Friday, February 24, 2012

New York notes

Hannah-Rose from Capture the Castle is back from her New York trip. In her latest post she shares some of the highlights as well as her new 3.1 Phillip Lim obsession... 

all photos by Hannah-Rose Yee

What a trip! What a trip! I don’t think I could have asked for a more creative, inspiring and exciting holiday, just what I needed to welcome in the new year. I’ve never had so much fun in the city that never sleeps – discovering new cafes and late-night haunts as well as fitting in plenty of wandering, walking around and shopping. New York has always felt like a second home to me, thanks in part because I’ve been lucky enough to spend a lot of time there. This trip, however, felt like a coming of age. I felt comfortable there. Maybe comfortable enough to live there… Maybe! We’ll see.

one. Ruby’s Cafe
two and three. Isabel Marant store
four. Dean and Deluca cookie counter
five. Bar at Balthazar

Soho is one of my favourite neighbourhoods in New York. The shopping is fantastic – all the major labels have a store there, and the city’s best boutiques are dotted around Spring and Prince Streets – and there are plenty of cute little cafes and bars to rest your feet in after a mammoth day of shopping. Some of my favourite spots in Soho? The Isabel Marant store, at the corner of Broome and Greene, the 3.1 Phillip Lim flagship boutique at 115 Mercer St, the Theory store at 151 Spring St, Dean and Deluca, which is a famous New York deli and food emporium, located at the corner of Prince and Broadway, just around the corner from famous French brasserie Balthazar, at 80 Spring St. If you're desperate for an Aussie fix then you have to stop by Ruby's cafe, which is at 219B Mulberry St. They have flat whites, vegemite, smoothies and multi grain bread, what more could you want? I had a belated Australia day brunch there with some fellow aussies, the perfect antidote to the chilling, blistering wind of a New York winter.

six. yellow cabs, they never get old. 
seven. Lincoln Center where they hold New York Fashion Week
eight. The roof at Grand Central Station
nine. Theysken's Theory at Barney's New York

I also had a lot of fun uptown, where you can check out racks and racks of Theysken's Theory at New York's infamous department store Barney's (corner of Madison and 60th), as well as catch glimpses of yellow cabs and people watch outside the Lincoln center at Columbus Ave and West 63rd if you're lucky enough to be in New York during fashion week. If you're uptown you also have no choice but to stop by the newly opened Laduree patisserie at East 71st and Madison Ave, where the world famous macarons are on sale - but be prepared to line up! Once you've collected a couple of macarons you can head down to my favourite museum in New York, the Frick, which houses a stunning collection of European art from Vermeer to Renoir, as well as an incredible range of Singer Sargent portraits. The whole collection was owned by Henry Clay Frick, an American entrepeneur, who, after the death of his wife, turned his mansion at the corner of 5th Ave and East 70th into a public art gallery. It's staggering to think that the building - not to mention all those beautiful paintings! - used to belong to someone and that they used to live every day there. What a life that would have been. 

ten. 3.1 Phillip Lim 31 hour clutches
eleven. same - yellow/black and white/black - $395, tan - $345
twelve. 3.1 Phillip Lim 31 Hour tote bag $795
thirteen. 3.1 Phillip Lim 31 hour tote bags on the street at New York Fashion Week

All 3.1 Phillip Lim bags are in-store now at The Corner Shop Strand Arcarde

I didn't bring much back with me from New York... except for a crazy obsession with the new 3.1 Phillip Lim 31 hour day bags. I first heard about them a couple of months before I left when I read that Phillip Lim would be starting a capsule collection of bags for busy working women. It all sounded a little too grown up for me, until I saw these bags on the street at New York fashion week, toted by one fabulously well dressed man and and equally chic girl (in a matching 3.1 Phillip Lim dress and parka!). They made these structured totes look so perfect for now - reversible, changeable and so easy to wear.

What I loved most was the many different ways that you could wear the tote, you could zip open the top to have the style completely open like in the picture, you could flip the contrast leather depending on your mood (did you black and tan or tan and black today?) and, my favourite, you could bunch the whole thing up in your arms with the handles hanging down like a massive, cuddly clutch. They were minimal and simple without any of the crazy design additions that flood it-bags these days, but - and this is the most important thing - they weren't boring. There is such a fine line between simple and boring, and these bags are definitely on the right side of it. 

After the 3.1 Phillip Lim show this season Joanna Hillman from Harper's Bazaar USA remarked that Phillip Lim makes clothes that girls want to wear. Well, I think it has to be said that he makes the bags that we want to wear too. The only question now is which colour...

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