Channel: Opening Ceremony RSS - ocblog
Mark channel Not-Safe-For-Work? cancel confirm NSFW Votes: (0 votes)
Are you the publisher? Claim or contact us about this channel.

Romanian Tenderloin... For One

Solo eating establishments—the truly great ones—require a precise atmosphere. Some are quiet and discreet. Others are unexpected and lie in plain sight. But they can all be difficult to find in a metropolis. Alex Vadukul presents a new one here on the first week of every month. The second in the "Eating Solo" series: Sammy's Roumanian Steakhouse, an offbeat, fluorescent-lit Jewish chop shop in the Bowery that The New York Times once referred to as the “most wonderful terrible” restaurant in town.

Eating alone is the antithesis of Sammy’s Roumanian Steakhouse, the offbeat, fluorescent-lit Jewish chop shop in the Bowery that the New York Times has referred to as the “most wonderful terrible” restaurant in town, but that’s also what makes it a perfect place to eat at solo.

Eating without others at Sammy’s puts you in the minority—I’m told there are only a handful of such eaters per week. People have been coming to Sammy’s since 1975, expressly to feast in groups. That’s almost the point of this nonstop bar mitzvah for adults, located down a set of steps on Chrystie Street. 

Much like the restaurant’s singing, keyboard-playing musician, loaded with his array of rehearsed self-deprecating jokes, Sammy’s has its signature repertoire of crowd-pleasing tricks: the pitchers of schmaltz (chicken fat) that are held high to dribble down the yellow viscous liquid into bowls of chopped liver, the seltzer chargers, do-it-yourself egg creams, and vodka bottles served in freezing blocks of ice to assist not only with inebriation, but to pacify any alarming pangs that may grip your heart after the gluttony of liver.

The food has much merit—the garlic-smeared steaks and broiled sweetbreads should satisfy any carnivore—but the restaurant’s richest offering is its unique atmosphere, which becomes so zany and mayhem-filled that solo eaters can enjoy the rare privilege of becoming invisible altogether: a table alone at Sammy’s becomes your own private island of crisp vodka shots and gut-busting food alongside some of the finest people-watching around.

The spectacle works well in part because of Dani Luv, the restaurant’s primary in-house musician and entertainer, who plays nightly sets of ribald and Yiddish-inflected joke tunes on his keyboard, bringing crowds to laughter, inhibition, and foot-stomping “Hava Nagila”-singing dance circles.

“Everyone becomes themselves when they come here,” says Luv. “The other day two guys came in wearing ties all suited up. I told them, ‘Hey, take those off. You’re in a shithole. Relax.’ People act naturally in a place like this.”

His tunes include “Brown Eyed Jew,” “Girl from Emphysema,” and “Hey Jew.” One recent night he complimented a dancing couple. “Ladies and gentlemen, give them a nice round of applause: the beauty and the beast.” “Welcome to Sammy’s, the house of cholesterol,” is another common Luv line.

Take in Sammy’s like a movie when you go alone. You’ll stand out at first but gradually disappear into the scene. Observe the buttoned-up man, emboldened by vodka, glancing to see if waiters are watching before grabbing a bottle from a now-empty table to pour a round of shots for his friends. Or the older lady who gets in on the dance circle onl

Sturtevant And The Appeal Of Appropriation

Elaine Sturtevant was ahead of her time, to say the least. With the Internet facilitating most, if not all, of today’s appropriation-based art, it’s almost inconceivable that the artist rose to such prominence all the way back in the mid-'60s. In 2014, Richard Prince posts a comment on an Instagram photo, prints a screenshot of it on a canvas, and boom: appropriation art. In 1969, Sturtevant mastered an endless list of techniques and mediums, such as sculpture, photography, film, and painting, to reproduce artistic works, a majority of the time recreating them from memory alone. Boom: appropriation art.

That’s all without mentioning her sixth sense for future artistic success. Walking through the artist’s sprawling 50-year career survey at the Museum of Modern Art, her recreations of pieces from Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns, and Keith Haring could be seen as parodies of iconic images, but at the time of the pieces’ creations, the original versions had a lot less cultural clout. In a pre-Internet age, Sturtevant had her finger on the pulse of the art world so much that she was able to rip off some of the biggest artists in history before they became some of the biggest artists in history. Sturtevant’s mastery of being ahead of the curve make her recreations feel incredibly modern even today; the transgressive nature of her work still as intense as it was at the birth of each individual piece.

A facet of appropriation art that hasn’t seemed to have changed since Sturtevant’s beginnings is the divisiveness of the genre. Artists, critics, and the overall public are still divided to this day over the ethics and overall artistic merit of recreation-based art. Sturtevant’s career was filled with controversy, from Claes Oldenberg’s art dealer buying her recreations of Oldenberg’s pieces only to destroy them, to a series of 12 shows in Paris of Sturtevant’s recreations of Warhol’s Flowers that resulted in the sale of exactly zero paintings. Curator of Sturtevant’s MoMA exhibition Peter Eleey spoke to W magazine in a profile on the artist posted just after her death and explained that the artist expected the negative reactions from the start. “She’s somebody who basically adopts style as a medium, and in order to do that she assumed the guise of the artists around her. This is an incredibly powerful and threatening thing to take on.”

