say, though, if I had to imagine what a pagan high fashion look would be, it wouldn’t be too far from this.

Katy Perry in Versace


photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images
I’m not sure if this is a real WTF moment, it’s just bad — and really big.


Kim Kardashian in custom Versace and Lorraine Schwartz jewelry


photo by John Shearer/Getty Images
This one’s a WTF for a different reason. See, I actually liked Kim Kardashian’s Versace dress, but I feel like it was kind of understated — at least, for the Kardashian-West clan. With the religious theme and everything, I figured Kimye would show up decked out in t-shirts with their faces screenprinted on them. “No, you’re brilliant Kanye,” “No you are Kim.” Ah, what a love story.


Grimes in who cares because she’s dating Elon Musk?


photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images
I know. What? Grimes showed up in a sloppy dress and those platform Marc Jacobs shoes we’ve already seen everywhere for like, two seasons. But for someone who prides herself on being weird, the weirdest thing she’s ever done was show up to the Met Gala with Elon Musk, only to reveal that they two are actually dating.


Last but not least: Jaden Smith in Louis Vuitton and carrying his own gold record


photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images
I really didn’t think Jaden Smith would go this far. Oh wait, yes I did. The singer showed up wearing Louis Vuitton and holding his own gold record. We get it, bro. You’re super smart and way too philosophical for the rest of us pesky humans. But even Kanye isn’t this blatant.

Oh well, at least we have awhile until we have to see what Jaden Smith will wear next year.


Madonna Gave a Surprise Staircase Performance at the Met Gala

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At last night’s Met Gala, there was one star who must have felt quite at home among the religious references of the evening’s ‘Heavenly Bodies’ theme: Madonna, the one true God(dess) on Earth. Naturally, she found a way to assume the night’s spotlight – with a surprise performance on the marble Met stairs.

Madonna arrived for the evening in a Jean Paul Gaultier gown and veil, but after dinner stripped into a cloak and descended the staircase as church bells gonged. She sang “Like A Prayer” with a backing choir of Gregorian chants before launching into a rendition of “Hallelujah” as dancers ran to and fro around her. Take a look.



Margot Robbie is the Face of Chanel’s First Coco Neige Campaign

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Just weeks after being named Chanel’s new brand ambassador, the fashion house has revealed Margot Robbie as the new face of their first Coco Neige campaign. Lensed by Karl Lagerfeld, the campaign sees the Australian actress in the brand’s first ever luxury ski collection. Set to hit stores this summer, the Coco Neige line is dedicated to looking good on the slopes and apres-ski, mixing traditional sporty pieces with Chanel signatures like pearls tweed.

“This shoot was one of the greatest experiences of my career,” Robbie told WWD about the experience. “[…] One of the first things Karl Lagerfeld said to me was that we never need to take ourselves too seriously. He has such a creative mind and he knows exactly what he wants and the minute he captured it, we were moving onto the next shot. It was amazing.”

The campaign images themselves won’t be out until June, but in the meantime, we can drool over the preview. Tweed-lined Chanel hunter caps? Yes, please.


Photo courtesy of Chanel Instagram


Kim Kardashian to Receive Special Honor at the CFDA Awards

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Kim Kardashian West will receive the first ever CFDA Influencer Award at this year’s ‘Fashion Oscars,’ WWD reports.

The decision to honor the reality star was reportedly conceived by designer Tommy Hilfiger. CFDA president and chief executive officer Steven Kolb told WWD: 

“Tommy Hilfiger said, ‘If you think about influencers and how they’ve changed our industry, I think we should acknowledge that. [The board] all agreed that Kim was someone who has really impacted the industry and has changed the way brands are presented. She’s a friend of a lot of the designers and has had great influence on fashion globally.”

The awards will take place at the Brooklyn Museum on June 4 and will be hosted by Insecure’s Issa Rae. The ceremony and red carpet will be available to live stream.