A Rainbow-Colored Console
About a decade ago, the Swedish designer Fredrik Paulsen began creating furniture from pine stained with impressionistic swaths of brilliant color, resembling a summer horizon on fire. The technique was labor intensive to the point that he began to think of himself as “the anti-Ikea” because of the time it took to produce a single unique piece.
Now, he has developed an even more elaborate way to conjure his spellbindingly prismatic effect — with anodized aluminum. After fashioning an object from the common metal — this streamlined console, for example — he disassembles it and drives the pieces several miles from his studio in Stockholm to an industrial metalworking shop where the pieces are washed in a chemical bath to “open the pores.” He then hurries it all back to his studio and applies the color stains — this must be done within a few hours or the hues won’t take. Next, the rainbow-hued aluminum is ferried back to the shop where it is resealed and reassembled. “I don’t worry someone will copy my technique,” he says. “The timing is very tight. Plus, you have to be a little insane.” $9,333, etageprojects.com — NANCY HASS
New York’s New Pizza Moment
Like hot dogs and soft-serve ice cream, pizza is one of those ultimate New York summer foods: hand-held, reminiscent of childhood, begging to be enjoyed on a lazy late afternoon with a bottle of cold, fizzy wine. So it’s fortunate that Manhattan is in the midst of its latest pizza revolution, with nearly a dozen new spots offering unforgettable pies.
Start uptown, at PQR, where Angelo Iezzi — a legend in Rome — has brought his scissor-cut, crispy-crusted buffalo mozzarella slices to the Upper East Side. Or make your way across town, to Chelsea, where Lions & Tigers & Squares is serving Detroit-style pizza; since it’s baked in a pan, the cheesy edges of the rectangle pies get those amazing crunchy, browned bits. Farther downtown, at Bocce Union Square, pizzaiolo Tim Meyers — an alum of the Brooklyn institution Roberta’s — is putting out chewy Neapolitan pies that owe their toppings to the famous green market with which the restaurant shares a plaza. (Order The Farm, piled high with chilies, green garlic, market greens and herbs.) Or, if you crave something more classic, head nearby to Joe and Pat’s, the new East Village location of a Staten Island pizzeria that’s revered for its impressively thin crust and gooey fresh mozzarella.
But if you’re looking for me on a Saturday night, I’ll probably be waiting outside Una Pizza Napoletana, on the Lower East Side, where Anthony Mangieri has returned from a stint in San Francisco to bless New York with his spartan, simple, hand-pulled pies, perfectly balanced with tangy tomato sauce, imported mozzarella, and a cloudlike, lightly charred crust that’s the result of a constantly evolving dough recipe. You’re here for the pizza, of course, but gather a crowd and make a night of it with small plates and desserts by Mangieri’s partners (the chefs Jeremiah Stone and Fabian Von Hauske of nearby Contra and Wildair) because, well, why just have dinner when you can have a pizza party instead? — KURT SOLLER
The All-Day (Every Day) Appeal of Nighties
The old-fashioned cotton nightgown has always moved me. It unearths feelings of safety and youth and squeaky-clean sex appeal: Julie Andrews dancing on her bed in “The Sound of Music” in a baby-yellow nightdress surrounded by the Von Trapp children on a stormy night; Audrey Hepburn tucked into her princess bed in a white cotton shift in “Roman Holiday”; Ann-Margret Olsson in “Bye Bye Birdie” gossiping on the telephone in her bedroom wearing a white baby doll. To me, the night dress represents a premarital (and pre-men) innocence: the days of sleeping blissfully alone, face freshly washed, hair just brushed, dreaming of all the romances that are still to come.