In the previously mentioned magazine profile, Sturtevant explains there are two paths her artwork can lead you down. "Your head either goes forward or it goes backward," she says. "If it goes backward, you dismiss the work as a worthless copy. Forward is, ‘Oh, my God, what is that? How does that work?’ ” Walking through the exhibition, the latter is most definitely your reaction; so much so that the exhibition itself is almost unnerving. Walls lined with pieces of iconic artwork that look so much like their originals that it is hard to believe you are looking at an imposter. “Forward.” Into society, into the art world, into your mind. Sturtevant did it all.

Sturtevant: Double Trouble is on display at the Museum of Modern Art until February 22nd Installation view of Sturtevant: Double Trouble, The Museum of Modern Art, November 9, 2014–February 22, 2015. © 2014 The Museum of Modern Art. Photo: Thomas Griesel. All works by Sturtevant © Estate Sturtevant, Paris Sturtevant. Elastic Tango. 2010. Nine-cha

Opening Ceremony X New Era Water Print 59Fifty Cap

Supply and demand is a tricky thing. Our series, "Going, Going," is your siren call to OC's most covetable items that are flying off the shelves. 

It's been nearly two decades since Spike Lee's ingenious, heretical request for the first-ever New Era commission, introducing the Buffalo, NY-based hat maker to a new generation—and New Era is more ubiquitious than ever. 

Here at OC, we're longtime fans of that telltale gold sticker, vibing off the brand's aesthetic with singular designs to punctuate our RTW collections. But it's not the standard reissues we're after; we're big believers in the blink-and-you'll-miss-'em, small-run batches that feel special. With that, Monday's tip-off comes directly from us to you: our Opening Ceremony x New Era 59Fifty caps, like this psychedelic Water Print flat-brim, are in short supply, so get 'em while you can. 

Shop all New Era here 

Water Print New Era 59Fifty Hat in peony blue 

'High Maintenance,' A Mellow, Buzzy Depiction Of New York Loneliness

The indie web series High Maintenance is like a perfect collection of short stories.

Written and produced by the real-life married couple Katja Blichfeld and Ben Sinclair (with 30 Rock backgrounds in casting and acting, respectively), the Vimeo Original series is released in installments of three and trickle in every few months. Last year, the first highly-acclaimed 13 episodes were streamed gratis via the video-sharing site. Emily Nussbaum, the television critic of The New Yorker summed it up best by writing, "Finally, finally, finally."

Why do people love it so much? It's funny, sarcastic, and empathetic. Each vignette is between six to 15 minutes long, and follows "The Guy," a harried Brooklyn weed dealer (played by Sinclair) who shuttles pot to different clients, a hodgepodge of Brooklynites and New Yorkers. The length of entertainment is impeccably timed and leaves the viewer wanting more. And in a moment of short attention spans for culture, this desire feels magic and new. In this way, it works like a procedural show—but with the slow-burn sense of humor of something like Louie.

"The Guy" is a constant, but everything else shifts around him. Sometimes, his encounters with these joint-smoking characters exist as a way to rib ridiculous people. Our all-time favorite is "Olivia," a glorious poke at dour, judgement club kids (a.k.a. the "Assholes" episode).

The people have spoken, and today, High Maintenance released its first batch from Season 2 through Vimeo On Demand, marking the website's first foray into paid, Netflix-style programming. At the premiere, held at Pioneer Works in Brooklyn last week, Sinclair alluded to the show's popularity as a concerted joy in "communal complaining." He and Blichfeld confirm that the episodes give them a chance to work through the common New York plight with delighted cynicism. The premise of this roving dealer is very premise-y, but there is something substantive behind it: we can quickly be immersed into characters' lives, enter their homes, and their places of work. We see their times of need, desperation, enjoyment, and socializing. While Sinclair’s character is an excuse to glimpse into people’s lives, he’s not just a straight man. He’s our vehicle; a lonely traveler we know all too well. He’s tired-looking, but willing to be delighted. His solo biking is broken with short moments of intimacy, of collisions with people, and then he returns to the street.

High Maintenance’s latest episodes are darker than the previous. We meet an optimistic public school teacher who finds himself ineffective and emotionally unmoored, an older couple attempting to date, and a man obsessed with an impending apocalypse. But to be clear—the show is so, so, so

Role Play, Anyone? Ammerman Schlosberg Fall/Winter 2014

UPDATE: With every purchase of Ammerman Schlösberg in stores and online, customers will receive a limited-run, oversized T-shirt from the designers, featuring black metal artwork done in collaboration with the NYC-based artist, Avery Noyes. One size fits all; item pictured in the first two images above. 

What do you get when you mix Lolita, a love of video games, and a free spirit? A fantasy-driven collection made of, well, dreams. For Ammerman Schlösberg's latest collection, designers Elizabeth Ammerman and Eric Schlösberg (who have thrived on the idea of “luxury cosplay” (costume play) had the intention of making the brand’s eccentric look more translatable and wearable—if you're a badass lady, that is. 

Choosing the classic video game vixens from the '90s Soul Calibur as their muse, Ammerman and Schlösberg were inspired by players' ability to customize their characters' looks with no set rules. In addition, they fell captive to the idea of the cute damsel-in-distress with a dangerous dark side. “This season was our fantasy video game assassin girl,” said Ammerman to Purple Magazine.

