RUBENSTEINS Since 1924
Forum/The Substance of Style/Fall 2011
INSPIRATION: IRELAND STYLE MATTERS CLOSET THERAPY
REFLECTING ON FALL
MITCHELL J. LANDRIEU, MAYOR
CITY OF NEW ORLEANS
Welcome! Rubensteins is a retail landmark located in downtown New Orleans and this year they are celebrating their 87th year in business. It is one of the City's premier men's stores that specializes in a unique expression of Southern style. As one of the oldest storefronts on Canal Street, they have not only seen it all but will be there to see what is to come. New Orleans is a place of diverse people, architecture and cuisine. Our historic French Quarter, fine restaurants and music and entertainment venues are essential parts of what makes New Orleans distinctive. A city known for its great culture, vibrancy and history, New Orleans has so much to offer that I know Rubensteinsâ€™ customers can fully appreciate. On behalf of the entire city, I hope that you enjoy this magazine and get a taste of the city of New Orleans. Sincerely,
Mitchell J. Landrieu Mayor City of New Orleans
1300 PERDIDO STREET | SUITE 2E04 | NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA | 70112 PHONE 504.658.4900 | FAX 504.658.4938
Passion for Life 15MilMil15 Suit
RUBENSTEINS 102 St. Charles Ave. New Orleans, LA 70130 (504) 581-6666 rubensteinsneworleans.com EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
Karen Alberg Grossman DESIGN DIRECTOR
Hans Gschliesser MANAGING EDITOR
Jillian Sprague PROJECT MANAGER
Lisa Montemorra DESIGNERS
Cynthia Lucero, Jean-Nicole Venditti CONCEPT DIRECTORS
Andrew Mitchell, Russ Mitchell MERCHANDISING DIRECTOR
Bob Mitchell DIRECTOR OF PRODUCTION
Peg Eadie DIRECTOR OF PREPRESS
12 Wardrobe: Men’s Fashion in Film 36 Icons: Guitar Hero
Hugh K. Stanton
BUSINESS JOURNALS FASHION GROUP PUBLISHER
Stuart Nifoussi PRESIDENT AND CEO
Britton Jones CHAIRMAN AND COO
FASHION 10 Style: Trends for Men 14 Profile: A Decade of Agave 16 Life Is But a Dream 22 Why Style Matters
At Your Service
30 World Scene 32 Travel: The Eyes Have It
CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER
APPAREL FORUM Andrisen Morton DENVER, CO Garys NEWPORT BEACH, CA Hubert White MINNEAPOLIS, MN Kilgore Trout CLEVELAND, OH Larrimor’s PITTSBURGH, PA Malouf’s LUBBOCK/SOUTHLAKE, TX Mario’s PORTLAND, OR/SEATTLE, WA Mitchells/Marshs HUNTINGTON, NY Mitchells/Richards WESTPORT/GREENWICH, CT Oak Hall MEMPHIS, TN Rodes LOUISVILLE, KY Rubensteins NEW ORLEANS, LA Stanley Korshak DALLAS, TX Wilkes Bashford SAN FRAN/PALO ALTO, CA FASHION FORUM MAGAZINE IS PUBLISHED IN 12 REGIONAL EDITIONS FOR MEMBER STORES OF THE APPAREL FORUM COPYRIGHT 2011. PUBLISHED BY BUSINESS JOURNALS, INC, P.O. BOX 5550, NORWALK, CT 06856, 203-853-6015 • FAX: 203-852-8175; ADVERTISING OFFICE: 1384 BROADWAY, NY, NY 10018-6108, 212-686-4412 • FAX: 212-686-
40 Spirits: Cutting-Edge Cocktails 44 End Page: Closet Therapy
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R A LPH LA U R EN B LAC K LA B EL
AT YOUR SERVICE
AT RUBENSTEINS, IT IS OUR MISSION TO PROVIDE AN ENJOYABLE EXPERIENCE FOR OUR CUSTOMERS. WE ARE CONTINUALLY IMPROVING OUR SERVICES TO MEET YOUR NEEDS AND PROVIDE HASSLE-FREE SHOPPING. BELOW ARE A VARIETY OF SERVICES THAT WE’RE HAPPY TO OFFER YOU. amount you’d like and are ready to be presented in minutes.
Closet Cleaning In order to help you better integrate your new seasonal purchases with your existing wardrobe, we offer our clients a complimentary closet consultation. One of our sales associates will visit your home and provide suggestions on creatively mixing and matching your wardrobe.
Complimentary Valet Parking Rain or shine, as soon as you pull up on Canal Street, James is ready to help you from your car. He also places your packages in your car and has it ready for you when you’re finished shopping!
