Monika Chiang F/W 2013 | New York Fashion Week


I walked into Monika Chiang expecting a collection with a unique edgy/preppy twist, but I what I got was even better. The hair and makeup were obvious nods at 80s glam rock, and overall there was a luxe, elegant 70s and 80s vibe carried throughout the collection.

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STEWART/STAND Spring 2013 Minimalist Accessories


Last week I had the opportunity to stop by NYIGF and meet Paul Stewart-Stand, designer of the STEWART/STAND stainless steel accessories line. Originally a minimalist men’s accessory line, STEWART/STAND has recently begun producing women’s clutches and zip wallets.

STEWART/STAND’s signature material is industrial grade stainless steel fabric, which has a sharp, futuristic look but is surprisingly soft, lightweight and pliable. Eco-friendly and sustainable, most STEWART/STAND accessories are made with at least 85% recycled materials. The stainless steel accessories also come with the benefit of securing personal information stored in radio-frequency identification chips. Near field communication tap-and-go credit cards use RFID technology to store personal data, as well as all U.S. passports issued from August 2007 onwards– including mine, issued in early 2008.

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Dinner at Hakkasan New York


In my opinion, dinner at Hakkasan is worth experiencing. And it is an experience, likely not something you’d want to do every week, month, or even every six months.

Pre-entrées, I drank two Golden Emperor cocktails (Kraken Black Spiced rum, ginger, pineapple, cinnamon, lemon juice and agave nectar) from the signature cocktail menu. They were very good but the flavors are definitely wintry and I would suggest something different in the spring or summer.

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Happy Hour at ilili


ilili is one of the best happy hour experiences in New York. With $7 cocktails and $5 bottles of beer, happy hour is an amazingly priced alternative to a full dinner (the first entree on the menu will set you back $90, although it is for two). It’s also one of the longer happy hours I’ve seen at a restaurant of this caliber: Monday through Friday from 4-7:30pm. The small bites offered during happy hour can easily serve as dinner, but the regular menu is also offered in the bar area after 5:30pm. 

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New Year in the Sparkling Archway


Dear Christine,

Another day, another year… they really do seem to fly away faster with each passing year. I spent the day wandering the old neighborhood with my roommate, dreaming of apartments on the border of the West Village and Chelsea, and walked by my house. I tried to go to Magnolia for a New Year’s cupcake but the line was out the door and around the block. I didn’t want one quite that much.

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Dinner at Soho Park

Before jetting out for the holidays Hope, Nnenna, and I got together for a mini celebration (i.e. really just going somewhere to eat as usual). Soho Park is my favorite place for an inexpensive dinner south of Houston. The food isn’t fancy and it’s definitely not Shake Shack, but I’ve never gone wrong with the standard burger and fries. There’s even a gigantic vegetarian friendly portobello burger. I’m a fan of the sauces (which do cost extra) and always get the garlic aioli for my fries.

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Flûte Midtown


Saturday night at Flûte Midtown is dark, intimate, and low-key.

We were more intrigued by the signature cocktails than the tasting flights and bottles. Several Champagne Mojitos were ordered on the glowing recommendation from our server. The verdict was split– two of the party loved the Champagne Mojito, two felt it tasted oddly of tonic water. I was puzzled by the $15 half-full sherry glass of Antoinette, a champagne cocktail made with grapefruit-strawberry puree. The presentation threw me, but it tasted as expected, like a drier version of a Bellini. The gin-based, mint, cucumber and champagne Gabriel (also $15) was deemed solid. However, Flûte’s version of the Dark and Stormy ($16) was the clear favorite of the night. The right combination of sweet and savory, lighter than an classic Dark and Stormy but just as enjoyable.

Seating-wise, the couches with plush pillows are comfortable and avoid getting stuck on an ottoman. The choice of music for the night was unexpected, but not bad. I almost felt like I was listening to my Ellie Goulding Pandora station. I did note a surprising lack of Moët & Chandon Impérial on the menu, so the die-hard Moët fan readers (you know who you are) should seek their lifeblood elsewhere.

Flûte Midtown is located at 205 W 54th St between 7th & Broadway. Reserve a table at flutebar.com.