Featuring a skimpy maid's uniform, a Sailor Moon-esque cropped top and skirt, and a standout gold mesh gown, this collection draws on many diverse themes and time periods—alongside said video game references. A LBD, the Slash N Puff Maiden Dress, features white satin ribbons woven throughout. The Fur Collar Leather Trench Coat, trimmed with gold mesh at the hems and an emerald green fur collar, gathers with a sweet bow in the back. 

Shop all Ammerman Schlosberg here 

This article originally ran July 29, 2014
GWP T-shirt and Maid Bow Skirt in burgundy/white

GWP T-shirt and 

Hockey In The Himalayas? KTZ Goes There

Things are not what they seem in KTZ's Fall/Winter 2014 collection. This season, the London-based brand, which has always focused on graphic symbolism and the satanist occult, took a more subtle approach in portraying its usual lively graphics. 

The high-end streetwear brand took things in a more multicultural direction this season, as creative director Marjan Pejoski channeled a multitude of distinct cultures and traditions for the Fall/Winter 2014 collection. Straying from KTZ's witchcraft norm, the globally-influenced brand fixed its sights on India and the Himalayas, focusing on the Hindu nation's holy men, known as sadhu.

As evident on the pieces of clothing, the Hindu swastika can be spotted in the form of an ongoing maze on the Apron Jacket and accessories while Sanskrit characters run amuck across other clothing items.

If 2 Chainz isn't afraid to rock the spiritual look, then look inside yourself and find out what's really holding you back from doing so too, man.

Shop all KTZ here   Denim Apron Jacket in white/black OM Apron T-Shirt in black/white Drop-Crotch Long Jogging Pants in white/black Faux Fur Short Hoodie in black  The Third Eye Sweatshirt in white/black Printed Cap in white/black Apron Shirt in white/black Leather Gloves in white

'What Defines You More Than Your Glasses?'

With just a single, carefully crafted eyewear collection under her belt, Ahlem Manai-Platt’s eponymous line is one to watch. 

Opening Ceremony recently visited the designer in her idyllic Venice home studio, a treasure trove of vintage Mazzuchelli acetate, pages upon pages of sketches, and her lovable puppy Atlas. “I love glasses; is it cheesy to say that?” she asks with a graceful French lilt. Since stealing her mother’s limited-edition green Ray Bans at the young age of 11, Ahlem has carried on a healthy fascination with unique, vintage eyewear.

Lucky for us, she's made it her trade. The Tunisian-slash-Parisian-slash-newly converted Angeleno settled in California after a fairy tale romance with her American husband, an advertising director who, upon meeting his future wife, extended his six-month work trip in France to five years. The first stop after their wedding? An eyewear factory in the South of France, where Ahlem met artisans who pass on their craft from generation to generation.

“[The artisans] are not used to working with designers,” she told us. Instead, they work by hand with acetate from Mazzucchelli’s storied archival stock, which she then selects to make each Ahlem frame an exclusive. There's a singular element here. Pouring over samples from her new collection, we noticed that each colorful slab, richly detailed and translucent, manages to catch the light.  

Ahlem believes that frames should highlight the face, not mask it. She sketches all her designs in true-to-life size (largely due to her aversion to technology). The designs are then sent to her factory in Jura, France, where they are vectorized and completed. Her designs draw inspiration from her hometown of Paris, but for sketching, Ahlem looks to photographers and architects. “I wish I were an architect,” she confesses. “When you see a picture, your eyes get trained and you see more.”

Ahlem’s top priority in design is comfort, culling inspiration from interior design. “What we like from [the French metal worker] Jean Prouvé or Eames is that their work is beautiful, and when you sit in the chair, it's also so comfortable!” Similarly, her frames are an elevation in design, but not “difference for the sake of difference,” she says. 

Despite her slavish attention to detail, Ahlem is modest about her work. “I don’t invent the glasses. I’m not creating something new, but I go deeply into every detail—from the quality to the design to the beveled arms at the temples." And it's true—upon closer examination, layers emerge. The bridge of one frame recalls a popular skate ramp in Paris. The shape of the Barbès lens is drawn from fish on sale at the bustling marché in Paris’ 18th arrondissement.

For Ahlem, an outfit begins and ends with the frames on your face, the most direct line of communication. After all, as the designer asks, "What defines you more than your glasses?”

Shop all Ahlem here 
Ahlem Manai-Platt, designer of her eponymous eyewear line. Photos by Bo Platt 

Step Easy With Robert Clergerie

With a history that dates back to 1895, iconic French footwear brand Robert Clergerie is already a solidified fashion classic. This season, however, Clergerie’s pieces underwent a noticeable style evolution under the helm of creative director Roland Mouret. The cult shoe brand has always been praised for its platforms, classic shapes, and androgynous styles, but its signature feature—comfort—has never been so apparent.

To start, elevated platforms provide just enough height and balance, while the Snake Embossed Brogues fit for any occassion. Your feet will last the workday and night without succumbing to the pain.

