New York City is an epicenter of trend setting. Be it through experimental art, high fashion or epic architecture, when looking for a standard to emulate this city always sets the bar high. This month we’re dishing on the new and the old of NYC. So read on for our take on the best in New York art galleries, classic landmarks and up and coming fashion designers.
our 5 picks
Jonathan LeVine Gallery
529 West 20th Street 9th Floor
New York, NY 10011
Jonathan LeVine’s Gallery is an epic combination of music and art. Fusing a passion for punk music with Post-war art, the success of this gallery is overwhelming. The exhibits (mainly portraits, paintings, and graffiti) are colorful and thought provoking, and the gallery has previously championed international artists from Brazil, Italy, England and France who have come to America and showcased their original pieces.
Various Pop-Up locations
Klughaus is a contemporary art agency that represents artists with roots in graffiti, painting and photography. Possibly most intriguing are the vivid graffiti murals— created only using aerosol paint on large-scale canvases. Graffiti has grown to be not only respected, but also highly sought-after. Klughaus offers quarterly exhibits in pop-up locations and diverse event spaces around New York City and these shows are not to be missed. Notable clients include Google, Living Social, and DirecTV.
AFA (Animazing Fine Art)
54 Greene Street
New York, NY 10013
This SoHo gallery has been a neighborhood staple since 1984 attracting comic and illustration enthusiasts alike. Featured collections have showcased original works by Dr. Seuss, Charles Shulz, and Tim Burton and will bring you right back to the days of picture books and silly cartoons. The art offered by AFA originated as conceptual animation but recently the curators have transcended into the realm of fine art while staying true to their roots. Currently Tanya Clarke’s Eureka “Liquid Light” exhibit is not to be missed. Hand sculpted glass drops are home to low voltage lights and reclaimed plumbing, a creative way for Clarke to make a bold statement about reducing our environmental footprint.
Chambers Fine Art
522 West 19th Street
New York, NY 10011
For those curious about contemporary Chinese art, Chambers Fine Art gallery is the place for you. With locations in NYC and Beijing, director Christophe W. Mao has become an authority on cutting edge developments in the Chinese contemporary art. This summer marks Zhang Dun’s first exhibition entitled New Works, a series of pencil sketches juxtaposing industrial buildings and peaches. The peaches, a Chinese symbol of longevity and health, are drawn in color and with imperfections that accentuate the natural world, in a stark contrast to the monochromatic and utilitarian buildings. The fine pencil lines are incredibly delicate and her evocative scenes are truly intriguing.
126 13th Street
Brooklyn, NY 11215
Have you ever wanted to design your own stained glass window? Or maybe you’ve seen a glass blowing demonstration and wondered how hard it really is… Well at Urban Glass you have the opportunity to follow up on these fantasies! Channel your inner Venetian artist and take a private lesson or join a class to learn how to blow glass, create beads or make a stained glass panel. If you’d like to take a more visual approach, visit the Robert Lehman Gallery to admire glass art of emerging artists. However you want to get involved, Urban Glass offers creative outlets for every level.
our 5 picks
Angel of Bethesda
Mid-Park on the north side of 72nd Street
Perched at 26 feet, in the heart of Central Park, rests Emma Stebbins’ 1873 bronze statue, The Angel of Bethesda. Stebbins, the first woman to receive a public art commission in NYC, built the angel to reference the Gospel of John. The fountain was designed to symbolize the pool below as yielding magical healing powers and to pay homage to the first fresh water system in New York City. The statue’s intricate details include a lily in the angel’s left hand denoting purity as well as four cherubs representing temperance, purity, health and peace. After its restoration in the 1980’s this iconic statue has been featured in numerous movies like Angels in America, Enchanted, Elf, Home Alone 2, and was the starting point for the first episode of The Amazing Race. It’s also our favorite spot for a serene lunch in the park.
405 Lexington Avenue
New York, NY 10174
The NYC skyline would simply not be complete without the exceptional Art Deco style skyscraper known as the Chrysler building! With its bold geometries and dramatic ornamentation, the design of this building was inspired by the Gatsby era, exuding luxury and glamour. Protruding from Lexington Avenue over 1,000 feet in the sky, this building is reputed as the tallest brick building in the world and was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1976. Having received the LEED Gold Award for existing buildings and declared an official National Historic Landmark, it is truly one of the most iconic symbols of New York City.
Grand Central Station
89 East 42nd Street
New York, NY 10017
We’d like to wish a very happy 100th birthday to this breathtaking transportation hub! Officially opened in 1913 after being built by tycoon Cornelius Vanderbilt, this terminal is home to five high-end restaurants and cocktail lounges, 20 eateries, a market and 50 unique specialty shops! But really, it’s the peculiar quirks that make this train station one of our favorite landmarks. The Whispering Gallery on the dining concourse amplifies a hushed message into a shout on the opposite side of the hall. The renowned ceiling mural of a zodiac scene by Paul Helleu that is actually painted backwards (the debate continues if this was intentional or not…) is simply mesmerizing. Maybe most importantly, the energy that vibrates through this epic building is a perfect welcome to NYC—buzzing with history, movement and excitement.
