CFDA Fashion Fund Finalist Ryan Roche’s Can’t-Live-Without NYFW Guide

Photo: Matteo Prandoni/

“You know I live upstate, right?” asks designer Ryan Roche when prompted to share her absolute favorite spots to frequent in NYC.

I do. And it sounds so lovely to be able to leave this crowded, bustling, dirty city behind for greener pastures — perhaps that’s why the colors Roche uses in her collections are so clean, dreamy, soft… (Her fall/winter 2015 collection, by the way, was no exception. Monochromatic layering, and sensual, graceful knits reigned. It was lovely.)

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Photo via @alyssashapiro on Instagram

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Photo via @blackbookmag on Instagram

Though she spends the majority of her time upstate and away from all the New York City noise, Roche has to make the occasional trip into the big city — after all, the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund finalist has meetings with Anna Wintour, retailers, and a NYFW presentation to tend to. When she’s in town, these are her go to spots:

To eat: “I love Il Buco.” (47 Bond Street, NYC)

To indulge: “I love going to the Great Jones Spa — that’s amazing.” (29 Great Jones Street, NYC)

For fresh air: Central Park, where she can take her pet poodle. “It’s very gorgeous.”

Attention Winos: Puglia Wine Week Starts Today in NYC

If you like the sound of popping cork, there’s no better place to be this week than New York City. Starting today, top citywide restaurants will be featuring wines from Puglia, a southeastern region of Italy, in a promotion brought to you from winery association Wines of Puglia. (Try saying ‘Wines of Puglia’ out loud: totally fun.) The first ever Puglia Wine Week will offer wine lovers the chance to discover regional grape varieties like negroamaro, uva di Troia, and the popular Primitivo.

Participating restaurants include Il Buco on Bond Street, Gusto in the West Village, Lupa in Soho and, naturally, SD26, San Domenico’s rebirth and the eatery being touted as one of the city’s best for Italian. All 23 restaurants in on the Puglia cabal will create special menus and host a Puglian winemaker on one evening during the course of the program (it ends October 3rd). Participating wineries include Albea, Barsento, Cefalicchio, Due Palme, Tormaresca, Vallone, and Vigne E Vini.

Many Puglia wines are not presently imported to the states, but if after several glasses of D’ Alfonso del Sordo you find yourself hankering for sloppy fourths, certain bottles will be available at select wine shops, so you can, er, pop your own cork. Speaking of which, has the question of whether cork soaking is a real profession ever been answered?

Where Celebs Go Out: Christina Ricci, Leigh Lezark, Eva Amurri

Christina Ricci at the Whitney Art Party: I like Da Umberto and Il Buco for pasta, the Peking Duck House for duck. ● Leigh Lezark of Misshapes: Kenmare, they make really good gnocchi. I do like the brunch at the Tribeca Grand. ● Eva Amurri: Jumbo’s Clown Room in L.A. is super fun. I also love to have a drink and get something to eat at Gjelina, which has amazing tuna crudo and really good vegetable sides and pizza.

Chris Benz: The 18th floor of the Standard, the Boom Boom Room. Kenmare is amazing. ● Geordon Nicol: Kenmare and La Esquina. I love the corn there. ● Maggie Grace: Gjelina in L.A.. My favorite dish there is the burrata. ● Ivanka Trump: Well, now my favorite restaurant is Quattro. I’ve been living there, I love it. There’s an amazing cod that I love, and there’s a beet and goat cheese starter. ● Jennifer Esposito: I love going to Tartine, a quaint little French bistro right by where I live. I like the omelettes. ● Paul Sevigny: Daniel—get the whole tasting menu. ● Kim Carnes at the Songwriters Hall of Fame” Awards gala : We went to a wonderful restaurant, Freemans, last night. It was incredible! I’m a vegetarian, so my favorite is any vegetarian dish. ● David Foster: I just went to a restaurant on Second Avenue and 84th Street. God, it was amazing, I wish I could remember the name of it! Ask my lawyer, Alan Grubman, he was there last night. We had pasta.

Where Celebs Eat: Maggie Gyllenhaal, Brian Williams, Betty White

Maggie Gyllenhaal @ the Fresh Air Fund gala: Al di La and Il Buco: anything there! ● Maggie Rizer: At Nobu I get everything. I like the sea bass and the lettuce leaves, the tuna sashimi salad, the shishito peppers, and the Kobe beef. ● Brian Williams: I’m laughing because my wife and I go to the same two places all the time! There’s a little French place on Lexington; there’s a pasta place on 49th, Alfredo’s, because it’s right next to NBC.

