Take a Moment to Chill With Disclosure and Sam Smith’s New Music Video for ‘Omen’

Omen Music Video
 Sam Smith in the music video for “Omen”, courtesy Island Records

Palm fronds and glitter accentuate the laid back vibe of this new music video.

Hitting a slump at your desk this Monday? Take a few minutes to chill out with Disclosure’s music video for their new single “Omen,” a Sam Smith collaboration from their upcoming album Caracal that we are absolutely living for. Super chill with gorgeous visuals and a beat that makes you want to dance at your desk.

The Ryan Hope-directed clip (part two in a four part dystopian saga) has us feeling a mix of 54 and Blade Runner, set in Indochine. The second collaboration between electro-duo Disclosure and Sam Smith, following 2012’s sleeper hit “Latch” that propelled both artists to fame, it’s sure to have similar success. We’ve been searching for the Song of the Summer, and while this is coming a little late, we may have finally found it.

“It was really exciting,” Disclosure’s Howard Lawrence said in a statement. “We had three whole days to hang out with Sam and write, which are two of my favorite things to do.”  

Watch the music video for “Omen” below, and be on the look out when Caracal drops in late September.

Industry Insiders: Richard Shemtov, Design Scion

Richard Shemtov is the founder of contemporary design firm Dune, which started as a small furniture production facility in Red Hook back in ’96 and has since grown into an internationally recognized studio in Tribeca and New Jersey. The Parsons graduate describes himself as “genuinely optimistic, a problem solver and always up for a challenge,” and constantly pushes boundaries with his cutting edge designs for city living. Tips for city living and where to find inspiration after the jump.

On a typical day: After I take the kids to school, I arrive at work on Wooster Street around 8:30 am. I begin by responding to emails and have scheduled conference calls each morning. I then head over to our factory in Harrison, NJ to check over our production schedule and look at some of the new furniture pieces we are building, all of which are in various stages of completion. A couple of hours later I’m back in the city and have lunch around 2 or 3pm. Afterward, I’m in meetings with clients, and then between 5-7pm there is some creative time as I work with our design team on the development of their custom furniture drawings. I get home around 8pm and have dinner with the family and in bed by midnight.

On keeping his head in the game: Getting married has definitely changed my life. It’s kept me grounded, which allowed me to grow as a designer and refine my company’s direction.

On trends in the design industry: The most positive design trend I see this year is a decline in the interest of “limited edition” furniture. It’s a dismal trend that alienates the public with a message that contemporary-designed furniture is precious art and should be collected rather used.

On Dune in 2010: We’ll complete our new 300-page Dune furniture catalog later this year and there will be new collaborations with some incredible designers for new projects in 2011.

On his dream project: I’d like to design and furnish the interiors of an entire city. We got close a couple of years ago but the developer lost his funding with the recession.

On the difficulties of getting started in the ’90s: The biggest challenge was just starting from scratch. After the initial introduction of our first furniture collection, we had to figure out a way to make these new designs relevant to people and give them good reason to buy it. Over the years it’s been a constant and ongoing reinvestment in new product introductions and marketing efforts.

Tips for furnishing small city apartments: If you’re furnishing a small space, definitely look for furniture that can serve multiple functions and has smaller-scaled proportions. I’d also keep them tight to the perimeter, and don’t overcrowd your floor space.

Design basics that every apartment should have: Every apartment should have either white or light-colored walls and really good lighting. It’ll not only enhance your mood but also any furniture you are planning to use.

On finding inspiration: I constantly look at the market for what’s missing. It’s the lack that initiates the design process for me. I then draw my inspiration from contemporary art, pop culture, film, or my dreams. I believe there’s a progression of design from where we’ve been culturally as a society and where we should go next.

On the ‘Dune lifestyle:’ The Dune lifestyle is meant to be honest, provide comfort, and allow people to tailor the furniture to their needs and personality through our unique customization.

