I have found a new haven: Deus Ex Machina.
Even the name Deus Ex Machina wreaks of sex. You walk into the store and it’s the most beautifully curated menswear store I’ve seen in quite some time. A clothing store for REAL men, the kind of men that Steve Mcqueen was, I thought they were all lost.
Speaking of which, Deus Ex Machina carries the Barbour brand which has co-opted Steve Mcqueens brand, and the logo is an absolutely gorgeous half union jack with half stars & stripes that I am in love with.
Great coffee in there café area, great ambience all around, and everyone had a great attitude especially if you look good and feel good when you walk in. Amazingly curated clothing and the most beautiful vintage motorcycle bikes with a very solid & genuine community feeling.
The staff was fantastic, extremely helpful, and cultured. We even started reminiscing on all the amazing music that they play, I’m very impressed about every aspect of this shop and that’s not easy!
I know where I’ll be doing my Xmas shopping
The beautiful Barbour brand logo
Stunning vintage bikes
The perfect display of a vintage motorbike
Entrance to Deus Ex Machina
The wonderfully curated clothing selection & vintage bikes
Café Area at Deus Ex Machina
I was invited to Stephen Webster’s lovely jewelry store / art gallery for a show by Mat Collinshaw entitled “The Last Supper” which was an incredibly rembrandt-esque depiction of prisoners last meals and last requests. Even though the theme was quite morbid, the photography was really quite beautiful & surreal all printed on goatskin parchment with an impressionist vibe that made them look like original baroque works with a very dark twist.
The edibles were provided by Mark Hix, the hottest restauranteur in London who served amazing appetizers for the guests who were definitely not eating there last supper and the crowd was filled with fashionable bright young things and young-minded sophisticates of all ages. Stephen was never at a loss for words with an amazing speech followed by Mat Collinshaw. Mat provided an in-depth description of his inspiration for the works. The idea came from a Sunday Times article he read 20 years ago depicting prisoners last meals in these disgusting plastic tray aerial photos. He really marinaded on this concept, and brought a whole new life to it, and it truly shows!
The exhibition entrance
Dessert for Dinner
Another stunning outtake from the exhibit
Mat Collinshaw, Mark Hix, and I
Dave Thomas & I
Dave Thomas, Me, and Isaiah Garcia
I attended Larry Flynt’s birthday dinner last week and it was pleasantly surprising. Beautiful, dreamy and filled with well-dressed people, sophisticated businessmen, journalists and intellectuals. It felt like the wedding scene out of the the Godfather as everyone was paying homage to him. Larry is quite handsome, well dressed and coiffed, photos do NOT do him justice. The food, drinks and ambiance were gracious, classy and nothing was in any gaudy or over-the-top. There was not an ounce of lecherousness nor debauchery present. Talking to Larry gave me the feeling that he is a man of great kindness, being around kind people always makes me so happy. Of course there wasn’t any photography allowed
For those who are not familiar with Larry Flynt, I think it would be fair to call him one of the great american’s of our generation, not least for his commitment to our constitution and our freedom of speech. Larry was attacked by both the left and the right as he built his Hustler empire, but always held steadfast in his commitment to the first amendment. During the Republicans completely hypocritical witch hunt of Clinton during the Lewinsky Scandal, Larry offered a million dollars of his own money for information of Republican indiscretions, which lead to the admission of extramarital affairs by incoming House Speaker Robert Livingston and his resignation.
Larry also demonstrated his principles by refusing to settle, as a matter of principle, a law suit issued by religious demagog Jerry Falwell. A case he lost repeatedly yet eventually won in the Supreme Court which cost him millions of dollars, but critically reaffirmed our first amendment rights and our right to freedom of speech.
I can’t think of many public figures in recent decades who have been willing to put themselves and their money on the line to defend our freedoms, so for that reason I believe Larry should be regarded as a national treasure.
With the fall & winter seasons off to an amazing start the celebrations have already commenced! I had the honor of hosting my dear friends Einar & Svala for there post-wedding cocktail soiree in Suite 700 this October… They are such a beautiful couple and we all had such a lovely time together celebrating their recent union. Everyone was dressed to the nines as per usual, and I also met some amazing new friends throughout the evening. In addition to being an amazing couple they are also an extremely creative & talented powerhouse spearheading a music & visual art collective from Iceland known as Steed Lord
You’ll be amazed by everything they’ve achieved as a couple & creative collective, they are truly inspirational individuals.
The lovely Svala, myself, and Einar.
Justin Barco & I
Having a blast entertaining my loves
Another beautiful couple, Eddie House & Tatiana
I hit the ground running in London right at the start of the fun and mayhem that calls itself London Fashion Week. I barely touched down at Heathrow before being ushered into an amazing party done by my friend Lyall Hakaria for Vogue Fabrics UK for the ICA, one of my most beloved British Institutions. Displayed were fashion & accessories from many up & coming young British designers. The displays were dazzling to behold.
