Monday, September 15, 2014

THIS & THAT...CELEBRITIES IN THE SPOTLIGHT (c) By Polly Guerin

The David H. Koch Plaza at the Metropolitan Museum  
New York seems to be forever reinventing itself and nothing matches the new completely redesigned David H. Koch Plaza at the Metropolitan Museum of Art recently opened to the fanfare of a water show worthy of Las Vegas. Then there's Karl Lagerfeld talking media and his cat Choupette who is writing a book. Only in New York, my pets, the best of New York. Here's the scoop!!!
   A place to sit, a place to dream, a place to find respite in the cacophony of the city. The David H. Koch Plaza, a massive outdoor space, a two-year renovation project runs along Fifth Avenue for four city blocks, the entire length of the Museum's landmark facade. Taking a cue from the grand entrances on museums in Paris the plaza is a welcome mat to New Yorkers and tourists with new paving, lighting, allees and bosques of trees leading to the Museum's entrances from north and south, and generous seating areas.
   "This project is a great demonstration of philanthropic spirit and we are tremendously grateful to David Koch, for what we have been able to accomplish as the result of his generosity," said Emily K. Rafferty, President of the Museum.
   "Although the met is best known for its magnificent art collection, inspiring architecture, the Olin-designed plaza will also make the exterior of the met a masterpiece," said David H. Koch.
KARL LAGERFELD'S Newspaper: "If publishing companies don't want paper to disappear, they have to make an effort to be good...and well written." says the Parisian designer. Lagerfeld. An unabashed fan of print, the Parisian fashion designer now adds newspaper publishing to his list of media accomplishments with "The Karl Daily," which debuts in Paris.with a distribution of 150,000 copies. Lagerfeld is unstoppable, a sketchbook always under his arm and a desk stacked with magazines and books all over the floor, the mogul of style is now a publisher. The latest satorical broadsheet showcases the designer's multi-faceted talents for sketching, photography with old-fashioned humor along with the latest product news from his signature brand. So my dears, if you want a copy of The Karl Daily hop over the pond to Paris or get your copy from the fashion police.
COUPETTE The Kitty Who Won Over Lagerfeld's Heart. It isn't every day that a kitty takes a meteoric ride right into stardom, but Coupette was one of the lucky ones. One day she was left with Lagerfeld when the desginer accepted to cat-sit for model Baptiste Giabiconi's young kitten over the Christmas holidays in 2011. Well you know what happened, Lagerfeld fell in love and when Giabiconi returned to Paris weeks later, the iconic designer could not bear to part with his new companion....who, incidentally has become the designer's favorite accessory and muse. The 7-pound, 11 ounce Birman feline is subject of a forthcoming book: "Choupette: The Private Life of a High-Flying Fashion Cat," and has been the inspiration for clothing lines, perfume, makeup and even dolls. I often think of the dear cat who used to patrol the Algonquin hotel. Her fate at this writing is undetermined, but one thing I know for sure, the new owners of the hotel banned her forever into exile.Alas, some cats like Choupette have all the luck.
CHRISTIAN LOUBUTIN has his day in a documentary film. His long-time friend and model Farida Khelfa made the 52-minute film, after followiing in theParisian shoe designer's footsteps for two years. Don't fret if you miss the movie, if you want to see some of the designer's shoes in person just go to the Brooklyn Museum and check out the Killer Heels exhibit which I reported about last week.  In the film Louboutin talks about his family background and how it influenced his work. Really!!!! David Lynch, Blake Lively and Alicia Keys are among others featured in the film.
Ta Ta darlings!!! The new plaza at the Metropolitan is a visual delight with a welcome mat of open vistas to tempt any visitor to take a respite and enjoy the dancing waters and views. Fan mail welcome as usual at pollytalknyc@gmail.com. Visit Polly's Blogs at www.pollytalk.com and click on the Blog of interest located in the left hand column. .

