The BlackList: Weekly Events Dec. 2-8

Gallery hopping, film screening, concert-going, and partying: like always, we have what’s coming up, and this week, we’re going to Miami.

Monday, December 2

London: Marc Jacobs celebrates Kate Moss’ Playboy cover and the magazine’s 60th anniversary at the London store, 24-25 Mount Street, at 3 p.m.

Art Drive-Thru/Miami: Today through December 8, colette Paris heads to Miami with Alchemist, setting up an old school drive through (girls on roller skates and all) on level 5 of Herzog & Meuron’s parking structure. Order up a signed and numbered print , a beach towel, or a Rolex. Just don’t expect dollar menu pricing.

Paper Dreams/Miami: The Standard commissioned Luis Pons, a Miami designer, to float a paper and bamboo boat off the spa’s Lido Dock, offering some much needed calm for fair-goers. The smooth sailing installation pushes off with a cocktail reception from 5-7 p.m., remaining open through December 8.

Tuesday, December 3

Curiouser and curiouser/NYC: Maison Kitsuné hosts Le Cabinet de Curiosités of Thomas Erber at The Avant/Garde Diaries Project Space. The event’s fourth installment showcases California brand Parabellum, and touches down in NYC after making its way from colette in Paris, Brown’s in London, and Andreas Murkudis in Berlin. After this evening’s RSVP-only cocktails to celebrate the launch, the exhibition will be open at 372 Broome St. and Kitsune (1170 Broadway) through December 23, from 12:00 – 8:30 p.m.

NYC: BAM hosts Bodycast, a theatricalization of the “artist talk” with artist Suzanne Bocanegra and actor Fances McDormand, through December 7. Tickets $20

Wednesday, December 4

Sample sale/London: A sample sale worth the airfare – Nicholas Kirkwood will be 75% off today and tomorrow at 26 South Molton Lane, London.

Invite only/Miami: MoMA’s Chief Curator at Large and MoMA PS1’s Director Klaus Biesenbach is honored tonight by MEDIUM with the Curatorial Excellence Award. 7 – 9 p.m., The Standard Spa, Miami Beach.

BlackBook at Art Basel/Miami: BlackBook is excited to co-host our Art Basel event with LACMA and React to Film at the Delano, Miami Beach. There’ll be cocktails and a showing of three artist films celebrating the work of David Hockney, John Baldessari, and Ed Ruschka.

After the party it’s the after party/Miami: Interview and OHWOW get their party on to celebrate Art Basel Miami Beach on the rooftop of the Boulan, 2000 Collins Ave. RSVP

Sing it/Miami: André Sariava brings The Standard East’s karaoke club to The Rec Room at The Gale in Miami, 1685 Collins Ave. Open through December 7, from 11 p.m. until late early morning.

NYC: Women in Music will host a celebration (of what other than women in music) at Le Poisson Rouge with DJs Jackie Smiley, Cherie Lily, and Shannonigans. 7 p.m. Tickets $10

NYC: Nitehawk Cinema hosts a one night only screening of a newly restored Sidewalk Stories, 7:30 p.m. Tickets $15

NYC: Ozu and His Afterlives begins at the Film Society of Lincoln Center, showing films influenced by and of Yasujiro Ozu. Screenings through December 12.

NYC: Alvin Ailey’s American Dance Theatre company premieres Chroma, with choreography by Wayne McGregor, and sounds of orchestrations of The White Stripes. Performances begin today through January 2.

Thursday: December 5

Shopping break/Miami: SUNO celebrates the launch of their line for Miami’s prime shopping destination The Webster, 1220 Collins Avenue, from 3-5 p.m. RSVP to

Invite only/Miami: Spike Jonze celebrates HER with a private dinner at The Standard, Miami Beach. 9:30 p.m.

NYC: To celebrate the anniversary of the end of prohibition, The Village Voice hosts a holiday spirits tasting event from 7:30-10:30 p.m. at Studio Square, 35-44 37th Street in Long Island City. Tickets from $50

Friday, December 6

Boozy brunch/invite only/Miami: Creative Time throws their second annual champagne brunch from 10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. at The Standard Miami Beach.

Confessional/Miami: Glenn O’Brien celebrates the release of Penance, his latest book, with a live confessional at The Newsstand at The Standard Spa, Miami. From 5-7 p.m.

Win, Lose, or Draw/Miami: Let Ryan McGinness teach you how to draw. On the heels of his new sketchbook, the artist is hosting a drawing class at the Lido Lounge at the Standard Miami Beach.

