Parties: The Fashion Week Effect on Nightlife

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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 Yoox.com 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

The Man Repeller’s Shopbop Wish List

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Another Shopbop wish list from their “Fashion Insider” series has popped up, and this time it’s with Leandra Medine, the mastermind behind the desexifying fashion revolution, The Man Repeller. Coining terms like “Yeshiva Chic” and “Birth Control Glasses,” we really had no choice but to become absolutely addicted to the 21-year-old’s hilarious take on the latest trends. For those of us wanting to expand our anti-guy-arousing wardrobe, check out her wish list here, which includes gems like the See by Chloe Quilted Cape, the Jenni Kayne Leather T-Shirt, and the LNA Open Elbow Long Dress.

This Charlotte Ronson Pleated Ruffle Dress she also picked is questionably pretty, but it’s nothing a little awkward layering can’t fix.

Itinerary: Charlotte Ronson Shows Us Her New York

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Can you imagine actually living in Los Angeles?” asks Charlotte Ronson, the London–born, New York-–bred fashion designer, from a quiet corner of the always-bustling West Village eatery, Café Cluny. Though her twin sister, DJ Samantha Ronson, now hangs her fedora in California, the preternaturally bronzed brunette feels at home in Manhattan. “In L.A., a busy day, especially with all the traffic, involves dropping off your dry-cleaning, and running a few errands,” she says. Looking up from her beet salad, she adds, “With all that sunshine, I don’t know how they get anything done.”

In addition to helming an eponymous clothing line, a stylish range of print dresses and separates, Ronson, 33, has also collaborated with big-box retailer JCPenney on I Heart Ronson, a casual and affordable diffusion line. “I’m a city girl and my brand is for city girls, so it’s important for my pieces to reflect that lifestyle,” she says.

At her runway presentations, always a big draw during New York Fashion Week, Samantha sets up the music, her half-sister Annabelle Dexter-Jones struts down the catwalk, and her brother, musician Mark Ronson, sits front row next to their mother, socialite Ann Dexter-Jones. Not surprisingly, Ronson says her creative drive was instilled in her from a young age. “Growing up, I was very aware of fashion and music,” she says. “Being a twin, I was always trying to differentiate myself, which has sort of shaped the way I envision my clothes. My designs often reflect those periods when I was figuring out my style and identity.”

Although her aesthetic changes between seasons and collections, one constant remains: Ronson’s refusal to use, wear, or work with fur. A vocal supporter of The Humane Society of the United States’ Fur-Free campaign, whose edicts she has followed since 2008, Ronson says, “I think it’s easy for people in the fashion industry to overlook where their clothes come from, but when you hear stories about the cruelty of the fur industry, and when you see pictures of it, you just can’t erase that type of thing from your memory.” Perhaps aware that she’s struck a somber chord on a sunny day, Ronson flashes a cheery smile and leads us into Panya Bakery, one of her five favorite places in Manhattan, for mini-doughnuts.

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Dashwood Books Noho, 33 Bond Street 212-387-8520 The staff at this little photography bookshop has an incredible wealth of knowledge on the subject, so it can feel pretty intimidating when you’re here. On the other hand, their selection is great, and you can go in and learn more about a photographer and browse the store until something catches you’re eye. Kate Moss by Mario Testino was delivered to my office recently, but it’s so big I’ve been plotting how to get it home.

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Panya Bakery East Village, 8 Stuyvesant Street 212-777-1930 I used to come here between classes at NYU and get little tea sandwiches with the crusts cut off. This place has totally changed since I came here with my sister when we were in school. It used to be quaint and not nearly so slick. I guess that says a lot about the restaurant industry in New York. At least they still have mini-doughnuts, which have always been amazing.

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The Smile Noho, 26 Bond Street 646-329-5836 I love how [owners] Carlos Quirarte and Matt Kliegman have brought something different to the neighborhood. It’s really warm and inviting, and does well because it has a bit of everything for everyone. You can go to relax and have a coffee, or it can be a great place to get dinner with friends. I usually come here for brunch and have eggs and a latte, and their amazing cheesy bread—fresh ricotta and cherry tomatoes on multigrain toast. I’ve known Carlos for a while, and he always puts a smile on my face.