Gift Wrap We offer complimentary gift wrap in our distinctive packaging for all of your purchases.
Home Delivery & Shipping We have the ability to ship your package anywhere in the United States. In New Orleans, we can arrange a courier to deliver your purchase to your home or hotel.
Home Shopping Unable to come in? Rubensteins can come to you. Call an associate to make a convenient appointment at your home or office.
In an Emergency
We are always happy to recommend the best entertainment, hotels, restaurants, salons and spas here in New Orleans.
Perhaps you arrived in town before your luggage, forgot to pack your bow tie, or need a suit for a last minute event. Whatever the emergency, call us at 504.581.6666 and we will find a quick solution to your problem. We can also provide same day alterations as needed.
E-mail To receive the latest information on Rubensteins events and sales, please e-mail us at email@example.com. For more information, please visit www.rubensteinsneworleans.com.
Gift Cards Gift Cards are the perfect gift when you’re not sure of the recipient’s taste or size. They are available for any
measurements on file, updating them as needed so we’re always ready to make you a new garment.
Personal Sales Associates Upon your arrival, our skilled sales associates will happily greet you. After a brief introduction to the store, our trained sales associates will be able to help select your garments based on your needs and taste. After this first time consultation, our sales associates can preselect garments for your next visit or send them right to your home upon request.
Shoe Shine & Repair Now you can get a beautiful shine or repair your favorite shoes while you shop. Shine Incorporated is located in the shoe department at Rubensteins.
Tailoring Our on-site tailors will happily work with you and your sales associate to create the perfect fit. A tailor can also provide any fitting or readjustments to your previous purchases.
Pick the fit, fabric and other details that match your taste from our wide variety of styles and fabrications. Our made-to-measure garments include dress shirts, slacks, sport coats and suits. And we’ll keep your
Monday–Thursday 10:00am–5:45pm Friday & Saturday 10:00am–6:00pm
HUGO BOSS FASHIONS INC. Phone +1 212 940 0600 www.hugoboss.com
My girlfriend has been buying me scarves but I have no idea how to wear them. Are they in style?
Yes, more than ever! Whether cashmere or wool, bulky hand knits or fine gauge with fringe, bright solids or patterned alpine designs, a scarf is the easiest way to add personality to your look. The trick to wearing them: don’t overthink it! Just wrap your favorite scarf around your neck a few times, or try the European way: fold a long scarf in half, drape it around your neck, and pull the ends through the loop. Voila! Instant panache. And don’t wait for the snowstorms: a beautiful scarf is a great fashion accent, whatever the weather.
Magazines show bright color pants, yet on the streets, most guys wear jeans or khakis. What’s up with the color?
Bright colors (best in slim five-pocket models) are definitely a new direction for men’s trousers, most popular with contemporary customers and guys with self-confidence. If you dare, give them a try: color is fun, mood-elevating and not all that hard to wear. (Nantucket red has been a staple in New England for decades...) If you’re not so bold, try the new five-pocket models in neutral shades, in non-denim fabrics like brushed twill and corduroy. With more options than ever in casual trousers, there’s no need to be boring—or bored.
While shopping online can be tempting, there are many caveats. First of all, not all designers produce the same quality goods for all accounts. So a designer polo from a flash sale or discount site or outlet store might be a different weight or color than the “same” designer polo in an upscale store. Second, at independent specialty stores like ours, you work with store owners and trained tailors and wardrobe consultants whose reputation depends on making you look terrific. Most also offer free closet makeovers: they’ll come to your home, sort through your closet and update your wardrobe with a new piece or two to bring it all together. In addition, store owners stand behind their product, so you’ll never get stuck with an impulse-purchase-gone-wrong.
IMAGE COURTESY OF LUCIANO BARBERA
Why buy clothing in a specialty store when so much is available online?
A patterned sportcoat can be dressed up or down, and a double-breasted camel peacoat satisfies three trends in one.
The runways of Milan, New York and Paris showcase fashion at its most extravagant. Limited edition wool suits and belts made from the most exotic skins were paraded out to cause a stir—and it worked. Thankfully there’s more to menswear than one-off pieces singularly designed with connoisseurs in mind. This fall, men’s clothing and accessory makers have created some of their most varied and versatile collections to meet the everyday needs of the stylish modern man. Sharp suits and sportcoats in a rich array of autumnal colors and tweedy textures, sporty jackets made of weatherproof materials, big bold knits in solids and multi-hued variations, and even a resurgence of cashmere, corduroy and camel hair are wearable and on-trend. So whether you’re lounging around the house, dashing to the office, going for a weekend road trip, or prepar-
IMAGES COURTESY OF Z ZEGNA AND BRUNELLO CUCINELLI
TRENDS FOR MEN
FALL AND WINTER ARE JUST HEATING UP. BY WILLIAM KISSEL
ing for that big formal affair, this fall’s offerings have you covered.
