‘The Design Hotels Book 2020’ Fêtes 25 Years of Visionary Hospitality



Now that every corporate hospitality brand is in the “boutique” hotel business, it can be hard to remember just how thrilling it was when it was still an independent, visionary phenomenon. Indeed, from Munich to Miami to Marrakech, daring hoteliers were changing the way we stay, and the way we see.

Another such visionary was Claus Sendlinger, who founded Design Hotels in 1994, before there was even really a widely discernible boutique hotel industry. But the organization collected those that did exist into its exacting ideology, as a way of presenting a unified, yet wildly divergent new culture.

The Design Hotels Book 2020 will be released this fall to celebrate 25 years of opposition to all the banal conceptions of hospitality that came before it. Beautifully shot by such venerable photographers as Robbie Lawrence, Jake Curtis, Danilo Scarpati and Nacho Alegre, it features thoughtful, extended essays on 25 new, carefully selected member hotels – from the Stamba Hotel in Tbilisi to the Dexamenes Seaside Hotel on the Peloponnese Coast to the stunning Kazerne hotel in the Netherlands – from the perspectives of design, art, food and anything else that makes a genuinely great hotel.



Of course, Design Hotels now represents over 300 hotels in more than 60 countries – and each is presented on the pages of the book in the most visually dynamic way. Some long time devotees, like us, have even been known to use the directory as a travel wish list for the coming year.

“These hotels stand out because of the people behind them,” says current Design Hotels™ CEO Peter Cole. “These are true originals, whose passion, sensibility, and vision shine through in the minutest details of the guest experience.”

The Design Hotels Book 2020 will be released October 28, but is available now for pre-order.


10 Unforgettable Met Gala Moments Throughout the Years

Cher at the 1974 Met Gala in custom Bob Mackie; photo courtesy Ron Galella/WireImage


Today is the Met Gala — but you already knew that. With this year’s theme as “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination,” we’re anticipating a lot of vintage McQueen, probably some Gaultier, and of course, a hell of a lot of Dolce & Gabbana.

So, to prepare, we’ve put together a list of of the 10 most memorable past Met Gala moments.


Rihanna in Guo Pei


photo courtesy of Getty Images


You can’t have a Met Gala roundup without mentioning Rihanna’s infamous dress from 2015. That year, the theme was “China: Through the Looking Glass,” and Rih chose Chinese designer Guo Pei for her look. The handmade gown took over 2 years for the designer to make and instantly made her go viral. In fact, there’s currently a new documentary that highlights Pei’s impressive career.


Rihanna, again, in Comme des Garçons


photo courtesy of Getty Images
Queen Rih also made the list because of her Comme des Garçons F/W ’16 look for the Met Gala last year. The theme actually was Comme des Garçons and Rih was one of the only people who actually wore something by Kawakubo — partly, I think, because she’s one of the only people who could really pull it off.


Cher in Bob Mackie


photo courtesy of WireImage


Cher always looks iconic. But it was this custom Bob Mackie gown at the third annnual Met Ball, that set the tone for it to be one of the most fashionable nights of the year. The theme was “Romantic and Glamorous Hollywood Design,” so the singer essentially could’ve shown up naked and — oh wait, she basically did.


Katy Perry in Maison Martin Margiela


photo courtesy of Margiela
Who could forget Katy Perry’s look from last year’s Met Gala? I know she can’t, because she still talks about how hard it was for her to pee. But beauty is pain, ladies and gentlemen — especially in custom Maison Martin Margiela (that looked suspiciously like Givenchy F/W ’17).


Sarah Jessica Parker in Alexander McQueen


photo courtesy of Vogue


“Anglomania” was the theme in 2006, and Sarah Jessica Parker went full on with the plaid, natch. On the arm of Alexander McQueen, the duo wore custom “Anarchy in the U.K.”-inspired looks by the designer, himself.


Lil Kim in god knows what


photo courtesy of WireImage


No one ever really knows what Lil Kim is wearing, and the 1999 Met Gala was no exception. The Hard Core rapper opted for a pink fur trench, pink snakeskin boots and a pink bikini — and no, the theme was not “pink.”


Kate Moss in custom Marc Jacobs and a Stephen Jones turban


photo courtesy of Getty Images


In 2009, Kate Moss looked the total part for the Met Gala’s “Model As Muse” in a custom Marc Jacobs gold lamé mini, YSL pumps and Stephen Jones turban.


Liv Tyler & Stella McCartney in matching halter tops


photo courtesy of Mari Sarai/Getty Images


Sure, the Met Gala wasn’t as big of a deal fashion-wise in 1999 as it now. But halter tops? Liv Tyler and Stella McCartney, you both know better. Still, the duo really leaned in to the “Rock Style” theme with matching “Rock Royalty” tank tops.


