These Dogs Are Chicer than You

Snoopy and Belle wear Isabel Marant

Snoopy and his sister Belle have wardrobes so chic they’re on display at the New Museum.

Some of my favorite fashion week moments are those that pay homage to fashion with a bit of light-heartedness. They are at once abundant and not-abundant, and sometimes they’re kind of destroyed by seeming like little more than Instagram-bait. There was, however, something decidedly unpretentious and in fact, adorable about #SBIF (that’s Snoopy and Belle–Snoopy’s sister, who knew?–in Fashion) a small exhibit I went to see at the New Museum’s Sky Room.

Snoopy (Charlie Brown’s pup) came into the world in 1950–two days into the premiere of Charles Schulz’s beloved Peanuts series. In 1968, Snoopy became a soft, cuddly toy, produced by Determined Productions and by the 1980’s fans were requesting clothes for their Snoopy stuffed animals. Connie Boucher who worked at Determined decided to reach out to the highest-end couture houses. Schulz was amazed that such famed designers were willing to lend their talent, but indeed they did. Snoopy was one chic beagle. Thirty years later, Snoopy and his sis have done some collecting to say the least.

In fact, it’s so fab that if I had Belle’s wardrobe, waking up for fashion week each day would be far less stressful. Outfitted by Anna Sui to Rodarte, J. Mendel to Dries Van Noten, Isabel Marant to Costello Tagliapietra, the siblings are impeccably fashioned and look dashing in each iteration. The exhibit is a testament to the weird and wonderful whimsy that keep fashion fun.

snoopy vintage chanel
Snoopy and Belle in casual vintage Chanel

snoopy versace
Decked out in Versace

snoopy rodarte
Majorly envious of these Rodarte ensembles

snoopy phillip treacy
Super on trend with headwear this season — in Philip Treacy

snoopy bibhu

Super Moons, Kendall (Jenner) + Jewels with Eddie Borgo: #NYFW Day 5

Eddie Borgo and some of his gorgeous new jewels

What day is it again? After toughing it out in the trenches — if braid bars and yoga and ogling gorgeous fashion can be called “the trenches” — for 5+ days, we’re starting to do things like sing, “What’s the day again,” to the tune of What’s My Age Again. Clever! We know.

BTW you can follow up through #NYFW on Instagram at @alyssashapiro, @sarajanenyc, @emilyovaert, and of course at @blackbookmag.

Sara: Alyssa, where have you been at since we hung out with Eddie Borgo this morning., who I know you’ve hung out with before, but I LOVED him.

Alyssa: He’s great, isn’t he? It’s a treat to visit his showroom. There are always macarons… and I always try on jewelry. I’m not sure if I’m supposed to, but I can’t help it! It’s like playing dress up in your mom’s closet but with really cool, gorgeous, relevant jewelry, instead of, you know, pearls. Though I love pearls. June baby here.

And yes, I’m redoing my manicure as we type.

Sara: I remember saving up for one of his smaller bracelets when his line first came out so the fashion nerd in me was pretty psyched.

Alyssa: Yes! Same. So while Sara and I were hanging out with Eddie and his new collection, what did you get up to, Emily?

Emily: Saw Kendall, Georgia May Jagger, Alexa Chung, AND Anna Wintour.  Finally got some big celeb sightings in today.

Alyssa: Hanging’ with the big guns! I like how you don’t think Kendall needs a last name, but freaking Georgia May does.

Sara: Is it weird that I am significantly more excited by Alexa and Kendall than Anna? Anna sat in front of me at Bridges of Madison County a few months ago, though, and I did not watch it for a moment. Kendall (her agency?) decided she didn’t need a last name, which is so endlessly hilarious to me. Like, sweetie, we can’t forget 10 seasons.

Alyssa: BAHAHA. Yes. They’ve provided quality TV for some time now, and I say that without a hint of irony. I appreciate their contribution.

