Saturday, June 15, 2013

Culture Club

Believe it or not, not everything revolves around fashion. Yes even I need a jolt of culture now and then. To that end I recently attended an event at Christie’s auction house to see a preview exhibit called “A Queen Within, Adorned Archetypes, Fashion & Chess.” Now you have another reason to go to St Louis, between October 19 – April 18, 2014 to the Chess Hall of Fame.  Who knew there was such a place? 

The exhibit will span over 3,000 square feet at the museum and include fashion (bien sur), photography, film and artwork. The exhibit will explore the relationship between power, risk taking and the queen’s evolving feminine roles in chess and society as told through examples of fashion, etc.

The so-called fashions on display on the mannequins at the preview were beyond fantastical – even more so than some of the getups that turn up during fashion week. My favorites included Alexander McQueen’s gold embroidered “poem” coat featuring lines from a poem by Edgar Allen Poe, and Hussein Chalayan’s frothy clear “bubble” dress. For more info contact World Chess Hall of Fame, or call 314-367 9243.

My travels in search of intellectual stimulation took my to New Haven and the Yale Center For British Art on Chapel Street. While I just missed the museum’s Edwardian Opulence exhibit there was more than enough to keep me satisfied between the gorgeous portraits by Reynolds, Romney, et al. and the Turner seascapes plus more modern works (and admission is free). The location, just a hop and a skip from the gorgeous Yale campus, is next door to one of my fave places to eat, Atticus, a cafĂ© and bookstore that has great food and a terrific selection of reading material.

While we’re on the subject of food, note Chocopologie at 47 High Street, a pint size dessert and candy emporium with mouth watering sweets, drinks and two tiny tables. A must stop on your agenda.

By now you probably know that as a dedicated fashionista there’s no way I could pass up a chance to do some window shopping. My first top was the Barnes & Noble’s bookstore and Yale apparel shop. There I picked up a cute cotton cardi in grey with the Yale bulldog and logo across the front. Too expensive for my budget but simply stunning were the weighty cream cotton sweaters for both sexes (very Chariots of Fire) and the hoodies in a range of colors. My rambles took me further afield to 265 York Street and Jack Wills, a terribly British –in a good way- boutique. Think a more interesting preppy version of J McLaughlin and Brooks Brothers with a younger slant and better prices.

I lusted over their polo shirt with signature embroidered duck with top hat and cane. Also fab, the striped Breton ¾ sleeved tees and for the guys, the elegant striped “Belgrave” blazer. Think punting on the Thames, sipping a Pimms cup, and you get the picture. For more info on this “Fabulously British” shop contact them at or call 1866-280-9963. Hopefully their next boutique location will be right here in Manhattan!

Have a happy summer, until next time, C&C

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Crap and Couture, Notes From the Back Row