What’s better than a classic and comfy shoe with a twist? Sit and think on it. In the meantime we’ll be prancing around town in our Velour Boots—ache-free.

Shop all Robert Clergerie hereTake a walk in the Jago Snake Embossed Brogues in candy paired with the A.W.A.K.E. Bicolor Mohair Coat in white/pink Toli High-Heeled Nubuck Buckle Boots in black Divana Metallic Heel Sandals in grey Elbie Mid High Contrast Sole Boots in black/orange Casting Velour Boots in black Yoko Platform Shoes in black Exclusive Essie Oxfords in marine/orange

These One-Of-A-Kind MA-1 Flight Jackets Will Take You To The Moon

Now would be a good time to say something about how space is the final frontier, or that the universe is vast and continuously expanding, but we'll spare you the cliché. 

If you must know something about the intergalactic, Darren Romanelli, a.k.a. DRx Romanelli, and musician and filmmaker Sam Spiegel, a.k.a. Squeak E Clean, of the appropriately named indie-hip-hop group N.A.S.A., have that terrain covered with their new outerspace-inspired bomber jackets, sold exclusively at Opening Ceremony Los Angeles and online.

The "Mission to Planet X" collection features DRx Romanelli’s signature Tetris-style reconfigurations (in the past, he's reworked old Coca-Cola garments). Now, he’s taken military-grade Alpha Industry MA-1 flight jackets, sliced them up, and reworked them with DRx NASA "mission patches," custom Riri zippers, lambskin leather, and vintage '80s satin linings. In other words, these bombers are cosmic.

Spiegel’s story of the collaboration comes across as a kind of manifesto born out of a heavy case of space madness: “Romanelli and I have a weather balloon that we’ve pimped out... On one trip up, we were floating over the southern polar cap... It was cold and we didn’t have jackets. That’s when the idea struck Darren to do a collaboration that would end up being these super-fresh jackets." And that's the spawn of DRx Romanelli x N.A.S.A. 

As if that weren’t enough to convince you to snag one of these super-limited jackets—there are only eight on offer—they also come with a detachable space-shuttle-shaped USB drive, featuring a six-minute jam session by the duo and even, yes, sounds of space. 

Shop DRx Romanelli x N.A.S.A. here 

"Five jams I’m currently listening to while working on the next N.A.S.A. record, out early 2015." —Sam Spiegel


1. Dessert - "Player"

"Dessert are these high school kids from LA who have some really dope shit."

2. Disclosure - "You & Me (Flume Remix)"

"Disclosure’s original of 'You & Me' was fire, and this Flume remix is one of the dopiest, sexiest bangers in a minute."
3. Elliphant and Skrillex - "Only Getting Younger"

The Big Chill: 7 Neutral, Non-Boring Coats

If you take a visual survey of the world’s winter coat selections, you’ll find yourself gazing at a sea of city-apropos neutrality, where greys, browns, and the ol' faithful blacks reign supreme. Then, you might begin to wonder, is it the color that’s repetitive, or simply the cuts? Guys, show of hands, who wants to shrug on another ill-fitting puffer coat or your father’s worn-down, boxy-shouldered corduroy? 

When temperatures are below freezing, it's no crime to still care about style. Here, we've chosen seven heavy-hitting, neutral coats with longer silhouettes to shut out the cold—but keep it sharp. From Julien David's aubergine mohair coat to the tailored Yves Salomon military-inspired parka to Opening Ceremony's popular Melton car coat, we’re all in for an efficient, classic winter staple—as long as it looks good, season after season. 

Shop all men's outerwear here L-R: Julien David Twisted Yarn Wool Mohair Coat in navy, Yves Salomon Long Fur Coat in navy, Christopher Kane Padded Long Parka Jacket in black/navy, Opening Ceremony Bram Melton Wool Long Coat in nude  Julien David Twisted Yarn Wool Mohair Coat in navy Yves Salomon Long Fur Coat in navy
Christopher Kane Padded Long Parka Jacket in black/navy 
Opening Ceremony Bram Melton Wool Long Coat in nude  Acne Studios Elony Long Hooded Coat in navy

Makayla Gerhardt Thinks Men Should Wear Heels

It’s no secret that Opening Ceremony surrounds itself with the most unique personalities in the game—staff included! If you’ve walked into any of our brick and mortars, you’ve definitely said hello to a few friendly faces. As part of our weekly #OCFaves series, get to know our team as they pick out their favorite new arrivals and turn 'em sartorial.

Who: Makayla Gerhardt from OCNY women's shop
Where are you from? Omaha, Nebraska
Tell us what you’re wearing here: I'm wearing Yulia Kondranina's Striped Eyelet Dress in black/white, Lou Dalton Pants in pink, and a bunch of Delfina Delettrez rings.
And your personal twist: Bedhead and my Docs  
If this outfit were any TV or movie character: Jane from Daria
Sum up your style in one word: Suburbia
Favorite fashion slang: "That's hot."
Song or mixtape you’ve been obsessed with lately: "All The Young Dudes" by Mott the Hoople
Last movie you watched on Netflix: Cheech and Chong's Nice Dreams
iPhone or Android: iPhone
iMessage or FaceTime: iMessage
Last moment that made you truly LOL: This Halloween and the hangovers that came from it
Last good art you saw: My friends' work: Alex Lee and Ben Taylor's photographs and Ashes & Cole 
Favorite spot to people watch: Airports
Favorite hole-in-the-wall: Super Taste
Biggest fashion pet-peeve: Not enough men wearing heels!  
Favorite emoji icon: The red backpack 
Favorite #hashtag to use: #dogsofchinatown
Yulia Kondranina Striped Eyelet Dress in black/white, Lou Dalton Pants in pink, Delfina Delettrez Frog Ring in purple enamel, Delfina Delettrez Double Snake Ring w/Tsavorites in gold/green,  Delfina Delettrez Frog w/ Crown Ring in silver/black,

Remember When People Used To Like Opera?