Emily: I feel like I can be on a first name basis with the Kardashians. But really, I was so excited to see Georgia. I’m a HUGE Rolling Stones fan, and she is rock royalty.

Alyssa: We can. There is no other Kim in the world. But also, Georgia May forever.

Sara: Actually just LOLed. One more celeb thing: Nicki (Minaj’s) video with the Alexander Wang models, dancing to Anaconda is one of the best things to come out of NYFW.

Anyway. My day was super chill. I spent the morning with Alyssa and Jacob for a hot sec with Eddie Borgo and then walked two blocks to the New Museum for a different kind of fashion show. They are showing an exhibit of Snoopy and his sister Belle, and shortly you will be able to read a whole article on this exhibit.

Alyssa: Hi, I did not know Snoopy had a sister.

Sara: Um, me neither, but they are an extremely well dressed sibling pair. Vintage Chanel, Gucci, and of course newer styles from the likes of DVF, VPL, Opening Ceremony, and more. I was actually really excited because I got a poster which someday, I will frame. THEN, I got a Snoopy manicure.

snoopy nails

Alyssa: But no framing today, because fashion is the only thing?

Sara: Not a chance. I walked west after the Phillipp Plein store opening and literally thought, wow, this is the first time I have been outside and not running to a show in DAYS. I was out late (for me, but I am 97) with Peyton List last night. By late, I really don’t mean that late. Like 1:30 a.m. But today I was so tired, I got a little weepy. Eek. Fashion-emergency.

Alyssa: Okay this is really important, but it’s the Super Moon. Full moon in full effect. Not even joking, be careful. There is a reason why it all feels nuts, aside from it being mid-fashion week.

Sara: Wait, that’s insane! I remember Lena Dunham ‘gramming bout that a few months ago, so I thought we were done with that ish.

Alyssa: My friend Cecilia (who is the coolest hairstylist ever so I trust her) actually just told me we have six coming up in 2015.

Emily: On that same thread, Stephen Hawkings also mentioned how the God particle he’s working with could destroy the entire universe AT ANY MOMENT HAHA. Just weird vibes all around today.


Alyssa: What.

Emily: Apparently (ginger kid voice) we don’t have the machines big enough for it to collapse the entire universe, but if Stephen Hawkings talks about potential universal doom, I’m going to pay attention.

Important alert: Watch this:

Alyssa: Well, apparently, we just all need to keep an eye out this week circa Super Moon. So now you know why you’ve been weepy. Someone (wish I could remember who) tweeted that her NYFW survival tactic was to pretend every day is Wednesday. So I’ve been trying that.

Emily: I had a more chill day today as well but really happy I got to see the Tommy Hilfiger show! The stage was set like the Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album cover, and Beatles songs played before the show started. Then when the models finally came out the playlist changed to include songs by Jimi Hendrix and the Rolling Stones with a live band playing. Maybe it’s because that’s some of my favorite music but I absolutely loved it and thought it gave an awesome energy to the show.

Alyssa: I love good show music. There’s so much about seeing a show in person that helps in understanding the collection. You gotta feel the whole vibe! I have so many good songs stuck in my head now from this week…

Okay so it wasn’t a show, but a presentation, but you guys, Theory was really good! So chic, really beautiful. Just simple, clean, so well done, so nicely staged. Just… sigh.

Emily: Yes! I loved Theory as well. It was presented really well and felt like a cool art exhibit.

Alyssa: So who wins, Snoopy or Theory?


Alyssa: My vote’s for Theory…

Skate Culture Hits the New Museum

Photo by Jerstin Crosby

Wherever you go, there the New Museum is — if you’re cruising the streets with a limited edition Chapman Skateboards skate deck designed in the shape of the Pritzker Architecture Prize winning New Museum building.

Handcrafted from Canadian maple and finished in silver with a high-gloss paint, the decks pay tribute to artists like Harmony Korine, Larry Clark, Ed Templeton, and Ari Marcopoulos, who’ve all found inspiration in the convention-breaking world of skate culture.