Donatella Versace in Versace


photo courtesy of Getty Images


Donatella’s leather Versace look for the 1996 Met Gala was iconic for a couple of reasons: Sadly, this would be Gianni’s last Gala before his death, but also the debut of his bondage-inspired style that would become a trademark for the legendary brand.


Jaden Smith and his ponytail in Louis Vuitton


photo courtesy of Neilson Barnard/Getty Images


Last but not least, Jaden Smith at last year’s Gala. Yes, the theme was Comme des Garçons, and sure, Rei Kawakubo is known for getting a little avant-garde sometimes. But Jaden Smith took things to a whole different level when he showed up on the red carpet in head-to-toe Louis Vuitton, carrying his recently cut dread locks.


Fingers crossed he — and everyone else — leaves the gross accessories at home tonight. Though, the theme is Catholicism, so I’m guessing this year’s top trapping will be guilt.


Andy Cohen Will Replace Kathy Griffin to Host New Year’s Eve With Anderson Cooper


Andy Cohen, the gay host of Watch What Happens Live!, is replacing Kathy Griffin as co-host of CNN’s New Year’s Eve festivities, Vulture reports.

Griffin had previously hosted the live event in Times Square, but had her contract nullified in May after doing a photoshoot with a decapitated Donald Trump head.

“Andy is the life of the party wherever he goes, and what bigger party is there than New Year’s Eve?” Cooper said in a statement. “It is going to be a blast!”

The pair are longtime pals, performing in standup/discussion shows across the globe.

“I’ve been friends with Anderson for twenty-five years,” Cohen stated. “We’ve traveled the world together and performed in 30 plus cities with ‘AC2’ and it’s all led to this one huge night!”

Here’s a foreshadowing of what’s to come, a strange moment in which Anderson Cooper’s blue eyes remain striking but his face seems to have witnessed something life-altering.


Eliot Glazer is Giving “Haunting Renditions” of “Mambo No. 5”

Illustration by Hilton Dresden

Eliot Glazer makes people cry singing Kesha medleys.

The comedian, writer, and musician hosts a musical event, “Haunting Renditions,” every couple months at The Bell House, in Brooklyn, and in the latest installment of his hit revue, he’ll be joined by his sister Ilana, of “Broad City” fame, and Jon Glaser, a comedian friend (“Girls,” “Late Night With Conan O’Brien”) with a last name of the same pronunciation, to put on a very special edition of “Renditions”: the “All Glazer Edition.”

“One of my favorite things is when people come up to me after the show, and we’ve performed a song that’s super dumb, but we’ve orchestrated it to sound melodramatic, and my singing hopefully elevates it to that place where it does make you feel different.”

“Haunting Renditions” loosely follows the mission of making “bad songs good”: they take campy, Now-stalgia (“just before the current zeitgeist”) and arrange it in gorgeous, fresh, ballad-y compositions.

“We put together a whole library that runs the gamut – there’s songs by Dave Matthews Band, we do “Mambo No. 5,” we do George Michael… there’s at least 25 songs in the canon.”

Glazer’s from Long Island, where he grew up performing and goofing around with his sister, listening to music intended more for adults than awkward tweens: Erykah Badu, Steely Dan, Billy Joel… all while explaining to his peers his avid admiration of the “shitty rock bands” of the time – think Nickelback-era ripped jeans and splatter-paint album covers.

He attended NYU, first on a scholarship to pursue classical opera, until he decided he’d rather pursue a career in television and comedy.

“Classical music is such a high art, and such a niche thing, and I realized I really didn’t have any interest in making music my whole life in a professional capacity. I like doing it in an extracurricular way. But I didn’t foresee that it would become my live performance calling card. But it has, and I’m glad.”

Soon after graduating, Glazer began taking classes at the Upright Citizens Brigade, alongside his sister and their future collaborator, Abbi Jacobson (“Broad City”). As a sibling duo, the Glazers started a sketch show, “High School Talent Show,” ingratiating themselves into the worlds of New York stand up, sketch, and improv. Along with Jacobson and three or four of their friends, they also formed an improv team, performing in basements and dive bars around the city.

“I started heading on a more standup route – we both did standup, but different niches, in a way. We were both doing digital web series and creating digital content. And from there Ilana and Abbi met Amy, and that’s how “Broad City” came about. And sort of parallel to that I started writing for a show called ‘Younger.’”

Now bicoastal, Glazer’s got a packed plate of creative outlets: in addition to “Younger,” he’s a writer on “New Girl” and currently working with Will Arnett on a half-hour pilot for Comedy Central, as yet untitled.

“The idea is that it’s a sort of gay “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” Sort of an irreverent, actually funny version of “Looking” that I hope will have broad appeal, because it’s not about a gay guy, it’s about a guy who happens to be gay. And a botched wedding proposal that turns his world upside down.”

