Monday, December 22, 2014

HOLIDAY RECALL, A Musical ChannelingTruman Capote's A CHRISTMAS MEMORY by Polly Guerin

Young Buddy (Silvano Spagnuolo) and Sook (Alice Ripley)
Top: Ashley Robinson, the writer Photo by Carol Rosegg
On Thanksgiving it has become my tradition to revisit Truman Capote’s 1956 short story, “A Christmas Memory.” This nostalgic story with its riveting sentimentality has been made into TV specials, radio plays, an opera and now just when I thought that that was the end of its production life, a new musical, “HOLIDAY RECALL,” makes its debut at the DR2 Theatre in New York City.
  CAPOTE'S CHRISTMAS MEMORY: The story itself, one of Capote’s earliest works, is rather biographical. It tells the story of a young boy named Buddy, whose parents are off on some travels or other entertainment, In the film version, Buddy has returned to the Alabama house where he spent the happiest part of growing up with his cousin and best friend, called Sook.  In the movie, she was brilliantly portrayed by Geraldine Page, who evokes the character as a simple, country folk woman in her house dress and apron, the kind of woman you might find in a farm house kitchen. 
   FRUITCAKE PARTNERS: Together these unlikely companions spend most of their activity engaged in their pre-Christmas ritual discussing and making fruitcakes.  They count their pennies that were stored in a jar under the bed and determine that they just had enough to purchase the ingredients and moonshine. With a rickety old baby pram as their article of conveyance they triumphantly walk off from the modest farm house to the village to purchase the condiments. The highlight of their tour is a visit to HaHa Jones, the moonshine purveyor, a man whose Native American Indian ancestry superimposes on his personality. He is a rather scary character, especially to young Buddy.
  CELEBRATING DUO:This pair of unlikely characters end up in the farm house kitchen making numerous fruit cakes and carefully wrapping them, and sending them off in the mail addressed to assorted friends, random acquaintances and even dignitaries.  The making of the cakes is a happy occupation and with the last bit of moonshine left in the bottle Sook and Buddy celebrate.  Sook, however, makes the grave mistake of giving Buddy just a wee bit of the moonshine, and that is when Sook’s two haughty sisters in their finery arrive to scold Sook for serving alcohol to Buddy. With the inevitable serious consequences, Buddy is banished to military school and Sook is bereaved by the lost of the one dear friend she ever had. This is an uncanny relationship that tugs at your heartstrings and I wonder--- "Wouldn't it be wonderful, wouldn't it make a difference, for every lonely young child to have a person like Sook in their young lives!"
   However, before the end of the film, Sook and Buddy spend one last Christmas together. They both secretly, make kites for one another, but life for Sook would never be the same, a few letters arrived from Buddy but that was short lived and sadly Sook passed away shortly afterward.
HOLIDAY RECALL Sorry, to be so verbose, now back to the musical, Holiday Recall. Alice Ripley, “Neck to Normal,” tony winner plays Sook and Buddy is played by Ashley Robinson According to a review of the musical by Vincentell in the New York Post, the shows fragile charm comes through best in numbers like “Mighty Sweet Music,” in which all seven cast members take up ukuleles.Vincentell says, “With musicals, as with gifts, the best things come in small packages.” Efficiently directed by Charlotte Moore for Irish Rep, the show has nostalgia layered on top of nostalgia. Your in for a treat!!! At the DR2 Theatre, 103 E. 15th St. Shows are scheduled through January 4th. .Ticket info 212.727.2737.

Ta Ta darlings!!! PollyTalk is off to Holiday Recall this weekend to see my favorite film, now a musical. Fan mail welcome at pollytalknyc@gmail.com. Visit Pollytalk’s Blogs on www.pollytalk.com and click in the left-hand column for the Blog of your choice on fashion, amazing women, remarkable men, hidden treasures or poetry

Monday, December 15, 2014

HOLIDAY INN and WHITE CHRISTMAS: A SONG TO REMEMBER By Polly Guerin

There’s more than a White Christmas in the staged production of the musical, “Holiday Inn,” currently at the Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam, Connecticut.  New York is also getting its share of nostalgia in movie theaters this week, and just in time for the holidays when the film White Christmas, inspired by the song, will be shown by Fathom Entertainment in theaters around town.
      Irving Berlin’s deeply sentimental timeless classic, “White Christmas” was the first time a song inspired a movie. It was called, “Holiday Inn,” and brought about the first pairing of Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire, yet Astaire would come at a high price. As a concession to satisfy the studio, they agreed to cast lackluster (Really!!!) leading women, virtually unknown: Marjorie Reynolds and Virginia Dale.  Here’s the scoop!!!
   In the winter of 2013, Universal Stage Productions, the theater division of the renowned motion picture studio, invited the Goodspeed Opera House, the quintessential producer of musicals, to be the development home of the stage adaptation of the wonderful tuneful film. By the way, be assured you are in for a treat, Goodspeed knows musicals better than any other in the world. 
   PollyTalk can attest to that!!!  I recently saw Goodspeed’s production of  “Holiday Inn” on their jewel-box stage and I was transported to the fictional town of Midville, Connecticut, yet the production felt like a full-scale Broadway show. This jolly romp and spirited cast of very talented, high kicking performers, gave an energetic and memorable performance that really set the tone for the holidays, while the singers regaled us with sentimental charm.  
     According to Joshua S. Ritter, Goodspeed Education & Library Director’s program notes, “Our  quaint surroundings share some resemblance to the Connecticut sanctuary sought by Jim Hardy (Bing Crosby) in Holiday Inn.” Of course, dear readers, Mr. Ritter  is referring to East Haddam, a gem of a storybook town itself. What better place for Holiday Inn?
     The Goodspeed production of Holiday Inn has been produced with original format, and in addition to the memorable White Christmas,  several scenes include the celebration of major holidays with all time favorite Berlin songs including: Let’s Take an Old Fashioned Walk; I can’t Tell a Lie; You’re Easy to Dance With and Be Careful, It’s My Heart---all featured in Goodspeed’s Holiday Inn.
*****For HOLIDAY INN: Contact Goodspeed Opera House Box Office, 800.873.8668 for a schedule of performances through December 28 and there is an additional matinee on December 22 at 2 PM.  Or boxoffice@goodspeed.org.
     About Goodspeed: The Goodspeed Opera House had endured as a majestic presence on the Connecticut River since it was built in 1876 by William H. Goodspeed, a shipping and banking magnate and avid theater lover. Goodspeed’s history goes back to its opening night on October 24, 1877, when a repertory group presented the comedy Charles II and the farces Box and Cox and Turn Him Out. It is interesting to note that featured performers of the day were brought to East Haddam by steamboat, many directly from theaters in New York.  Goodspeed’s roster of musicals continues throughout the year. Follow their show schedule on goodspeed.org.
******For Theater and Schedules for the film White Christmas contact fathomevents.com
Ta Ta darlings!!! Fan mail welcome at pollytalknyc@gmail.com. Follow PollyTalk on www.pollytalk.com and in the left hand column click on the Blog that interests you on fashion, remarkable men, hidden treasures or poetry. Cheers!!! Very best wishes for a very Happy Holiday, Hanukkah and May the New Year be your best yet!!!