Only 150 were made, and they are available online and in the museum shop for $125.

Watch the limited edition deck in action below:

CHAPMAN SKATEBOARDS X NEW MUSEUM from Chapman Skateboards on Vimeo.

Playing Games And Deciding What’s Art At The New Museum

On Sunday I ventured to the New Museum, located on the Bowery. Founded in 1977 by Marcia Tucker,it’s the only museum worldwide that is exclusively devoted to presenting contemporary art from around the world. (Or so says Wikipedia.)  The current show is Polish artist Paweł Althamer with his work, The Neighbors.

A fun activity I like to do at the New Museum is play the game Art/NOT Art. How it works: while at the New Museum take various photos of items inside the facility, and have your friends determine if it’s Art or NOT Art.  Ready to play? Ok, let’s go. (Answers are underneath each photo):






















































How did you do? Not so good. See, it’s sometimes hard to determine what is art and what is NOT art!

Main image: NOT Art

A Polish Artist Wants You To Draw On The Walls (And Give Up Your Coat)

The catch-all phrase relational aesthetics covers a wide range of art, much of which doesn’t even involve free Thai curry. Pawel Althamer’s work comfortably falls under this category, as it often incorporates ordinary people (sometimes wearing gold jumpsuits) engaged in activities that are loosely choreographed by the artist. Althamer’s “The Neighbors” opens on February 12 at the New Museum, and it’s notable for two distinctive features that most contemporary art exhibitions are lacking. One is an exhortation to draw on the institution’s walls. The other is a coat drive.

For Draftsmen’s Congress, which Althamer previously debuted at the 2012 Berlin Biennale (pictured above), visitors will be able to augment the physical space of the 4th floor gallery. (No word about content limitations or censorship though–what happens if Voina shows up and wants to recreate Dick Captured By KGB?)

Althamer also plans to have local buskers perform at the New Museum, and he’s involving the New York community in other ways: Anyone who donates a coat receives free admission (normally $16, so nothing to scoff at). The coats go to nearby Bowery Mission, a hold-out from the days when the neighborhood wasn’t a land of boutique hotels and diners serving $22 steak tartare plates.


Your Feel-Good, End-of-Year New Museum News

Our heartstrings were tickled yesterday by a New Museum announcement regarding their security guard, Elon Joseph, who has racked up 30 years with the institution. In return, NuMu inaugurated the official Elon Joseph Security Console, and Joseph himself played a bit of harmonica  to celebrate the occasion.

In an interview, Joseph notes that he’s been a musical participant in several New Museum-hosted exhibitions and performances, including one by Christian Marclay in 1992. For the exhibition “The Spatial Drive,” artist Laurie Parsons had Joseph and his fellow security guards act as public educators. For the show, which was billed as having “NO WALL TEXTS, NO LABELS, NO PRINTED INFORMATION AT ALL,” the well-prepared guards were charged with explaining the identity and history of the works on display.

And finally, while doing a bit of Googling on Mr. Joseph, I came across this video from 2012 featuring three other NuMu security guards flexing their Robot dancing skills in the museum lobby. You’re going to want to see this.

Main image: New Museum director Lisa Phillips with Elon Joseph.

DJ Manero on His Art Project at the New Museum and How He Got His Name

We are always defending the ‘city that never sleeps.” The people who keep it awake, and the bedroom-community types who want it to turn in early and watch Leno, are always at odds. Nightlife supports hundreds of thousands of people, many of which are using their night careers to chase other dreams. There are the classic waitron types trying to be actors and the bartenders who paint up a storm when not swinging liquor. Roman Grandinetti, also known as DJ Manero, has deep club history and is now using all his skills to curate an art project described as Sound Graffiti.

"…the creator of CNNCTD+, Roman Grandinetti. In one month’s time he put together 100 influencers to create playbuttons for the New Museum store on May 1st, created a scavenger hunt series of SOUND GRAFFITI outlets around the city including the heart of the Fashion District and a wall on Kemare with Jason Woodside. This team has created a lot of content over the last month with connections to over 100 influencers including Pharrell Williams, Maria Cornejo, Cindy Sherman, Santigold and other icons like George Lois and other cool fun NY hits like Katz’s Deli and The Meatball Shop.”