Despite its virginal reputation, the traditional nightie, with its airy tulip skirt, puckering and frills can also be incredibly sexy in a coy, strictly suggestive way — an idea that a handful of cool new brands and shops are embracing. The Ukrainian brand Sleeper has gained a huge following since its launch two years ago, specializing in simple cotton and linen shifts that can be worn during the day, too. Matches Fashion is now carrying demure nightgowns from the likes of Three Graces London and Robin Wright Penn’s line, Pour Les Femmes, and recently, a smocked, floral-print nightdress by the traditional Florentine label Loretta Caponi found its way to Amanda Cutter Brooks’s new boutique in the English countryside and onto her Instagram account. Looking out the bedroom window of her Cotswolds home, hair mussed, early morning sunlight filtering in, Brooks projects innocence, youth and womanly allure at once, just like the nightgown itself. — ALEXA BRAZILIAN
An Eclectic Design Gallery in the English Countryside
Inside a rustic retired barn, at the end of a pebbled road in Somerset — not far from the spa town of Bath and about an hour and a half by train from London — is an unexpected trove of Modernist furniture, contemporary crafts and unusual antiques. A vintage Hans Wegner dining chair stands across from a marble coffee table by the young creative duo Campbell-Rey; a maritime-inspired rope chandelier hangs above a decadent table display of local ceramics. This is the just-opened second outpost of 8 Holland Street, a new art and design gallery that debuted in London’s Kensington neighborhood in March and quickly set its sights on a rural expansion.
Founded by the interior designer and art buyer Tobias Vernon, who specializes in British Modernism, and the curator Rowena Morgan-Cox (a former director of The Fine Art Society), the gallery aims to highlight a more approachable way of living with art and design. It also provides interiors consultations, as well as art and furniture sourcing services. “I had become increasingly frustrated with these overly considered design schemes, with perfectly coordinated palettes, fabrics and furnishings,” says Vernon, who spent eight years working mostly on residential interiors before starting the gallery. “So, we set out to celebrate an aesthetic that felt less contrived, more lively and believable.”
Pairing the collectible and elegant with the slightly kitsch and even totally off-kilter, 8 Holland Street’s tastefully eclectic inventory ranges from a late-18th-century Japanese screen and a bold blue 1960s sofa by Mario Bellini, to a Magritte lithograph and an Inuit stone sculpture. The Somerset space, currently open by appointment only, not only extends the London gallery’s footprint, it also proves the versatility of the founders’ sophisticated but playful aesthetic: It feels just as relevant in the countryside as it does in the big city. “Our Somerset gallery is a living workshop, studio, storage space and showcase,” says Vernon, “It’s more of a place for us to play, to quite literally see things, and show things, in a different light.” For appointments contact firstname.lastname@example.org — NATALIA RACHLIN
Witty Watercolors by Konstantin Kakanias
In 2012, Deborah Needleman, then the editor of T magazine, approached the artist Konstantin Kakanias for a special commission to illustrate the standout heels of the season, from the likes of Louis Vuitton, Giorgio Armani and Christian Dior. The sketch he delivered, called “The Cat’s Meow” — in which a black cat delicately paws past a lineup of black stiletto pumps, gazing at them with bemusement — perfectly embodied Kakanias’s playful view of the fashion world.
So began a fruitful relationship between Kakanias and T, which produced what the artist calls a “kaleidoscope of drawings” numbering in the hundreds. Some 60 of these gouache, watercolor and pencil illustrations — often made in transit, at hotels and in friends’ homes, and then dispatched by post to the magazine — have now been gathered for a show, called “The Times,” which opens on July 21 at the Gavlak Gallery in Los Angeles.
The work of the Greek-born, L.A.-based Kakanias has been a fixture in various sections of The New York Times since 1989. His most famous sketches depict his imaginary alter ego, a bouffant-haired, aquiline-nosed doyenne named Mrs. Tependris, as she flits about fashion shows offering up amusing observations and bons mots. At T, where he served as a contributing editor for five years, Kakanias has been tasked with illustrating everything from a simple handbag to imaginary scenarios inside famed establishments. In one such mise-en-scène (pictured above), David Hockney, Grace Jones and Lady Gaga hobnob with Queen Elizabeth II inside the legendary London nightclub Annabel’s, an image that made the magazine’s cover.
For Kakanias, the fashion world has always been a rich source of sociological insight. “I went to the Givenchy show, and I was absolutely fascinated by the seating,” he says of one particular presentation, where V.I.P.s sat in a large circle of outward-facing seats, as if playing a game of musical chairs. “I didn’t even see the show. For me, I would rather draw the seating or the entrance — that’s where the really interesting stories are.” “The Times” opens on July 21 at the Gavlak Gallery, 1034 North Highland Avenue, Los Angeles, gavlakgallery.com — MIMI VU