Favorite design piece: A few years back, we needed a comfortable sofa-bed that could be brought in through our 27” wide doorway. I designed one that worked really well. We’ve since added the piece to the collection, called “Newborn”, and it’s been very successful.

Favorite city for design: From a design perspective, New York is my ultimate favorite city. It’s a creative powerhouse that’s full of design energy. The shortage of significant architecture is undeniable but there are many sensational interiors here in restaurants, hotels, and cultural institutions.

Go-tos: Bar Pitti is my absolute favorite, I could eat there every day. Simple ingredients prepared flawlessly. I also enjoy Café Mogador for Moroccan. They make a stellar Lamb Tagine. There’s Omen for Japanese, love their sashimi.

Gilles Mendel Talks Fur, France and Reinvention

In 2003, Gilles Mendel set forth to revamp J. Mendel, the Parisian furrier house that his family has owned and run for five generations, since 1870. He did so by launching a prêt-à-porter line and shipping headquarters to New York City. No easy task, Mendel’s work and business direction has proved successful. The label quickly expanded its global presence and since 2004 has presented at the New York Fashion Week. Mendel was admitted into the Council of Fashion Designers of America. Mendel’s couture has graced the pages of nearly every high-powered fashion magazine and has sashayed down the red carpet on such starlets as Kyra Sedgwick, Demi Moore, Mischa Barton, Kate Hudson and Jennifer Lopez. This Thursday, February 25, at 7PM, the talented designer will speak at Florence Gould Hall as a part of French Institute Alliance Française’s Art de Vivre series. The discussion will be moderated by famed fashion guru Mary Alice Stephenson. We hounded him down after the fashion week chaos to hear what he has to say…before he says it.

In 2003, you launched the J. Mendel Prêt-à-Porter line. Can you tell us about your experience? It was like a dream when my clients began asking for ready to wear pieces to go with my fur. Designing fur I always had a very strong point of view and I viewed the ready to wear collection as a natural extension of that vision. Your family has been in furrier business for quite some time. What’s it like to carry the torch of five venerable generations? I always challenge myself to keep up the high standards of my family tradition- they were extraordinary, master artisans who took as much pride in the making of the garment as they did in the design. J. Mendel is very much a French brand, how do you attempt to embody this legacy in your designers? I will never lose my Parisian aesthetic. It’s part of my identity. You work with a rich mix of materials ranging from tweeds, to silk and fur to make beautiful garments. What tactics do you use? Luxurious and innovative fabrics always inspire my collections — I love challenging myself to bring the unexpected to these materials. One year you collaborated with Justin Giunta of Subversive Jewelry. Any plans for more collaborative work in the future? I’m always looking for interesting new collaborations. You’ve been showing at fashion week New York since ’04, how has this benefited the label? Being part of fashion week was essential for my brand global. The attention that we receive is really incredible -– and it never hurts to celebrate the new collection with a little Champagne. Who would be some ideal attendees for your runway shows? The right mix of top editors, our very special clients and the celebrities who are fans! What is your day-to-day schedule like? 6:00 a.m. I wake up, hopefully work out and I’m definitely at the studio by 8:00a.m. Work, work, work. Sketches, fittings, store business and the evenings always vary. Where do you go to escape? Aigua Blava in Catalonia near Barcelona with my childhood friends. What are some of your favorite places to dine, drink and shop? Omen for noodles, Eto En for sushi, 11 Madison for French and the best martini; and for shopping of course I go to Bergdorf’s. For more information on Thursday’s talk with Gilles Mendel at the Florence Gould Hall, visit http://www.fiaf.org/events/winter2010/2010-02-fashion.shtml. Tommy Hilfiger and Marc Jacobs will also be partaking in French Institute Alliance Française’s Art de Vivre series with talks later this spring

Photo: Kevin Sturman

Industry Insiders: Tommy Saleh, Grand Vizier

Tommy Saleh, creative director for New York’s Soho Grand and Tribeca Grand hotels, is the mellow curator of coolness who’s been keeping both downtown institutions grand since they opened in 1996 and 2000, respectively. With a keen eye for talent, the soft-spoken, Egyptian-born Saleh consistently hosts the most groundbreaking musicians, artists, and scene-making cultural figures at his twin lairs. If you run into Saleh at a party in New York or LA or Istanbul or Marrakesh or London — you know you’re in the right place.