On Tuesday, a private party at the New Museum will preview the public opening on the following day. They say the "goal of CNNCTD+100 is to showcase a cross-section of New York City culture that highlights the multidisciplinary connections of contemporary culture. Music inspires fashion, street art inspires fine art, youth inspires establishment."

It will be "Roman Grandinetti (a.k.a DJ Manero) and his team selected 100 heroes and creative leaders from various disciplines to participate in the project.

Participants: Mario Sorrenti, Maria Cornejo, Nanette Lepore, Rebecca Minkoff, Michael Pitt, Cindy Sherman, Pharrell Williams, Scott Campbell, Santigold and iconic NYC personalities and companies including Katz’s Deli, FourSquare, and Ricky Powell…. The complete list of participants won’t be revealed until the night of the event but includes dozens of big names and surprises…The public can buy tickets @ the new museum store online to come see  the show as well. There’s only 100 spots open to the public as well."

I caught up with Roman and asked him all about it:

What will people be seeing/hearing?
I think what people will see in the show is a wide range of talent and the vastness of our creative vision – we have chefs, models, DJs, producers, curators, photographers, fashion designers, creative geniuses, and we hand- selected a few people who we think are next.

Tell me about yourself. Include your journey through clubland.
I’m 25 years old and I’m a Brooklyn-born Italian. I started out promoting and selling tickets at around 13 for every teen night. Later, when I turned 18, I worked for Rob T and later Uriel – who I believe introduced us for the first time years ago. He let me pretty much run my own nights and put me at the door. My family decided it was not a good idea for me to go to school in Brooklyn anymore -and I got into High School of Art & Design. Going there changed my life. It opened my eyes to not only a whole new world, but it introduced me to a whole another world. I stopped promoting, got into the whole downtown thing – graffiti and sneakers.

I was one of the first employees at A Bathing Ape. I met every rapper you could imagine in the place. While I was there I started a sneaker event called Soledout NYC. I put three of them together from what I learned from promoting. The events did around 2,500 guests per event. The money gave me leverage to fully stop  promoting and kinda enjoy nightlife for myself. I started going to PM, Butter, Cain, Lotus all of them while being underage – haha. At that time I started to look into the DJ stuff but didn’t take the leap yet. At A Bathing Ape, Steve Rifkind walked in and changed everything. I started interning at Universal music, servicing records to DJs – which really got my gears turning to become a DJ. I was hired a month later. I worked in the marketing department with Akon, Wu-Tang, Asher Roth and had an opportunity to work with Marc Ecko and Swizz Beatz.

While I was there, Steve was a huge supporter of mine and helped me out a lot. I published my first magazine’ it was this 6×8 FREE pocket-sized magazine, dubbed connected – it had Swizz Beatz, 50 Cent, Pharoahe Monch, and Mark Ronson on the cover. I soon left Universal and worked on connected, which is now "cnnctd+”. I became very close to DJ Vitale and Sal Morale, who opened the door to the DJ world to me. They introduced me to the model promoting world. Vitale and Tommy Virtue taught me pretty much everything I know and made sure I knew what I was doing before I even played in a club. I worked with childhood friend Gezim for booking help and Uriel gave me the name "Manero” because everyone used to call me “Young Travolta” since I looked like John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever. Also, I grew up in Bensonhurst/Bay Ridge and walked the same blocks he did in the movie.

So your DJ career took off…
DJing became my main source of income. Vitale continued to push me to get better at DJing. I truly feel he’s one of the most talented DJs in this city, and I would spend hours watching him and Sal. I’d listen to all of DJ Riz’s mixtapes, trying to develop my own style, which Vitale and another big help in my career (Mel Debarge) told me would come in time. I had the opportunity to play every venue in the city, was handed money to play a record, and played for countless celebs. Some of the celebs I was allowed to talk about and some I was never allowed to.