Monday, September 8, 2014

FASHION WEEK'S FASHIONISTA'S HOLIDAY (c) By Polly Guerin

Christian Louboutin, "Printz" S/S 2013-2014. 
New York Fashion Week, (NYFW), Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, is a fashionista's holiday holding forth through Sept11th with a stunning roundup of fashion shows, parties and  socializing on a grand scale that is so exhilaration that it affects the humblest of fashion followers. Even if you're not invited there are ways to get in on the NYFW"s fun and fashioand take a front seat.  mbfashionweek.com/live.. Here's the Scoop!!!
KILLER HEELS An entire museum exhibit, Killer Heels: The Art of the High-Heeled Shoe, opens at the Brooklyn Museum on Wednesday to pay homage to the world's amazing heels, dating back 500 years. Not just any shoes, but stilettos, and all sorts of sky high footwear to give even the smallest fashionista a sense of heightened glamour. Image: Christian Louboutin, "Printz," Spring/Summer 2013-2014 collection. Courtresy of Christian Louboutin, Photo (c) by Jay Zukerkorn.
   The exhibit which runs through February 15, 2015 features 160 pairs of shoes, both historic and contemporary. Although many of the designer's names are familiar---Ferragamo, Fendi, Dior, Blahnik, Chanel and Celine---architects take their share of the spotlight, like the 12-inch-high leather booties rem. D. Koolhaas made for Lady Gaga. Although many women of a certain age remember that Carmen Miranda was the enchantress of the platform shoe, take a look at Ferragamo's Platform of 1938, the Over the Rainbow which was inspired by American Musicals. 
   The shoes are displayed alongside correlating art: a Prada sandal from spring 2012 is displayed alongside a Saelitte jumping shoe toy from 1955. The exhibit is divided into six thematic sections: Revival and Reinterpretation, Rising in the East,Glamour and Fetish, Architecture, Metamorphosis, and Space Walk. Need I remind you, dear readers, that my feature on the negative effects of Killer Heels on the female human body is nothing short of devastating.The price that women pay for sky-high glamour has been with us for centuries Check it out on Polly's Blog: thefashionhistorianpollyguerin.blogspot.com.
This Just in from WWD: FLY ME TO THE MOON Frank Sinatra is one of Ralph Lauren's idols---and the famed singer's lyrics could have served as inspiration for the opening of the designer's Polo women's show. This is no ordinary show, Laruen will present tonight 9/8 a four-dimensional movie that will have models "walking' on the park's Cherry Hill Lake.  It will cap off a big moment for the designer, who today will unveil a 38,000 square-foot Polo flagship on Fifth Avenue, that will offer the brand's entire new lifestyle concept. For more spring coverage, see WWD.com/runway.
DANCE AND FASHION Leave it to Valerie Steele to create another award-winning exhibition at the Museum at FIT. Dance and Fashion, September 13 to January 3, 2015 explores the rich relationship between dance and couture, from the 1830's through 2014. The treasures on display take your breath away including Katherine Dunham's Afro-Caribbean apparel and a fanciful bulbous uniform from Merce Cunningham's Scenario, designed by Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garcons and Stella McCarty's costume for the Oceans Kingdom ballet.
   A symposium, Oct 23-24 takes the subject into categories of diverse interest.. Seventh Avenue at 27th Street, 212 217-4558, fitnyc.edu.
THE WRAP DRESS: HAPPY BIRTHDAY The wrap is 40 and Diane von Furstenberg marks four decades celebrating the dress, power and style. She made the wrap dress a fashion icon just like Coco Chanel did with the Little Black Dress. It all began in 1970 when Princess Diane, married to Prince Egon von Furstenberg of Austria, arrives in the United States with jersey dresses she had made in Italy, and the seeds of a fashion business is ignited.. In 1974 the wrap dress is born, .putting Diane in business. He motto: "Feel like a woman, wear a dress."  By 1976 she sold more than one million wrap dresses and landed on the cover of Newsweek. Whew!!! Well, how many wrap dresses do you have in your wardrobe? As for Pollytalk, she has six.
Ta Ta Darlings!!! Pollytalk was impressed with the model turn for military servicewomen, especially retired Arm Capt. Leslie Nicole Smith, who walked down the runway in a short black dress, designed by Joshua McKinley with her seeing eye dog and revealing her prosthetic leg.  Fan mail is always welcome at pollytalknyc@gmail.com, Check out Polly's other Blogs on www.pollytalk.com, click on a  Blog link in the left-hand column.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

REBUILDING THE WORLD TRADE CENTER, NY PREMIERE By Polly Guerin

This Just In: The New York Premiere of the film "Rebuilding the World Trade Center" takes place on Tuesday, September 9th at 6 PM at the Museum of the City of New York, 1220 Fifth Avenue at 103rd Street.

   Tickets for this event are free for museum members, $12 for students/seniors and $16 for the general public. You can buy online: mcny.org/event/rebuilding-world-trade-center.