DUAL-PURPOSE Perfect for the office
Technically speaking... This wool and down jacket offers Thermore insulation and taped seams for waterproof performance.
in classic pinstripes or subtle windowpane patterns, these same jackets come alive at night when paired with casual slacks and jeans, coincidentally the way most real men now define weekend wear. If you want to try something new, check out this year’s crop of double-breasted jackets, or DBs, as they’re known. Nearly every designer from Armani to Zegna is banking on double-breasted suits playing a starring role in men’s wardrobes, this fall and beyond. To that end, double-breasted jackets
SWEET PEAS The pea coat originated in the 18th century, when the durable jackets were used to clothe sailors and other military personnel who found the “pij” material (from the Dutch word pijjekker meaning twilled cloth) used to make them incredibly warm. Modern menswear makers could not have foreseen record cold temperatures across the globe when they developed their own versions of these hearty coats, but rest
employed the time-honored ribbed cloth in everything from jeans, jackets and sport shirts to outerwear, blazers, and even tailored clothing. Pinwale corduroy in a cotton/cashmere blend is Hugo Boss’s top dog this season, while cashmere kingpin Brunello Cucinelli prefers brushed corduroy for his collection of quilted coats.
OUT OF THE DESERT Few items in a man’s wardrobe have ever been more luxurious than a camel top coat. Now that familiar topper—a staple of 1930s and 1940s Hollywood royalty—has been reinterpreted in everything from car coats and high-waisted trousers to sportcoats and even full camel hair (or colored) suits. Designers as diverse as Hermès, Giorgio Armani, Tom Ford and Ermenegildo Zegna offered just a preview of the full camel stampede to come this winter.
TECHNO? TECH YES! Remember
IIMAGES COURTESY OF ZEGNA SPORT
THIS SEASON, IT’S HIGH STYLE TO WEAR SOMETHING HIGH TECH. come in many variations, from low four-button models with soft shoulders and very straight lapels to serious, military-inspired high six- and even eight-button, peak lapel jackets with strong shoulders and streamlined waists. Many of these shapes also carry over into outerwear and sportcoats.
assured that the double-breasted toppers are ready to work double duty when necessary.
STRIKE A CORD Corduroy comes in many sizes—from pinwale to extra wide wale—and this season top brands like Belvest, Kiton, Zegna, Loro Piana and Canali have
Zegna’s imaginative I Jacket with its built-in touch control panel at the cuff, allowing one to interface with his iPod without touching it? Or how about Loro Piana’s innovative Storm System technology, which renders even the most opulent fabrics like superfine wool and cashmere water repellent? Those brilliant ideas have come full circle and spawned a whole generation of high tech, high style garments. Whether it’s a polyester and nylon jacket that actually breathes as the temperature rises, or a top coat designed with touch technology that lets you hide your electronics and control them remotely, this season, it’s high style to wear something high tech.
Sean Connery in Dr. No A rare casual moment for 007, who dons a tuxedo more often than not. Whatever the occasion, his firearm (in this case, a Smith & Wesson Centennial Airweight) is never far from sight.
Humphrey Bogart in The Maltese Falcon Detective Sam Spade: cunning sleuth, dapper dresser
Robert Redford in The Great Gatsby Ralph Lauren outfitted the entire cast for the movie adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgeraldâ€™s classic novel.
Cary Grant in North by Northwest Proof positive that you can still look put together and polished while running from the bad guys.
70 YEARS OF CINEMATIC STYLE BY JILLIAN SPRAGUE 12
The cast of Reservoir Dogs These guys were ahead of the trend in slim suits and ties.
The cast of The Adjustment Bureau While overcoats and fedoras are classics, the style in multiples is downright intimidating. These men mean business!
George Clooney and Brad Pitt in Ocean’s Eleven Unbuttoned elegance as the big screen’s most charismatic criminals
Richard Gere in American Gigolo Armani became a household name after outfitting gigolo Julian in his signature suits.
Michael Douglas in Wall Street Fat ties—and fat wallets—epitomized the 1980s. The pleated pants popular then are just starting to reappear on runways, but haven’t yet made it mainstream.
SUITS CAN’T SAVE YOU NOW
THESE MEMORABLE MOVIE GOOFBALLS PROVE THAT YOU CAN DRESS THEM UP, BUT YOU CAN’T TAKE THEM OUT. 13
John Belushi and Dan Akroyd in The Blues Brothers
Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels in Dumb and Dumber
Rowan Atkinson in Mr. Bean’s Holiday
AUGUST 2012 WILL MARK THE 10-YEAR ANNIVERSARY OF AMERICA’S COOLEST DENIM. BY KAREN ALBERG GROSSMAN
y mission 10 years ago was to make the best jeans in the world; that’s still our mission today,” asserts Agave founder Jeff Shafer. “We started with eight jeans; last year we did $11 million in sales, a record for us, just in men’s. My wife Lauren (who retired from the business 16 years ago to raise our son Jacob) is back as designer of women’s. We’ve become a true luxury label focused on USA-made quality product.”