Saturday, December 7

NYC: Nitehawk Cinema gets its Old West brunch on with an 11:30 a.m. screening of McCabe & Mrs. Miller, introduced with a live performance by Julie Christie and Warren Beatty. Tickets $16

NYC: Hop over to Milk Gallery for a book signing of Richard Corman’s Madonna from 4-6 p.m. 450 West 15th Street. RSVP here.

Sunday, December 8

NYC: The Museum of the Moving Image hosts a screening of The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford with an introduction by the book’s author Ron Hansen. 7 p.m. Tickets $15

Watch Theophilus London Live at Le Baron

Back in February, the French nightclub kingpin André Saraiva opened an outpost of his Parisian hotspot Le Baron in Manhattan’s Chinatown. Predictably, celebrity revelers showed up in droves to populate the club and no less than New York’s own after-dark impresario Serge Becker told the New York Times that Le Baron had his stamp of approval, saying, “You just can’t buy your way into the place. It’s about if you’re cool or not.”

As of today, it’s more about whether or not you’re friends with Le Baron on Facebook.

The nightclub, in conjunction with Absolut vodka, has launched the Encore! Live Series, which brings live music to the club and then broadcasts the performances via the series’ YouTube Channel and Facebook page

The first performance in the series was released today and features the song stylings of New York’s own hip-hop hunk du jour, Theophilus London, who just so happened to have performed last night at a sold-out album release party for Santigold

Check out the video below and stay tuned for upcoming performances—it’s a hell of a lot easier than making it past the club’s velvet ropes.

Levi’s Maintains Collaboration Streak with LA MOCA, Andre Saraiva

From designing pieces for Junya Watanabe to producing capsule collections with Opening Ceremony, Levi’s knows how to tag team. Now, to align with the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles’ “Art in the Streets” exhibit, the brand has partnered with 10 legendary street artists to customize their classic trucker jacket’s back panel, including French graffiti artist and nightlife impresario André Saraiva (first jacket, above).

A new jacket will be released every two weeks in limited-edition quantities (only 50 per design). The project will conclude with a release dedicated to the late, iconic NYC street artist Keith Haring on August 6 (second jacket pictured). See the rest of the trucker jackets here.

The collaboration ties in with the Levi’s Film Workshop, currently being held next door to the MOCA, and captures the story of art and its connection to the underground through a series of film and video projects, hands-on classes, and screenings open to the public. I stopped by the workshop this weekend, and what began as a quick visit turned into two hours of filmmaking activities – and I’m going back for more soon. It’s a must if you’re in LA, so peep their workshop calendar here to get in on the action.

Can Le Baron & André Saraiva Save New York Nightlife?

Even with a two-person crew working to tidy nightlife impresario André Saraiva’s new Chinatown apartment for the busy weekend ahead, it’s impossible to ignore the high-pitched shrieks coming from the shower in the back room. Saraiva is “having breakfast,” I’m vaguely assured, with his girlfriend, socialite Annabelle Dexter-Jones. It’s Friday, a quarter past noon.

Construction wrapped only a few days ago on 39-year-old Saraiva’s gallery-white space, just in time for New York Fashion Week. What few objects there are—a copy of Where the Wild Things Are, an unhung coat rack fitted with colorful balls—feel carefully curated. Someone has taken a black Sharpie and scrawled “Annabelle + André = Amour” on a long wooden table; a cluster of black hearts floating below punctuates the sentiment. “Either André and Annabelle were having sex in the shower,” a partygoer will say to me later that weekend, “or someone was strangling a crocodile.”

Born in Sweden to Portuguese parents who moved to Paris, Saraiva has arranged things so that the apartment can double as the semi-official headquarters of Le Baron, the long-awaited stateside outpost of the exclusive, artsy-cool Parisian nightclub of the same name, which he opened in 2004. (Another opened in Tokyo two years later.) Saraiva also runs club Paris Paris and restaurant La Fidélité in the French capital, and Hotel Ermitage in Saint Tropez, but to New Yorkers, he’s best known for his involvement with the Standard Hotel’s Le Bain and the now-shuttered, much-bereaved Beatrice Inn. Now, after months of delay and pending final permits from Bloomberg’s offices, Le Baron, édition Amérique, will open sometime this spring.