     

Monday, December 1, 2014

HAPPY HOLIDAYS AT BARTOW-PELL MANSION IN THE BRONX By Polly Guerin

Raggety Ann Tree
There's magic in the making at the Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum in the Bronx where the museum's highly-popular Storybook Christmas Trees, nine trees altogether, are inspired by children's books and decorated by New York City,Westchester and the Bronx interior designers.
   The season's festivities start this Friday, December 5th with the traditional holiday luncheon when guests can indulge their holiday pleasure looking at the lovely trees and browsing for gifts and home-baked goods at the holiday shop (stocked as usual with the help of Kensington Papers.
  That evening the holiday romp continues with Holiday First Friday, music and the convenience of the Bronx Trolley, which makes a continuous loop from the #6 Pelham Bay subway station to Partow-Pell mansion.
   Then, too, let's not forget the Saturday night Holiday Party when it's time to celebrate in style with cocktails and caroling, a delicious buffet dinner, live auction, a raffle with sumptuous prizes, and much, much more reasons to celebrate. Go to the BPMM website to check out the prizes. www.bpmm.org.
   There's more to come including music with the Bronx Arts Ensemble, candlelit tours of the holiday mansion and Victorian carolers---all magical ways to enjoy the holiday season. The annual Family Day: A Storybook Christmas, Saturday, Dec. 6th starts with storytelling in the morning, caroling by the Morrisania Glee Club, holiday crafts and photos with Santa ...space is limited so call Santa to make a reservation..
Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree
   The spirit of Christmas never seems to end with Saturday's night's part  and the Bronx Arts Ensemble's Holiday concert on Dec. 13, 1 and 3pm and Sunday, December 24, 1 and 3 pm are free, but reservations are required at 718.601.7399.
   It's a magical experience when you experience the mansion by candlelight with costume docents highlighting the 19th-century holiday traditions. Reservations are required.  Please check out costs and make your reservations for all or any of this wonderful events at 718.885.1461
  Dear reader you may wish to ask just who/what is the Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum, BPMM?. It is a fabled New York City landmark; operated by the private, non-profit Bartow-Pell Conservancy located in Pelham Bay in the Bronx at 895 Shore Road. During the year the mansion and carriage house are open to the public Wed, Sat. and Sun. from noon to 4pm. For more info about Bartow-Pell visit www.bpmm.org.
   Ta Ta Dear readers, fan mail welcome at pollytalknyc.gmail.com.
Visit Polly's blog a www.pollytalk.com

Monday, November 10, 2014

ADAM RETURNS TO THE MET AFTER 12-YEAR CONSERVATION By Polly Guerin

Wonders never cease to amaze...ADAM in all its poetic glory is reborn at the Metropolitan Museum of Art after a near tragic ending when he crashed to the marble floor in 2002. It's the kind of fairy tale story that has a happy ending as does the fairy tale theme making New York City the land of make believe wonder. Here's the scoop!!!
Tullio Lombardo's Adam
TUILIO LOMBARDO’S ADAM: A MASTERPIECE: ADAM FELL OFF HIS PEDESTAL…but All the King’s Men:  dozens of scientists, engineers and conservators at the Metropolitan Museum of Art have put, the 500 year old sculpture, Adam, back together again. It is stunningly restored and will be on view starting tomorrow, Tuesday, November 10th.
   Adam's fall  happened under seemingly mysterious circumstances, On one Sunday night, when no one was there, Adam’s downfall came unexpectedly in the silent gallery, His youthful head crowned with a halo of hair, the envy of any damsel, crashed to the marble floor and the rest of his body broke into many devastating pieces.  It was a dreadful blow to the Museum and it took twelve years to mend, put the gorgeous colossus black together again.  That in itself makes it worthwhile make a trek to the Museum to view the revival of the Adonis.
  Take time to view the videos which show how conservators Jack Soultanian and his colleague Carolyn Riccardelli and Michael Morris with dozens of other technical wizards recreated the statue, which by the way needed a new nose job, as well as hand, knee and foot replacements---all made to precise respect to antiquity and recreating the color integrity of the marble. It is such an amazing restoration that only an expert could tell that anything had happened.
   Feast your eyes, dear readers and find yourself stepped in history--- the sculpture dating back to 1490-1495 was commissioned for the monumental tomb of a Venetian doge, Andrea Vendramin, now in the church of Santi Giovanni e Paolo, Venice. It was acquired by the Museum in 1936.
Polly’s Movie Pick of the Week THE TALE OF THE PRINCESS KAGUYA subtitled in Japanese and dubbed into English take the viewer on a magical journey in an animated feature by The Studio Ghibli.  In his first animated feature in over ten years, the stalwart Isao Takahata (“Grave of the Fireflies”) weaves at tale that transcends the ordinary concerns of life into an exquisitely drawn imagery with watercolor delicacy that never fails to draw you into the depth of the story---
   A Japanese folk tale about a miniature country girl who is discovered in a bamboo flower. Enchanted the bamboo cutter who discovers her takes her home to his wife and as her parents they decide that she will be brought up to be a princess. The accompanying music throughout the film adds to the overall enjoyment right to the end when the princess ascends in the sky on a huge cloud populated with Buddha figures with captivating musical rendering that makes some us wish they could follow.
At the IFC Center, 323 Avenue of the Americas, ifccenter.com. Check newspapers for local time schedule.
VAN CLEEF & ARPEL’S FAIRY TALE: Continues the fairy tale theme and casts a spell of romance on New Yorkers. The jeweler shows what fairy tales are really made as it unveils its holiday windows at the brands Fifth Avenue flagship shore, with its Peau d’Ane high end jewelry collection at the center of the luxury display.  The holiday windows mark the U.S. debut of the collection which originally was launched in France this summer.
   The name Peau d’Ane is the title of the fairy tale, written by Charles Perrault, from which the collection finds its inspiration. “It’s a love story and you have all the element of a fairy tale---a princess, a castle, et cetera,” Alain Bernard, chief executive of the Americas,  recently told Women’s Wear Daily. “We love to tell a story through our jewelry collection, and this was a way to retell the recurring themes of Van Cleef  & Arpels, which is all about nature, couture and, of course, romance.”
   Bernard explains, “We wanted the window to feel as though you are reading a book, and as you walk down Fifth Avenue, you’re turning the pages. Artist Douglas Little with a specialty in animation and envisioned and executed the engaging theme.  Take a stroll and find enchantment on 57th Street.
Ta Ta Darlings!!! Veteran’s Day parade is tomorrow and for the first time, six heroic dogs will be honored on a float in the parade. I’m just saw Princess Kaguya…if you want your spirits lifted this is the film to see. Fan mail welcome at pollytalknyc@gmail.com  Visit Polly’s Blogs at www.pollytalk.com and click in the left-hand column where you will find topics on amazing women, visionary men, poetry and rare finds.
  