What’s your job title? I’m the creative director of the Tribeca and Soho Grand hotels, the food and beverage director, as well as the marketing and promotional director.

What do you need to know to do your job? Many accomplished people don’t know what they want. They’re too busy to know. It’s being their entertainment consultant, not just supplying what they ask for but letting them know what they want. It’s knowing that when they ask for a Japanese restaurant recommendation that you send them to Hasaki and not Nobu because Nobu is Asian fusion. It’s knowing what that particular person really wants.

How have these hotels remained successful? It’s not just about the people who come at stay at the hotel for us. It’s about the people who live around us.

How’d you start in the business? I have been working in hotels since my college years. I lived in Santa Barbara and Honolulu. I loved being a concierge and using the seven languages that I speak. I’m not a promoter but I always like a good party and feel there’s a lack of good parties. Back then there were good parties. People weren’t just looking to capitalize or cash in. There weren’t the situations where this guy would never come in but he is willing to buy this many bottles. So they’d let him in and act like his friend. There are people who stuck to their ideas like Nur Khan. I didn’t sell out. After 9/11, everyone was doing bottle service, and I wanted to give people value for their money, so we started doing shows.

What kind of shows? Bands like Bloc Party, Soulwax, Mud, Milo, Hot Chip, Peaches, and Miss Kitten. We wanted to give people entertainment, and we had them before people ever heard of them. We did events with Visionaire and Chanel and did it downtown style.

What are some of the special events that you handle for the hotels? We have a movie theater and have film events that support the local community. There’s the gallery where we do four proper art installations a year, and we have bands play in the Sanctum regularly. We have 15 fashion shows during Fashion Week. Then I also oversee the magazine that has a quarter million subscribers. We also do an event called “New York, New York” every six months in Paris. We do it with Derek Blasberg from Style.com. All New York-originated companies get involved, and we fly everyone involved over.

What was your first New York job? My first job was as a concierge at the Soho Grand. It was the year the hotel opened, 1996. Being a concierge is all about connections, getting tickets for every sports event, every music concert — sold out or not — getting a plane at a moments notice to fly to an island. I had those connections and still do. I can make things happen.

Your favorite thing about New York style? New York has become like Sex and the City with everyone walking around in Jimmy Choo shoes thinking they’re so cool. These people have no taste. They just go to the Chole store and buy a whole outfit. This has been going on in New York for the past ten years, but it’s also been going on in London, Paris, and Spain. I like it when it is a Chanel dress with YSL shoes and vintage accessories. That is what true New Yorkers do. People can have no money but get creative.

Which city has it right? In London they’re so passionate about music and fashion. Berlin is full of either rave-type places or more Sex and the City places. The music is mostly techno and soulless. Barcelona is kind of dorky. I still like the music that comes from New York, and Stockholm produces great music. Cities who produce good music seem to get it.

Your favorite city? No matter how bad New York gets there is still such variety and accessibility. You can still go to five or six places until you find what you’re in the mood for that night, because of New Yorkers themselves. New Yorkers talk about the little designer whose dresses they love. They talk about an indie band they heard in Brooklyn. They talk about the tiny Italian restaurant that has the best manicotti.

What is on your radar music-wise? New Rock infused with electronica. Kitsune, Friendly Fires, Phoenix.

Who are your favorite artists? Kenzo Minami, Nisian Hughes, Poppy De Villeneuve.

Where do you hang out? Upstairs at Bouley, Omen, Hasaki, Pepolino, Marlow & Sons.

What are you doing tonight? Going to John DeLucie’s restaurant on Charles Street.

Something people don’t know about you? I haven’t even cooked toast.