Among the handful of people trying very hard to ignore what’s happening in the bathroom—a delighted scream tears down the hallway—are Gildas Loaëc, co-founder of music and Gallic-prep fashion label Kitsuné, and Vincent Darré, the faultlessly dressed interior decorator, designer, and Parisian nightlife veteran. (Last year, he released a collection of crustacean-shaped furniture.) Darré, who arrived only moments before—the day starts late for Saraiva’s tight-knit clan—is sketching designs on a large pad of paper for the interior of the new Le Baron. What look like faux-bois bamboo poles crisscross to form a fence.

Darré collaborated on several upholstery patterns with artist Pierre Le-Tan, the father of Olympia Le-Tan, an artist and former girlfriend of Saraiva’s. On Sunday night, Saraiva will throw Le-Tan and filmmaker Spike Jonze a champagne-soaked, friends-only party at his apartment to celebrate their collaboration on the short animated film Mourir Auprès de Toi [To Die By Your Side], for which Olympia handcrafted winsome characters out of felt. (Olympia is perhaps best known for her literature-inspired accessories, which emblazon made-up covers of masterworks on book-shaped purses.) A little after 7pm, an intercontinental confederation of vaguely bohemian fixtures—some of whom accompany Saraiva on his global party circuit—will arrive: designers Charlotte Ronson (Annabelle’s half-sister), Waris Ahluwalia, and Johan Lindeberg; Oscar-nominated actor Rinko Kikuchi; Opening Ceremony co-founder Humberto Leon; and actor Clémence Poésy. Before the party is over, Saraiva will slip away to attend an event at Milk Studios called Annabelle + Andre = Love Collaboration Release. image

“Andre’s got way more friends than I have,” says Loaëc, a slight man with large ears and crisply scissored dark hair. “You’ll see, you’re going to be his friend in two minutes.” Loaëc and Saraiva recently released a compilation CD called Kitsuné Parisien featuring a line-up of mostly unknown acts based in the City of Light. Saraiva did the artwork for the album cover, and Loaëc, who releases Kitsuné compilations a couple times a year—he worked closely with Daft Punk for 15 years—took care of the tunes. “I was thinking we should do a French compilation, and then something Parisian to make it even more interesting,” he says of the dancey-druggy mix. “We get along well. I’m really a fan of his sense of style. I was never into graffiti whatsoever, but I thought his Mr. A character was fantastic.”

Loaëc is referring to Saraiva’s penchant for tagging walls, bar mirrors, and garage doors with his trademark figure, Mr. A, which looks like a cross between Jack Skellington and Rich Uncle Pennybags. Saraiva claims to have been beaten by four gendarmes for spray-painting a train as a teenager. His notoriety in his hometown, however, has made this particular type of nocturnal maneuvering a challenge. “Mr. A, he’s really chic and elegant for graffiti,” says Loaëc.

Just then, Saraiva and Dexter-Jones appear. “It’s a miracle!” says Darré. “It’s the nouvelle vague!”

Saraiva is petite and handsome. He’s wearing artfully tattered jeans, a thickly-braided silver bracelet, and a chunky sweater over a well-muscled torso that once appeared on the cover of his good friend Olivier Zahm’s Purple magazine. Before he sits down, he amiably rubs my shoulders, points at Darré, and says, “Did you know he’s my favorite? He’s a genius. I always liked him and one day I became friends with him.” Coffee is requested. (Darré asks for green tea. Does he have a second choice? “Dirt-tea.”) Dexter-Jones, a blonde sylph in a schoolboy blazer and a bow in her hair, sits on the floor across the room near a socket into which she plugs her phone. “I had to find a reason to be in New York,” Saraiva says, peering at her with an unblinking gaze. Later, he’ll kiss the tip of his finger and wiggle it in her direction.

Darré, Loaëc, and Saraiva, in roughly descending order, speak English with the kind of French accents that linger on parts of the vocal chords most Americans are incapable of stimulating. When they use the words “nostalgia” and “naive,” which they do often, I come to realize they mean the more Latinate definitions of the words—essentially, guileless. “André is very naive,” says Darré. “He likes to go out every night, to present, ‘Oh, this is a friend of mine—he is American.’”

“Nightlife is the soul of the city,” says Saraiva. “It’s true. I think nightclubs are sometimes the most interesting way for culture and people to spread through the city.” He has a soft, lean-in-closely voice, the kind of pipes you can’t imagine barking across a dance floor. “If there wasn’t nightlife, there wouldn’t be freedom, ideas, creation, poetry. D’accord, Vincent?”

Loaëc answers first. “It’s very political.” He appears half serious, half ribbing—an orientation he often has toward Saraiva. “They close the clubs because you don’t have the right to dance.” He’s referring to New York’s superannuated cabaret laws.