Monday, November 3, 2014

ARTISTIC IMMERSION AT THE METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART (c) By Polly Guerin

The frigid weather is starting to send us indoors and what a delightful way to spend a day immersed in the arts and discovering ancestral painters, nearly forgotten. All three exhibitions discussed here are at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on view now through February 1, 2015.. Here's the scoop!!!
Jupiter and Antiope (1595-97)  By Spranger
BARTHOLOMEUS SPRANGER: Splendor and Eroticism in Imperial Prague is one of those once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to view the first major exhibition devoted to this fascinating artist who served a cardinal, a pope, and two Holy Roman Emperors..
   You may ask, "Just who was Spranger?" It's no wonder we haven't heard anything about him before this exhibit. He is a forerunner of other great artists who emulated his oeuvre. Bartholomeus Spranger (1546-1611) emerged as one of the most prominent artists at the court of Rudolf II in Prague and the most significant Northern Mannerist artist of his generation. Through a selection of rare paintings, etchings and drawings his remarkable career is revealed.Image: Jupiter and Antiope, oil on canvas. Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, Austria.
  Spranger employed a bravura technique and elegant style and he had an immense aptitude for composing allegories feature amorous couples entwined in complicated and seemingly impossible poses. Where did Spranger get his training? Good question! 
   In the 1560s Spranger studied with Guilio Clovio (who was also El Greco's mentor) and garnered the illustrious patronage of Cardinal Alessandro Farnese and Pope Pius V. He reached the apogee of his fame when he headed north: first to Vienna where he was court painter by the Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian II and then in Prague where he became a celebrated painter and draftsman.Works from Spranger's mature period comprise the bulk of the exhibition and include paintings Venus and Vulcan (ca. 1595) and the Allegory of the Reign of Rudolf II (1592).
   A kunstkammer, or chamber of wonders, has been especially created for the exhibition featuring exotic objects from nature along with the works of various artists.
PAINTING BY EL GRECO commemorate the 400th anniversary of the death of El Greco (Domenikos Theotokopoulos, (1541-1614) with the finest exhibition (European Paintings, Gallery 608, 2nd floor) that brings together all the artist's paintings in the Metropolitan Museum of Art's collection November 4 to February 1, 2015. 
   In effect, it is a mini-retrospective of the artist, with ten paintings spanning El Greco's entire career from his arrival in Venice in 1567, through his move to Rome in 1570 and his long residence in Toledo, Spain, from 1577 until his death in 1614.
View of Toledo by El Greco (1598-99) 
   El Greco's religious paintings, portraits and The View of Toledo, a masterpiece of the Museum's collection, make this presentation a unique experience. Few Old Master painters have exercised a profound influence on modern art as has El Greco, one of the most original artists of the European tradition
CARLETON WATKINS' YOSEMITE And now an artist of a different venue I give you Carleton Watkins (1829-1916), the consummate photographer of the American West. Considering how encumbered he was in his travels carrying heavy equipment over the terrain on donkeys it is surprising that his photographs survived at all, but the quality of his photographs in those early years are very clear and in remarkable condition. The exhibition includes a suite of photographs made by Watkins during his encounter with the sublime typography of Yosemite in 1861 as well as a larger group of studies from his later visits to the valley in 1865 and 1866.Watkins was a virtuoso practitioner of the difficult wet-collodion process, and the remarkable clarity of this "mammoth" prints (18 x 22 inches) was unmatched in his day. Ir was partly due to the artistry and rugged beauty of these photographs that President Lincoln signed a bill on June 30, 1864, declaring the valley
inviolate and initiating the  blueprint for the nation's National Park System.
Ta Ta Darlings!!! I cannot wait to go to Yosemite, never been there, you should go there, too. Fan mail welcome at pollytalknyc@gmail.com. Visit Polly's Blogs at www.pollytalk.com and click on the Blog of interest in the left hand column.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Beauty in the Eye of the Beholder, Helena Rubinstein (c) By Polly Guerin