Glazer also produces the web series “Eliot’s Sketchpad” – if you’ve never seen it, begin by watching this hilarious video about gay dogs. He’s also slated to perform standup at the Hell Yes Fest in New Orleans this October.

With such a wide array of talents honed over his already illustrious career, Glazer hopes to bring visibility of queer persons to a more wide-reaching audience.

“I think my overall thing is that there’s something very powerful in using your gifts or talents or skill set as something that comes before your sexuality, but your sexuality is also you. When we use our talents, it empowers minorities, because it helps us to realize that we’re not just one thing, we’re a dynamic, fully-rounded person. And I think that writing about that, or writing about something else, or performing about that or something else, is the reason that empowers someone else to realize that they aren’t just gay, they can be whatever they want.”

Visibility has become especially important in light of the current national situation, which troubles Glazer immensely.

“I do feel like we are living a nightmare right now, and I can’t believe, and I’m so upset by, the idea that in 2016 watching a game show host be a heartbeat away from the presidency just by unifying people through pure racism, and bigotry, misogyny, ethnocentrism, provincialism… seeing this game show host reveal the worst qualities that Americans have is so deeply upsetting to me that it’s actually hard to talk about. The idea that Trump is a legitimate political candidate, with no past political experience to back him up, and is a heartbeat away from the presidency, is just terrifying. If he wins even 1% of the vote on election day, I think that’s a real shame.”

“Haunting Renditions” comes to the Bell House in Brooklyn this Saturday, the 17th, at 9 PM.

‘Black Lives Matter Art Show’ On Through Early September

Poster by Carla Cubit

The “Black Lives Matter Art Show,” inspired by the political movement, created by Occupy Art and featuring posters and art by Carla Cubit, as well as photographs by Cubit of protests that have taken place in the New York area, is on display today through September 4th at 266 W 37th St in Manhattan.

Cubit will perform at tonight’s grand opening, followed by a speech from the Stop Mass Incarceration Network and a discussion with the artist.

Cubit’s multimedia work uses found materials to create new images and stories. About her art, she’s said, “I love the arts in whatever medium it may be; music, theater, dance,etc; and I believe in religion, mysticism and the secret meaning of the unknown and art as a universal means of communication.”

During the opening reception and throughout the  of the “Black Lives Matter Art Show,” necklaces, magnets, and key chains will be available for $1.

Occupy Art brings screenings, pop-up shows, and speakers to New York City, as well as organizes protest and rallies. They have called themselves “the 99%.”

Cubit resides in New York City, where she creates her small mixed media pieces.

John Varvatos on Urban Romantics, and the Death of the Uniform

John Varvatos closed New York Fashion Week: Men’s with an intimate, exclusive 140-seat show in the basement of the Roxy Hotel in TriBeCa Thursday night, where a handful of fashion’s most prestigious eyes witnessed a gorgeous collection of tailored gray wools and cottons with old-school detailing.

The show, “Urban Romantic,” blended a timeless, historic feel with modern silhouettes and grooming. Squished into a corner of the Django bar underneath the Roxy, one almost felt they were watching European princes strutting through the dungeons of their palace as the models glided past.

In attendance were all of Men’s Week’s A-list, including Colton Haynes, Eric Rutherford, and Kellan Lutz.

Check out the full show here.

We were able to chat with the famed menswear designer before the show and catch his thoughts on the collection and the current state of fashion.

Can you tell me about the collection, what inspired it?

I usually don’t have names, but I’m calling it the Urban Romantic. This was inspired by my love for the south of France, and these romantic areas that I develop things in, and how that plays into such an urban environment as New York, or London, or Paris, or any global big city. And I think there’s young guys who love the modernity and the urban-ness of living in a city, between all the arts and opportunities the city gives. But they also have this passion for old world things. And the romance. And that’s my guy, and I wanted to talk about that guy who loves texture, and detail, and finesse. But still wants to be contemporary, and wants the fits to be contemporary. 

Are there specific images that inspired you?

The images we had up on the wall were really about details, whether it was fabric texture or button treatment… we have a fencing jacket, but it’s done in a modern way. We’ve been around for 16 years. We have our own history. So it’s about, how are those things new to my history? Your history evolves every season, so what’s the evolution? Last spring we were pretty Rolling Stones rock ‘n’ roll, and this is very different. It’s more elegant, and romantic, and less obvious in a way. I think there’s something about the finesse of what I call Old World Sensibility, a finesse that I sometimes feel is missing in today’s very cut-and-dried manufacturing of things.

So you’ve talked about how you’ve changed in a year. How’s the fashion industry changed since last year, in your eyes?

I think the whole world has changed. We read all these things about people’s business being difficult. We use e-commerce. The urban guy that I’m talking about is not only online searching things, but he’s online shopping. And it’s changed how people value their time, to a degree. People can say, “I’m a very busy person,” and at 11 o’clock at night they can go on to John Varvatos’ site and see something, and think, “Wow, these are great,” and buy them.