“When I go to cities and there’s no graffiti and no nightlife, they’re dead cities,” says Saraiva. “There’s no creation.”

“Like which ones?” asks Loaëc.

“Every place I go.”

“Yeah, but give me a name.”

“Like, cities in Eastern Europe.”

“They have nightlife in Eastern Europe.”

“Yeah, but when do they have nightlife and a big graffiti scene? Those two go together. When they don’t have those two things, most of the time, it’s kind of a fascist country.”

Graffiti is how Saraiva first became involved in club entrepreneurship. “Graffiti takes place at the same time as nightlife. That’s the relation,” he says. Does Saraiva dare to leave his calling card on New York’s streets?

“I don’t even care about going to jail. I’ve been. The thing is, they would never allow me to come back here. Never come back? That’s tough… ” He looks at Dexter-Jones.

“You’re getting wise,” says Loaëc.

“I’m getting… mature.” Everyone laughs.

“Mature!” says Darré. “So mature.” image

Much later that night, at Le Bain, the summery half of the top floor of the Standard Hotel famous for its Jacuzzi-fueled bacchanals—the Top of the Standard (ubiquitously referred to as the Boom Boom Room) occupies the other half—Le Baron hosts its contribution to New York Fashion Week by officially taking over the space. Saraiva and hotelier André Balazs opened Le Bain together—“I really like people who have the same name as me,” jokes Saraiva. There’s a line at the door downstairs; upstairs, it’s surprisingly tame. People are having fun, but not indulging in the frenzied, flesh-baring, hedonistic behavior that made Beatrice Inn a legend. Absent, too, are the bold-faced names that the crowd, dressed in the leathery plumage of Fashion Week, most likely came here to see. That’s because Saraiva is nowhere to be found.

Around 2:30am, I venture next door to a relatively empty Boom Boom Room, where I find Loaëc and Lionel Bensemoun, one of Saraiva’s original partners in Paris’ Le Baron. Bensemoun is wearing a ’70s-era psychedelic button-up and dark glasses. He’s friendly and ready to laugh, and instructs me on which arrondissements to visit when I’m next in Paris (the 8th and 10th). Loaëc explains that Saraiva has thrown out his back. “Annabelle, she… ” For lack of the word “piggyback,” he makes a motion like he’s slinging on a large backpack and winces.

The next night, Saturday, Saraiva’s back is healed—but that doesn’t make him easier to find. The Boom Boom Room is packed to the gills for a Purple and Zac Posen party. The coat room is too full to accept any more winter parkas, and there’s more pushing, squeezing, spilling, and groping than usual. Sharply-dressed men slip the bathroom attendants money, then vanish together into one of the ladies’ rooms. “The music sucks,” says one jostled invitee.

But here, at last, are the celebrities. Jared Leto is wrapped in what looks like a patterned Slanket, wandering blankly with a coterie of model-types in tow. There are many actual models. Actor Chloë Sevigny and the Misshape’s Leigh Lezark pose for photos and then check the results. Artist Francesco Clemente and actor Paz de la Huerta, in a silvery liquid-tight dress, rush by conspiratorially. Designer Alexander Wang dances with characteristic abandon. Despite Purple’s reputation for well-oiled loucheness, there’s nothing particularly sexy about this party. There are too many cameras for that; everyone is too self-conscious. A little after midnight, Tolga Al, one of several Le Baron employees managing the event, shuts off entry to the Boom Boom Room, hoping the crowd will thin out. image

According to Saraiva, Le Baron will be different. “It’s going to be even more tough,” he says of continuing his clubs’ notoriously discerning door policies. “The club is going to be empty. Everyone’s going to be waiting outside.” While he’s half kidding, Saraiva does admit to a lifelong obsession with legendary nightclubs like New York’s Studio 54 and Paris’ Le Palace, institutions that for a generation not only reflected but defined those cities’ subcultures. Studio 54’s owner, Steve Rubell, was known to leave his dance floor desolate as flocks outside crowed for entry.

For many young New Yorkers, Beatrice Inn was a similarly elusive and directional club. “I don’t know the people I want,” says Saraiva of the new Le Baron. “I know the people I don’t want. I don’t want any people who do TV. I don’t want any people who have cars. I don’t want any people who go to Marquee or 1Oak. If you go to 1Oak, never come to Le Baron.” Consider yourself warned.

