Wednesday, April 30, 2014

#AAFA2014 36th Annual American Image Awards

The Grand Hyatt Hotel/NYC
thumbs up-staff and Special Olympic Winners from NY area

The 36th annual American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA) American Image Awards honored excellence in footwear and apparel industries with a stellar line-up of award winners last night.

The beneficiary- the Special Olympics an internationally active non-profit organization, founded in 1968-that "…through the power of sports... reveals the champions in all of us…" including children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Providing year round training and competitions…in 32 individual and team sports…the positive emphasis is always on what the athletes "...CAN do, not what they can't." 

A few pictures we took of award winners-and very glad to be there-attendees...
on left-Special Olympics CEO Janet Froetscher-with DC based Fashion Designer Aswad Abasi-and yes, he custom made the dress! A chance meeting on a plane---results in sophisticated, flawlessly made and glamorous, tailored perfection. 
honoree Robert Stock, Co-Chairman & Chief creative Officer of Robert Graham®…wearing a " classic" jacket-with pumped up kicks.

Trio of fabulous fashion apparel and footwear talent in this pic. Seriously. Far L-R-Honorees-Steve  Cox and  Daniel Silver of Duckie Brown (CFDA nominees too---still have and wear a cherished green tee-we got at our first Duckie Brown NYFW runway show-back in Feb. 2007!) New for the duo- womenswear…
...and the beyond talented Shoe Designer Ruthie Davis---in an Alexander McQueen dress -and wearing a pair of her own sculptured creations (as do many Red Carpet celebs). Scroll down for pictures of the pumps of our dreams.

In  our minds-for a moment--THE  man of the moment-safe-keeping honoree Ruthie Davis' purse.  What a great guy.

Honorees-far right+far left-Denim wear Brand of the Year-fittingly from the premium+ amazingly fit jeans (we vouch for their  new Microsculpt offerings)... DL1961-Creative Director Sarah Ahmed and Director Zahra Ahmed-with a supporter-nice trio-as if they coordinated their winning black and white color wardrobes..  

Supima® Cotton was honored as Premium Fiber Brand of the Year-appropriate, a company member looks ready for summer in a handsome Thome Browne-Brooks Brothers crisp white/navy blazer…made of Supima® Cotton of course. AND this super soft durable cotton-is made in the USA…!

IMO: Athlete fav of the night-the two time Olympic medal winner,  World Champion and nine time USA Champion figure skater Michelle Kwan-posing with "family" ---aka-all of the Special Olympic attendees -patiently- offering up the best selfies (and camera tips) for all of the smartphone toting moms.

Currently residing in Rhode Island -Kwan has been a very active supporter of the Special Olympics for 20 years. Bravo to that!

Academy Award winning actress and event host Marlee Matlin-graciously shared some of the spotlight with the athletes too.

Marlee Maitlin with Karen Bromley of TBG

Man of the Year honoree Managing Partner of Tengram Capital-with his too young looking to be father, father…and wife…pictured below-wearing Calvin Klein (of course, we asked-what a great dress!)

FUN---Award winning USA Olympic medalists and Special Olympics' staff members---on left-Figure skater/ graduate student Michelle Kwan…and in the middle right-NBA great (18 years-WOW), Olympic Gold medal winner and co-captain of the 1984 USA team, 1982 NCAA champ- North Carolina Tar Heels -  with teammates/later NBA Hall of Famers Michael Jordan and James Worthy (no wonder they won), and Brooklyn native, Sam Perkins.

These two guys were recapping some admired Sam Perkins' basketball career highlights with the athlete himself…REALLY just a sliver-otherwise the convo would have gone on for hours. 

Kristen Wise-Special Olympics Manager---on left-and another  splendid example of wardrobe color coordination
The invitation smartly mentioned that "festive black tie and sneakers"-were optional…though of course-the footwear wearing crowd often opted for comfy, colorful lifestyle kicks...


Byron Simon
Appropriately enough, footwear designer Ruthie Davis had on the most glamorous peep toe platform pumps…probably ever made. 

Ruthie Davis-shoes. Hand crafted in Italy-the spike details might be handy on a crowded subway…though we think these SPIKETTE shoes are so special-they deserved to be seen, not felt.
FYI: Available now….
yes-one can stand on high heels---proof!
The Grand Hyatt in NYC---tasty appetizer

the centerpieces-in Special Olympics signature colors-and in shape of soccer ball. 
Classy backdrop-piano player-during the cocktail hour



Intricately handmade with a distinct aesthetic –
 MYKITA teamed up with the renowned French house Maison Martin Margiela to create a unique eyewear collection. The two concepts for the frames perfectly reflect the synergy of both houses. Historical forms are reinterpreted, deconstructed and translated into radical designs with an unconventional approach to materials.

In Our Inbox...

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

#CRUBOURGEOISNYC Cru Bourgeois- Red Wines from Bordeaux- for Wine Lovers

Wonderful Gifts for Mother's Day, College Graduates---and for Summer Entertaining

Midtown Loft, 267 Fifth Avenue-NYC

On the outdoor terrace...perfect sunny spring day-welcoming indeed. 