The human voice resonates differently from anything else. When people sing together, it’s transcendent. Chemically, it produces a high and, spiritually, it feels enlightened.

Last night, artists-slash-musicians Raúl De Nieves and Colin Self debuted their four-act chamber opera The Fool, a sold-out performance that underscored the transformative power of unity. “It’s a gathering of vocalists to use the voice as a tool of change,” Self told Opening Ceremony, “to carve out a different type of attention.”

As an artist-in-residence at ISSUE Project Room, De Nieves enlisted the help of Self and a cast of live singers and string instrumentalists to create the opera. The project became both a labor of love and a collaboration of interpreted ideas. The piece was staged in the performance center's marble interiors in downtown Brooklyn.

The experience watching and listening was otherworldly—what one showgoer aptly described as “bananas.”

The Fool tells a simple story with a small cast of archetypal characters alongside a chorus of singers embodying said Fools. The staging begins with the Mother, decked in braids and a beard, played by the performance artist Mehron Abdollmohammadi, whose vocal performance felt like it was coming up from the floor and out through his mouth, and the Child, played by Alexandra Drewchin, wearing traditional Mexican garb. Two bejeweled doors on stage open and close throughout the performance, revealing other characters like the Dog, gamely embodied by De Nieves.

In an energetic later act, the old woman, played by Self, sings and thrashes around on a bed, and the chorus of Fools emerge and circle around her, chanting. Their billowy white bodies are actually inflated chub suits, reminiscent of Oompa Loompas. “We really wanted to have that chaotic element of what­the­fuck,” explains De Neives about the choice of costume. “We wanted it to be funny.” And so, the producers drew inspiration from various trickster characters throughout history and culture. In particular, “The character of the Fool represents the soul on a journey in search of experience,” says Self. “It’s the betwixt and ­between. It becomes not only a character, but a way to live and be on the planet.”

De Nieves and Self have been longtime friends in New York, and their idea for this opera emerged from the two having separate, yet eerily similar, experiences. De Nieves had a talk with his mother on a cliff overlooking the ocean, while Self had a recurring dream, also staged on the edge of water. Both were feeling a moment of change and transformation in their lives, and they wanted to explore how the human voice holds healing potential. “Even when I was young and went to church, my favorite part of it was when we’d all sing a song together, because the collective voice is like medicine,” recalls De Nieves.

Their process was organic. Self explains before there were defined opera rehearsals, he was simply interested in seeing what happens when you put people together in a room... to sing. “The voice is a way to escape the body,” he tells us. “We are going through some insane global changes about what the body is and what the body means and,

Throwback Thursday: Kaal E Suktae Fall/Winter 2014

If this is that, then "this" is all that. I​​​f you caught that Nickelodeon reference, then you’ll get “This is That,” Kaal E Suktae’s Fall/Winter 2014 collection. Translating ’90s grunge fashion verbatim, the Seoul-based designer reworked the unkempt, tattered silhouettes of that time into dramatic, conceptual pieces made for the grown-up misfit.

This High-Low Skirt is that threadbare flannel you used to tie around your waist. This Long Layered Front Fringe Coat is that ripped jacket you wore over every damn thing. This Striped Sheer Turtleneck is that shabby-sexy crop top you wore on a dumpster diving date. Teen spirit coming back yet? Thankfully, the designer cancels out any melodrama with an intoxicating talent for conceptual design. As palpable as the ‘90s may be here, each piece is an individual feat in execution and function (think detachable coats and tall, self-supporting collars), made coherent in a monochromatic palette with spots of deep, moody colors. Even if you’ve outgrown moany garage sounds, this is that sartorial nirvana to take well into adulthood.

Shop all Kaal E Suktae here

Furry Zip-Up Hoodie in multi Long Layered Front Fringe Coat in white Striped Sheer Turtleneck in red Tall Collar Button-Down Shirt in white Contrast Cuff Sleeve Turtleneck Sweater in navy Striped Long-Sleeve Top in black High-Low Skirt in black

Brooklyn Reads: 8 Perfect Spots For A Book & A Bite

There are ​voracious readers​, and then there's Cara Nicoletti​. By trade, Nicoletti ​is a butcher at The Meat Hook in Brooklyn​ and also a talented writer, siphoning her "literary food blog," Yummy Books, into her first book Voracious, out via Little Brown next year. So we thought, who better to school us on the pairing of good book with good food? Here, Nicoletti breaks down her​ Williamsburg ​neighborhood for Opening Ceremony, in eight toothsome mise-en-scènes.