A close friend of Saraiva’s, DJ Rachel Chandler, helped start a weekly party through Paul Sevigny (another close friend) at the Beatrice, as it was called, possessively, in 2007. “Hopefully it will give back some of what was lost when Beatrice was shut down,” Chandler wrote of Le Baron in an email. “It won’t ever be the same, nor should it, because Beatrice happened at a specific time in a specific place.” Says Saraiva, “I miss Beatrice. When people used to say, ‘Let’s go to Beatrice,’ it was sincere, like, ‘Let’s go to a place we like.’ And New York is missing that. We go to places where it’s okay to go, but there’s nowhere we feel is ours.”

Saraiva explains that his idols past and present—“Most of the artists I like are dead”—are nightlife people. Experience, however, has taught him that sometimes it’s better not to meet the people you most admire. Darré agrees. “You know the stories of Proust?” he asks. “It is this: You dream about something and you think it’s the best in the world, but after you meet it, you’re very disappointed.”

I haven’t seen the real Mr. A all night. “He’s here,” a publicist insists. But I’m reminded of something Saraiva said to me earlier: “I always tell the people who work with me to never say that I’m away, to always say, ‘I just saw him, he’s somewhere.’ It works.” I toggle over to Le Bain, where Olivier Zahm is performing a mashed potato-like twist with a young woman. Paul Sevigny occupies the DJ booth, where Tolga Al later tells me he will stay for nearly four hours spinning “New York music.” As I’m getting ready to leave, I spot Saraiva in the liminal zone between the two clubs. He kisses both my cheeks and disappears into a sea of revelers.

Back at Saraiva’s apartment, coffee has finally arrived. Dexter-Jones has removed her blazer to reveal a navy shirt striped with red, which perfectly matches Saraiva’s own navy sweater with red stripes. She buries her face into his neck, the two murmuring to each other. “I think André is a brand also,” Loaëc says. “When you go to Le Baron, you actually know you’re going to see André there, living in the place.”

“He’s in New York, he’s in Paris,” says Darré. “I don’t know how he has time to do it. Maybe there are many little Andrés. A clone.”

Photography by Ruvan Wijesooriya.

Mia Wasikowska Covers BlackBook’s ‘Bright Lights, Big City’ Issue

Calling all Brontë purists! Aussie sensation and Jane Eyre star Mia Wasikowska, an actor of considerable depth and poise, covers BlackBook‘s April “Bright Lights, Big City” issue, dressed and styled in homage to fashion icon Twiggy. If we do say so ourselves…mamma Mia! (Don’t worry—you won’t find that pun in the actual issue.) Go here for more photos and the full story on one of this year’s biggest breakout stars. Also in our April issue:

Kim Cattrall, known best to audiences as Samantha Jones from Sex and the City, upends expectations with a darkly comic new indie about an aging porn star; French nightlife baron André Saraiva invites us—and his famous friends—over for a private party; four young stars with major pedigrees—Zoë Kravitz, Max Irons, Lorraine Nicholson, and Grace Gummer—step out of their parents’ shadows; cult filmmaker Werner Herzog enters the abyss to chronicle the birth of art as we know it; Super costars Rainn Wilson and Ellen Page talk about becoming “butt buddies”; New York painting luminary Ryan McGinness invites us inside his Soho studio; aspiring photographer and star of The Beaver Anton Yelchin provides us with the surprisingly dark playlist that makes him click; Japanese menswear designer Mihara Yasuhiro indulges his wild side; and Kathy Griffin considers foot fetishists. Plus, we check in with Yelle, Mario Testino, Hamish Bowles, Nick Zinner, Best Coast, Dan Deacon, Liana Liberato, and Quentin Dupieux! Keep coming back to for more on an issue so bright that you might have to shield your eyes.

Parties: The Fashion Week Effect on Nightlife

Fashion Week has descended upon New York City, anointing new and yet-to-be-opened venues with its holy presence. Fashion houses and fashionable rags have shouldered their way into seen-and-be-seen restaurants and night spots, and have sold off their first born in order to offer their party guests a first look at some unopened places, like The Mondrian and the Darby’s buzzy basement. The perennial question: Whether to elect tried-and-true spots (or, in the case of Alexander Wang, gas stations and bounce houses) over what could be just a flash-in-the-pan hotspot. Herewith, a rumor-mongering and totally useless look at where all the week’s parties shall take place.