Betty White at the Time100 Gala: Shun Lee Palace. ● Mark Feuerstein at the Royal Pains premiere party at the Lacoste store Fifth Avenue: Anywhere from The Waverly Inn to Smith & Wollensky. The most delicious chocolate souffle I’ve ever had was at the Four Seasons restaurant. In LA, Mastro’s or Boa. ● Henry Winkler: The Burger Joint at Le Parker Meridien is unbelievable! ● Amy Landecker: I just had lunch at Blue Water Grill, and it was fantastic. Union Square Cafe has a tuna steak that is just absolutely to die for. And Momofuku in the East Village is unbelievably excellent. ● Jill Flint: There’s one restaurant in Brooklyn that I’m absolutely loving called Prime Meats. My favorite dish is meat with a side of bacon and a little bit more meat. ● John Legend at the Sesame Workshop’s gala: Le Bernardin. I just love the whole tasting menu.

Industry Insiders: Todd Selby, Inside Man

Fashion and interiors photographer Todd Selby never dreamed he’d spend his days behind a lens, much less shooting inside the homes of creative icons like Karl Lagerfeld and Christian Louboutin. He grew up in the suburbs and worked a bevy of eclectic jobs—Tijuana tour guide, exotic flower wholesaler, and Japanese clothing designer to name a few—never having considered or even heard of a career as a photographer. All that change when Selby moved to New York and began working at Details in 2001. Selby began taking photos of his friends and their homes, developing his own portfolio in his spare time. These pictures—intimate glimpses into the lust-worthy (and often cluttered) spaces of artistic personalities—soon became the buzz of the design community by way of Selby’s photoblog, The We sat down with fashion’s favorite voyeur to talk Selby beginnings, dream subjects, and his new book, The Selby in Your Place. Details after the jump.

On what brought him to photography: I’ve enjoyed it since I was a kid. I used to do it a lot when I was growing up when my family would travel. I didn’t know about being a photographer. I knew about National Geographic and the person who did school portraits, but I never knew that an editorial or advertising photographer existed. After I moved to New York City, I got involved with different design stuff and learned photography. I worked for a magazine and I thought I wanted to work at a magazine. Then, I realized that photographers had the most fun. That’s kind of the coolest job.

On the beginning of The Selby: On the weekends, I started developing my portfolio, taking pictures of my friends and their homes. Some of the same people that I shot for beginning The Selby were the same people who I shot for my portfolio in 2001.

How The Selby went from personal project to what it is today: I worked for a long time in media work and in London doing portraiture. For magazines I would do a portrait of a band, do a picture of an author in their home, do some celebrity portraiture—I tended to shoot people in their spaces. I just thought it was a lot more interesting than just shooting someone in the studio in a space that had nothing really to do with that person. Then, I wanted to do a personal project based on my interests. So, I just started out doing The Selby as something for myself. I thought it would be kind of cool and fun.

On his blog becoming popular: In the beginning, nobody looked at it. It was just me and my friends. By word of mouth, they’d send it to their friends. Then, other blogs talked about it. It just started getting really, really popular. As it became more and more popular, people started e-mailing me and sending pictures of their places.

His first subjects: I’ve been excited by a lot of the people I’ve photographed, to be honest. Especially in the beginning, when I was just starting out and people were just like, “Yeah. It’s cool. Come.” In the beginning, it was just me and my friends. I’d say, “I’m doing this project. As a favor to me, just let me do this thing.” Then, people started being down with it and excited about doing it and that was really exciting to me.

On the 9-5: I don’t miss any of that stuff. I feel like it’s fun and good and healthy for people to do a lot of different stuff and try things out. I think that I did that and it was really fun. I think my job right now is really amazing. I get to travel. I get to meet really interesting people, go to their house, find out all about them. It’s intellectually stimulating for sure. It’s really fun and artistic and creative. It’s pretty awesome.

The most lust-worthy space he’s photographed. I’m not a very jealous or envious person. I just go in. I’m happy with my own place and my own things. I approach it more as an interest in how other people live. I feel like the Neistat Brothers who are in the book have a really cool office space. I think I was the most inspired by their workspace. In my space, I have all these hard drives and cords that drive me really crazy, but they actually took all the cords and tapes and everything and made it into a cool display.

Dream subjects: I’d really like to shoot the Obama family in the White House. I’d like to shoot the astronauts living in the international space station. I really want to shoot Ralph Lauren and Bruce Weber. I think he’d be really interesting. Those are my top picks.