East Side from 104th-106th Streets
(Enter at 5th Avenue and 105th Street, or 106th Street gate inside the Park)
Looking for the most beautiful yet cost efficient way to spend a hot afternoon? Take a stroll through the serene Conservatory Gardens in Central Park, a six-acre refuge from the hustle of the city. Divided into three sections, each plush with colorful flowers, trees, shrubs, and wildlife, this popular garden is unique and picturesque. The north garden is home to the famous Three Dancing Maidens fountain, while the central garden is cherished for its abundance of violets. Finally the south garden is renowned for its bronze statue depicting the characters from The Secret Garden. In addition to being perfect for an afternoon respite, the Conservatory Gardens are also one of our favorite wedding locations in NYC!
The New York City Public Library Stephen A. Schwarzman Building
5th Avenue East 42nd Street
New York, NY 10036
If you weren’t aware of the epic beauty of the New York Public Library—Carrie’s pending nuptials in the Sex and the City Movie probably filled you in. With elaborate reading rooms that mix classic European style with modern technology, this building is home to over 15 million items ranging from ancient medieval manuscripts to daily newspapers from all over the world. Guarded by two marble lions named Patience and Fortitude, the Schwarzman building has been a source of inspiration for authors, celebrities and politicians alike. We love the romance of the Rose Main Reading room with its gorgeous chandeliers and breathtaking murals and when it comes to doing research, there is simply no better place to go.
Up & Coming Fashion Designers
our 5 picks
97 Crosby Street, #1
New York, NY 10012
Launched in 2001, Tess Giberson’s designs featured conservative pieces like pleated skirts and cap-sleeved dresses. After putting the line on hold for several years, Giberson came back to her line with a fresh take. Her minimalist style was spiced up with a higher emphasis on detail and embellishments. Tess even hand embroiders several pieces each season! (We are seriously jealous of whoever gets their paws on those.) By featuring her husband’s (artist Jon Widman) hand paintings on knit tops and collaborating with musicians for inspiration, Tess targets empowered women amongst an expanding audience. We can’t get enough of the edgy cardigan that is draped twice over the head providing two necklines and screams effortless chic.
831 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10021
As Executive Creative Director at Coach, Reed is no stranger to high fashion. After serving as the Vice President of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) from 2006-2010, Reed has emerged with his own luxury label catering to modern women. His line combines athletic sportswear with artistic minimalism and graphic design to produce a geometric yet feminine feel. Adding cornflower blue and sun-kissed tan to his palette for the Resort 2014 pieces, we love the summery apparel and anticipate nothing but impending success for Reed in the future.
125 Wooster Street
New York, NY 10012
Monika Chiang, a New York City native, is more than an accomplished designer. Starting as a savvy businesswoman Chiang opened Double Seven, a swanky lounge in the heart of the Meat Packing District back in 2005. Moving into fashion, Chiang debuted her eponymous line in 2011, inspired by the exotic cultures that she encountered during her nomadic youth. Chiang’s creations, which include apparel, handbags, shoes and jewelry, can only be described as “modern glamour steeped in elegant nonchalance.” Check out our favorite Artemys platform sneakers at one of her bicoastal boutiques.
754 5th Avenue
New York, NY 10019
As if we needed another reason to love shoes… Tabitha Simmons’ Summer 2013 collection was inspired by her business partner’s Blue Marine Foundation charity. (Blue Marine Foundation is an initiative that aims to increase the amount of protected ocean from 2.3% to 10% by 2020). Drawing inspiration from the azure of the sea, fabulous footwear like the snakeskin “Marina” sandals were created. This talented designer is also a contributing editor for Vogue and has worked with notable names like Calvin Klein, Alexander McQueen and Zac Posen. With a strong international presence and a featured line at J.Crew, we can’t help but ogle her designs. Complete your Saturday night ensemble with her “faiza” shoe: a peep-toe lace up pump (and favorite of Charlize Theron) or compliment a daytime casual look with her “Dolly Espadrilles” (spotted on Cameron Diaz).
Re-Launch of Yigal Azrouël
1011 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10075
Making a comeback is never easy … however, with the re-launch of his self-titled line, Yigal Azrouël has proven that he is a force to be reckoned with. Born in Israel with a French-Moroccan background, this self-taught designer is known for his superior fabric-draped designs and feminine, body-conscious silhouettes. Drawing inspiration from his current home of New York City, Azrouël launched a more contemporary brand concept called Cut25. Keep your eyes peeled for his 2014 leather jacket—we cannot get enough of the bold but flirty feel that this jacket exudes.