I tried the traveling thing and, for a short period of time, really was a career DJ. I was traveling weekly and ending up in rooms I would NEVER step foot in and it kinda made me see a clear vision of what I want to do and what the life of a traveling DJ is. So I started to save a bit, get a bit more into music production, and really focused on creating a career. I fine-tuned the gigs, did what is a right fit for me as a DJ / trying to mold myself. I bought an office/studio space in Chinatown. I started out just doing remixes and slowly looked for some interesting work to work on during the day to stay creative. Got cnnctd+ rolling again and my girl’s father introduced me to the owners of playbutton to maybe help out with some marketing stuff.

Since the day we met, I have done a collaboration with HBO and How to Make it in America, created one of the first interactive street murals on Kenmare between Bowery and Elizabeth (across from the recently-opened Ken & Cook), and now I’m producing a show of 100 influencers at the New Museum on May 1st. Thus far, I have Cindy Sherman, owners of The Meatball Shop, Mark Borthwick, The Fader, Mario Sorenti, Illesteva, Andre Sariva, Katz Deli, and Scott Campbell – all showcasing works alongside myself. My girlfriend Bibi Cornejo who is a major help and supporter of cnnctd and Sal Morale.

What’s the New Museum event going to be like?
The point of the show is built off of what NYC nightlife used to be – a collective group of influential people all in the same room at the same time, all looking for an interesting time/conversation. Hopefully everyone leaves inspired, creates an idea for something new, and everyone gets to meet some interesting people

Lunch Meat, Nudity, and Anarchy: Rhizome’s Faux Gala

I’m still trying to figure out what the hell happened last night on the top floor of the New Museum, where Rhizome celebrated their annual gala in performative environment conjured by British artist Ed Fornieles, entitled NY NY HP HP. Feathers rained down from the ceiling, coating attendees in a downy fuzz; a girl in a white robe with a Friar Tuck haircut engaged in what appeared to be primal scream therapy with an older gentleman in a suit; two tall blondes engaged in what was either a poorly overacted rendition of a faux-lesbian lover’s spat, or an actual lesbian lover’s spat.

Did I mention that more people appeared to be visiting the bathrooms in pairs than you would expect at a traditional, stuffed-shirt gala? It was enough to give you hope that the art world’s bizarro, fucked-up spirit hasn’t been completely crushed by Volkswagen sponsorships and hedge-funded collectors. (You know it’s a slightly transgressive party when semi-nude models are carted out covered in lunch meat—a sort of meta-nod to a cheesy, over-the-top cliché, like much of the evening’s programming—and people actually ate the meat.)

Before the doors opened at 8 p.m., Fornieles called me to explain a bit of the concept. The gala would start off pretty normal, he said, before morphing into something a bit more anarchic; the code word I should keep in mind as a sort of personal roleplaying cue was “sociopath.” The night kicked off with a rousing speech that parodied the earnest conventions of typical gala’s: ‘thank-you-rich-folk-for-making-the-world-go-round’ rhetoric, accompanied by an equally tongue-in-cheek, slickly produced video for Rhizome that could easily have doubled as commercial for Cisco.


Then Rhizome director Heather Corcoran took the stage to deliver an actually earnest thank you speech, this juxtaposition setting the tone for NY NY HP HP in general: What was serious, and what was a joke? Who was an actor, and who was just weird, or drunk on the horrific, pre-packaged, single-serving white wine? After the speeches, four naked or mostly-naked girls got up on podiums and half-danced, partially covered in what appeared to be translucent packaging tape. A few suspiciously out of place dudes started congregating nearby, trying to muscle their way onto the podiums for a bit of unwelcome booty grinding. The mood in the room tensed, slightly—had the gala been infiltrated by well-heeled finance bros on the hunt for mythically freaky bohemians? All was clarified when the bros themselves took over the podiums, stripping down and proceeding to crotch-thrust to the beat (one of the four had perfected a particularly impressive headstand-in-his-underwear maneuver.)