   THE STORY; For the past eight years, artist and filmmaker Marcus Robinson has been at The World Trade Center area in lower Manhattan, filming, photographing and painting the transformation of the historic World Trade Center site. His film, "Rebuilding the World Trade Center," is an epic story about the transformation of the site and the construction of the towering buildings.  With 13 time-lapse cameras running, Marcus condenses years into a few seconds, capturing vast buildings rising over the city in a single shot.
   Rebuilding tells the story of architecture and engineering but the film focuses on the construction workers who are rebuilding the site.  The workers, from the site managers to the legendary ironworkers who assemble steel frames on girders high in the air, share their stories.
   In Mr. Robinson's words, "They are healing the scar in the bedrock of New York City and in Manhattan's skyline and in many ways that they are doing is part of a much greater, universal act of rebuilding and healing.
   "Rebuilding the World Trade Center" received a BAFTA award in 2014. A discussion with the director and workers in the film, led by James Glanz, follows the screening.
   The event is co-sponsored by the AIANY, Center for Architecture.

Monday, August 25, 2014

THE FUTURE IS NOW, WEARABLE TECHNOLOGY(c) By Polly Guerin

Amazing developments in wearable technology are edging their way into our clothing and out lifestyles. The question I ask is how much do we want to be plugged into the future? Alas, some major brands are producing wearable technology that's good-looking and comfortable, too. Here's the scoop!!!
   The nylon T-shirt by Ralph Lauren includes technology that can monitor the wearer's heart and stress levels.What spectators will see this week at the Unite States Open is a slick, form-fitting black athletic shirt, the Ralph Lauren polo pony emblazoned on the front.  However, what you won't see is the conductive silver-coated thread that is woven discreetly into the fiber. No it will not answer your smartphone but what it will do is monitor your heart rate, breathing and stress levels with racy good looks. How about the Navigate jacket? It taps out directions on the wearer's back 
   Kovert's modular jewelry features technology encapsulated in precious or semi-precious stones that clip into rings, bracelets and necklaces.  The jewelry vibrates when a important message is received. Now that's living in the moment but do we really wanted to be connected every single moment of the day or night? Doesn't anyone want some peaceful quality time to meditate or even write poetry.
   According to scientists there will be 50 billion, intelligent things in the world by 2020.  In addition to what you wear all things in your home or office could be turned into intelligent products that talk to you.Yet, do we really want technology to become our mentor? Will these high tech developments make humanity less human?
   Net-a-sporter, the new sport-oriented sister of Net-a-porter, will launch Jawbone's new Up 24 wireless smart band which helps users understand how they move, eat and sleeps so that they can make better choices. During Jimmy Choo's fall collection in February in Milan, Jawbone delivered smart bands to the stage crew and created a leader board to see who was getting the most sleep.
   David Rose, MIT Media lab scientist is all for making the computer personal. Now this is something I could use---the umbrella that forecasts the weather at a cost of $125. Armed with your zip code, a wireless receiver in the handle connects to AccuWeather and then glows and pulsates a gentle blue light if the weather outside is frightful.
   Why bother to make grocery lists when all you will need to do is to have an Amazon trash can that has a tiny camera and bar code scanner that records everything you throw away and sends the information to Amazon.com where it is immediately reordered and shipped to you.
   Too tired to pedal your bike. The Copenhagan Wheel, contains a motor that transforms a normal bike into a hybrid electric vehicle. As you bike, the wheel captures excess energy when going downhill or braking to help propel you up steeper includes or harder terrains.
   This coffee table eavesdrops on your conversations. Billed as an "instant photo album," the Facebook Coffee Table uses real time speech analysis to pick up keywords from your conversation to pull up relevant Facebook feed photos. Hotels will soon be using the coffee table to feature nearby events, restaurant suggestions and displays about weather and traffic .
  Whew!!! The future is now, my friends..  Emails welcome at pollytalknyc@gmail.com.  Visit Polly's Blogs at www.pollytalk.com and in the left hand column click on the link to Blogs about women, men, treasures or poetry.
   