No Need for Dropping Bar Names Tonight, Stella McCartney will be watching out for our furry friends along with PETA, Tim Gunn, and Olivia Munn (last name rhyme-a-thon!) at her store for PETA’s Fashion Week fete. Also tonight is Waris Ahluwalia’s party at The Wooly to celebrate the buzzy launch of his line “Waris Loves You,” with and Karen Elson is rumored to perform with The Citizen’s Band. Not to be outdone, Fendi will be at Saks Fifth Avenue along with The New York Botanical Garden and a slew of fashion fixtures like Genevieve Bahrenburg, Byrdie Bell, and Lauren Remington Platt. We know this game all too well: we’ll have to leave our Frye boots at home. One place we can wear our beloved booties is the RETNA graffiti party at 560 Washington Street with fashion royalty, Vladimir Restoin Roitfeld, with an after-party at good ‘ol Indochine. Itinerary: Stella McCartney The Wooly Saks Fifth Avenue Indochine

Hotel Playgrounds The James has proven to be a great new nightlife addition, frequented by a slew of designers and celebrities, which means the hotel’s newbie restaurant, David Burke Kitchen, will be a big draw for the fashion crowd, and the rooftop bar Jimmy, will be packed—per the usual. But really, the buzz is all about the VMAN party rumored to be held at the not-yet-opened Mondrian—more specifically, Imperial No. Nine, chef/cool-guy Sam Talbot’s new restaurant therein. Reason for the buzz: VMAN’s cover featuring Kanye West with money in his mouth, shot by Karl Lagerfeld. We’d love to see the confirmed guestlist, pretty please? And of course, don’t discount The Standard Hotel. Although it’s not spanking-new, Boom Boom room will continue to dazzle, and blogger workshops for the Independent Fashion Blogger’s Evolving Influence conference (featuring Proenza’s Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez) will be held at Le Bain. Itinerary: The James David Burke Kitchen Jimmy The Mondrian Imperial No. Nine The Standard Hotel Boom Boom Room Le Bain

On the Verge Speaking of Le Bain, the French connection will see to it that the delayed Le Baron New York will have a proper place to party. Aside from Alexander Wang (who may just be hosting a chill party at his Soho store opening on February 15th) another person everyone is trying to befriend in time is Andre Saraiva. His Paris club, Le Baron, has always been the spot for Paris fashion week, and conveniently, the New York outpost is rumored to be opening in March. Though it’s been reported that it isn’t officially ready in time for NYFW, that doesn’t mean it can’t host private events and quiet gatherings for Saraiva’s closest friends. But instead of temp fate (or the Community Boards) the splashy Le Bain will host Le Baron and family on two separate occasions: on Friday with Kitsuné celebrating “Kitsuné Parisien” with hosts/music done by Gildas, André Saraiva, Annabelle & Alexander Dexter-Jones, and Grand Marnier from 11-4AM. On Sunday, the Nouveau York weekly will also host “Late Night with Le Baron, with music by Alex from Tokyo, Manu (Supreme Records) and Lee (Hamsa). The Darby has been open for a while, but rumors point to a private basement opening party this Friday, with a subsequent party open to the public (whatever ‘public’ means to the Darby folks) next Wednesday. Also on everyone’s mind: Westway, a former strip club resurrected, has bloodlines from The Smile and The Jane. Charlotte Ronson’s after-party is one rumored party slot in Westway’s schedule. Itinerary: Le Baron Basement of The Darby Westway

Annabelle Dexter Jones & Andre Saraiva’s Eyeglass Love

There comes a time in every young man’s life when he needs to settle down. He swims around the dating pool until he finally finds “The One,” and after taking her out to A-list parties at the young man’s club, introducing her to his friends Marc (Jacobs) and Tommy (Hilfiger), and painting the town red (literally, with the young man’s graffiti can), he takes the next step in the relationship and puts a custom-made pair of eyeglasses on her face. They live happily ever after. So reads the fairytale romance “Andre + Annabelle for Illesteva.”

Obviously, they should’ve tapped me to do the press release for these Valentine’s Day-themed glasses. The specs, featuring Saraiva’s signature artwork, and “Annabelle + Andre = Love” inscribed inside of the temples in Andre’s handwriting, will be released this February—only 80 glasses worldwide. They are handmade in France and retail for $270. Naturally, they will only be sold at the two places in the world that support such romantic narratives: Colette in Andre’s Pris, and Opening Ceremony in Anabelle’s native New York City.

image A symbol of their love and devotion.

image Andre’s “Mr. A” tag.

image Cute pair.

image The couple for Harper’s Bazaar.

Main Photo: Annabelle and Andre from Purple Diary.

