Alert. Daphne is on Instagram. And wearing all of Loren Hope's new collection on one arm in Cafe Gitane while snapping pictures of latte art. And is that a 6 carat canary diamond engagement ring? Of course it is. Oh Daphne.
If you follow my adventure on instagram, then you know I had an absolute field day posting pictures with reckless abandon of my trip to Turks and Caicos in January, and just seeing how jealous I could make everyone back home.
My studio mates and I packed up and headed out to the sunny shores of T&C for a long weekend to reflect upon and strategize how to grow our brands. Or, in other words, spend a lot of time lounging at a swim-up bar in the ocean-front infinity pool taste testing the subtle differences between a mojito and a pina colada.
While lounging, we spotted a familiar silhouette clad in white and covered over by a Eugenia Kim sun hat. Daphne had of course been Resident Snowbird Number One at the Grace Bay Club all winter.
We should have known she would turn up here! The likes of Daphne does not get caught dead schlepping through ice and snow. No wonder she'd been so conspicuously absent all winter after popping up here and there and everywhere in the early fall.
And of course, trotting at her heals was the furry little side kick, complete with matching canine version of Eugenia Kim.
This threw me into a rage. I have been working tirelessly on Ophelia's public image since she arrived in December. But it had not occurred to me to pack her in my suitcase and bring her with me to Turks, nor had it occurred to me how desperately she needed a sunhat tailored to match my own. Daphne and that little mongrel have me bested at every turn!
We spotted the inseparable pair a few more times during our visit. Always carefully shaded by their hats and sporting the finest in exorbitantly expensive swim wear like this little SUNDRESS number.
Our last sighting of Daphne was through the bountiful fronds of the outdoor patio at Coco Bistro. She was wearing a Marysia Swim bandeau top, a single white orchid behind one ear and a Rosie Assoulin ball skirt. Naturally.
And the little dog was spotted nearby, flirting with the resident Coco Bistro cats. She was wearing a wreath of orchids.
There's no telling how long Daphne plans to winter in paradise, but I have my suspicions about her making a return for Fashion Week and am keeping my eyes pealed for her to turn up on the windswept tundra that is winter in NYC...
Today I had the pleasure of escaping the studio to see the Kate Spade Fall 2015 Preview. Kate Spade knows the importance of beautiful clothing and accessories they design, but equally significant - they know the importance of creating a beautiful environment. Every season I've had the chance to see their new collection, I'm always struck by how transportive their "set design" is, how whatever mood they're hoping to create is perfectly captured in the abundance of celebrated details. They are staging geniuses, I tell you.
This season is all about ***hold up, don't you just love sentences that start with "this season is all about"?!
Anyway, this season is all about conjuring up the romantic, cozy magic of an Old New York hotel bar. The floors were black watch plaid, the walls were mural coved and dotted with sconces. Like I said - geniuses. A sconce goes a long way in helping you sense Old New York City charm. And the models were sipping from cut crystal tumblers while they modeled. So bewitching. (I hope you're reading in a british accent because I am typing in one)
I could imagine the models slipping off their pedestals and #behindthecurtain of a dimly lighted, inviting little hotel lounge on a crisp October day... and so I promptly raced back to the studio to sketch the scene and made it available as a print for you.
How cute is this little munchkin wearing Oscar de la Renta?
So... with my wedding mere weeks away I keep getting asked "are you going to stay in NYC after you're married?" and "are you going to have children in NYC?" And I find myself continually bewildered by this discussion. Right now, I just hope I can walk all the way down the aisle without fainting/tripping. I really have no idea what our future will look like once I get to the end of the aisle.
But, these questions have made me more aware and observant of my life here in the city. I catch myself examining each day, each experience, wondering if I want to give it up and move to some place that is low-stress or stick it out in the center of the universe for a year... ten years... forever?
It is certainly very hard to live here at times. But I've never been more in love with any place I've ever lived. In fact, I don't really know if I had any idea that you could love a place until I found this city. I guess that's true of all love isn't it? As I examine each part of my day here looking for reasons why it's too hard or too stressful or too expensive, NYC has a way of bewitching me in the most unexpected ways and keeping me coming back for more...
Yesterday, I was riding the subway thinking to myself, See, this is hard. I'm underground rocketing through a tunnel with four people pressed directly against my body and I'm pretty sure the guy behind me is reading The Goldfinch along with me on my kindle for iPhone app... surely it would be hard to do this forever, especially with a child!
And just then a little girl and her mom boarded the train. The little girl was about six. And because she was six, she began a full volume conversation with her mom, the center of her universe...
"Mom, this train is different. It has orange seats not blue seats. And the metal is a different color" Her mom explained that there are different models of subway cars and that this one was older. She considered that for a minute and then said "I like the blue seats better"
And then her mom pulled the coolest mom card. She told the little girl about this recent news story about a rat that was doing a victory lap around a subway car. The little girl's face lit up with a mixture of glee and horror imagining the people climbing onto the seats screaming. "Was it a blue seat one or an orange seat one?" she wanted to know. The mom smiled at her line if questioning, seeing where her little brain was going with this information. "I'm pretty sure it was an orange seater" she said conspiratorially and the little girl tightened her grip around her moms leg.
"Mom.... would you pick me up if a rat was in our train car?" she asked.
"What if the rat tried to climb up your leg to get me?"