Monday, August 18, 2014

CULTURE CITY'S CURIOSITIES IN AND BEYOND NYC (c) By Polly Guerin

What's culture got to do with it? Well for one thing there is so much going on in New York City a person's calendar can get filled in with nearly two or three or more things to consider doing in one day, but particularly the evening events are the best. Here's the scoop!!!
MASTERPIECES & CURIOSITIES: A Russian American Quilt explores works from the Jewish Museum's world renowned collection. On view from August 22 to February 1, 2015, this exhibition continues a series of rare quilt (c.1899), a fascinating expression of the acculturation process undergone by newly arrived immigrants. Actually, the quilt in question was owned by a Russian Jewish family that likely arrived in America during the 19th Century and incorporates imagery from both cultures. Why should we care about this quilt, you may ask?" Okay my dear, but this is pure history from the past. Four panels in the quilt picture embroidered figures dress in Russian costumes: a woman raising the side of her skirt, a common gesture in folk dancing; a dancing man; and a seated musician playing the balalaika. Skip ahead--motifs in the quilt's border relate to sports that became popular in American (c.1900), including a baseball or football referee or umpire, hot-air ballooning, and tennis. Several other works look back on Jewish life but the curiosities attract like Alfred Stieglitz photography to a Moroccan wedding costume. Location: Fifth Ave. at 92nd street. www.thejm.org.
Polly's Theater Pick of the Week, PIANIST of WILLESDEN LANE. What a performance, what a story!!!! This is truly the best theater in a long time. Pianist extraordinaire, Mona Golabek keeps you riveted to your seat as she recalls the life of her mother and first piano teacher, Lisa Jura,  and recalls her remarkable survival and achievements in the concert halls during the terrible days of WWII.  Lisa's stories are bursting with bits and pieces of wonderful characters and in between all the storytelling Golabek plays excerpts from Grieg, Beethoven, Debussy, Chopin, Bach and even Gershwin with remarkable dexterity and style. This unforgettable performance is not to be missed and you will come away, as I did, truly inspired and felling cultural saturated.  At the 59 E. 59 Theater. Closes August 24.
DOLL HOUSE: Karl Lagerfeld. The Paris-based designer is unstoppable. His latest collaboration involves what must be the world's smallest pair of fingerless gloves to fit the dainty hands of Barbie Lagerfeld, a limited-edition doll being launches this fall by American toy giant Mattel Inc. as part of the Barbie Collector series. The doll is quite soigne and is dressed to the Germain couturier's custom: in a tailored black jacket, white shirts with a high neck collar and the iconic skinny black jeans. Accessories complete the look with dark sunglasses, a large flat necktie and black ankle boots. By the way, Mattel is making Barbie's 55th birthday this year, yet she never seems to age.  I wonder what is her secret?
RENE LALIQUE: Enchanted by Glass. There is still time to take a trip to Corning, New York to see the designer's career from his beginnings working for such prestigious joallliers as Cartier and Boucheron. After winning top honors for his Art Nouveau jewelry at the 1900 Paris Exposition, Lalique began focusing on luxury glassware and pioneered Art Deco in his creations. Through January 4, 2015 at the Corning Museum of Glass, Corning, New York; cmog.org.
Ta Ta darlings, I went to hear Mona Golabek and have become a fast fan, what a talent, what a story, not to be missed!!! Fan mail welcome at pollytalk@verizon.net.  Check out Polly's Blogs go to www.pollytalk.com and in the left-hand column click on the link to the Blogs on fashion, amazing women, visionary men and even poetry.

Monday, July 21, 2014

CULTURAL ACTIVITY HEATS UP SUMMER VENUES (c) By Polly Guerin

Cate Blanchete left and Isabelle Huppert spice up Genet's drama.
A plethora of cultural activities make living in New York one of the greatest city's in the world...no wonder all the tourists are flooding the streets on their sightseeing ventures. But, we alas, the lucky New Yorkers need only step outside and Voila!!! there's more than meets the eye at museums, theater and elsewhere.Here's the scoop!!!
THE MAIDS Literary bad boy Jean Genet's play, first performed in Paris in 1947 is in the top form line up in this summer's Lincoln Center Festival. It's sordid tale, the kind of gory details that people sometimes like to relish, so if you're a bit squeamish, well!!!
   On a quiet February evening in 1933, two unassuming and reticent domestic servants Christine and Lea Papin murdered and mutilated their longtime employer and her daughter in Le Mans, France, when holly hell brook loose making headlines across France and igniting an international debate about class struggle. Did their employer and daughter deserve such a fate?
   Making its North American debut, the Sidney Theater Company's production trio includes exuberant actress Cate Blanchette and Isabelle Huppert with rising star Elizabeth Debicki as the mistress. Curiously enough, Genet originally intended for all those roles to be played by men. Really!!!!
   Nonetheless, the show delivers a rare insight into celebrity, glamor, the high art of theater and true, yes my dears, it is based on a true crime. Aug. 6-16. lincolncenterfestival.org.
ALLIANCE FRANCAISE'S Tuesday movies honor the great work of famed actor Vincent Lindon starting tomorrow at 4pm with WELCOME. In this poignant and tragic film about the plight of illegal immigrants in France, Lindon plays a middle-aged swimming instructor who is reeling from the breakup of his marriage. His friendship with Bilal, a student is an arresting study in a relationship struggle.
   At 7:30 pm the film is FRIDAY NIGHT is a virtually stunning and atmospheric film about a one night stand after a couple meets amid a dreadful Paris traffic jam, sparks fly, A Free wine reception follows each screening. Florence Gould Hall, 22 E. 59th St. Check ticket price at: info@fiaf.org or call 212.355.6100.
NYC MAKERS: The MAD Biennial The first in a series of exhibitions examining cultures, NYC Makers Biennial showcases more than 100 participants and celebrates the artisans, artists, designers and other makers who live and work throughout the five boroughs of new York City today.
   There's innovation and some things are shocking, but there's plenty to titillate your imagination.The galleries are immersive environments, created entirely by the makers within the Biennial and they sometimes act as stages for educational programs and other live components.
   The project also spills out into other spaces in the museum--including stairwells, theater, lobbies, elevators---and beyond, into the streets, parks and studios of New York City. Taken as a whole, NYC Makers are worth the visit to see how skilled makers contribute to the ongoing vitality of New York City. Through Oct. 12, 2014. madmuseum.org.
Ta Ta darlings!!! I'm checking in, gonna see what the MAIDS are doing!!! It's so nice to hear from you. Fan mail welcome at pollytalk@verizon,net. Visit Polly's Blogs at www.pollytalk.com and click in the left hand column Blogs on men, women, fashion or poetry.

