Thursday, September 13, 2007

Shopping Safari to Bridgehampton; back to NY for Fashion Week

By Jamee Gregory

It’s a sunny Monday, perfect for lunch at the beach followed by a visit to Bridgehampton. Too many rays are too much of a good thing! Head covered with a hat, body coated with Anthelios 60, I hit the road with my friend, John Mashek. Traffic from Southampton is minimal which is a real treat

Bridgehampton is rustic and charming. The village tone is set by the lovely old church spire, the old-fashioned and well-stocked Thayer’s hardware and the always enticing Candy Kitchen where an old-fashioned soda bar and home made ice cream invite visitors to pause. Two busy streets offer a surprising array of shops.
Clockwise from top left: Thayer's old-fashioned hardware and garden furniture store; Loaves and Fishes Cookshop's plates, bowls, and cutlery display; John Mashek in front of Chez Soi.
After the obligatory Candy Kitchen peach ice cream cone one can start with C & W Mercantile searching for great candles, platters, children’s’ clothes and lovely bed linens displayed in a vast emporium. Next, try the American Wing where pine shelves, lacquered chairs, wicker sofas are piled high along with Agraria infusers and candles, the perfect present, especially Bitter Orange. This shop attracts some of New York’s most famous decorators searching for the perfect piece to complete an interior design.
Clockwise from top left: Triangle Home Furniture with Beviamo below; Triangle's selection of clocks and chairs; Triangle's lamps galore; Beviamo's Venetian glass, fabulous colors; John in front of Blue Provence, the fabulous shop from Palm Beach with French provisions; Bridgehampton's stately church.
Visit Triangle Home Furnishings for decorations and furniture galore as well as Eugenia Au Kim’s The Design Studio. Don’t miss Beviamo, a very chic new addition to town. This underground shop is well worth the visit, housing one-of-a-kind pieces from Italy and elegantly-colored Venetian glass. There’s a treasure for everyone’s table in this fascinating selection. Books and wine tasting, champagne flutes, pitchers and small dishes tempt on every shelf.
Clockwise from top left: Candy Kitchen homemade ice cream ... the best!; The window of C&W Mercantile; C&W Mercantile's Ankasa pillows; C&W Mercantile's back room filled with beautiful sheets, shams, and pillow cases.
Country Gear has tables made-to-measure from Italy, wooden fruit, cabinets and armoires in painted wood. Comerford and Hennessy are well stocked with an eye towards unusual and attractive pieces for your home. Tired of furniture? Don’t miss Blue Provence, a specialty store with a branch in Palm Beach. Gaily decorated candles from France in flower and fruit forms, pottery from Provence and a vast assortment of French delicacies like Poilane bread and biscuits make this shop a must stop. Try the sensational mini-blinis that need only to be dropped in boiling water or the Balik salmon and Prunier caviar. I leave with bread and dark chocolate coffee beans. Be sure and ask proprietor Thierry Miroir for help.
Clockwise from top left: Bobby Van's busy for lunch and dinner, great omelettes!; Antiques, garden furniture; American Wing 's Wicker chaise longue and chairs; Me under a Big Bird Sculpture.
Tony Victoria’s Chez Soi is another must-see. Known for his educated eye and vast expertise, this shop is full of beautiful objects from Russian boxes to paintings on glass and Secessionist furniture the sophisticated selection will tempt even the most jaded collector.

Waves and Tutto Bene, two clothing stores, were filled with woolen cardigans and turtlenecks, better saved for fall, but intriguing us the same. The Alice King stationery store has wonderful colored photo albums, just right for storing you favorite summer 2007 photos and adorable rectangular pads marked “Take to the City” and “Take to the Country” just what every double-home owner needs.
Clockwise from top left: Tutto Bene-stocked with fall sweaters; Country Gear Ltd. Rustic antiques; Country Gear's cabinets and armoires; Bridgehampton Florist, next to Penny Whistle toys; Bridgehampton Florist's well-stocked orchids and containers.
Stop at Amy Perlin Antiques and A Mano for hostess gifts, and leave time for Loaves and Fishes Cook shop, a treasure trove of goodies for discerning cooks and eaters, too. When you’re tired and exhausted, try Starbuck’s Light Espresso Frozen Frappucino, 90 calories of sheer heaven with a kick of caffeine! I’m addicted!
Clockwise from top left: Blue Provence's French candles in flower forms; Blue Provence's owner and salesman in front of the cash register; Pierre's-a terrific French restaurant and patisserie; Anne Moore's hats-well worth a visit; Alice B. King Stationery, established in 2000; Amy Perlin Antiques, with beautiful window boxes as well as wonderful antiques; The village's great stationery store.
Back from the Hamptons just in time for Fashion Week and this past Monday's Carolina Herrera show ...

Carolina Herrera’s show always brings out the ladies. We know that she understands what women want. For spring its skirts, sweaters, shifts and cocktail and evening gowns that make us smile, imagining trips, dances, and vacations in elegant homes. Her light-as-air confections could grace New York’s busy streets as well as survive packing, arriving in Palm Beach or Lyford Cay, ready for action.

Novel combinations, like delicate embroidered sleeveless tops, covered in stars and paillettes over puffy shorts? Why not! How about a long cardigan over a floaty chiffon shirtwaist? Fresher than a suit, this youthful combination may be just the thing to wear on a cool April evening in Manhattan. What about a stiff faille fabric that supports the sweep of a ball gown or the jaunty angle of a short strapless cocktail dress?

Pencils were madly circling numbers as everyone from Susan Fales-Hill, Joanne de Guardiola, Tara Rockefeller, Somers Farkas, Jennifer Creel, and Shirin von Wulffen noted their favorites. A festive feeling was generated by the soft and enticing range of colors, from pear green, peony pink, to Clementine orange, inspired by the watercolors of Jeremiah Goodman.

Simple, clean-cut shapes embellished with layers of raffia, giant pailettes and sculpted feathers added dimension, like the layers of paint used in watercolors. Masses of organza and lacquered chiffon were weightless, sailing down the runway on the slim models. Short jackets, white shirts, heavenly prints made the audience yearn for spring.

On a warm, sticky summer day the audience couldn’t imagine winter’s chill but fell for the promise of these dramatic designs.
I wanted a pale blue and coral polka dot chiffon ruffled dress, a white blouse with a crisp jabot, a long ivory chiffon evening gown with an embroidered vest of jewels, a coral floral silk chiffon tunic blouse over white cotton pants, a long Clementine floral silk gazaar faille gown.

A floral and striped embroidered ivory georgette gown with pool blue grosgrain ribbon detail would be just the right thing for the American Ballet Theatre gala, while a taupe suede sheath could be worn to Memorial Sloan Kettering board meetings. Could I carry off cocktail shorts? Could you? These are the questions that spin in one’s head, leading to intoxication!

Carolina made us high, so high that I found myself wandering out with my bag open and without my cell. The dangerous delirium ended well as Phoebe Gubelmann, Carolina’s masterful P.R. guru, answered a few hours later when I rang. Can you believe she found my phone in a tent with a gazillion guests?! Wishes do come true.