If time and space weren’t an issue… I’d like to shoot me and my family when I was a kid.

On his new book: I’ve worked on it for so long. Most of the shoots in the book have never been published before. I put a lot of love into that thing. I think it’s a lot of fun. It’s not just my website in a book form. I think it really adds a lot to the whole thing.

Upcoming projects: I do a fair amount of advertising. I shoot for Vogue Paris. It’s a style and home kind of thing. I did my first shoot for American Vogue recently, which was really cool. I do a lot of cool editorial and I just always try to keep working on my own website and doing a new post every week.

Go-to spots: The Smile for dinner. You know The Smile on Bond Street? And, Il Buco for lunch, also on Bond Street. I go to Saltie on Metropolitan in Williamsburg. I was just there today. I love the Jane. Now that it’s reopened that’s exciting for me.

Image by William Gentle.

Where Celebs Go Out: Mena Suvari, Selma Blair, Olivia Palermo

Mena Suvari at the Zac Posen for Target shopping party: “Sushi at Nobu.” ● Ginnifer Goodwin:Candle 79 here. Madeleine Bistro in L.A.” ● Selma Blair: “I love the Savoy and I love Minetta Tavern.” ● Zac Posen: “My favorite restaurant Kai, just closed in New York. And I’m very saddened about Takashimaya. I love Casa Lever has the best steak and great pasta. It’s really good Italian.”

Patricia Field:Il Buco, around the corner from my house. Agnanti is a Greek restaurant out in Astoria. There are some very good Japanese restaurants that I love on East 43rd Street, between 2nd and 3rd. There’s a great saki bar there called Sakagura. Next door, there’s a really good Japanese barbecue, and across the street, one of the best sushi restaurants in the city.” ● Joe Zee: “Minetta Tavern. But my old standby restaurant for the last 15 years is Bar Pitti. ● Olivia Palermo:Indochine.” ● Theodora Richards: “At the moment, it’s Sant Ambroeus, down on the west side. The mille-feuilles—I don’t know how to pronounce the French word for a thousand leaves—but the dessert, this pastry thing, is phenomenal, my new favorite.” ● Alek Wek: “Let’s say like Nobu downtown in Tribeca or Schillers, on the Lower East Side.” ● Kate Gosselin: @ the Discovery Channel’s 2010-11 Upfront reception. “I’m afraid if I tell because it’ll ruin my spots, and then I can’t go there anymore because the paparazzi will get me! I’m just kidding. You caught me off guard. In New York, I love Le Colonial

BlackBook Staff Picks: Dining, Drinking, Shopping, & Staying

Here at BlackBook, we pay a lot of attention to where cool customers go out — bars, clubs, restaurants, shops, hotels, you name it. So why not flip the frame and let you see where we go out? Here’s a periodically updated, exhaustive list of hotspots currently favored by everyone at BlackBook, from the mighty bosses down to the humble interns, from the charming local lounges around the corner to the jet-setting temples of luxe living.

BLACKBOOK MEDIA CORP ● Chairman – Bob Hoff, Voyeur (LA) ● CEO – Ari Horowitz, W South Beach (Miami) ● Associate Publisher – Brett Wagner, Da Umberto (NYC) ● Director of Finance and Operations – Tim Umstead, Aquagrill (NYC) ● Corporate Counsel – Drew Patrick, El Ay Si (NYC) ● Executive Assistant – Bridgette Bek, Manhattan Inn (NYC)

EDITORIAL ● Creative Director – Jason Daniels, Morimoto (NYC) ● Vice President Content – Chris Mohney, This Little Piggy Had Roast Beef (NYC) ● Senior Editor – Nick Haramis, Freemans (NYC) ● Features Editor – Willa Paskin, The Sackett (NYC) ● Writer-at-Large – Alison Powell, Jean Philippe Patisserie (Las Vegas) ● Nightlife Correspondent – Steve Lewis, subMercer (NYC) ● Assistant Editors – Ben Barna, LeVack Block (Toronto), Cayte Grieve, Vince (NYC), Foster Ethan Kamer, Sel De Mer (NYC), Eiseley Tauginas, Maialino (NYC) ● Copy Editor – Michèle Filon, Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink (Miami) ● Editorial Interns – Megan LaBruna, Crash Mansion (NYC), Averie Timm, Madiba (NYC), Hillary Weston, Les Halles (NYC), Annie Werner, DBGB (NYC), Ashley Simpson, Barcade (NYC), Michael Jordan, Destination Bar & Grill (NYC)