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Sunshine Cinema Lower East Side, 143 East Houston Street 212-330-8182 This is a classic old-school theater—not so souped-up. They have great popcorn, and they always seem to be playing good movies. I don’t really like scary movies, but I love movies that make me cry—that’s usually the barometer of whether or not it’s any good—and they always seem to be playing exactly what I need to make me feel something. It’s such a neighborhood place. You can spend the day in the area, go shopping and get a fantastic dinner, and top it off with a movie.

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Café Cluny West Village, 284 West 12th Street 212-255-6900 Aside from it being in my neighborhood, I can’t say that it’s really a neighborhood spot. It can get jam-packed. I mostly try to avoid trendy restaurants, but I can’t stay away from Café Cluny during the week. It’s such a nice place to go for breakfast meetings, or to meet up with my family. I’m all over the city, as far as the places I like to go, but my mom and my brother live in the West Village so we always end up staying in the neighborhood when we get together.

Who’s Better at Night: Paper Nightlife Awards

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Last night Paper magazine held their sixth annual Paper Nightlife Awards. It’s been touted as “our version of the nightlife Oscars” by Publisher and Editor-in-Chief David Hershkovits, and we’ve been stumbling through the parties right along with them, as they nominate the best new and noteworthy names and places. A few years ago, we emerged ill and inked, “sweating vodka with bright red hearts, swastikas, and the name ‘Audrina’ scrawled across a back in paint and permanent marker.” We’re older now, and though we’re none the wiser, we’ve decided not to post about the curious relics we woke up with this morning. Instead, we’ll simply recap who/what won, and what we’re looking forward to trying out in the near future.

BEST PARTY The Winner: Flashing Lights at 88 Palace Presented by: Byrdie Bell, Peter Davis, and Luigi Tadini

BEST RESTAURANT WITH A NIGHTLIFE SCENE The Winner: Kenmare Presented by: Jared Eng and Rachelle J. Hruska

BEST HOTEL WITH A NIGHTLIFE SCENE The Winner: The Ace Hotel Presented by: Amanda Lepore and Cazwell (Editor’s Note: Was up against the Standard Hotel and won!)

BEST DESIGNER WITH A NIGHTLIFE INFLUENCE The Winner: Charlotte Ronson Presented by: Andrew Mukamal and Becka Diamond

BEST BAR/LOUNGE The Winner: Coco 66 Presented by: Hannah Bronfman and Apache Beat (Where Brooklyn at?)

BEST CLUB The Winner: Le Bain Presented by: Diane Birch and Andy Shaw

THE PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARDS Presented by: Michael Musto and Mickey Boardman

BEST PARTY The Winner: Freedom at Le Poisson Rouge

BEST CLUB The Winner: Webster Hall

AMERICA’S BEST PARTY The Winner: School Night at Bardot, Los Angeles

(More Winners @ Paper)

Nose Rings Big for Spring ’11

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Spring shows are not traditionally big trendsetters. In fact, many of the most noticeable trends currently sweeping New York Fashion Week have roots in last season’s shows. Take, for instance, SS11’s heavily nude color palette (ahem, Celine FW10) and the run on transparency (a consistent theme for brands like Alexander Wang and Calvin Klein since FW09). But, noticeable just this past weekend, a completely new spring trend could be taking hold: nose rings. With Wang and Charlotte Ronson showing nasal piercings on their catwalks, there’s a very good chance the facial adornment will become increasingly popular come spring. Call them the new temporary tattoos.

Wang took the lead on Saturday, with mannequins sporting septum piercings making a runway statement. Ronson followed suit: “Every single girl in the show followed – and some, like Charlotte’s little sister, Annabelle Dexter Jones, even wore their faux-ring out for the rest of the night’s parties,” says Nylon. Ahead of the catwalks on this trend, however, was none other than T Magazine. The rag’s latest issue, which focuses on men’s fashion and features Stephen Dorff on its cover, likewise includes a male model in a spread called ‘Leisure Suits’ sporting his own nose jewelry.

Photo via Style.com

First Look: I Heart Ronson

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The first images of Charlotte Ronson’s capsule collection for JCPenney, I Heart Ronson, have dropped. Nitrolicious has posted the FW10 series of look book shots, and aside from an unfortunate styling penchant for over-layering—the socks with heels are beyond the pale for acceptable hosiery, the ankle bracelets a tad too much, the mixing of prints extreme—there are surely pieces of note. A short skirt with an exposed zipper is definitely worthy of a trip to Penney’s, as are the cardigans and printed dresses.