How do you compete with bigger brands? I knew the secret of making the best jeans was in the denim. I found the best denims from boutique mills in Japan. I focused on fabric and fit, partnering with a Japanese jeans manufacturer with production and laundry in L.A. that made jeans for Levi’s. They knew how to make a jean authentically and accurately. Agave stands for the highest quality jeans, made authentically in the USA. Our customers know this and appreciate our commitment.
How tough is it to work with your spouse? I wouldn’t be a designer today if it weren’t for Lauren. Two companies ago we started working together: I was the owner and she was doing production. We hit tough times and had to let our designer go, and Lauren encouraged me to do the design myself; she actually taught me how. I found my passion thanks to Lauren and I’ve been trying to get her back to work with me for a long time. Last September, our son Eli started high school and she finally agreed. Here’s why it works: We are equals; we trust each other and don’t compete with one another. We try not to discuss work at home.
A DECADE OF AGAVE We have the same taste level but complementary skills. We share values, integrity and the same commitment to quality.
What’s the next big thing in denim for fall 2011? The news is COLOR in bottoms, not just shades of indigo, black and gray, but brown, olive and camel. The other excitement is alternative weaves (twills, cords, etc.) in five-pocket models, washed down to a beautiful patina.
Above: Jeff and Lauren Shafer Left: Items from Agave’s men’s and women’s fall collections
for there is only
5038 W. Esplanade Avenue, Metairie, LA 70006 | 504.455.5705 COMPLIMENTARY PICKUP AND DELIVERY
life is but a
Fall 2011 has us dreaming about texture... lush knits, comfy cashmeres, velvety cords. So many soft ways to stay warm this fall...
Wendy McNett |
HAIR & MAKEUP:
DREAM A LITTLE DREAM OF...
STYLE MATTERS WHY
Making a good impression has never been more important. Nor has it ever been easier! Studies show that well-dressed men get higher paying jobs, enjoy better social status and are more attractive to the opposite sex.
Here are some simple tips on how to spruce up your look, because yes, style matters!
simple updates for all your modes...
1. Dressy Casual
BUILDING A GREAT WARDROBE IS SIMPLER THAN YOU THINK.
3. Sporty Casual
WITH A FEW NEW BASICS, A WONDERFUL FOUNDATION (AND BETTER FIRST IMPRESSIONS) CAN BE BUILT.
SPORTCOAT THE MVP OF DRESSY CASUAL
No single item is more effective in transforming a man’s wardrobe than the sportcoat. It makes a man look “dressed,” while enhancing and concealing all the right body parts...
Plaid Classic A great neutral plaid adds instant style to jeans and moves gracefully from office to dinner.
Color Statement A bolder plaid in rich fall colors adds excitement to solid basics and layers well with sweaters.
Unconstructed A soft, unlined jacket is an indispensible basic this season. It looks casually elegant and fits like a second skin!
Collegiate Corduroy Toasty warm and versatile, corduroy has come back with a vengeance.
Soft Cashmere Unconstructed and elegant, it works with dress pants, jeans and everything in between.
The New Slimmer Silhouette is here to stay
From a first interview to the corner office,
one properly fitting neutral suit in a transitional fabric is an essential basic for the welldressed man.
The Intellectual Add a sweater to a windowpane wool suit for a super smart look.
The Young Turk A well-cut dark suit can take you everywhere... and a great wool tie is an easy way to add some personality.
The Player A fun shirt (without a tie) with an open suit jacket is a refreshing upgrade to jeans.
which SUITS you?
The Statesman Herringbone in warm fall tones plus a buttoned vest spells confidence.
The Mogul Navy pinstripe suit, blue shirt, red tie, slim cut... need we say more?
Sporting Event With Client A quilted, fitted, double-breasted jacket is as warm as it is flattering.
Weekend Outing Cold, blustery days can be faced in style with an elegant update to the classic parka.
STYLE Soccer Sidelines Throw a great scarf over a versatile pullover and be the best looking dad on the field.
Whether itâ€™s the weekend, or you just want it to feel that way.