ART ● Art Director – Amy Steinhauser, Union Pool (NYC) ● Assistant Designer – Serra Semi, Five Points (NYC) ● Photography Assistant – Stephanie Swanicke, Provocateur (NYC) ● Freelance Designer – Krista Quick, Fornino (NYC)

FASHION & BEAUTY ● Fashion Editor – Christopher Campbell, Grand Sichuan International (NYC) ● Fashion Interns – Jillian K. Aurrichio, Greenhouse (NYC), Anabele Netter, Il Buco (NYC), Nicole Applewhite, Vanilla Bake Shop (NYC), Deanna Clevesy, Tao (NYC)

ADVERTISING ● Senior Account Executive – Dina Matar, Blue Duck Tavern (Washington, DC) ● Executive Director, BlackBook Access – Gregg Berger, Charles (NYC) ● Advertising Director – Michelle Koruda, Supper (NYC) ● Detroit Account Executives – Jeff Hannigan, The Lodge (Chicago), Kristen von Bernthal, Pukk (NYC) ● Midwest Account Executives – Susan Welter, Old Town Social (Chicago), Andrea Forrester, Tuman’s (Chicago) ● Southwest Account Executive – Molly Ballantine, The Tar Pit (LA) ● Northwest Account Executives – Catherine Hurley, Flora (Oakland), Shawn O’Meara, Nopalito (San Francisco)

MARKETING ● Marketing Manager – Julie Fabricant, Eponymy (NYC) ● Partnerships & Promotions Manager – Andrew Berman, Bozu (NYC) ● Interns – Adam Meshekow, Ronnybrook Milk Bar (NYC), Kayla Gambino, Grom (NYC), Marie Baginski, Stir (NYC)

DIGITAL ● Director of Development – Daniel Murphy, Standard (Miami) ● Developer – Bastian Kuberek, Greenhouse (NYC) ● Developer – Dan Simon, Hudson Terrace (NYC) ● Designer – Matt Strmiska, Uchi (Austin) ● Developer – Sam Withrow, Phone Booth (San Francisco) ● Quality Assurance Engineer – Sunde Johnson, Ginger’s Bar (NYC) ● Mobile Developer – Otto Toth, Alloro (NYC)

Industry Insiders: Donna Lennard, Il Buco’s Proprietor

New York native Donna Lennard is the owner of Bond Street’s Il Buco. The story of this neighborhood favorite began 15 years ago when Lennard fell in love with a “crazy Italian,” Alberto Avalle, and they went into the antique business together. The antique store eventually turned into the local produce oriented restaurant. Last Spring, Donna had an unusual opportunity to eat, drink and ski through the French Alps, which inspired her to pursue a magical alternative for her clients caught in the whirlwind of life in NYC. Il Buco has teamed with Europe’s premier private ski guide Luca Boniciolli, offering travelers a week of skiing within Courchevel’s Trois Vallées. Guests reside in luxurious accommodations and indulge in meals crafted by Il Buco’s Chef, Ignacio Mattos paired with the wine selections of Wine Director Paul Lang. Lennard, who has also directed a number of short films, including La Raccolta about harvesting olive oil in Italy, spoke with us about the restaurant, the project in Courchevel and her films.

How did you transition from filmmaker to restauranteur? I did some independent features that never saw the light of day. I did some shorts that went to Sundance and then I met this crazy Italian about 17 years ago and opened this restaurant/antique store. We started as an antique store.

How did you meet this crazy Italian? Alberto and I met while working in a restaurant, between film projects. I was bartending, and he was that crazy waiter and we met and fell in love. He wanted to either move back to Europe or export Americana to Spain or Italy. So we collected a boatload of antiques until we couldn’t fit anything in our apartment anymore. Then we started looking at a place to do this export business and I happened upon this space one after just driving by. I saw that Spectra film lab was opening up next door, which is where I got my stills processed, so I pulled over and I saw these sculpted lighting fixtures in the window and met the owners. We took a week and shopped with some dealers and we scraped the paint off the floor and painted the walls and started an antique store. We applied for a wine and beer license and six months later that arrived. It was all very serendipitous. We always said the space had an incredible energy and it really carried us.

Did you have a passion for antiques before you opened the store? No, we just had this idea to export. We knew very little about the antique business. We taught ourselves as we went. We started with $70,000 and a dream. At first, we went shopping with our dealers near the Finger Lakes and filled up two 17-foot trucks and brought them down.