Industry Insiders: Leading the People’s Revolution

Kelly Cutrone, the founder of People’s Revolution, embarked on her first public relations venture when she realized that fashion was the new rock ‘n’ roll. With the help of now-partners Robyn Berkley and Emily Bungert, People’s Revolution is a leading bi-coastal marketing and branding firm and a frontrunner in the fashion industry. The one-time affiliates of The Hills have their hands full for the fall ’09 collections — handing names such as: Yigal Azrouel, David Delfin, Buckler, Mara Hoffman, Nicholas K, Sergio Da Vila, Alexandre Herchcovitch, and Chado Ralph Rucci. The lightning-speed lifestyle required for the job has earned the firm a tough-as-nails reputation, but it occasionally takes a toll on the team. Upon arriving at the People’s SoHo office to sit down with BlackBook, Emily Bungert announced that her bi-annual Fashion Week ailment was already creeping in. “I’m losing my voice,” she said, “I lose my voice every Fashion Week. It’s just usually not two weeks before … it’s usually right in the middle or towards the end.” Read on for more from the power trio on the days leading up to the mayhem, nostalgia for Fashion Weeks past, and, without doubt, The Hills.

What’s this soon-to-be-legendary event that I’m hearing about? Kelly Cutrone: This year at Fashion Week, we’re doing three designers in one show. It’s the first time ever in the tents at Bryant Park that they’ve allowed one time slot for three different designers.

What’s the setup? KC: The setup is that there will be three of them, and they’re all going to have separate shows. So as one finale goes, and the lights will go down; there will be a sign change, and then the lights will come up, and the next designer with a music change will come out. It’s really fast. Robyn Berkley: All of the editors have to sit through all three shows. KC: The backstage will be crazy because there will be 80 models and three sets of hair and makeup.

Was it one invite? RB: No, three different invites.

How would you describe yourself in work mode? RB: Perfectionist, conscientious, innovative, and ambitious. KC: I’m brutally honest. In my role, I’m the leader.

Tell me some memorable Fashion Week stories. RB: One of our designers decided to change the number for the RSVP line that we had set up for him to his cell phone number. At the last minute. Emily Bungert: At the Sass and Bide show, when we were filming The Hills, the designer wouldn’t start the show until her friend — who was flying in from Australia — arrived. RB: Emily’s out front. I’m on the headset, and everyone is screaming at us to start the show. EB: The friend was flying in just to see the show from Australia, and the models are literally lined up, ready to start. The designer is just refusing to start, and we had to argue over the headset and decided that we had to start at that very second, and couldn’t hold the show anymore. Her friend didn’t end up getting to see it. RB: Another one for me is when we did the Heatherette show. They had to close the front of house, and there were still close to 1,000 people outside. Everyone was screaming. And then, we had never done production, and we had to call the show for Heatherette. I wasn’t there for the runthrough, so I get on the headset, and I’m like, “Okay, what’s the whole idea for the show?” All of a sudden, there are all these little fairy girls who are maybe ten, who are walking out with Amanda Lepore and there are dancers — and it was a full-on choreographed routine, and I had no idea. That was pretty dramatic. EB: One year at LA Fashion Week, we did three shows back to back in three hours, and it was all being filmed for The Hills. Andre Leon Talley was there floating around. He’d never been to LA Fashion Week before, and he sat backstage while we were calling the show. He stayed for our shows and sat in the fourth row — he never sits in the first row, he sits in the back. We weren’t completely sure why he was there.

Who’re your favorite clients? RB: I love Jeremy Scott’s shows. The energy there, the crowd, the music … Michel Gaubert does all of the music. It’s always really powerful. EB: Andrew Buckler has really good shows. He has really great models, so there are always a lot of cute boys floating around. That’s the fun thing about doing menswear every once in awhile. He loves to pull some little tricks, and he’s been known to have interesting things happening on the runway. One season, the theme was spaceships and aliens. It was in Bryant Park, and there, everything has to be done by the book, and you have to have insurance for everything. We get to the show that day, and backstage, there are these huge stilts. He didn’t tell us about it, but he hired a guy to be an alien, and the alien had to walk on six-foot stilts, and the stilts were taking up the entire backstage. The people at Bryant Park came up to us and were like, “You need insurance for these stilts.” And there was also a unicycle, and a man in drag was going to be riding it in a corset and a hat and a full face of makeup. But that’s like a typical thing that would happen to us. RB: We did a really good job for Yigal Azrouel when he did his first menswear presentation. He got an amazing response, and this season, he’s nominated for the GQ designer of the year award.