Helena Rubinstein may not be a household name, but the legendary magnate built a cosmetic empire and crowned herself Queen of her domain, reigning over the beauty routines of women worldwide for decades. Her story is one of inspiration for all women who aspire to ascend the ladder to success. What it took was a passion for living, a drive extraordinary and perseverance to succeed. And, it is about time that recognition to be given to this pioneering woman who made her beauty business one of the hallmarks of the cosmetic industry.
   The Jewish Museum exhibit, Helena Rubinstein: Beauty is Power, through March 22, 2015 is the first museum exhibition to focus on the innovative cosmetics entrepreneur and art collector.. By the time of her death, Rubinstein had risen from her humble origins in a small town Jewish Poland to become a global icon of female entrepreneurship and a leader in art, fashion, design and philanthropy.  As head of a cosmetic empire that extended across four continents, she was, arguably, the first modern self-made woman magnate.
   Rubinstein was born in a small town in Poland in 1872. In 1888, when she was sixteen Rubinstein fled the prospect of an arranged marriage and found her way from Krakow to Vienna to Australia, where she established her first business, Helena Rubinstein & Co., producing skin creams; and at the same time she married her first husband, Edward Titus.
   Her talent for business and its inherent feminism reflects her modern thinking. One of the first slogans Rubinstein used to promote her cosmetics, "Beauty is Power," is an advertisement that first appeared in an Australian newspaper in 1904. This was revolutionary at the turn of the century when the use of cosmetics, associated with the painted faces of actresses and prostitutes, was widely frowned upon by the middle class, but Rubinstein found the means for ordinary women to transform themselves.  Her business challenged the myth of beauty and taste as inborn, or something to which on the wealthy were entitled. By encouraging women to define themselves as sell-expressive individuals, Rubinstein contributed to their empowerment.
She eventually returned to Europe where she established salons in the grandest districts of London and Paris, and also began collecting African and Oceanic art in 1909.
The Salon Format Inspired by the tradition of European literary salons, Rubinstein conceived of her beauty salons as intimate environments where progressive ideas were exchanged under the guidance of a sophisticated patroness. At the outbreak of World War I she moved to the United States, where she founded her first salon in 1915.  Today the term 'beauty salon" means a hairdresser or a day spa. But Rubinstein salon was a place designed entirely by women, where a client could learn not only how to improve her looks, but also how to re-conceive her standards of taste, to understand design, color, and art in order to express her own personality. What Rubinstein advocated was new and profound in the early 20th century. She offered women the ideal of self-invention, a fundamental principle of modernity.
The Art Collection Madame (as she was universally known) ruled with a firm hand and empowered
women. Case in point, at a huge rally in 1911 some women suffragists wore lip rouge as a badge of emancipation.
   Selections from Rubinstein's famous art collection include works by Pablo Picasso, Elie Nadelman, Frida Kahlo, Max Ernst, Leonor Fini, Joan Miro and Henri Matisse, among others, as well as thirty works from
her collection of African and Oceanic art. When people found it strange that a woman who had dedicated her life to beauty would purchase such "ugly things," Rubinstein said, "I had always favored the unusual and when I followed sound advice, as well as my own 'inner eye;'  my purchases were invariably good.":
   Other highlights include Rubinstein's beloved miniature period rooms, jewelry, and clothing designed by Cristobal Balenciaga, Elsa Schiaparelli and Paul Poiret. Her savvy for self-promotion is evident in portraits of her made by the leading artists of her day, from Marie Laurencin to Any Warhol.  Most interesting are the vintage advetisements, cosmetics products and professional films related to her beauty business.
At The Jewish Museum, located on Museum Mile at Fifth Avenue and 92nd Street,  www.thejm.org.
Ta Ta Darlings!!! Madame is my inspiration, she really set the independent mark for women. Fan mail welcome at pollytalknyc@gmail.com. Visit Polly's Blogs on www.pollytalk.com and in the left hand column click on the Blog of your interest be it amazing women, visionary men, treasures in New York or poetry.

Monday, October 20, 2014

MOURNING BECOMES HER and VERDURA'S FASHION LEGACY (C) By Polly Guerin

Illustration by Charles Dana Gibson 
Grieving in Style was de rigueur in the Victorian era! Toute le Monde, just about everyone in socially elite circles, wanted to get fitted in mourning black to suit the occasion in respect for a departed dear one. Even the populace, who could not afford the opulent fashions, nonetheless wanted to be part of the ritual and sent their ordinary clothes to the dyers so they could wear fashionable black.
   Now, my dears, don't fret, grieving in style, "Death Becomes Her: A Century of Mourning Attire, at the Metropolitan Museum of Arts, Anna Wintour Costume Center's first fall exhibition in seven years reveals the high-fashion standard on sartorial dictate of bereavement rituals as they evolved over the century. One look on display was actually a wedding dress, designed to reflect half-mourning in honor of those lost in the Civil War. Of course, the queen of mourning Queen Victoria, the perpetual widow is represented, but her career as a widow is  taking the whole black concept way beyond realistic reasons to carry on.  However, there were specific periods designated for mourning. A widow might have to wear her weeds for two years, one year for a parent and six months for a brother or sister.  With the death rate of infant children and relatives in general a wee gal could be drench in Black almost all of her adult life.
   As Harold Koda, Curator in charge in The Costume Institute remarked, " A veiled widow could elicit sympathy as well as predatory male advances." Relief came to vogue with half-mourning ensembles that were appropriate at toward the end of the grieving period, and introduced shades of gray and mauve into the palette.
   The show is arranged chronologically from 1815 through 1915, with about 30 ensembles. Far from being morbid the show is actually a study of past rituals which was mainly expressed by dull, matte fabrics and this gave forth an entire business of dyers.
   An ensemble was not complete without specially designed mourning jewelry, fans and parasols. One very touching locket is an enamel image of the deceased, often a child. Charles Dana Gibson's illustrations from Life Magazine add a whimsical touch to the serious matter of mourning. Through February 1, 2015.
THE POWER OF STYLE; VERDURA AT 75 On the brighter side of fashion is alive and vibrantly on display in a retrospective exhibition, open to the public, at 745 Fifth Avenue in the Verdura Gallery, showcasing the work of jeweler Duke Fulco di Verdura, creator of breathtaking statement pieces of jewelry from iconic cuffs to elegant pendants.
 Verdura's "Wrapped Heart Brooch
   Curated by Carolina and Reinaldo Herrera and their daughter, Patricia Lansing, more than 300 pieces are on display, including original jewels from private collections as well as objets d'art, gouache jewelry designs, archival materials, Verdura's personal miniature paintings and rare period photographs.
   Whether you are discovering Verdura for the first time or have been a devotee of his genre there is a sense of whimsy, magical enchantment at every step into the history of Verdura's images. Breathtaking to behold are Coco Chanel's original "Maltese Cross" cuffs, circa 1930, the original wrapped "Sash" Heart brooch that Tyrone Power commissioned for his wife Annabella for Christmas 1942, never before seen on public display. Then there's the master of surrealism, Salvador Dali's surrealistic pieces and Joan Fontaine's own "Winged" brooch worn in Hitchcock's Suspicion.
   Be sure to sit in the tiny back room to view a film of Verdura himself, from the "Nan Garcia Show," the only known recording of Fulco di Verdura speaking about his life as a design innovator. Film Clips in another room reveal the numerous films in which the stars of yesteryear wore Verdura jewelry with their fashionable wardrobes. On view now through December 23, 2014, Monday-Friday 11 am-5 pm and Saturdays starting November 29 from 11 am - 5 pm.
Ta Ta Darlings!!! Fan mail welcome at pollytalknyc@gmail.com. Visit Polly's Blogs on fashion visonary men, amazing women and poetry on www.pollytalk.com and click in the left-hand column to the links to the Blog of your choice..