1. Peter Pan Donut & Pastry Shop, with a side of Homer Price by Robert McCloskey

After reading the story “The Donuts” in Robert McCloskey’s Homer Price as a kid, it has always been a secret dream of mine to own a donut shop. Peter Pan Donuts looks like it was plucked right from one of McCloskey’s pencil-sketch drawings, down to the stools at the counter. Donuts have definitely been having a moment the past few years, but in my opinion, nobody can touch Peter Pan—I live and die by its sour-cream old fashioned.

727 Manhattan Avenue 
Brooklyn, NY 11222

2. Okonomi
, with a side of Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami

Haruki Murakami writes about food a lot in his novels and short stories, but the food scenes in Norwegian Wood are my favorite because of their clean simplicity. At one point the narrator eats a breakfast of “rice, miso soup, pickled vegetables, and fried eggs,” and at another point “eggs, mackerel, fresh greens, eggplant, mushrooms, radishes, and sesame seeds, all done in the delicate Kyoto style.” I had never had a traditional Japanese breakfast until Okonomi opened up down the street a few months ago. Every morning there is a prefix menu, the only choice you get is what fish you want, and all the fish comes in fresh every morning. Along with the fish, there are steamed greens with sesame seeds and tofu, pickled vegetables, a small square of egg custard, rice with bonito flakes, and a poached egg, barley tea, and the best miso soup I’ve ever had. I always leave Okonomi feeling somehow cleansed—not my usual feeling after going out to breakfast.

150 Ainslie Street 
Brooklyn, NY 11211

3. The Second Chance Saloon, with a side of $$$$$$ by Bukowski

I hate Bukowski, but the love that I have for The Second Chance Saloon is real, and somehow the two just work together. There is plenty of beer drinking at dark bars in his collection of poems, “Love is a Dog from Hell,” but one poem in particular, called “$$$$$$” makes me think about The Second Chance. In the poem, B

When In An Exotic Hotel, Turn To Your iPhone

Here at OC, we are struck by how often we end up in everyday conundrums. The ones that land you in the thick of semi (or full-blown) awkwardness, or maybe, the doghouse. 

So, we turned to Simon Collins, the
 dean of the School of Fashion at Parsons, who after six years in his plum perch, just announced plans to step down at the end of this year. Translation: More time to divulge lessons on how to preoccupy oneself... 

Q: We all know about staying in some beautiful, exotic hotel, alone. Sometimes by will, other times by chance. Aside from chain smoking off the balcony, how should you act? Pull a Bob and Charlotte à la Lost In Translation

Quite by coincidence I write to you today perched on the edge of a lush, green, velvet fainting couch in the drawing room of my suite at Il Palazzo Gritti a Venezia. Yes, that’s right, sumptuous, regal splendor for my six waking and six sleeping hours in Venice. 

So what to do in the most romantic suite, in the most romantic palazzo, in the most romantic city in the world? I’ve opened the delightful Barolo left for me by the manager, with two glasses and no sense of irony. I’ve weighed which side of the California King Sized bed (what do they call it in Venice?) I shall sleep on. And I’ve realized I have only one real friend at times like this.

A friend who, if treated right, is always there for me. A friend who never says no, no matter what demands I make. Who doesn’t judge me if I have a hangover, am feeling special, and perhaps speak abruptly. A friend who is always on, always with me, and always tells me what I want to hear.

Yes, that’s right—12 hours in Venice gives me a whole half-day to spend quality time with my iPhone. Thank you, Apple.

Q: My "friend" wants to know: what's the appropriate amount of "light stalking" one can do with a recent ex? Social media is a playground these days...

Ask yourself what kind of person you are. And what do you wish for your ex? Were you the perpetrator of the separation? Do you genuinely wish them well? Is your online social attention simply to assure yourself that they are happy and healthy and perhaps dipping their toe once more into the dating pool?

Yeah, right.

Let’s be honest:you are looking at them to make sure they are still distraught (even though they broke up with you) and they are regretting everything they said (even though it was you who shouted) and they wish above everything else for you to please please please give them another chance. Which you won’t because you are having the Best. Time. Ever. Yeah that’s right. So they’d better realize that the many many Insta pics you’re posting of you and assorted members of the target market are all real potentials and you’re just so happy right now that you barely remember your ex’s name, let alone want them back.

And of course you were drunk when you posted that pic of the place you went when you were together. You’d delete it but you don’t have the time, and what’s the big deal anyway? And it was the wine talking when you un-Friended them, and now you can’t re-Friend them because you’d look interested all over again. And you’re not.

Yes, We've Officially Reached Peak Frump

Opening Ceremony is pleased to present the first dip into new columnist Alexis Wilkinson's after-hours thoughts. And you know she has thoughts: president of the Harvard Lampoon; crusader of Domino's delivery boys; educator of Darwinian origins for the bad bitch, Alexis—with her candor and wit—is our new girl crush. Here, "Late-Ish With Alexis" shines the spotlight on Peak Frump. Commence the virality.