Le Baron’s Baron Andre Saraiva Hangs Ten with Quiksilver

André Saraiva probably has an absurdly high number of frequent flight miles racked up on Air France due to his Transatlantic flights back and forth from Charles de Gaulle to JFK. After all, he is the man responsible for creating the crème de la crème of Paris nightlife and for being a co-owner of Beatrice Inn on this side of the pond. In Paris, Le Baron is one of Saraiva’s most famous lairs — complete with saucy red velvet walls — for coolest of the cool set. In addition, he also owns a spot in Tokyo, several outposts scattered about the City of Light and hosts “Le Baron Party” down at Art Basel Miami. And let’s not forget his respected skills as graffiti artist.

Monsieur A, Saraiva’s stick-figure character in hot neon pink, made a grand appearance in the United States for a Belvedere Vodka campaign. Recently however, he also linked up with Quiksilver — one of the biggest surfing, skateboarding and snowboarding apparel companies. Quiksilver turned 40 years old and in honor of the iconic brand’s birthday, it held an all-out blockbuster bash at the Grand Palais. Yep, that Grand Palais in Paris built circa 1900, complete with a gothic-like glass dome. Saraiva was commissioned to paint all around the venue and created a handful of limited edition surfboards. We caught up with the impresario amidst the chaos of rampant skateboarders inside the historic local — also found out a bit more about why he and Quiksilver came together and his opinion of what’s currently happening in the wee evening hours.

How did the collaboration with you and Quiksilver happen? I had met one of the guys from Quiksilver and had also been wanting for a long time to paint some surfboards and work with [surfboard] shapers. We had some friends in common and the guys from Quiksilver invited me to Biarritz, France — it’s one of the best surf spots of all of Europe — they have their shapers and their workshop there. So one day, I worked with a few of their shapers there, stayed for a week working on the base of the boards…painting on the glass on the boards. So that’s how it began, with me painting only a few unique pieces and boards for them. I spent time with them…we’d work in the morning and the afternoon and at the end of the day we’d go and surf together. It was really an amazing time.

What are you doing for Quik’s 40th Anniversary in Paris? Quiksilver is doing this big event here at the Grand Palais. It’s this really old school, amazing place, where normally big Chanel shows take place. It’s really interesting and an amazing thing to have something that’s more street culture being part of the Grand Palais. They asked me to paint a bit all over the walls, in the skatepark and on the ramps. It’s fun to be part of this project.

Do you have any plans to do additional collaborations with Quiksilver on its clothing collections? No, it’s more the unique pieces…that’s the project that I really loved, working with the old school shapers where every board is unique. That’s the beauty of the surfboards, they are all handmade. They are all special down to the size, the balance, everything is unique for each person. That’s what I really like to do.

When did you first start to get involved in nightlife? Since I escaped from home when I was 12 years-old! I used to go out at night and go to clubs. I couldn’t go home when I was kid, because when I used to go out, I would lie and say I was staying at some kid’s place. So, I used to sleep in the clubs until the first subway was open and then go home and then say I was sleeping over at my friend’s place. So yeah, since I was a kid! Nightlife was really a part of graffiti, so I would paint at night too….

It’s synonymous…. Yeah, it goes together. The night is more than a time and place; it’s where I always felt free. It’s where and when people are more open minded.

When did you open your first club? I was organizing rave clubs in Paris at the end of the eighties and early nineties and was always organizing concerts and was always just into music. I had to organize them because I had to have a place to listen to the music I loved! Because, there weren’t places in Paris where could I hear it. Then one day, with one of my best friends, we decided to build a place where we could go…where we could have our music, our club. My crew, my music and the people in bands that I love. So, we made our place for our people and that’s how we started Le Baron.

What’s the biggest difference with Parisian and New York nightlife? There is a simple difference between New York nightlife and Paris nightlife. In New York everything ends at 4am and in Paris everything just begins at 4am. We’ll go until 7am.

When do things close down in Paris? We can go after hours…there are lots of places to go. Still tough, still dealing with noise and with neighbors, but there are still places to go.

You have a vested interest in Beatrice Inn. As we all know it’s been closed now for quite some time. What’s happening? Yeah, but Beatrice is coming back soon. We all want Beatrice back…it’s going to happen.

In New York, it seems that places just get closed down left and right. Everything is controlled. Let’s go back to the roots of New York. A place where artists can create and be in the city…where they can go and show their ideas.