Monday, October 13, 2014

TIME TRAVEL: INTERNATIONAL SHOW, MATISSE CUT UPS (c) By Polly Guerin

New York is rich with history and filled with tradition and this week you can time travel to the International Fine Art & Antiques show and  rediscover Matisse's cut outs in two major events happening this week. Here's the scoop!!!
Exquisite Art Deco Chinioserie clock,:Hancock's, London
THE 26th INTERNATIONAL FINE ART & ANTIQUES SHOW forges into its Next Quarter Century in High Style October 17 to 23rd featuring 65 if the world's top dealers, many of them founding members that converge on the Park Avenue Armory for the breathtaking event that collectors, connoisseurs, interior designers and art lovers anticipate all year long. I'll be there and I hope that you will, too.
   Why? Because the show, founded in 1989, is New York's first vetted fair and remains one of the world's most prestigious and influential art and antique events. This glamorous world-class showcase introduces an outstanding selection of art, featuring everything from antiquities to contemporary art.
PollyTalk's Choice is this stunning Art Deco Chinoiserie clock with a rectangular dial of mother-of-pearl with floral and bird decoration enhanced with a rectangular rose-cut diamond Arabic chapters and pave-set diamond hands. Black lacquer case with rose quartz surmount, a carved agate crown and blue enamel. floral panels, all on carved rose quartz dogs and blue enamel floral pillars. The black lacquer base has six rose quartz feet and the case contains a mechanical movement. By Lacloche Freres, Paris 1925 with dial decoration by Vladimir Makovsky. The exhibitor is Hancocks, London.
   Among some of the highlights is a Sporting Crossbow (circa 1590-1600) made for a member of the Hapsburg Bohemian nobility, Exhibitor Peter Finer and the elegant carved gilt wood, Dundas Console Table, an exceptionally rare and highly important mid 18th century Chippendale period piece, commissioned in 1765 by Sir Lawrence Dundas. Exhibitor Ronald Phillips Ltd.
   The variety of distinguished exhibitors is a remarkable feat in itself with Dillon Gallery, NY devoted to the representation of international contemporary artists in a variety of mediums with an exhibit of established, mid -career, and young emerging artists.
   Sylvia Powell Decorative Arts, UK is known worldwide for rare Art Pottery, specializing in works by Picasso, Jean Couteau, Willam de Morgan and many others. For complete fair and exhibitor information visit: www.haughton.com. Adm. $25. Fair Hours: 11 am to 7:30 pm except Sun and Thursday when the fair closes at 6 pm.
   The preview party takes  place on  Thursday, October 16: contact 212.639 7929
HENRI MATISSE: THE CUT-OUTS is a brilliant final chapter in Matisse's long career and while gallery viewers peruse the playful, colorful cut-outs they are all smiles, as these thought-provoking images are truly gay and enchanting forms imbued with child-like wonder. On view October 12 to Feb. 8, 2015 at the Museum of Modern Art.
  The Cut-Outs is a groundbreaking reassessment of this important body of work, the larges and most extensive presentation of the cut-outs ever mounted, and includes approximately 100 cut-outs, borrowed from public and private collections around the globe, along with a selection of related drawings, illustrated books, stained glass, and textiles. Matisse's cut-outs reflect both a renewed commitment to form and color and an inventiveness directed to the status of the work of art.
Two Masks: Deux masques La Tomate
   The last time New York audiences were treated to an in-depth look at the cut outs was in 1961, and later at an antiques show I purchased a silk scarf printed with an iconic Matisse cut-outs design. I wore the scarf on the day of the press opening and several foreign television producers stopped me to be interviewed and women kept asking, "Where can I purchase that scarf?"  Alas, Moma's gift purveyors did not make a scarf  but one particularly  notable item is boxed holiday cards with a see-through panel, representing the master's stained-glass window Christmas Eve, (Nuit de Noel) realized in 1952 and fabricated by Paul Bony, Paris.  Timed tickets are required for Matisse, now available through Showclix.com at MoMAorg/matissetix. Newly conserved, The Swimming Pool, off view at MoMA for more than 20 years, returns to MoMa's galleries as a centerpiece of the exhibition.  
TA TA Darlings!!! PollyTalk's off to the Park Avenue Armory for the International Fine Art & Antiques Show. Fan mail welcome at pollytalknyc@gmail.com.  Visit Polly's Blogs at www.pollytalk.com and in the left-hand column click on the Blog of interest: fashion, amazingwomen, visionarymen, poetry. etc. Enjoy!!!                                          