What are your fashion staples? RB: My new favorite jeans are the KSUBI Spray-On jeans, and anything Yigal Azrouel. I wear Chloe dresses. Lots of chain jewelry and big bangles. And the Alex and Ani Halo Necklace. They’re launching on ShopBop. I love Jo de Mer swimwear, and Camilla & Marc — who just launched their new swimwear collection. It’s the best thing I’ve seen in years. I only shop at one store in New York, called No.6. EB: I wear the Alternative Apparel Burnout Tee. We’re all obsessed with the Rag & Bone riding pants. RB: We wear black and white all the time, or else I wear Jeremy Scott.

Where are your places? KC: I go nowhere cool, first of all. Except for my clients’ places. I love Southside, Webster Hall. I love the Sunset Marquis hotel. I’m their publicist, and they’re my oldest client. We’ve been working together for 13 years. I love this hotel in Hermosa Beach called the Beach House, which nobody knows about. It’s the un-Malibu. It’s really beautiful and you can sleep on the second or third floor and have your door open and have the ocean rock you to sleep. I love this little, tiny restaurant on MacDougal street called Monte’s for Italian food. I am also known to pop into Little Italy and go to Angelos. I like it because the maitre’d treats fashion people like shit and is only nice to the mafia. He’s always like, “What you want?” He screams at me. And that, for some reason, I love. I love Savore, which is another unknown restaurant in SoHo, across the street from Mezzogiorno. And they have homemade foccacia. I go to Barolo once in awhile on West Broadway. I only go to places in a five-block radius. I love the Carlyle Hotel for the lobster sandwich, when I want to feel grown up. I love Sullivan Street Bakery. I like Omen, the Japanese restaurant. We love Lucky Strike. They’re like our living room. We love Sanctuary Tea. It stayed in business in a haunted space. Before they took it over, no one could stay in business there for more than six months. They give us free lattes during Fashion Week. RB: My best friend just opened up Charles. I love Nobu. I likeBar Pitti. I like Supper. I like Southside and Beatrice. I like Smith & Mills and Café Habana. I love the Vinegar Factory. We also like the backroom at Raoul’s. EB: La Esquina is my favorite restaurant. We like GoldBar. I love Café Gitane and Freemans. There’s a great restaurant in Williamsburg called Aurora. They opened one in Manhattan, but I like the one in Williamsburg better.

What is one thing that people may not know about you? EB: Well, I’m from Minneapolis, Minnesota. I don’t think that people would expect me to be from Minnesota. RB: I always wanted to be in the circus. I wanted to be a trapeze artist. EB: Something that people don’t know about Kelly Cutrone is that she’s a really talented ice skater. She used to compete when she was younger. We were ice skating with her in Syracuse, and we’re on this local ice rink all wearing all black. Kelly was showing off her moves in the middle of the ice rink, and all the younger girls were getting really jealous.

What’s your guiltiest pleasure? KC: My guiltiest pleasure is re-dating my ex-boyfriends. Recycling. Eco-dating. And just so you know, I’m down to my last ex-boyfriend to re-date. So it’s a very interesting time as to what’s going to become of me now that I’ve re-dated everyone that I’ve previously dated. RB: I cut all of them out. Three months ago, I started this intensive cleanse program, and I stopped smoking, drinking, eating, and now, I go to bed really early. I also cut out sugar. But if I wasn’t doing that, they would be smoking, drinking and eating. EB: I love red wine and Arturo’s pizza. RB: I sometimes get really obsessive watching CSI, like 10 episodes at a time.