Well, there certainly were many reasons to smile yesterday-at the first (and we hope, annual)  Crus Bourgeois du Médoc wine tastings for invited guests…including the glorious weather, a midtown event location with a wrap around terrace from which to take advantage of the aforementioned…

Château Castéra, Médoc

Château Haut-Myles,  Médoc

AND the stars of the affair-the many truly wonderful, complex-and accessibly priced red wines being sampled (spat out)…and the French persons doing the pouring-often the Château owners themselves.

We learned a lot about the wines from this acclaimed Bordeaux region of France-which are already well known for its top tier first and second growth red wines that command staggering sums and are prized  collectible bottles.
WHAT: All of the wines presented were harvested and produced in one of the eight prestigious Bordeaux appellations-Médoc, Haut-Médoc, Listrac-Médoc, Moulin en Médoc, Margaux, Saint Julien, Pauilllac and Saint Estèphe.  The distinction of earning the distinctive Crus Bourgeois authentication label (see below)-is that all of these wines are certified by external wine professionals and evaluated for embodying traditional for qualities of tastes from this region.

 FYI-this goes one step beyond commercial value designations- for the select wines qualifying from the 2010 vintage- by 260 member, wine producers/Château owners belonging to the self-regulating Alliance des Crus Bourgeois de Médoc (256 for 2011…). pretty much guarantees that the reasonably priced red wines (ranging from $22-$50) that cost almost as much to (lovingly) harvest-often by hand-and make--- as the name dropping Bordeaux wines-  are charmingly drink ready, can be aged -well, well with great maturity potential-and least what we sampled...are all aromatically complex (nose), multi faceted worthy of collecting in their own right, 

Château Les Grand Chênes Médoc

IMO: All will pass the test of wine snobs,  "Googling" a bottle brought as a hostess gift---or a smartphone toting Millennial referencing online reviews and information about the producer (QR code on the authentication sticker on all bottles produced from 2010 on)- before making a purchase…because he/she wants a reasonably priced beverage something to go with dinner… no matter what's on the menu.       

Château Greysac, Médoc
As with all wines-the weather and terroir (soil) of the Crus Bourgeois reds sipped yesterday-roughly grouped together by region…brought to life the distinctive qualities of the selected vintages sampled-mostly the delectably delicious 2010s (seems to have been a late harvest year brought on by a cold winter, rainy grape flowering and drought spring/summer season-(lower yields) and then a flawless weather- harvesting Fall season)-and a few 2011 (hot off the press, so-to-speak)…mixed in with some 2008s+2009s.

 Château Les Grand Chênes, Médoc

All wines poured are available in the USA---though actual quantities certainly vary--- as even the market volume numbers differ between vintages.

Château Rollan de By, Médoc 27,000 bottles
Our tasting notes-varied from bold-intense, structured fruity finishes, multi-textured polished tannins, earthy fresh, and/or spicy for each wine-that were all elegant personalized blends of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and/or Petit Verdot grapes.

Color  ranges are from clear brilliant ruby reds to deep robust dark colors …setting the stage for a wonderful drinking experience.

Notable-the age of the vines from 25-40 years old…and that many of the wine producers are still many centuries'  old- family owned entities.

Château Lousteauneuf, Médoc www.châ  

Château Preuillac, Médoc

Château Les Anguilleys, Médoc

Câteau D'Agassac Haut-Médoc (nice-one of our favs)

Château Aney, Haut-Médoc

Château Belair, Haut-Médoc

Château Labat Haut-Médoc

Château Paveil de Luze, Margaux

Château Charmail, Haut-Médoc

Château Cissac, Haut-Médoc

Château Tour Saint Joseph, Haut-Médoc,

Château Lamothe Bergeron, Haut-Médoc,

Château du Retout, Haut-Médoc

Château Larose Perganson, Haut-Médoc

Château Larose Trintaudon, Haut-Médoc

Château Gressier Grand Poujeaux, Moulis

Château D'Arsac,  Margaux
This wine producer-which is available for tours in the warmer months (many are)-has a distinguished outdoor sculpture garden on its property- and also produces the limited -30,000 bottles -WineMakers' Collection- where an invited wine maker crafts his/her personal touch-on a vintage. An annual offering-this Château D/Arsac production is based on idea of owner Phillippe Raoux- to celebrate winemakers- from all over the world. Very cool-the bottle labels are portraits of the individual winemaker.

Château Haut Breton Larigaudière, Margaux

Château Mongravey, Margaux

Château Le Crock Saint-Estèphe

Château La Haye, Saint-Estèphe

Belgium born owner-pursued his passion for Bordeaux wine-AND runs-including the NYC Marathon-finished respectable time of 4:20 (we asked…)-and smokes. Very Euro.

Château Tour des Termes Saint-Estèphe

The official moniker. Most of the tasters -we noticed-were NYC restaurant owners/sommeliers---here's hoping selections will be offered by the glass-which is the way most patrons order wine.

Very very smart-authentification label-that ensures quality standards, authenticity of the bottle- against counterfeiting (yikes)---and provides information about the winemaker/vintage and the wine itself. ALSO…one can type in the verification code on the website…