So androgynous fashion is really creeping onto men’s runways. Have you been doing any of that?

Our guy has always been a pretty masculine guy – gay, straight, whatever. But there’s always been a softness to what we do anyway, and you’ll see that in this collection. Because there’s a masculinity, but there’s also the softness of the detail, and the texture. It’s not this whole athleisure thing. I look everywhere, and I see it so much, and I think, “Is that all? Is that all there is?” I still like to dress up! These guys, they love dressing up. They love getting their first suit. But they don’t want to look like their dad. They want to do it themselves.

If you were to look at today’s style influencers, is there anyone you admire? Or are you over all these young people?

We have a lot of those guys who shop with us, and I’m intrigued by how they put things together. It’s cool. Creating your own personality, and not worrying about the trend. Making it yours. I’ve said from the first show, “The uniform is dead.” Our guy isn’t into the uniform, doesn’t care about the big logos. He cares more about creating his own style that says something to his personality and to his character.

Is this season something you can see yourself wearing?

I love these clothes – they’re forever. They’re not about a moment, a time and place. You pull it out of your closet ten years from now, and you think, “Why haven’t I worn this in five years? It looks cooler today!” This collection wasn’t about a moment, it was about a sensibility. No matter where I’ve ever been in my life or career, I’ve loved these clothes. But I love to put the edge with it. The right boot, and the right accessories, and the cool scarf. Because that makes it your own. Menswear, it’s a one-button, or two-button, or polo, or pant, but we’re not playing with proportion in the same way as women’s, as much as we want to.


John Elliott’s S/S 17 Pairs Pastels with Pool Boys

Illustration by Hilton Dresden

LA-based fashion designer John Elliott debuted the Spring/ Summer ’17 collection of his eponymous label at New York Men’s Fashion Week, replete with celebrity pals like Colton Haynes, spotted front-row enjoying the rainbow parade of pale bomber jackets and board shorts.

Inspired by life aboard a luxury yacht, Eliott’s collected was a sophisticated, clean, and somewhat safe with a cascade of color from pale blues, to greens, to, finally, pink, all very much ready-to-wear deckside.

Though it doesn’t feel much (or at all) ahead of its time, it’s weakness is also its greatest strength: John Elliott’s work is decidedly, definitively now. Standout pieces included pastel pink leather and beautiful blue trench coats.

Above, we’ve recreated one of our favorite looks from the those that strutted past: a simple varsity jacket/ flat-brim hat combination that’s powerful in its pinkness.

View the live-stream of the full show below.


L.A.’s STAMPD does skater couture for NYMFW

Illustration by Hilton Dresden

New York Men’s Fashion Week is abuzz with a swarm of designers, stylists, bloggers, and celebrity guests, and this morning brought influencers of all kinds to the Industria Superstudio in the West Village, where LA-based label Stampd displayed their S/S ‘17 collection.

The label, started by Christopher Stamp in 2011, is at about adolescent age for a clothing brand, still young enough to fly under the radar for those not paying attention, yet it’s presentation today included uber-famous models like Adonis Bosso. Stampd gave a show full of it’s usual laidback coolness, layering extra long t-shirts beneath baggy coats and experimenting with a natural palette of hunter greens, navys, and shades of gray. What the collection lacked in bold risk-taking it made up for in aesthetic pleasure – each look stood alone as a well-thought-out, coordinated, ready-to-wear outfit. The brand also brought a high-quality feel to each piece, perfectly tailored to every model’s (sculpted) shape.

We’re seeing these uber-simple, athletically-inspired looks already on fashion-forward New Yorkers and in the LA skating community, and appreciate the laser-sharp level at which this line grasps what, exactly, is currently on trend.

At top, we’ve illustrated one of our favorite looks from the show, a green, layered romper that evokes safari meets Boy Scout meets Greenwich Village.

View the full collection here.

Francis and the Lights Features Bon Iver and Kanye in New Video, ‘Friends’

New York-based musical group Francis and the Lights have released a new video for their song “Friends,” featuring Bon Iver and Kanye West. After a close-up on West, the video pans in a single take to frontman Francis Farewell Starlite dancing by himself, before joining Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon for some cool synchronized choreography.

Jake Schreier, who directed the video, talked to Pitchfork about his famous subjects.

On Kanye: “He was great. He was there as long as we needed him to be. He just wanted it to be good and had some good ideas to improve it.”

On Vernon: “When we make these videos, it’s a completely collaborative experience between Francis and I. He’s an equal creative partner in the video. So a lot of the relationships and what’s in there came from him as much as from me. Justin and that relationship was something that very much came from him.”

Check out the gorgeous, minimalist piece, below.