As promised by Fornieles, NY NY HP HP did descend into something a bit more “anarchic.” Just before eleven most of the remaining crowd was writhing on the floor on top of each other, soundtracked by the kind of anthemic fist-pumpers you might hear in a SoulCycle class. Most of the wood and cotton structures built as a backdrop for the party were destroyed, toppled over on the floor, which was covered in the aforementioned feathers. (Where did  they come from?)

The unconventional structure of the night probably means that Rhizome raised a couple thousand bucks, rather than the untold bazillions that can be milked when you put a bunch of art-loving financial criminals in a room and feed them airplane food. But hey, I’d much rather leave a gala with feathers in my beard and a cheesy pop song in my heart.

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Images courtesy of: Jesse Untracht-Oakner


The Spectacle of Charity: The Rhizome Gala at the New Museum

British artist Ed Fornieles  first made his mark on the art world with a certain type of performative party: 2011’s Animal House , which added a highbrow bent to fraternity clichés. Tomorrow night, he’s staging a very different social gathering at the New Museum; one geared a bit more toward the 1% than the keg-standing masses. NY NY HP HP is both a faux-gala and a real fundraiser (for Rhizome’s 2013-14 programming season.) As with the typical black-tie charity event, there’s a fee structure that rewards generosity: $50 gets admission plus “a conversation with the artist,”; $500 nets three tickets plus “dedicated arm candy for the event, any gender,”; and a solid $5,000 contribution ensures the donor is the official honoree of the entire event. (You can buy your tickets here.) I asked Fornieles a bit more about this very, very, very V.I.P. occasion.

Galas in the art world tend to be a love/hate sort of thing for journalists like myself–we’re often invited, which is nice enough–free food! Free booze! –But then again, we’re there as third-class citizens, in the hopes that we’ll write about what a Fantastic Event it was. What has your own experience with galas been like, as an artist? And how did those experiences translate into NY NY HP HP?

I love the idea of the gala. It’s a spectacle mixed with a cause; it’s holding peoples hands, making them believe for a moment, and then asking for money. It’s a celebration with pizzazz and a beautiful sense of showmanship, born out of our current socio-economic system.

Your immersive party/performance is also based on certain pop cultural references, like Sex and the City. How much of New York’s nightlife and social culture would you say is actually derived secondhand, from fictional representations in film and television?

For me a gala is something that I’ve seen on TV and films. It’s more of an idea than a reality. I like the distance, it feels like being abroad, you begin to see the details the locals have forgotten about, everything becomes condensed.

$100 tickets get you access to NY NY HP HP‘s VIP area. What sort of decadent perks await the elite?

The VIP room allows the elite to be together. It also creates a sense of hierarchy as well, which I like – it gives the participants something to work towards. In addition to the VIP room, there’s also a performance in a limo outside.

The last gala I went to had David Byrne singing and awkwardly gyrating on stageOne before that featured a sort of performance-art boy band from Thailand – I’m still not sure what happened, but a lot of denim was involved, as well as some rapping, and e-cigarettes. The bar is pretty high for 21st century gala entertainment… do you have anything up your sleeve forNY NY HP HP?

I just do what other people do; I’m not interested in originality. The great thing about the gala is that there is a language: people know how to dress, behave and pose for the camera.  Every time you report on one of these things you’re compounding and slightly mutating the idea of the gala. At the moment this has become a very strong narrative, which is why I’ve chosen to use it.

Are rich people ruining the art world? Are they ruining the world in general?

I always think, “Wouldn’t it be great to be rich?”

Is NY NY HP HPsatire, celebration, or a bit of both?

I like mirrors, because you know mirrors are never passive. You get to see the spinach in between your teeth.


Get those pocketbooks out and snag your NY NY HP HP gala spot now, with profits going to Rhizome.