Right now, how many spots do you have? Le Montana, Le Baron, Moon…a lesbian bar. Soon, Beatrice is coming back. I’ve been working on the Boom Boom Room with Andre Balazas — doing consulting on art direction. We have a club in Tokyo called, Le Baron Tokyo, a little bar with dirty French karaoke that I made with my friend Marc Newsome. A few restaurants, a few hotels…different little things.


Industry Insiders: Erik Foss, Lord of Lit

Lit co-owner Erik Foss talks about his art, his new bar in Philly with the best name ever, and why the city needs less yuppie cocksuckers.

Favorite Hangs: Max Fish! Max Fish! Max Fish! I also like Beatrice Inn because my bro’s Paul Sevigny and Andre [Saraiva] own it. It’s the first place I DJed. I dig Motor City because they are real there. Otherwise I don’t drink anymore, so my bar days are kinda over. Santos’ Party House is sick too. I love Spencer Sweeney, and he’s a dope-as- fuck artist!

Point of Origin: I graduated from Chandler High School in Arizona in 1991. I never went to college. I was accepted to Cooper Union, Stanford, and Art Center in Pasadena, but I was too concerned with skateboarding, making my own art, and running my T-shirt company (Dope Cloze). I made up my mind to sell the clothing line and leave. I moved to New York on Halloween of 1996. I came to New York because this is where all the artists came to be seen and make the best work of their lives. Once I got here, it wasn’t as easy as it sounded.

My first job here was at the French Roast in the West Village. I got fired from there immediately. Bartending jobs are impossible to get. One of the bartenders who worked at Odessa became my friend … or so I thought. I was dating this crazy woman from San Francisco at the time, and we would go there to drink. She was very sexy and had a flavor for the dark side of things. My bartender friend ended up sleeping with her and felt so bad about it he got me my first bartending job there. I worked the slowest shifts until one of the bartenders quit and I got Saturdays. Boy, shit changed then. I had that place fuckin’ raging! I’ve always been able to get people goin’ — it’s kinda my specialty.

Occupations: I co-own Lit and the attached Fuse Gallery. One day I stumbled across this hole in the wall called Sub Culture Gallery, which became my home. David Schwartz was the grump behind the desk and owner of this wonderful place. David made emerging artist’s dreams come true. He provided us with a space to work and show. He had the gallery till about 2001 before the lease ran out and they doubled his rent. At that point, he looked at me and said, “Do you want to open a gallery?” So we went out and found Lit and Fuse Gallery. We had to raise a retarded sum of cash to do this. So we got partners, and that was a whole other issue. What a nightmare. Oh yeah, we also signed the lease one month before 9/11. Imagine that one.

We worked construction building the bar for six months with the help of our friends. I bartended seven days a week while also building seven days a week. I thought I was going to die. We opened on 02/22/02 and have been killing it ever since. Do-it-yourself is the way we did this: No benefactors, no grants, no nothing. This bar was built by artist, for artists. Call it a throwback, but when we did this, I never heard of anyone else doing this in New York City. I also just opened a bar with David Schwartz and Chicken Head in Philadelphia called Kung Fu Necktie.

Side Hustle: I am an artist. When I came here I wasn’t of a pedigreed art background, nor did I come from money. So I showed my work in bars like a href=”” title=”Max Fish”>Max Fish, Luna Lounge, and Life. I work 7 days a week and have since I was 15 years old. I paint and make art in my studio, which my bar pays for. I curate and show artists I like, and that’s it. I buy art I like. In fact, I spend all the extra money I make on other peoples’ art. I do have a solo show in San Francisco in November this year at Gallery 3. My website is I know it’s a nonprofit URL, but hell, I never sell my work anyways!

Industry Icons: Steve Lewis is one of my heroes. For a while I had a job at the Bowery Ballroom. They hired me with no résumé. I put the first dollar in that register and worked for the Bowery family for almost five years. They run the best-run venues in New York City. I learned most of my club knowledge through them. Michael Winsch [owner of the Bowery Ballroom] is kinda my surrogate dad in New York.

Known Associates: I am very protective of the celebs that frequent my place. I believe in protecting them because they want to hang with us and come up to our level. That’s rad! I say let ’em and leave ’em be. My whole staff rules! They are all artists and musicians; creative people.

What are you doing tonight? Hangin’ out with my boys Carlo McCormick and Daze then going to the studio to paint a cop arresting a clown. I think the city is going through a transition, and it’s going to get real fun now that the economy is shit. Bye-bye yuppie cocksuckers. I just want our neighborhood back. Oh yeah, my favorite band is Slayer!

Photo: Leo Fitzpatrick