Tuesday, November 24, 2015

New York Evening Hours with Lieba Nesis

The 2015 Lighthouse Gala

Sharon Bush and Oscar Plotkin
(Photos: Lieba Nesis)

The Lighthouse Guild hosted its annual Light Years Gala on November 23, 2015 with cocktails beginning at 6:30 pm on the second floor of the Plaza Hotel. The Lighthouse organization provides vital support and services to help people who are blind or visually impaired lead productive, fulfilling lives. This year's honorees were Real Estate mogul, Gary Barnett, President and Founder of Extell Development, Louise Hirschfeld Cullman, President of the Al Hirschfeld Foundation and philanthropist Lewis B. Cullman.

Laurel Marcus of Lookonline. in Alexander  McQueen

Due to the presence of Real Estate bigwig Gary Barnett, a lot of Real Estate titans were there including: Charles and Jared Kushner, famed Real Estate lawyer Joel Marcus and many others. Unfortunately, Barnett did not show up because his mother was in the hospital, which put a significant damper on the event.

Carol Alt and Roslyn Kind

However, with model Carol Alt on the dais, the evening was salvaged. Alt looks incredibly young and holds herself with extreme poise. Moreover, she was an excellent mistress of ceremonies, speaking with clarity, conciseness, and confidence. Alt was requested to dress conservatively because honoree Gary Barnett is an orthodox Jew so she complied; wearing a black long sleeve shawl over a dress I could not see. If Alt ever wants to enter the Jewish faith she has got the appropriate attire required down perfectly. I personally like her in dazzling evening wear but she still looked stunning.

Jean Shafiroff and Somers Farkas

The evening also contained socialites/philanthropists Jean Shafiroff, Somers Farkas and Sharon Bush sporting cocktail attire, since this year was less formal than others. Speaking of philanthropists, honoree Lewis Cullman danced up to the stage belying his age with a youthful vigor, despite that he said he was born in 1919. Lewis Cullman is an uber philanthropist and has given away nearly $500 million to the arts, education and sciences. He also authored the book "Can't Take It With You-The Art of Making and Giving Money." I know how to give money it's the making of it I find difficult. Cullman said he loves embarking on the journey of giving charity and his wife Louise Hirschfeld also spoke about Al Hirschfeld and his works. Louise was married to the late Al Hirschfeld, and currently works as a theater historian and president of the Al Hirschfeld foundation.

Tony Mannarino and Derek Trulson

At the early hour of 9:30PM much of the dinner had emptied out before the tunes of Roslyn Kind, Barbara Streisand's half sister were heard. Kind has a powerful voice and sang her songs with soulfulness and strength. At the conclusion of the evening the young crowd congregated outside to socialize as the other guests quickly exited. The warmth of the Plaza ballroom was a perfect antidote to the brisk weather outside-a harbinger of the imminently arriving winter.

- Lieba Nesis

Monday, November 23, 2015

Better Bets by Rhonda Erb

Saks Fifth Avenue’s Holiday Spectacular:  The Winter Palace

Click on images for full size view
Photo: Isabelle Erb

On the evening of November 23rd, the crowd gathered for the premiere of Saks Fifth Avenue’s new holiday light show witnessed a sound and light extravaganza that transformed the façade of the luxury retail store into a Winter Palace complete with icicles of light, crystal palace spires and enough pyrotechnics (from Fireworks by Grucci) and music to rival a Super Bowl halftime show.

Oratorio Society of New York choristers
Photo: Rhonda Erb

After an introduction by Saks president, Marc Metrick, the show began as 200 choristers from the Oratorio Society of New York and the Cathedral Choristers of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine streamed onto Fifth Avenue from inside the store, filling the street with a special rendition of Carol of the Bells and signaling the start of the light show which featured more than 225,000 points of controlled light. In addition to viewing the spectacular Winter Palace premiere, members of the audience were given LED wristbands, called Xylobands, which interacted with the controlled light elements and fireworks, allowing them to actually become part of the show.

Store window
Photo Rhonda Erb

The evening also included the unveiling of the Saks Fifth Avenue holiday windows. The theme for 2015 is Winter Wonders of the World, featuring fashionably attired figures in fantasy-like winter visions of some the world’s most iconic sights. In one, a Gladiatrix battles above a frozen Colosseum and in another a mermaid of ice is immersed in the frozen Great Barrier Reef. In a poignant nod to the recent events in Paris, a window showing an icy Eiffel Tower includes the hashtag: PRAYFORPARIS.

Light show
Photo: Isabelle Erb

Saks Fifth Avenue’s sensational Winter Palace light show is sure to delight tourists and to capture the eye of even the most jaded New Yorker throughout the holiday season. It will be on display (every 10 minutes from 4:35-11:35 EST) until January 10, 2016. Customers who want to join in the Winter Palace experience are invited to visit the Saks social media driven content hub: http://saksholiday.com/

- Rhonda Erb
For more Better Bets visit: betterbetsny.tumblr.com/

In the Market Report by Marilyn Kirschner

This is ‘IT’!

MM6 by Maison Martin Margiela Red Mesh Neoprene Tote

The phrase “It Bag” has been thrown around ad nausea within the annals of fashion for several decades. According to Wikipedia, “The term was coined in the 1990s with the explosive growth of the handbag market in fashion. Designers competed to produce a single, easily recognizable design which, if cleverly marketed, endorsed by the fashion press, or seen being carried by a celebrity, would become that season's must-have bag, selling in large numbers”.

MM6 Black Mesh triangle bag snapped

But I say, “Different strokes for different folks”, and naturally, the idea of what is an “It bag” may vary from one person to another, or to paraphrase Bill Clinton: “It all depends of what your definition of ‘IT’ is.” While I understand the appeal of certain highly sought after iconic luxury bags, after they become mainstream, they will invariably be knocked off all over the world. Because I prefer to be more individual, and NOT look like a carbon copy of everyone else, my tastes tend to gravitate to those items that are less obvious and a bit more under the radar than traditional status symbols. Even better when they’re the bi product of well thought out design, combine form and function, and are available at a price that won’t insult your intelligence. The essence of modern!

MM6 Gray Mesh Neoprene Tote

All of which perfectly describe the signature plush double mesh neoprene triangle hobo bags for MM6 by Maison Martin Margiela, $185- $195. Roomy (21.75” H X 20” L; 14” X 19” when folded flat), lightweight and foldable, they are perfect for toting, shopping, and traveling. They are made of durable polyester, feature an open top with an interior silver snap fastening tab, and are cotton lined with a deep pocket inside that snaps shut. A snap fastening tab at the bottom allows you to change their size and shape in an instant. The single handle with leather detailing is perfectly sized to allow you to carry it three ways: it can be hand held, you can carry it in the crook of your elbow, or wear on your shoulder.

La Garconne MM6 Red Mesh Neoprene Tote  

Initially offered in red, black, and gray, they would make a most welcome holiday gift (for you or a good friend, or both!). They are being sold at MM6 stores (363 Bleecker Street, 646 664 1655; 91 Grand Street, 646 781 7852), and online.

 www.ssense.com  has a red version has a available.

www.lagarconne.com is sold out of the gray and black but still has the red version

 www.shopbop.com, are available in red, black, and gray, and they are now 30% off.

- Marilyn Kirschner