Monday, July 14, 2014

LOVE in the WARS, A ROMANTIC DRAMA at BARD (c) By Polly Guerin

Penthesilea...World Premiere at Bard College, Annandale- on-Hudson, N.Y.--- Summerscape July 16 through July 20: Fisher Center, Theater Two.
The world premiere of a new version of Heinrich von Kleist's, " Penthesilea" by the  Irish novelist, John Banville resonants in modernity with overtones of love, hate and war. This production keeps you riveted to your seat as high drama unfolds an ancient story, drawn loosely from Homer. This new production is great in many ways, one of the most striking of which is the depth of psychological insight it presents on the subject of the unending war between the sexes.
 It recounts the meeting between its eponymous heroine, The Queen of the Amazons, Penthesilea and the Greek Hero Achilles. The action goes full blown with the ferocity of her passion which collides with Achilles' stubborn will, setting in motion  a tragicomedy of love and misunderstanding. Sounds familiar? The fact that the actors are in modern attire also helps to convey the up-to-date message that conflict between the sexes is an ongoing battle.
At the post performance talk, I mentioned to the two-time Obie Award winner, director, Ken Rus Schmoll, "It reminds me of the battle between the sexes in the corporate world, the Amazons representing the women who break through the class ceiling and the men they beat as they scale the executive ranks, yet it just takes one modern day Achilles and love in the end conquers all."  Director Ken Rus Schmoll responded: "You're on the right track, but  for each person the play has different interpretations."
 Incidentally, Mr. Schmoll is a master of nuances of genre and language, and an ideal interpreter of Banville and Kleist's theatrical game playing. The stark white background in half shadow also creates a mystical boundary to the action in the play.
However, Love in the Wars is an adaptation of Penthesilea and in this production the great romantic playwright has met an an ideal present-day interpreter in John Banville who brings the play up to speed with Actor's Equity Association actors including Birgit Huppuch as Queen of the Amazons and Chris Stack as Achilles. These two combatant's high energy driven performance keeps the presentation in high gear during the production's two hour performance (no intermission). The supporting cast of performers are no less remarkable, as they, too, bring the play forward in modern dress with dramatic flair the telling of  the ancestral story.
To recap: At the height of the Trojan War, the armies of Greece and Troy are locked in a seemingly endless stalemate. Suddenly the Amazons, a fearsome nation of all-female warriors led by Queen Penthesilea, arrive at Troy. By seductive and violent force, the Amazons take many Greeks captive, including the mighty general Achilles. These women have for generations sworn to live without men, but once a year they capture the strongest and best-bred males they can find, using them to procreate in order to further their kind. With the Amazons now involved in the mythic battle at Troy, things seem to be going badly for the Greeks---until Penthesilea and Achilles begin to fall in love.
Bard Sunmerscape is a seven-week Arts Festival also exploring the life and times of Franz Schubert and the first U.S. revival in 100 years of Weber's Opera Euryanthe and the return of the Trisha Brown Dance Company.A courtesy bus ($20 round trip) is available for some performances. Box office:
845.758.7900 or contact:  fishercenter@bard.edu/summerscape/2014 preview.
Ta Ta Darlings: Love in the Wars is a riveting experience. Trust me, I saw a performance this past Sunday and it lives up to its ancestral message with a vibrant modern twist.  Fan mail welcome: pollytalk@verizon.net. Visit Polly's Blogs at www.pollytalk.com on amazing women, visionary men, hidden treasures and poetry.