I remember the days when we idolized trying. By that I mean, I remember the movie cliché that goes something like this: Boy meets Girl with glasses, ponytail, and a cardigan. Boy ignores girl because ewww gross. Girl probably has other issues, like low self-esteem, weird hobbies like “politics,” desires for things other than Boy, etc. But, one day, Girl takes off glasses, burns cardigan, applies lip gloss, and BOOM. Sex goddess. The audience lets out a collective “gah-damn!” of appreciation. Boy and Girl can finally get together. Why? Because Girl just tried.

We all know this trope. It spans genres and decades, from super-virgin Sally in Grease to frumpy Andrea Sachs in The Devil Wears Prada. The moral of these stories being: Girl just needed to realize her own attractiveness and actively attempt to show it, hence fixing her entire sad, pathetic life. All Girl had to do was give a fuck about herself. 

These days, it seems as though a reverse effect has captured consumers' hearts—and wallets. Fifty Shades of Grey, the BDSM-ish fiction novel that set housewives into a conniption, is set to hit the big screen this February. In the trailer, frumpy Anastasia Steele sits across from the sexy, smoldering Christian Grey. She looks pretty pathetic—and that’s exactly her appeal. No one in their right mind should want her and so this powerful, impossibly hot man does. He likes her, and we’re supposed to like her, because she doesn’t try. Her cardigan transforms from a fashion kiss of death to her greatest sexual asset.

Then there’s “normcore,” a trend that’s half sarcastic and all stuff you would wear if you were “going through a rough time right now.” Notable statement pieces include Crocs, fleeces quite not old enough to be vintage, and stonewash jeans that even your mom wouldn’t wear. At its totally normal core, it is an attempt to embrace sameness as a means to individuality instead of pushing it away. It’s hipster-logic gone all telescopy on itself and it’s enough to make your head spin.

It seems that now, to the confusion of all girls like me who try (at least little bit), not trying is the new trying. According to magazines and social media, there is nothing more infuriating that seeing a face seemingly plastered with makeup or, as we recently found out in the unfortunate outrage over Renée Zellweger, plastered with plastic. &ld

The Innovators: Ukraine's Rising Designers Take To NYC

It takes a lot for jaded New Yorkers to look twice, but a few weeks ago, on a sunny—albeit chilly—afternoon, a pair of models set foot in downtown New York City and affected their landscape. By nature, the genetically blessed beget the second look, but this had to do with the sartorial—decked out in crimson and aubergine and graphic cutouts of black and white, the immaculate silhouettes were as crisp as a fall day—and every bit as forward thinking. 

Our latest Opening Ceremony editorial, "The Innovators," seeks to capture that élan. Focused on four Ukranian designers—Yulia Yefimtchuk (who nabbed Opening Ceremony's Honor Award at the 2014 Hyères Festival), Bevza, Litkovskaya, and Masha Reva—Brianne Wills photographed the collections in an effort to highlight fashion's burgeoning, surprisingly sophisticated presence in the capital city of Kiev. The American-born photographer, who spent a few formative years in Ukraine, was particularly moved by the ubiquity of local fashion: "In almost every restaurant, there's a television, and playing on that television is some generic fashion channel. It's everywhere," she says, noting that in recent years, she's "seen more and more hip trendsetters walking the streets like they are in their own private fashion show."

It would be remiss not to acknowledge the current strife and turmoil in Ukraine, but the thoughtful spirit of both designer and her appreciator is nothing if not inspiring. Earlier this month, Kiev held three days of fashion shows sponsored by Mercedes-Benz, with the support of American influencers like Julie Gilhart and Sarah Mower. What's more, "Fashion for Peace" has become a slogan and a social media hashtag for many of these designers. "There's a sense of patriotism in Ukraine, especially in the country's youth," says Wills. "They are making political statements with their clothes." 

View the editorial here  



L-R: Yulia Yefimtchuk+

11 Holiday Dresses That Are Super Flattering—Before & After Turkey

Seasonal cheer and quality time with loved ones aside, the holidays can be a pretty, um, heavy ordeal. Dancing sugarplums? Flowing Champagne? Turduckens?! It’s gluttony at its most festive, and the extra calories that come along for the ride are not the stocking stuffers we were hoping for.

Instead of suffering in some bodycon frock, show your holiday spirit in rich colors, striking prints, and structural silhouettes with just enough room for that food baby to breathe.

Jewel tones, for example, catch the eye without overload. And the Roksanda Dupio Arwen Stretch Wool Twill Dress will drape beautifully over any body type, while the Opening Ceremony Mirrorball Snap Front Dress, in a beautiful crimson, should be the standard uniform for any Santa crawl (not that we're into those anymore...). Structured, boxy forms a la Jacquemus La Robe Bateau barely touch your body, minimizing any “I need to unzip ASAP” emergencies. For a sweet and simple approach to tackling the party circuit in comfort, an airy shift dress is equal parts sexy and effortless. And lucky for you, the offerings from Kenzo and Christopher Kane provide clean lines to even out any bulge. This is holiday dressing made so easy, you may want to rethink that gym membership.
Coperni Femme Long-Sleeve Dress in navy/white Roksanda Arwen Stretch Wool Twill Dress in peacock/petrol/ivory Opening Ceremony Mirrorball Snap Front Dress in burnt red J.W. Anderson Jacquard Twill Shift Dress in blue Acne Studios Gia Printed Spiral Dress in cobalt blue Moschino Lace Trim Printed Slip Dress in black/gold Lilia Kisselenko Thick Strap Sleeveless Dress in black Xiao Li Embellished Low V-Back Dress in white Jacquemus