Monday, October 6, 2014

PASSIONATE ABOUT CULTURE IN NEW YORK (c) By Polly Guerin

Aileeen Osborn Webb Courtesy of MAD Museum 
What Would Mrs. Webb Do? A Founder's Vision examines Aileen Osborn Webb's pioneering support of contemporary crafts as a driver of innovation and her pivotal role advancing the field. The exhibition featuring a range of objects created over the past 60 years, celebrates Aileen Osborn Webb, who established the Museum of Arts and Design, then the Museum of Contemporary Crafts, in 1956. This exhibition explores how Webb, through her advocacy work at MAD and other leading institutions across the country and internationally championed the skilled maker as integral to America's future. With over 100 works encompassing glass, clay, wood, metal, and fiber the exhibition  illustrates the ongoing impact of her visionary efforts to represent makers including Sam Maloff and Joris Laarman (furniture); Jack Lenor Larson and Lia Cook (textiles); Peter Voulkos and Jun Kaneko (ceramics); Harvey Littleton and Judith Schaechter (glass) to name a few whose works are featured. "We are sharing some of the best pieces made during her tenure along with examples of artists today who continue to benefit from her progressive ideas," said exhibition curator Jeannine Falino. Through February 8, 2015 at MAD, 2 Columbus Circle. 212.299.7701. www.madmsuem.org.
ALBERTINE Reflecting France's belief in the power of books as a common good  for a better world, the Cultural Services of the French Embassy Beaux Arts mansion on Fifth Avenue has opened a reading room and bookstore devoted to French works in French and English in a comfy elegant setting that begs for your visiting there soon. Fashioned like an old-world library, with green velvet sofa, bronze-trimmed bookcases, and a Renaissance-style ceiling mural of constellations, the shop temps one to want to while away the hours on a languid lunch break. Antonin Baudry hand picked more than 14,000 books including rare first editions by les grands philosophers--Voltaire, de Beauvoir--and works by contemporary best sellers. Location 972 fifth Avenue. (212) 650 0070 Monday-Thursday, Saturday 11AM-7PM, Friday 11 AM -10 PM and Sunday 11 AM-6PM. www.albertine.com.
SNAG A MODERN MR DARCY Just read  The Jane Austen's Rules: A classic Guide to Modern Love, a new book by Sinead Murphy who takes a 19th-century approach with her new advice book in which she shares her favorite tips for anyone looking for her own Mr. Darcy. Some titles include share Your opinions, like Anne Elliot from "Persuasion;" Flirt like Elizabeth Bennet from "Pride and Prejudice;" and Be Willing to Apologize, Like Emma. Out October 14 at most bookstores.
FIT TO BE TIED The Fashion Committee at the National Arts Club invites you to an evening of four-in-hands, bow ties and ascots with celebrated authorities David Hart, Sean Crowley and CFDA-winner Gene Meyer. Just for the fun of it learn to tie the perfect double Windsor while enjoying the stylish sound of Big Band era of Jazz-inspired Dandy Wellington and his band. 7 PM at the NAC, 15 Gramercy Park South. Info: fashion@thenationalartsclub.org.
Ta Ta darlings!!! Polly off to Albertine to sink into a comfy velvet couch and read some sizzling French novel. Fan mail welcome at pollytalknyc@gmail.com. Visit www.pollytalk.com to click into Polly's Blogs on poetry, fashion, amazing women and visionary men.

Monday, September 29, 2014

CHINA and CHINESE CULTURE in the NEWS (c) By Polly Guerin

Anna May Wong's Certificate of Identity, August 28, 1924 
CHINESE AMERICAN, Exclusion/Inclusion  a riveting exhibition at the New-York Historical Society tells the complex and fascinating story of Chinese in America, weaving together the stories of trade, education, migration and labor. Here you will find family history and within these stories meet some people of celebrity, like Anna May Wong. Even movie stars like Anna May Wong were subject to the 1909 law that required Chinese entering or residing in the United States to carry a government issued Certificate of Identity Image: Courtesy of National Archives at San Francisco (54099).
   Anna May Wong  was the first Chinese American movie star and the first Asian American to gain
international recognition. Her long and varied career spanned both silent and sound film, television, stage and radio. Her unforgettable performance in the film "Old San Francisco," during the height of the Art Deco era, 1927, attests to her beauty and sometimes sensuous talent.
   The exhibition does much more visually to enchant the viewer. It explores the dramatic change in the American immigration policy represented by the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act--the unprecedented immigration legislation, which barred most Chinese from entering the United States. Other venues include the establishment of Chinese-American communities, and the rise of educational programs in East Coast universities.
   The exhibition interprets the Chinese American saga as a key part of American History and illustrates little-known stories relating to Chinese immigrants through media and artifacts, such as the voyage of the Empress of China, which set sail from New York in 1784 just a few years after the  end of the American Revolution; how young Chinese boys were sent by their government to study at elite New England schools and later recalled back to China as they were deemed becoming too American. The exhibition concludes covering the repeal of Exclusion immigration reform, and the legacy of early Chinese American's experiences and achievement in the United States. At 170 Central Park West.  www.nyhistory.com
CHARLES JAMES: Beneath the Dress Many fashionistas already visited the Charles James exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art but the National Arts Club's exhibition does much to fill in the gaps of Charles James' life and work. On view for a brief time from today to October 5th at the NAC is a private collection of fashion and erotic drawings, vintage photographs by Anton Perich and a short film. No Tickets required, the presentation is open to the public 11am-5pm Monday through Sunday. At 15 Gramercy Park South.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF NEW YORK: Selections from a history of New York in 101 Objects Can one object define New York City? Can 101?  New York Times urban affairs correspondent Sam Roberts has assembled a kaleidoscopic array of possibilities in a new exhibition based on his new book , A History of New York in 101 Objects (Simon & Schuster, 2014). Featuring 30 objects drawn from the New York Historical Society's collection, this exhibition highlights some of Roberts's choices, winnowed from hundreds of possibilities, to constitute a unique history of New York.  The selections themselves constitute a democracy of objects that taken together capture the monumental drama as well as the everyday spirit of New York.
Ta Ta Darlings!!! Polly is off to visit Charles James again. Fan mail welcome at pollytalknyc@gmail.com
Visit Polly's Blogs on www.pollytalk.com and in the left hand column click on the link to the Blog of your choice on fashion, visionary men and amazing art deco women or poetry.