There are jeggings and skinny pants a plenty, and one particular gray top with a bow feels very Sonia Rykiel. Altogether, the real takeaway is the easily digestible cost. Most pieces fall around a $30 price point, pretty much on par with what you’ll find at the likes of Forever 21.

Where Celebs Go Out: Wes Anderson, Emmy Rossum, Charlotte Ronson, & More

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At Lucky magazine’s Lucky Shops:

● KATRINA BOWDEN – “I love Café Mogador in the East Village. It’s Moroccan, and they have these great fish and chicken kebabs and really cool dishes and olives and bread. It’s really good. And they have this fish soup that’s amazing, on special sometimes.”

● ANA ORTIZ – “I’m a very local person right now because I don’t have a lot of time away. So there’s this really groovy little place across the street from me called the Speak Low bar and it’s in Dumbo in Brooklyn, and it’s just underneath Rice. It’s a really funky, hip little bar. And they have the most delicious cocktails. As soon as I was able to drink after giving birth, I went down there. They have the best martini I ever had!”

At The Fantastic Mr. Fox press day:

● WES ANDERSON – “There’s a place in Los Angeles called Nishimura that’s a sushi place. That’s a great place. I would recommend that one.”

At launch party for Yoga Wii by Dreamcatcher Interactive Inc.:

● ANJA RUBIK – “Right now — it changes, of course — right now, I’m addicted to Matsuri. It’s a Japanese restaurant in the Maritime Hotel. I just love the food there. It’s incredible and the atmosphere they create there is so beautiful. I love it there. I love the Cipriani’s uptown. I love it. The food is so great. And it also has an incredible atmosphere. Da Silvano is great. Bar Pitti is amazing. It has Italian food, which is fantastic. I love Gobo. It’s all this organic food, vegetarian. It’s on Sixth Avenue near Eighth Street or Seventh Street.”

At Fashion Group International’s Night of Stars:

● SIMON DOONAN – “I love Il Cantinori. It’s around the corner from my house. The risotto primavera is killer!”

● EMMY ROSSUM – “I really like David Burke Townhouse. I love that lollypop tree that comes out at the end. There’s like a cheesecake lollypop tree. It looks like a lollypop, but it’s a ball of cheesecake on the end of stick and it’s in this holder that makes it look like a tree. I really like eating sushi at Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo, at like 4am.”

● TOMMY HILFIGER – “Rebecca’s in Greenwich, Connecticut. Incredibly delicious. It’s simple, but it’s really, really high-quality food and always well done — consistent. It’s prepared very well.”

● MARK RONSON – “My favorite restaurant in New York is, probably, Gino’s uptown on 60th and Lex. The angel hair with the secret sauce. They call it that. ‘Cause when you’re a kid, and anyone tells you something’s secret, of course, you like think it’s amazing. In the whole word, I don’t know. I wish — I’m really good at answering these questions, but not on the spot.”

● DITA VON TEESE – “I love going to London to eat. I love China Tang at the Dorchester because I love the Art Deco Chinese interior. I love the Wolseley in London. And I’m not familiar with New York restaurants. It seems like they’re ever changing, so …”

At Purgatorio pop-up club:

● JOSH LUCAS – “Oh, the old school — Raoul’s is one of my all-time favorites. And there’s a place right down in my neighborhood, called Broadway East, which is a really interesting new kind of organic, sexy restaurant I like a lot. Also, down by my place, Les Enfants Terribles, you know that place? A good, little fun one. Those are my three that come to mind immediately.”

● SIMON HAMMERSTEIN – “That’s a hard question. I kind of like the 18th floor of the Standard — the bar on the 18th floor. I think he’s done a really good job with that.”

● CHRISTIAN SIRIANO – “In New York, I love the Cooper Square Hotel. We have dinner there a lot, hang out there — really, really fun. But, like hang out, hang out spots — where do we go? Oh, Bagatelle, very fabulous. I’m pretty low key, so I feel like — my couch, that’s where we go to hang out and have a party.”

At Motorola’s party for Droid phone with Verizon service:

● PATRICK HEUSINGER – “I just went to Delicatessen for the first time. I really enjoyed that. We watch Sunday and Monday football at Brother Jimmy’s on the Upper West Side. Yeah, it’s great. We’ve been going there since I was in college because I went to college here in New York, too. And then, I go to the bar, Niagara, on the Lower East Side a lot. That’s one of my haunts. I probably go there once a week. One of my best friends works there, so — it’s on 7th and Avenue A.