(Gorgeous display of buttons from Karlie Shelley, Fred Butler, and Felicity Hayward)
The crowd of cultured sophisticates of all ages were really a sight for sore eyes. I’m a sucker for style and aesthetic and this crowd had it in abundance.
Another stunning display
Johnny Rocker, Mark Moore & me
Carrie Munden, Bethany Lauren Wood, Fred Butler, & me in full regalia.
Christos Tolera, Felicity Hayward, and I having a ball.
The event was held in one of my most hallowed childhood and current institutions, Selfridges, which seems to be the herald of everything cutting edge & relevant, and for those of you who have not seen it, the show Mr Selfridge is a MUST see! The windows of Selfridges currently house a display by my friend Keely Hunter, a milliner and Selfridges also recently launched a limited edition of super cool Barbie designed by my friend Fred Butler…amazingness all around -http://www.vogue.co.uk/news/2013/08/05/barbie-dressed-by-london-designers-for-selfridges-department-open
Barbie Collaboration by Fred Butler
Keely Hunter window display at Selfridges.
A colorful, vibrant and lovely party which ended at a completely civilized hour at 10pm which left me with plenty of time to get into trouble elsewhere *polishes halo*
For my summer family holiday this year, I decided to do something very simple with the children.
We spent four nights in Portland, Oregon and stayed at the Heathman Hotel which is a very lovely old world style hotel. Portland’s reputation was not for naught it certainly had an amazing foodie scene, the nature was beautiful, but not as magnificent as the stunning northern Californian Redwoods.
Here are my top 4 reasons you should go check out Portland, Oregon.
1. Portland is still known as one of the last hippy cities & enclaves in North America with it’s classic slogan “Keep Portland Weird” strewn about the city. I really enjoyed the quirkiness throughout the city.
2. The beautiful natural features of the land…fresh water rivers, lakes, mountains, forests and waterfalls to explore and create a very nice atmosphere by being fully immersed in all of the wondrous nature always a lovely place to be with Family. I had the chance to splash around in the rivers & waterfalls w/ my family which was a very magical experience.
3. The burgeoning farm to table foodie scene is always fun to explore with family, we enjoyed the Woodsman Tavern together which had a very nice old school tavern vibe with all the luxuries of a big-city restaurant.
4. Last but not least we really enjoyed the nations largest independent bookstore Powell’s where I spent the good half of an afternoon indulging in all of the fantastic literature.
I had the pleasure of viewing the Cool “Disco” Dan documentary presented by MOCATV last week. The documentaries executive producer, Roger Gastman, is a notable Street Art aficionado and co-curator of the seminal Art in The Streets exhibit and has published many significant works documenting the history of graffiti & street art.
Me & Roger Gastman
Cool “Disco” Dan was quite the cultural phenomenon in Washington, DC and his legendary contributions to the city were very well depicted. Dan’s graffiti work began during the Go-Go music scene in the 70′s and he was one of the first graffiti artists to actively spray paint his recognizable name all over the DC metro area for years to come turning him into a DC legend & cult icon. Dan was not associated with any gang or crew but others did follow suit and began spray-painting their Go-Go names or “Crew” names alongside his work. His basic & simple style of graffiti evoked heartfelt emotions throughout the generations in DC providing a sense of continuity and comfort in an otherwise violent & changing city in a very bizarre & fascinating way.
The film depicts a very dark & intriguing tale of the evolution of DC landscapes with correlations between the political events, music scene, art scene, and drug scene that struck down the city. Cool “Disco” Dan always seems to keep his cool throughout & remains an urban legend blessing the streets with his positive & absurdly ambiguous message.
The whole phenomenon he created is quite quite fascinating, especially the fact that Cool “Disco” Dan was never on drugs or alcohol, nor part of any “Crews” or gangs. He was very introverted & socially awkward, but obsessed with fame & recognition and this was his way of expressing himself to the community he lived in.
I was really excited to attend the Helmut Newton exhibition at the Annenberg Space for Photogrpahy in Century City last week. Helmut was a visionary in the way he photographed women, and also photo editor for French Vogue for many years. The women he photographed were beautiful, sensual, and sexual creatures, but also very empowered.
An interesting fact that I learned from one of the exhibition hosts is that a lot of the times when Helmut Newton was brought into to do commercial photography for the major fashion houses he would do the shoot, and then do another shoot with the models with a more experimental non-commercial aspect. The exhibition featured work from his famed photo-books White Women, Sleepless Nights, and Big Nudes.
I highly recommend this exhibition to anyone visiting or based in LA, probably one of the most extensive exhibitions of his work that also features 2 films incorporated into the exhibit. One was shot by the Annenberg Space for Photography exclusively for the exhibit, the other has a very personal touch and is produced by none other than his wife of many years, June Browne.