Monday, September 22, 2014

HEAVEN IS A GARDEN and Chinese/American Culture (c) By Polly Guerin

Nothing could be finer than to be in New York City this autumn. There's so much in the offering you have to prioritize your list of  things to do, places to be and things to see. Here's the Scoop!!!!
HEAVEN IS A GARDEN Just in time to soothe our frazzled nerves and city jitters comes Jan Johnsen, landscape designer and author's most recent book, Heaven is a Garden: Designing Serene Spaces for Inspiration and Reflection. This book is not just for gardeners, it is a lovely picture perfect escape just because sometimes we need to linger in a garden. Ms. Johnsen's lively Powerpoint talk takes place at the historic Bartow Pell Mansion Museum on Tuesday, September 23 at 7:30 pm, located at 845 Shore Road, Bronx, N.Y. 10464.         Jim Peterson, publisher of Garden Design Magazine said, "Jan Johnsen touches the soul with her insights on gardens, as well as on living life. You'll be touched too as she teaches you how to create a divine, unhurried landscape with simplicity, sanctuary and delight." Ms. Johnsen ought to know...she is a professional landscape designer and winner of the 2014 Merit Award of the Association of Professional Landscape Designers (APLD). Jan also teaches at the New York Botanical Garden and is an adjunct professor at Columbia University.  Registration is requested. Cost $10 adults; $8 seniors and students: members of Bartow Pell free. Be there as Jan Johnsen guides us all into the magnificent colors, heavenly textures and treasures in the heart of garden. www.bartowpellmansionmuseum.org. 718.885.1461.
CHINESE AMERICAN, Exclusion/Inclusion opening September 26 at the New York Historical Society, tells the complex and fascinating story of Chinese in America, weaving together stories of trade, education, migration and labor. It explores the dramatic change in American immigration policy represented in the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act, the establishment of Chinese-American communities, and the rise of educational programs in East Coast universities  The exhibition concludes covering the repeal of the Exclusion Immigration reform, and the legacy of early Chinese American's experience. Then on Oct. 2 from 7 to 8:30 pm NYHS invites you to attend the U.S. Premiere Screening of what is "Chineseness"? and to make Oct. 2 extra-special you can savor a noodle entree and a Chinese-inspired cocktail from restaurateur Stephen Starr (reservations 212 485-9268).  On Saturday, Oct. 4 at 2 pm the Chinese Cultural Center presents the art and athleticism of ribbon dancing. rsvp to familyprograms@nyhistory.org. Location: 170 Central Park West, between West 76 and 77 Streets.  www.nyhistory.org.
COSTUME INSTITUTE SETS CHINA FOCUS The Global fascination with all things China is extending to the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in the Spring of 2015. Just remember that you heard it first from PollyTalk. The exhibition will explore the influence of China on Creativity, from and fashion and costume to paintings, porcelain, art and movies. May 7-August 16, 2015. More to come in PollyTalk later this year about Chinese Whispers: Tales of the East in Art, Film and Fashion.
NICKY HILTON'S NEW BOOK "365 Style," takes on the whole year in her first style-advice-book to coordinate with the unveiling of her capsule collection with Canada's eLuxe.  Hilton says that she put something for every girl in this small capsule collection and so there's this Upper East Side preppy-chic stuff and some California bohemian beach-girl stuff." She is fully self-aware when it comes to her family's notoriety and admits "I would be lying if my last name didn't open doors, but in the end the product always speaks for itself, Product is King."
Ta Ta Darlings!!! I'm marking my calender to see the NYHS's "Chineseness," and you should too. Fan mail welcome pollytalknyc@gmail.com.  Polly's Blogs on www.pollytalk.com can be easily accessed just click on the link in the left hand column to Blogs on fashion, women, visionary men, poetry and hidden treasures in New York City.

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.

Monday, July 7, 2014

FAST FORWARD FASHION and COUTURE (c) By Polly Guerin

Van Cleef & Arpels' magical land Peau d:Ane Collection
Fashion's fast forward into the summer brings us to Paris and Magical Moments with Van Cleef Arpel..and if that doesn't liven things up the Metropolitan Museum's  Costume Center ushers in mourning attire.  Only in New York, my dears, the best of New York. Here's the Scoop!!!
IS COUTURE DEAD"? The pinnacle of luxury, Haute Couture, au contraire is alive and in fine fettle with a new generation of younger clientele flooding the market from as far away as China. These are women who covet high fashion and high heels and are thirtysomething devotees of the made-to-order craft, the mainstay of France's luxury trade.. As the couture shows go into high gear Dior is hosting a client event to introduce its latest high-jewelry collection with a dinner for 120 people at the Palace de Versailles. At one time couture was exclusive reserved for mature women, mothers, the occasional movie star or celebrity.
  Today fashionista daughters with dollars to spare, big buyers that are not affected by the global economic situation, are appreciating and purchasing this exclusive and high high-level form of fashion,. Here in the United States among the intelligentsia, the women who have scaled the glass ceiling are calling couture their own right. They can well afford to look "haute"  and wear exclusive clothes to differentiate themselves from their peers and subordinates.  Granted these executive women tend to order more daywear, but special eveningwear takes priority for special occasions and red-carpet galas.
   For women who are on a more restrained budget they can only dream of wearing couture, but when I worked at the House of Guy LaRoche in Paris, instead of reimbursement for my service, I was paid in the bounty of a couture dress and suit, and I can attest to the fact that when you wear couture it really fits quite differently and you carry yourself with a new "Hoity Toity" manner.
   By the way, Didier Grumbach has stepped down as president of the Federation Francaise de la Couture, du Pret-a-Porter des Couturiers et des Createurs de Mode and Ralph Toledano, has succeeded him as president of the fashion trade group.Mr. Toledano, president of Puig, a fashion and beauty house based in Barcelona, will retain his position while taking on the new responsibilities.
MAGICAL MOMENTS WITH APRELS Talking about sumptuous events Van Cleef & Aprels created a magical kingdom in which unicorns exist and Indian elephants and other mythical creature roam the Loire Valley's Chateau de Chambord in France. All this movie-star hype to launch its latest high-jewelry collection "Peau d'Ane (or Donkey Skin) inspired by the Charles Perrault fairy tale of the same name. 
   The chateau was privatized for for event and the first day the magical kingdom parade of models and creatures was given exclusively for customers and the second for the visiting press. Guests were welcomed into the 16th-century chateau, which was transformed for the occasion into a magical realm with masked dancers in medieval costume,  men wearing deer's heads and performing owls.
   Everything about the collection was magical from the Chateau Enchante clip centered with a 39-carat oval-cut Brazilian emerald to the Gateau d'Amour ring made of white and yellow gold with gradated yellow to brown diamonds and centered with a 4.48-carat emerald. The magic wasn't over until the guests were treated to a medieval-style banquet followed by a performance of songs from "Peau d'Ane," by opera singers Natalie Dessay and Laurent Naouri accompanied by musician and composer Michel Legrand, who wrote the original score.
MOURNING BECOMES YOU A different kind of fashion history comes to New York this fall when the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Anna Wintour Costume Center unveils "Death Becomes Here: A Century of Mourning Attire. The predominantly black palette of mourning dramatizes ensembles with jewelry and acessories. Curator-in-Charge Harold Koda said, "Even in a subject so fraught  with emotion, clothins becomjes a physical manifestation of grief."  Approximately 30 ensembles will reveal the impact of high-fashion standards on the satorial dictates of bereavement rituals as they evolved over a centuryl. Mark your calender: Opens October 21 to February 2, 2015.
Ta Ta Darlings!!! For the moment I am stay with the magical moments in life!!! Fan mail welcomn pollytalk@verizon.net. Visit Polly's Blogs at www.pollytalk.com and in the left-hand column click on the links to Blogs on visionary men, hidden treasures and amazing womne.