Next is People’s Revolution — the reality show? RB: We can’t really talk about it yet. It’ll be announced right around Fashion Week. Most likely it will start pretty soon … everyone wants to delve right into it. EB: It’s definitely happening though.

Was your decision to get involved in reality TV based on The Hills and The City? EB: Kelly’s had a big presence on both shows and has gained a huge fanbase. That started everything. It will be very different from those shows though. It’s going to show what goes on during Fashion Week and with our clients and within the company. It’s more about People’s Revolution itself. It’s funny … Kelly goes to Target and has people going, “Oh my god, that’s the lady from The Hills.” It’s really funny. We went to Syracuse, Kelly’s hometown, and we stopped at a restaurant, and these young girls were staring at her and she’s like, “Oh no, Hills fans.” Her strategy is that she goes up to them and says hello because otherwise they’ll just sit and stare.

Will this be a huge lifestyle change for you? EB: I just hate having to think about my hair and makeup and what I’m going to wear.

What are you doing tonight? RB: I am getting on a plane and going to Miami. I am going to dinner with the team from Longchamp. Maybe seeing ex-boyfriends. I don’t really recycle them, but I have my ongoing conquests that don’t go away. EB: I am working on my sore throat so I don’t get too sick before Fashion Week. Taking some Emergen-C. I try not to make plans until March.

Photo: Patrik Andersson

Gwyneth Paltrow’s Favorite NYC Spots, Done Right

As if winning an Oscar and having an Apple wasn’t enough, Gwyneth Paltrow is trying to steal our thunder by listing her favorite New York restaurants in her latest GOOP newsletter. That’s what we do, Gwyneth! How would you like it if we started doing yoga? When she did it for L.A., we let it slide as a mid-life crisis/nervous breakdown, but now she strikes again. Problem is, she’s not very good at it. After the jump, a list of Gwyneth’s favorite NYC restaurants, followed by her vague reasons why. Luckily, you can click on each restaurant to find out what it’s really about.

Babbo – “One of the city’s best.” ● Cookshop – “It is abuzz with foodies who come to taste the ever-changing menu.” ● Balthazar – “I love this place.” ● Gramercy Tavern – “One of New York’s most popular restaurants for a reason.” ● HanGawi – “HanGawi is a vegetarian Korean place that I have been going to for years.” ● Kelley and Ping SoHo – “Another SoHo spot that has been there for ages.” ● Lupa – “I love to go for spaghetti aglio e olio.” ● Omen – “Omen has been there since long before SoHo was trendy.” ● Sushi Yasuda – “Best sushi in NYC, hands down.” ● Tartine – “A very quaint, tiny French café on a perfect West Village corner.” ● Market Table – “I just recently discovered Market Table and I adore it.” ● BLT Fish Shack – “This is one of my most frequented spots.” ● 15 East – “One of my faves.” ● Pearl Oyster Bar – “Oh, how I love Pearl Oyster Bar.” ● Angelica Kitchen – “East Village granola heaven.” ● Momofuku Ssam and Noodle Bar – “These places became two of NYC’s hottest spots in a very short time. ” ● Aquagrill – “One of my regular spots.” ● Otto – ” A great place to bring kids.”

Rufus Wainwright’s Favorite New York Spots: Café des Artistes, Omen, Gascogne

Rufus Wainwright’s debaucherous days are behind him. The Canadian crooner has strayed from rampant ways, and has more recently swapped the night life for the restaurant one. “I go to a lot of restaurants. I’m a big fan of this place that a lot of people go to called Omen. It’s on Thompson Street in SoHo and has been around for years. I always see Patti Smith there, which is great. She’s perfect for a Japanese restaurant. It’s a perfect frame for her. And I also love Gascogne, which is on Eighth Avenue. It’s a French place in the gay district. I also love Café des Artistes, which is uptown and a very old school place. Very expensive, but very good. You’re mostly paying for the lighting, but believe me, it’s perfect.”