I have recently noticed a burgeoning art scene in one of the last places I’d expect to find such substance… the city of Las Vegas can be a very magical place if you’re not too overly mesmerized by all the sensationalized and in your face surface attractions, if you take a moment to step back and truly experience the arts & culture you will find many special things that a lot of travelers do not take into account. Take the lobby installations in each Hotel & Resort for example, they spend so much time & energy producing these amazing experiences and I feel as though many people just pass them by and do not take it in or explore all of the fascinating elements Las Vegas has to offer aside from the constant debauchery and gambling.
One such experience left me absolutely floored, I had the serendipitous pleasure of walking into the Louis Vuitton Maison City Center in Las Vegas and was then lured in by an amazingly talented & knowledgeable staff who gave me a full gallery tour of the in-store installations, and also surprised me with setting up an appointment to personally experience the private James Turrell exhibit on the fourth floor. Louis Vuitton has always championed brilliant avant grade artists, architects, and designers such as Stephen Sprouse, Murakami, and now the legendary James Turrell.
The exhibit entitled “Akhob” meaning pure water in egyptian is an installation that plays on the ganzfeld effect of uniform colors and the impact they have on our imagination morphing your perceptual experiences into a truly inspiring otherworldly experience that would leave any soul mystified. Turrell’s work is inspired by the magic of vision & light, and when you walk into the exhibit you feel a true sense of weightlessness, ethereality, and surreality.
Your surrounded by wall to wall colors smoothly morphing in front of your eyes, and creating rays of halo light effects that you even see in the photographs, these only exist within your imagination which is a very awe-inspiring use of the powers of light, it truly takes you away from the hustle and bustle of the Las Vegas city life and takes you to a very magical place that everyone should experience!
James Turrell’s work is also currently being displayed at LACMA so if you can’t make it to Vegas, I highly suggest you experience his work here in Los Angeles.
Photo Credits: Florian Holzherr
Most of you know that Selfridges is my favorite department store in the world and has been since I was a child in the 70s. When i was in London in May I was blown away by the relevance and influence of Selfridges to dictate the cultural conversation not only with the new Masterpiece Theater show, Mr Selfridge but also with their store windows which are legendary. Selfridges was basically telling all the passers by what the appropriate themes for their outfits should be for all the major cultural events of the summer, including Royal Ascot, The Lovebox Festival, Glastonbury and the Proms, They also had special windows dedicate to the Bowie Exhibit at the V&A and a special pop up store for that as well. Here are some photos for you to enjoy.
The Op Art inspired display, reminiscent of the iconic Biba style
Neon Electro Pop in this fun & sporty display
This gentleman providing the store goers a little traditional Scottish flare.
Stunning prints, the green shirt has a bit of a Keith Haring vibe to it.
The mirror stairs create a stunning effect.
Bowie invades Selfridges
V&A + Bowie + Selfridges = Amazing
I know I’m in good company when I say that I’ve been enjoying TED talks for a while now, but a friend sent me this link the other day regarding our personal health which really resonated with me.
I love socializing, going out, learning new things, but we have to take care of our health so we can continue to do the things we love.
Lissa Rankin’s TED talk is proof that common sense really can provide great insight with her view that the secret to our health lies within the quality of our relationships.
The key to good health is happy harmonious relationships. Beautifully simple isn’t it? When we have harmony with the people around us and the people we love, our health flourishes.
I’ve always felt that good relationships were incredibly important to me, but now I can justify my busy social life as being supportive of the happy relationships that are a medicinal requirement!
My LDN crew
My recent London trip started with a bang! Decided to stay in the East End this time around, which in itself was an adventure.
I had no idea how fun and hectic deciding to stay in East London would make the first leg of my trip to England.
I stayed at Shoreditch House, and was right in the middle of Shoreditch, which is home to many of my friends. My location on this trip was incredibly convenient and quite fun, maybe too much so!
Shoreditch House from exterior
On my way to the flower market in Columbia Rd.
Gorgeous restroom fixtures at Shoreditch House, classic LDN interior design
No club in the world has the convivial vibe of Shoreditch House so I felt I was w/ friends and family the whole time even when I was with their throughly charming staff.Went to the Adam Ant concert the next night at the Roundhouse in Camden, where he had last played over 35 years ago and had sold it out then and was selling it out again that night.
The man, the myth, the iconic LDN legend in full swing, my dear friend – Adam Ant
Adam and the Ants fam
It was great fun going en masse with a dozen friends and running into very many more. It was also a pleasure meeting Adam’s daughter and, of course, getting a kiss from Prince Charming himself.
Tamie Adaya & Adam Ant
Brunch the next day w good friends at Brick Lane where one of the larger halls had become a weekend home for ethnic food stalls and then a stroll to the flower market on Columbia Road.
The gorgeous selections at the local flower market
A few days of whirlwind excitement had me yearning for the relative tranquility of my next stop, the West End, which I shall share details of at a later time…