Country Drive Go antiquing and lunching in style in a chocolate suede driving jacket, also perfect for everyday.
world scene GREEK REVIVAL
few steps behind the Kapsaliana Village there’s an ancient olive tree. It stands alone, determinedly rooted into a slight rise. From here, the view stretches across the largest olive grove on Crete, over a lush valley, to the sea. The scene is quiet and stunningly beautiful. Originally home to a thriving olive press worked by monks (the historic Arkadi monastery is nearby), the settlement was gradually abandoned after the press was closed in 1955. Today, under the brilliant tuteledge of architect Myron Toypoyannis, Kapsaliana Village has been rebuilt and restored and named a member of Historic Hotels of Greece. The age-old architecture is combined with modern comforts. Twelve guest houses, hewn from the original dwellings, are set on cobblestone alleys. The olive press is now a museum. The restaurant offers superb traditional Cretan food, and there’s a luxurious swimming pool. But most of all, there’s an atmosphere of tranquility and seclusion, as if time had paused to offer visitors a few moments of complete serenity.
Experience life’s little luxuries. BY DONALD CHARLES RICHARDSON
LAKE PLACID LODGE
s cold weather approaches, ‘tis time for winter sports, a cozy new coat and a heart-warming cocktail. After ice skating, cross country skiing or snowshoeing at the Lake Placid Lodge in New York’s Adirondack mountains, guests keep out the chill with the hotel’s winter drink, the Barkeater. Bartender Lori Kudelski, who created the Barkeater, shares the recipe for this snug concoction. Ingredients: 1 oz. vanilla vodka, 1 oz. Frangelico, 1 oz. Amaretto, a splash of New York State maple syrup, and 4 oz. cream. Mix vodka, Amaretto, Frangelico and maple syrup in a shaker, then pour over ice in an old fashioned glass. Top with cream and garnish with a mint leaf. Cheers!
long with golf, rock climbing and fly fishing, guests of The Broadmoor Hotel at the foot of the Rockies in Colorado Springs can go for the gold. The sparkling festivities begin in a chauffeured Hummer (gold-flecked handcrafted chocolates and a bottle of Champagne are provided), which brings you to the Money Museum. Here, caterers serve dinner in the Bass Gallery, where over $20 million dollars worth of paper money and rare coins, including the most comprehensive collection of American gold coinage in existence, is stored. Between courses, the curator of the museum joins guests and passes around several million dollars in coins and notes. The Broadmoor’s wealthy revelry culminates at the hotel bar with chocolate sorbet decorated with 18K gold leaf, created by executive restaurant pastry chef Rémy Fünfrock, and director of wine Tim Baldwin opens a bottle of Moët & Chandon, Cuvée Dom Perignon Oenothèque, 1966.
n the Kentucky countryside not far from Lexington, there’s a historic eightroom house. Originally named Bellevue, it was built in 1779 by Colonel John Bowman (the state’s first military governor) for his wife, Elizabeth. Now, it’s the home of Jayne Thompson Antiques, decorated with a lavish collection of English and Italian furniture and accessories. The shop is so popular with antiques aficionados, collectors often fly in (there’s a nearby private airport) to shop. For visitors with an urge to experience a more gracious time, Jayne Thompson will also arrange a dinner. Catered by Debbie Long of Dudley’s Restaurant in Lexington, the meal is prepared from seasonal ingredients and paired with appropriate wines. It’s served either in the home’s stunning dining room filled with antiques, or on the lawn, where the hostess places 18th-century Windsor chairs and a 17th-century oak farm table, set with English Ironstone china.
mong the many trendy—and usually pricey— goings-on in Miami, there’s one very stylish event that’s amazingly inexpensive. For just $5, residents and visitors, serious yoga practitioners and first timers alike, can join certified instructors for “Beach Yoga at 3rd Street, Miami Beach.” This ultimate South Beach insider happening, which attracts vacationing Broadway stars and fashion editors, among others, has been meeting every day at sunrise and sunset for the past 12 years. Take water and a towel, and spend an hour reaching new horizons.
DJORDJE ISHERE / CLICKHERE STUDIOS
A STRETCH OF BEACH
When filmmakers want to evoke the formal lush countryside of Georgian Ireland or the mythical Celtic landscape of dappled glades, they train their cameras on Powerscourt Estate, one of the greenest corners of the Emerald Isle. Set on Dublinâ€™s doorstep in County Wicklow, the gated lands originally surrounded a 13th-century castle that helped guard the city. In 1731, the lord of Powerscourt upgraded to the iconic Georgian manor that still occupies the high ground, gazing across a rich array of gardens and over a small lake to the hunched backs of the Wicklow Mountains.
Green visions abound in the gardenscapes of the Dublin countryside. By David Lyon
NEW ORLEANS IS FAMOUS FOR NEW BEGINNINGS.
DO YOU LIVE AN INTERCONTINENTAL LIFE?