● JUDAH FRIEDLANDER – “I don’t drink or anything. I’m a role model for children. But I do eat. The place I really crave is called Sarajevo. It’s in Astoria — Bosnian owners. It’s basically Yugoslavian food. Awesome. That’s the place I crave more than any place. Cevapcici is the main thing. It’s kind of like ground beef and lamb on skewers, and you serve it in this fresh, homemade bread. And there’s this spread called Kajmak. It’s kind of like a sour-cream spread, except a million times better. And then you put ajvar on it, also, which is a like a tomato, red pepper, eggplant spread. And then you put raw onions on it, and you’re in heaven, baby! And you got power! And you’re ready to kick ass! It’s good stuff. The other thing they have is stuffed cabbage with tomato sauce, which they call sarma. It’s in Astoria. It’s on 34th Avenue and 38th Street. It’s so good. That’s my favorite food. I like all the ethnic, little take-out type places. Those are my favorite places.”

At launch of fashion game Style Savvy for the Nintendo DS and DSi:

● CHARLOTTE RONSON – “I love Bar Pitti on 6th Avenue. It’s nice and easy. You can sit outside when the weather is nice. You always run into someone you know. For movies, the Anjelika is nice. It’s clean. I’m drawn to movies that play there. In London, I love Holland Park, Kensington High Street — great area with lots of good shops and walking distance from my parents’ home. La Famiglia is a great restaurant.”

At launch party for Scupltz shapewear and legwear:

● ROBERT VERDI –Le Singe Vert on 7th Avenue. It means the Green Monkey. I was born in ’68, the year of the monkey. I love it. Novita, on 22nd Street, off of Park Avenue. It feels very insider; the food is fabulous. There’s a scene, but it’s not sceney. Da Silvano, because I feel like a big schmaltz when I go there ’cause I’m treated better than I really am. He’s really sweet. I’m very good friends with his wife, Marisa, who treats me like family. Since I grew up in a restaurant family, it’s a feeling I like to have when I go out to eat.

Seasoned Fashion Alumnae Launch Swimwear Lines

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It’s soon-to-be swimsuit season, whether or not you’re ready for it. Fortunately, this year, new swimsuit lines are surfacing that run the gamut of price points and styles. According to WWD, Charlotte Ronson and “BFF” Shoshanna Lonstein Gruss are teaming up to work on a swimwear line. “The pair are collaborating on a bathing suit and beach line for grown-up girls and their mini-me daughters called Shoshanna Made With Love Charlotte Ronson, now retailing from $60 to $140 at stores including Bloomingdale’s, Saks Fifth Avenue, and online retailer Shopbop.com,” says WWD. Think lots of floral prints and a distinct bohemian vibe.

Meanwhile, stylist-turned-designer Lisa Marie Fernandez is making headlines thanks to her newly launched namesake swimwear collection. For Fernandez, it’s all about referencing the 80s; she fashions suits from neoprene-esque material (it’s actually the same suiting fabric that Eres uses) in styles that range from a zip-up bandeau named after Leigh Lezark to a one-piece. Also new to swimwear this season are the seasoned lingerie designers behind The Lake & Stars. The Brooklyn-based brand has introduced select styles, all of which infuse a bit of high fashion and distinct detail into suits (much like The Lake & Stars’ approach to lingerie), including a particularly cute one-piece with a detachable belt. And if you really feel like splurging on something that will catch every eye on the beach this summer, check out Selfridges’ newly stocked £2,000 crystal bikini. The suit is courtesy of Pistol Panties, and it’s perfect for sitting pretty while simultaneously screaming “fuck the recession.”

Fashion Week: Charlotte Ronson Fall ’09 Collection

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Even though the concept of trend forecasting is essential to fashion’s longevity and keeps many a stylish eye employed, nothing makes me happier than being blown away by a completely unexpected sartorial move. Case in point: Charlotte Ronson at New York Fashion Week. Known for siding with more organic patterns, fabrics, and florals that say pretty over punk, today’s runway stomped with curvaceous cut-outs, tie-up corsets, and leather everything. Albeit no one in fashion likes to age, we may just have to admit that the Charlotte Ronson girl may, in fact, have grown up from girlhood to gamine. Two leather-gloved thumbs up.