Arthur Elgort's Legendary Big Picture

Chances are if you’ve ever picked up a copy of Vogue, you know Arthur Elgort’s work. His candid, natural-looking “snapshot” style breathed new life into fashion photography in the ‘70s, and his work over the years with models like Christy Turlington, Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista, and Kate Moss has become nothing short of iconic. Now in his fifth decade in fashion, he has put together The Big Picture, both a retrospective show at New York’s Staley-Wise Gallery and a book published by Steidl due January 2015. As the final preparations were being put on the show (opening that night), Elgort took the time to speak with us about his career, the evolution of the fashion industry, and his future projects. 

Warm and candid, and with a trace of the classic Brooklyn accent, Elgort is refreshingly direct, especially when it comes to how fashion shoots have changed over the years. “Before, you took one Polaroid [for clients], and then you’d just tell them when you’re finished," he explains. "Now they say, 'Well, maybe we’ll change the shoes, or we’ll change the hat,' or something about it. You have to work with the stylist more. Now they bring more clothes and change their minds more, that’s all! In the end, it doesn’t really matter. You can’t tell the difference.” Admittedly, working with digital is easier, he says.

When asked about his favorite subjects, he takes a moment to mull over all the iconic beauties he’s worked with. “I like a lot of the girls, you know," he says. "I like Karlie Kloss and I like Linda Evangalista. And Christy Turlington, who still works!" His stories of working with inexperienced models could make even our modern-day Supers blush, but in a way, it's in these streams of memories that you can pinpoint his success. “When I met Christy Turlington, she just began, so nobody wanted her then, and it was easy to get her. I like new girls. Sometimes, I see a girl, and she’s never worked before, and I think, 'This is the girl!'" His most powerful work is of these young, wild-eyed icons before they were icons, practically leaping from the photographs with pure instinct long before they became legends.

A legend himself, Elgort has pared down his 50-year career into a representative retrospective, a visual showcase capturing the evolution of his work for all to admire. Living up to its name, The Big Picture at Staley-Wise was nothing short of a spectacle. The gallery was as packed as a subway car at rush hour, filled with people of all ages. Business types rubbed elbows with cool kids, as the mass swirled slowly around the small gallery. At the center was Arthur Elgort, greeting the throngs of friends and well-wishers with joy and humility.

Upon departure, the elevator arrived and another 12 people jostled their way into the gallery. “Man, I’ve been here three years, and I’ve never seen anything like this!” the elevator operator says, laughing and shaking his head. This just proves Arthur Elgort’s iconic work is even more impressive in person, and The Big Pictur

Pharrell Williams Talks Adidas Collab, And New Words Like 'Fic' And 'Spec'

Pharrell Williams—two decades into his career and moving fast. Who knew that the producer-songwriter behind Britney Spears' 2001 single "I'm a Slave For U" would later tack on singer-mogul-curator to his repertoire, even garnering fandom from children everywhere with this year's smash hit, "Happy"? (Watch this video. One minute and forty seconds of cuteness.) 

If you had to pinpoint the 41-year-old's success, it would be his freeform creativity or his self-professed curiosity for the world: as a sartorial weathervane and otherwise, he goes where the change goes. Even if it doesn't come as quick as we'd like. On his charity, From One Hand To AnOTHER, Pharrell said, "We're making change, decimal by decimal. It's kind of like trying to fill the ocean one spoonful of water at a time." The formula works... as long as there is awareness. Here, on the occasion of his latest collaboration with adidas and its campaign for equality, Opening Ceremony shot Pharrell a few questions via email.

JEANINE CELESTE PANG: Pharrell, it's safe to say that you've supplanted the competition as the multitasking renaissance man. You must like staying busy.
PHARREL WILLIAMS: I’m just gracious to adidas for giving me the opportunity to have yet another platform for self-expression.

We're lovin' the recent collab with
adidas Originals. Why the neon colorways?
What’s wrong with a little color?!

If we did a word-association game, what does electric green and orange mean to you?

I suck at this...

OK, OK. So the overarching campaign message about equality is really critical. Do you have advice to our readers, maybe a way to get into a more conscious headspace about our everyday interactions with others?
There just needs to be balance, in order for us to survive as a species. As things become unbalanced, they are literally that—lopsided. That’s where gravity is off; that’s not a good space to be in. We have the ability to change things with awareness. When you’re aware of something, then you have the ability to change it. When it’s beyond your senses, that’s when you’re lost. I just think honesty gives you trust, and trust in a society gives you order, and without trust in society, there’s no order and you have chaos. That’s what happens when you have no balance.

Speaking of balance—you've had your hand in wide-ranging projects, from Kaws-designed perfume to Ladurée macarons to strawberry creme liquor... is there a collaboration you've been dying to do? Something with OC?
It would be my honor... I love what OC does so much. We have an ongoing joke, because when we see things we really like, I’m like “Damn, I wanted to do that!” and it’s always Opening Ceremony. They are the ones that not only beat me to the punch on the things I want to do, but do things I coul