If you love hand-printed fabrics and process stories, you will enjoy a quick peek inside Kathryn Ireland’s printing shop in her Culver City, Los Angeles showroom. Recently I wrote about her three-day design boot camp for the Wall Street Journal and got to watch her printers pull rich shades of pink and green ink across fifteen yards of linen to create her colorful designs. It’s fascinating to see how precise they can get with each screen and color. Read more about Kathryn’s design boot camp here: WSJ.
My friend Bob Morris emailed from Girona, Spain the other day to say he was looking for restaurant recs in the area (he had just consumed a 20-course meal at the Celler Can Roca–aka, the best restaurant in the world). How do you top that? Easy. I told him about Compartir in Cadaqués, owned by three chefs who all worked in Ferran Adrià’s kitchen at El Bulli. Two summers ago my husband and I traveled to Cadaqués for a story I was writing on the Costa Brava region. We fell in love with the delicious food at this unpretentious spot (the beet salad pictured above is out of this world). Cadaqués, as you may know, is where Salvador Dalì lived for many years. It’s a remote, white-washed Mediterranean fishing town, surrounded by mountains and stretching right down to the turquoise sea. I could go back there in a heartbeat. Read more here: Travel+Leisure.
A friend from Washington D.C. recently emailed to ask where she could find great winter boots for a decent price. A little research online led me to this new Soho store from the people at H&M. And Other Stories, which opened a week ago on Broadway and Prince, has a terrific selection of well-priced boots–everything from classic riding boots, to platform suede wedges. They also sell apparel–I particularly liked the knitwear and outerwear–and beauty products. The store is the brand’s first in the U.S. (they’ve already taken London by storm). I like it because the pieces are well cut and good quality for a decent price (sweaters are $100, coats are $275, boots are $225). I’d call the styling a mix of Marni, Dries Van Noten, and Jil Sander. You can shop online at And Other Stories but if you’re in New York City it’s worth a trip (and probably ultimately better to try on the merch–shoe sizing runs quite large, for example).
I remember Oscar de la Renta best from moments like these, backstage at his New York Fashion Week shows, about to take his bow on the runway, always letting the models go first and lingering modestly in the back of the podium, always surrounded by smiling employees who were so proud to work for such a generous and elegant man. He understood, better than most designers, that style is about so much more than what you are wearing.
Wendy Whelan, the prima ballerina and arguably the greatest ballerina of her generation, retired last night from the New York City Ballet. I wish I had seen her farewell performance, but I feel lucky to have seen her dance on so many other occasions. Most memorably in a rehearsal I was invited to watch back in 2004 when I served on a fund-raising committee at the NYCB. I remember being stunned by the beauty and perfection of Whelan’s dancing. Even in rehearsal, when other dancers simply “mark” steps, Whelan was so present and precise. Her timing was incredible and her performance–it was a performance more than a rehearsal–was sharp and crystalline. She was astounding to watch. I had once been an aspiring dancer so I had seen many great ballerinas perform–Suzanne Farrell, Merrill Ashley, Natalia Makarova. But this was different. There was something so unique about Whelan’s style and discipline. I rushed home and told my husband, who writes for the New York Times Magazine, that he had to write about Whelan. I couldn’t remember reading an in-depth piece on Whelan in any national magazine. (Here’s the link to my husband’s story) Whelan has retired from the New York City Ballet, but she’ll keep dancing. I’m excited to see what she does next.