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YOU COULD SPEND DAYS AT POWERSCOURT SAVORING THE IRISH GENIUS FOR LANDSCAPE GARDENING OR WANDERING LIKE MYTHIC KING FERGUS IN THE GENTLE WILDS OF THE WOODLANDS AND MEADOWS OF THE 1,000 ACRE ESTATE. Jack Yeats. The gallery backs onto Merrion Square, one of Dublin’s finest Georgian squares, where rows of elegant townhouses are distinguished by differently colored doors and hand-burnished
brass fixtures. Oscar Wilde lived at 1 Merrion Square from 1855 to 1876, and should you wonder where he wet his whistle, a good bet might be O’Donoghue’s, a pub established in 1792 only a block away. The barkeeps still pull a fine pint of Guinness, and the room is famous for its nightly live music. The Ritz-Carlton has its own pub, McGills, where the Albaquirky Turkeys play a driving version of traditional Irish music. The resort’s gastronomic jewel, though, is its casual fine-dining restaurant, Gordon Ramsay at Powerscourt, the London-based chef’s first Irish venture. Conceived as a farm-tofork venue relying intensely on Irish products, the restaurant provides a literal taste of the countryside in a country about the size of West Virginia. The lamb is raised less than 20 minutes away, the vegetables come from an organic farm a mile down the road. As for the mushrooms, the kitchen staff forages them in the woods and meadows of Powerscourt.
IMAGES BY DAVID LYON; SUITE IMAGE BY VISION PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF RITZ-CARLTON POWERSCOURT
Previous page: The 19th-century Pepperpot Tower was modeled on a peppermill belonging to the seventh Viscount Powerscourt, Mervyn Wingfield. This page, top: A fountain in Walled Garden at Powerscourt Gardens Center: Gordon Ramsay’s County Wicklow lamb with potato galette Bottom: The Mountain View Suite at RitzCarlton Powerscourt
For full immersion in the lifestyle of latter-day Irish gentry, retire to the Ritz-Carlton Powerscourt, where you can nurse a tumbler of Tyrconnell single-malt Irish whiskey on the terrace. The 200room resort opened in 2007 and is just a five-minute saunter from the Powerscourt manor. Its stately Palladian architecture and Georgian-inspired décor are complemented by the sybaritic ESPA spa and invisible (but indispensable) contemporary technology. Concierges can advise guests on the best woodland hikes and runs and provide maps and electronic keys to the hidden, gated parts of the estate. They can also arrange horseback riding through the countryside, golf on either of Powerscourt’s two 18-hole courses, or fly fishing for sea-run trout on the River Dargle. Dublin is only a half hour away, making it possible to combine the rustic pleasures of the Irish countryside with the urban rush of the Irish capital. It’s worth making a pilgrimage to the august neoGothic grounds of Trinity College to see the Book of Kells displayed in the library. Created in the 9th century, this stunning volume of the Gospels is one of the earliest surviving illuminated manuscripts and an Irish national treasure. The Irish also treasure the outsized personalities of their artists. At the National Gallery of Ireland, one section is dedicated to the Yeats clan: portraitist John Butler Yeats and his sons, poet and sometimes painter William Butler Yeats and modern Expressionist master
“I’M NOT KNOWN FOR FOLLOWING RULES; I PREFER TO EXPERIMENT WITH NEW IDEAS.”
GUITAR HERO LIKE FINE CUSTOM CLOTHING, A GUITAR BY JENS RITTER IS ONEOF-A-KIND, HANDCRAFTED, STEEPED IN TRADITION. BY BILL WEISS
arlier this year, an exhibit called Guitar Heroes: Legendary Craftsmen from Italy to New York opened at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Featured were the handcrafted guitars of three 20th-century Italian-American master craftsmen: John D’Angelico, James D’Aquisto and John Monteleone, who from workshops in NYC sought to carry on the traditions of centuries-old European masters. In preserving these age-old techniques, these craftsmen have inspired a new generation. Among the best, Jens Ritter is a young German luthier from the quiet village of Deidesheim, near the Rhine River in the heart of Germany’s wine country. Ritter, who produces 50 to 60 instruments a year with the help of a single skilled assistant, introduced his first bass guitars in 1995. They caused an immediate sensation based on their sheer beauty, innovative designs and remarkable sound. The exquisite lines and symmetry of his instruments are simply breathtaking; his fertile imagination has yielded designs from medieval to futuristic. Add in the warmth and beauty of exotic hardwoods and other natural materials (sometimes even precious gemstones!) or the stark high-tech sleekness of mixed synthetics, and it’s clear why Ritter’s guitars are coveted by top players (George Benson, Phil Lesh, Josh Dunham) around the world. We recently caught up with Ritter, who was in New York City to to see the Guitar Heroes exhibit at the Met and for this exclusive interview with Forum magazine.