"I will always save you, even from the rat"
It was a classic only-in-new-york conversation. The kind that I imagine Woody Allen overheard and then returned home to write Annie Hall. This little girl was learning about the depth of her mother's love thanks to a subway rat. Her mother and she were squished together hurtling through space with strangers pressed against them, and somehow they'd made the trip fun with the rat story. City children have the most fascinating existence. NYC, you always know how to make me smile.
Have you heard of the cronut? I won't ask if you've tasted one, because apparently this is the pastry equivalent of asking if you regularly dine at the French Laundry. Apparently the bakery that coined the donut/croissant hybrid is right around the corner from my studio and apparently the lines to taste this "frankenpastry" are very long and start very early in the morning. People will get excited over anything, won't they?
I personally am opposed. Granted, I haven't tried one so maybe I'd change my tune after eating one. But, from a purely analytical perspective, it's offensive in the way that snuggies are offensive. Think about it - the snuggie came from the marriage of two perfectly tasteful parents. Just like the donut and the croissant, the sweater and the throw blanket were complete in their own right. Both respectively an important part of a well-appointed home, but their progressive offspring, the snuggie, is the laughingstock of the lounge wear community.
This morning as I was enjoying a traditionally crafted, plain croissant (no jam or butter, shaken, not stirred) I realized for the 100th time that the croissant is perfect. It should never be cross-bred... but... if you happen to get a break this afternoon and want to meet up in line on Spring Street to sample the future of pastries I could be persuaded to pop down stairs....
It's time to change the calendar! A new month has arrived bringing with it the promise of electricity in the next 48 hours for the refugees of lower manhattan and the start of a new holiday season (which we can confirm has actually begun officially by the release of holiday starbucks cups this morning)
I've never been so glad to change the calendar as I am today. October was a frenzy of too much work, too much play and not nearly enough electricity. Here's hoping November will be a little more balanced.
Judging by the beautiful morning I woke up to, we're off on the right foot!
Yes, that is my view this morning. When I evacuate, I evacuate in style. Perfect view to glance up at while I paint. My gracious friends may never get rid of me even if the power does come back on.
In case you weren't up to speed on my current life situation (I've sent whiny emails to pretty much everyone already), my home and my studio have been without power since Monday and I have been trudging through the city on foot with my painting supplies on my back in search of still-functioning apartments to weasel my way into.
I've made out like a bandit so far on my upper-east-side-hand-out plan, managing to spend the last two nights in two of the most glorious apartments I know. Thank you, dear, supportive, UES friends for taking care of me. I couldn't do it without your internet connectivity, homeland on demand and kiehls products.
Although, even given my park view and general luxuriousness of my refugee scenario, it is still upsetting. I am managing to feel displaced and stressed even though I really have no excuse to. So my anxious heart goes out to everyone who really actually is facing real loss right now.
I am mad, on your behalf, at everyone who is still instagramming their lattes and their intricately carved pumpkins displaying their monograms while you try to rebuild your destroyed homes. They really should have shut down instagram until this whole thing blew over.
Nothing makes you feel more desolate when you are walking through the rain and wind, 80 blocks north to find a place to plug in your phone, than opening your instagram app and seeing that The Blonde Salad is frolicking on a beach in Mykonos carrying four Celine bags on each arm.
Anyway, here's to November first's clean slate and clear skies!
Here is an illustration I just created for Lauren Snow Cosmetics. Isn't she darling? Be sure to visit her lovely new site! Lauren offers a wide range of makeup services, I think her destination wedding services sound like the most fun! Imagine getting to fly off to a tropical destination just to make the bride and her bridesmaids look beautiful... sounds like a dream job.
Speaking of flying off to tropical destinations, that is something that no one New York will be doing today. Sandy has us on house arrest. She is bringing to light the basic fears of New Yorkers: not having access to designer exercise facilities and not having access to organic, sustainably farmed foods (that you did not have to prepare yourself)
So, not only is it windy and rainy and Soul Cycle has emailed 67 times to appologize for their abbreviated schedule but I think a lot of people are also discovering how to turn on their stoves for the first time today. Worst Monday ever!
New York is nothing without takeout/delivery food and easy access to creative new ways to exercise off all the offending calories. No one moved to NYC because of the amazing kitchen amenities offered in their apartments. We moved here to go to restaurants sometimes 4 or 5 times in one single day. We are hear to live the dream!
Well, living the dream becomes pretty low on the priority list when suggestions of how to flush your toilet with stored baggies of frozen water start circling via frantic group texts. I even heard one suggestion about kitty litter... I won't go into detail. You can guess. Shudder.
Anyway, I trudged through the blustery streets to every lunch spot within a 10 block radius of my apt only to find them chained and dark. Defeated, I resorted to the suburban practice of cooking myself lunch. It actually turned out pretty well.
If you are in dire need of an activity to keep yourself busy today without your regularly scheduled yoga class or trip to pick up Westville for lunch here is a recipe you can make even if you previously only used your oven for shoe storage:
Carrot Soup a la my mother, Nancy Bennett:
put 4 cups of chicken stock, 4 cups of chopped carrots, 2 cups of chopped potato and 1 chopped onion in a pot.
add 1.5 tsp of cumin and a bay leaf and cook this for 20 minutes.
immersion ... WAIT REMOVE THE BAY LEAF... blend the contents of the pot into soup and put it in a bowl with a dollop of sour cream, some chives and a hearty grinding of black pepper and some cayenne pepper.
And Voila! Lunch! Ina Garten has nothing on us. Stay dry friends! Pray the power stays on!