Monday, June 30, 2014

CULTURAL VENUES INVIGORATE HALCYON SUMMER DAYS (c) By Polly Guerin

Summer in the city offers cultural blue bloods an opportunity to chill out in style while taking in diverse venues that captivate the spirit of those languid  halcyon days. Only in New York my friends, the Best of New York!!! Here's the scoop.
MADELINE is back in town and still has that magical quality to enchant both children and adults alike. Now 75 years later, the New York Historical Society celebrates Bemelman's storied career with "Madeline in New York: The Art of Bemelmans, which opens July 4th...a great day to celebrate the holiday and the iconic book. It all began when Ludwig Bemelmans took his daughter, Barbara, on a trip to France that the fortuitous trip partly inspired him to write Madeline---and little did he know that "In an old House in Paris..." would become an opening line for the ages---nor did he know that the book series would become a classic.The exhibit includes 90 drawings, paintings, and memorabilia and enchanting familiar scenes of Madeline's escapades in Paris. You will also get a rare view of the artist's works including drawings of the old Ritz Hotel in New York and illustrated panels from Aristotle Onassis's yacht. And while you're in a nostalgic mood why not hope over to the Carlyle hotel and  imbibe a libation at the Bemelman's Bar where the artist's folkloric other works are the decorative scenery.
GARRY WINOGRAND the Bronx-born photographer's iconic black-and-white images of mid-century American life comes to full view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in a major retrospective showing the late photographer's iconic work. Documenting as it does the the tumultuous sixties the exhibit  focuses on  images of upheaval and renewal projected through his viewfinder, which framed both the optimistic art and the go-go hustle of the times. According to Nick Remsen in July Vogue, "There's an unmistakable frozen-in-time vitality to Winogrand's work, whether his focus was on homeward-bound fliers fresh off their DC-8s at Idelwild Airport (now JFK) or Gotham's rowdies night owls--and it's been a joy to see that energy and exuberance channeled on the catwalk." You will see familiar fashion icons like Miu Miu's candy-colored vinyl outerwear, Gucci's separates dyed in the hues of sun bleached Formica, and Saint Laurent's glittering knee-high boots. When it's time to chill out try the Met and its many splendid exhibits.
YVES SAINT LAURENT, the MOVIE, brilliantly captures YSL's shyness, charm, and artistic bravado. Pierre Niney (a YSL clone) morphs into the role with so much as a wrinkle.  Drawing upon vast archive of original material (made available to the production by 83-year-old Pierre Berge) director Jalil Lespert puts the designers' groundbreaking work on screen.  Still gloriously beautiful are YSL's Mondrian dresses that were a huge success worldwide, tuxedos  for women, pea coats, and peasant blouses. The film is not without sadness as it poignantly films both YSL's vibrant success and downward spiral. Least we forget, the young design genius left French Algeria as a teenager to work for Christian Dior, took over Dior at the are 21 in January 1958; and he and his partner, Pierre Berge, famously launched their own fashion label in 1962, the rest is history. At the FILM FORUM through July 8th.
MoMA's SUMMERGARDEN and MoMA nights announces a lineup of free live music events in the Abby aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture garden, opening with a free concert series for four Sunday evenings. Members of the New Juilliard Ensemble perform on July 6. 13, 20 and 27, offering two distinctive programs of contemporary compositions.  Jazz at Lincoln Center has selected two jazz groups---on July 13 (Jonathan Ragonese Ensemble) and July 27 (Helen Sung Quintet) emphasize original works, each with one New York premiere.  On Thursday evenings in July and August, the Museum's MoMA Nights---a series of musical performances begins July 3 when the Sculpture Garden opens at 7 p.m. and concerts begin at 8 p.m. in the Sculpture Garden free with Museum admission. Musical acts for the MoMA nights series feature an array of vibrant, creative women who are making their mark on today's music scene.
Ta Ta darlings!!! I've had my vicarious thrill and bought the Yves Saint Laurent catalogue of the YSL exhibition held at the Petit Plais/Musee des Beaux-Arts de la ville de Paris, in 2010. Fan mail welcome at pollytalk@verizon.net. Visit Polly's BLOGS on fashion visionary men, amazing women, poetry and hidden treasures on www.pollytalk.com, click on a Blog link in the left hand column of the homepage.