Known as the German Stradivari, Jens Ritter pushes the limits of his craft.
FA L L 2 0 1 1 coppley.com
I’M VERY GRATIFIED THAT MY DESIGNS ARE PERCEIVED AS ART AT THE SAME TIME THEY’RE PLAYED ON STAGES ALL OVER THE WORLD.”
Above: A colorful example of Ritter’s more outrageous side Below: Mary J. Blige is one of many celebrity clients.
How did you get started?
Are your instruments art?
I played bass in a band as a teenager and was never happy with the instruments. I didn’t have the money to buy an expensive bass guitar so I tried to modify parts of my instrument to make it better, like changing the electronics and eventually cutting and sawing the body to change the shape and weight and maybe improve the ergonomics. Eventually I was able to buy some high quality wood and spent lots of time designing and building my own bass. It helped that my grandfather was a woodworker who taught me how to handle wood and treat wood surfaces.
Once considered a functional tool, the guitar is now a huge cultural symbol, a valued entity in itself. Years back, the guitar heroes were the musicians who played the instruments, not the craftsmen who designed and built them. Think of Jimi Hendrix: He’d pour lighter fluid on his guitar and burn it on stage, like he did in 1967 at the famous Monterey Pop Festival. Today those guitars are famous on their own; even burned ones have sold for hundreds of thousands of
What makes your instruments so special? They’re super custom-made but within aesthetic limits, kind of like a custom suit. I’m not known for following traditional rules and I love to pursue new designs, try new woods, experiment with new surfaces. Sometimes I’ll try developing a new instrument for myself or to demonstrate at a trade show, and the response might lead to new ideas.
dollars, just so someone can hang them on their wall as a holy relic. What was once a simple tool of the musician has evolved into functional art, achieving its own identity as a cultural symbol. I’m very gratified that my designs are perceived as art at the same time they’re played on stages all over the world. On occasion, I’ve sold instruments to art collectors and museums for display only.
What are you working on these days? I’m mostly filling orders from the trade shows in L.A. and Frankfurt, but I’m also developing a new guitar model scheduled for release in January 2012, and creating a new signature six-string bass guitar for The Grateful Dead’s Phil Lesh.
What’s the best part of your work? To be immersed in inter-
national culture is an incredible blessing. To possibly influence it—now that’s intense!
THIS REVOLUTION IS ALSO AN EVOLUTION, FOR ‘ROUND THE CORNER, ANOTHER INTREPID BARTENDER IS CRAFTING THE NEXT BIG DRINK.
FASTER THAN YOU CAN ORDER A MANHATTAN, ANOTHER COCKTAIL TREND AWAITS YOU. BY ROBERT HAYNES-PETERSON e live in an exciting time when it comes to drinks. The so-called Cocktail Revolution, invoking premium spirits, fresh ingredients and careful measures, has evolved beyond trendy neo-
speakeasies to rooftop lounges and nightclubs. But this revolution is also an evolution, for ‘round the corner, another intrepid bartender is crafting the next big drink.
Organic Ingredients: Five years ago, only a handful of organic spirits existed. Today there are organic tequilas, vodkas, single malts, bit-
ters, even sake. “To get USDA certification is very hard,” says Henry Siedel of Chikurin, the only Japanese sake to hold that distinction. Not only does the rice need to be grown sans pesticides, but irrigation floodwaters from neighboring farms have to be gunk-free as well. In most cases, you’re doing more to protect the environment
This may seem like an ordinary gin and tonic, but it features ofthe-moment bar trends like hand-cracked Kold Draft ice, fresh small-bottle tonic, and trendy Copa glassware.
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Both complex punch bowls and obscure European digestifs take center stage in cocktails at many of the trendiest bars around the country.
Aged Cocktails: The hottest geek trend of 2011: mixing up batches of classic cocktails, dropping them into used whiskey barrels or other containers, and aging for several weeks. Jeffrey Morgenthaler, bar manager at Portland’s Clyde Common, is widely credited for kicking off the trend in the U.S. Aging a cocktail does the same thing as aging whiskey or tequila: “The edges are softened, but not in a way that makes the drink seem flabby,” says Morgenthaler. “Anything with vermouth or fortified wine will be lightly oxidized and gain earthy notes that lend a lot of depth.” A second- or third-use barrel, like a bourbon or sherry cask, will also influence the final drink. You’ll find aged cocktails in toptier bars around the country, including the Boxcar Bar (Austin),
Girl & The Goat (Chicago), Grant Hotel (San Diego, where guests can purchase aged cocktails by the bottle), and Summit Bar (Manhattan). London’s Artesian bar, meanwhile, is mashing two hot trends by offering barrel-aged Mai Tais featuring clarified lime juice. Act quickly if you hear of a new barrel being tapped at your favorite watering hole: Innovative batches can be drained in a single night by thirsty fans.