How did the antique shop evolve into the restaurant? It was very organic, and I think it had been a longstanding dream of Alberto’s to have a restaurant. Even though he said it was never going to be a restaurant, it was going to be this kind of wine bar with a lot of food and tastings. Little by little it morphed and we kept changing the décor. We would go to Italy and bring things back. Once we became a restaurant, we stopped selling antiques within two or three years. And then I went back to filmmaking and made the film about the harvest. That also happened very spontaneously. Alberto told me stories about this beautiful tradition, and one year I said I was just going to go during the harvest with a camera and a friend and see what happened. We made a very sweet, little film just a half hour long. Shortly after that, I became pregnant and had a baby. Life changed and it’s been very busy so I haven’t been doing any filmmaking since then but I hope to go back to that someday. It’s still a great passion.

What are the products that you continue to sell in the store? We have a product line of olive oil, salt, and vinegar.

Where does the salt come from? It comes from Sicily. We make our vinegar with a beautiful family outside of Modena. One day I’ll complete that trilogy of films on salt and vinegar when my son gets a little further into his schooling. In the meantime we’re looking at doing a new project, a small wine bar in the neighborhood.

What made you decide to expand? Honestly, it’s a project that I’ve been interested in pursuing for the last six or seven years and I just haven’t found the right space and there hasn’t been a great need to do something else. Every project has its own journey and this restaurant has been here for 15 and a half years

Does Alberto still have a hand in business here? No. I’m the sole proprietor here. I think in some sense he’s always a bit involved because we’re dear friends and we communicate and share our ideas. I’m sure he’ll be very supportive of the next project. We talk about having our own wholesale business that would support both of our restaurants so in the future there could be a lot of cross-pollination, cross connection. In the meantime he seems to be doing really well in San Francisco with his restaurant, 54 Mint.

Who is your current chef? Ignacio Mattos came to me through a very dear Argentinean chef friend of mine named Francis Mallmann who just did a beautiful book on cooking with fire. Ignacio was sort of a protégé of his and we were introduced four years ago.

And what’s your main focus for the seasonal menu and the daily menu? On the seasonal menu, everything’s local. All the produce is raised without pesticides or fertilizers, and it’s as sustainable as possible. All our meat comes from farmers upstate or in Virginia and North Carolina. All the meat is raised with no hormones or antibiotics.

Give us a preview of the Courchevel experience. Ignacio’s rustic cuisine perfectly complements the enchanting experience of chalet life in the Alps. Every meal is personalized using the freshest ingredients to re-create the simple, flavorful elegance enjoyed at il Buco in NYC. Luca brings his tremendous lifetime experience in skiing – off-piste and heli-skiing – mountaineering and worldwide travel to his Europe-based organization which offers custom-crafted ski adventures for beginners and seasoned skiers alike. Everyday is a new and personalized experience with the option to ski or not. Whether it is to take a helicopter to Chamonix to ski the Vallée Blanche or to have an in-house cooking lesson and wine tasting, this is a full service holiday with all of the accommodations of a 5-star luxury hotel.

Uncork New York!: City Winery Hosts an Empire State Wine Fest

Climbing aboard the locavore bandwagon is tricky for Manhattanites. Most of our acreage is covered in concrete. And heavily populated. Greenmarkets are a help, although less so when it comes to wine. There’s only one homegrown vintage, “Château Latif,” cultivated in a backyard on E. 92nd Street. It’s not widely distributed. Expanding our immediate options is City Winery, Michael Dorf’s newish restaurant slash concert hall slash full-on winemaking operation. There’s some precedent for Manhattan fermentation. Our humble island was the first spot in the state to cultivate grapes, with the Dutch putting down vines in the 1600’s. The rest of New York soon followed, creating what’s now a thriving wine industry.

The last three decades have been particularly fruitful, with the number of Empire State wineries increasing by a factor of ten. To sample some of those vintages without racking up the miles on the Zipcar, head to City Winery this Sunday, December 6, for Uncork New York!. Nearly three dozen wineries will be represented, from Long Island to the Hudson Valley to the Finger Lakes and beyond. You can sample some 100 wines, and should you have any locavore entertaining coming up, buy some to take home. There will also be Empire State cheese, ice cream, bread, and fruit, among the dozen-plus purveyors. Tickets are $45 and also include sample tastes from NYC restaurants. Park Slope fave Palo Santo will be serving anticuchos de puerco, Jimmy’s No. 43 is planning a rabbit cassoulet, and Il Buco is covering dessert, plating panna cotta with aged balsamico. That’s one of the nice things about living in Manhattan: local is so often world class.