Farm-to-Bar: As in the restaurant world, bartenders are hot on local, farm-fresh ingredients. “Guests love a drink with a homegrown angle,” says Evan Powell, the mixologist for Fish restaurant in Charleston, SC. “I grow about a dozen herbs, including chocolate mint, lemon thyme and shiso.” At Idaho’s Shore Lodge in McCall, the staff picks wild huckleberries for mixologist John Wood’s huckleberry mojito. Meanwhile, in San Francisco, the Fairmont is raising its own honeybees and using the fresh honey in cocktails. And Murf Reeves at New Orleans’ Sylvain puts his 15 years as a cook
to good use behind the bar, emphasizing regional food pairings with mixed drinks.
House-Made Mixers: “Bitters is one of the three major components of classic cocktails,” says James Lee of Boulder, CO’s Bitter Bar. The once-ubiquitous astringent infusions are now used mostly to enhance aromas in cocktails. “You can’t really substitute for Angostura or Peychaud’s where they’re called for, but otherwise, the sky’s the limit.” Lee and his team make their own bitters using ingredients like Japanese fivespice, grapefruit and (in season) Rainier cherry bitters. At the new Lexington Social House in L.A., you’ll find house-made yuzu, lavender and orange bitters, along with Thai chili-infused simple syrup and even their own version of Pop Rocks to rim glasses. For the new Theater Bar in New York City, owner/bartender Albert Trummer takes the house-made concept to new heights. The bar makes all its own liqueurs, tinctures, bitters and more, co-created with a doctor versed in homeopathic medicine. “Cordials that have artificial colorings and sweeteners sit on your liver, along with the alcohol,” says Theater bartender Duane Fernandez. “At the end of the day, even with cocktails, you want the most natural product you can have in your body.” What’s coming up next? We’re already witnessing single filtered vodkas that actually have flavor, craft distilleries in almost every state, and 18th-century punch bowls that seduce scenesters and drinkers alike. Drop in to your favorite bar to discover what your own Mad Mixologist is concocting.
IMAGES BY ROBERT HAYNES-PETERSON
than your own body. But still, who needs Monsanto in their Mojito? Says Paul Abercrombie, author of Organic, Shaken and Stirred (Harvard Common Press, 2009): “People [should] care about what’s in their glass, the same way they care about what’s on their plate.”
ROB ERTGR AHA M .US
SOMETIMES, THE ANSWERS TO LIFE’S QUESTIONS AREN’T IN YOUR BRAIN. THEY’RE IN YOUR CLOSET. BY JAMES RARUS
CLOSET THERAPY A former boss, the president of a luxury apparel firm, used to scream at me: “You know what your problem is? You think too much! Just sell!” Today, I work for myself. I play menswear psychologist and at a psychologist’s rate, though I’m not a doctor. Analyze this: Twice yearly, menswear merchants fill their shops with thoughtfully selected apparel, transforming their stores into virtual treasure troves of luxury. A man’s closet should be a similar treasure trove, the clothes he pulls out each morning helping to determine if people will buy into his personality, business acumen, credibility, or whatever he’s selling. I recently worked with a client in his cedar paneled closet. His trousers, dress shirts and blazers hung evenly spaced on cedar hangers. His shoes rested in perfect rows, his belts and ties were arranged meticulously. I thought about this client, a bachelor with a high finance job: trim physique, handsome features, great hair, beautiful clothes. But then a flash: he owned no sweaters! Mother Nature took the time to create this perfect specimen, almost begging to be wrapped in luxurious fabrics, and not one cashmere knit!
I looked around his spectacular apartment with its expansive views of Central Park and envisioned the women he’d soon date thanks to this newly conceived wardrobe. A breakthrough moment, said my inner Freud. Want your own breakthrough? Think of your favorite store as your closet; then think of your wardrobe as a jazz song with layered textures, colors, tones and dimensions to help showcase your own unique qualities. Soon after shrinking my client’s head with this music metaphor, he became the proud owner of a dozen twoand four-ply cashmere knits and a few merinos in masculine shades both deep and pale. His wardrobe is now balanced with casually elegant cardigans, turtlenecks, V-necks and crews; his tailored clothing pieces now double as sportswear. His love life has improved, too: wearing an outfit of his own creation featuring a knit cardigan, he recently met the woman of his dreams. When people ask me what I do for a living, I often say, “I alter men’s perceptions of their closets so that when they get dressed each day, they’re energized and inspired.” To which they usually respond, “You think too much! But let me ask you a question. Can I wear…?”