Hazy Sunday

Sunday, November 12th, 2006 | All Things, Classes

I woke up this morning to find Columbus Avenue awash in a misty haze. Strange to see the buildings lining the streets disappear into the clouds. The twin columns of the Time Warner Center were completely shrouded from view.

Columbus Circle Mist

Sunday morning cooking class with John at the Williams-Sonoma. This week, in preparation for Thanksgiving, a primer on roasting a turkey.

The key to a juicy, flavorful turkey is in the brining. The additional step keeps the bird moist and tender: sugar and spices added to the brining liquid enhance the meat’s flavor; the salt breaks down some of the meat proteins, allowing more liquid to be absorbed into the bird. When the turkey is roasted over a long period of time, the proteins coagulate, preventing the liquid from escaping, resulting in overall increased moisture content–hence, a juicier turkey.

John with Turkey

After class, coffee at Bouchon and some more photos from the upper floors.

These holiday stars were strung up at the TWC just the evening before; I saw the crew working late into the night, as I walked home. The Time Warner Center debuted this “Under the Stars” installation last November. Brooklyn-based Holiday Image Inc. designed, built, and installed the dozen brushed aluminum stars; each 14-point, 12′ x14′ star weighs 987 pounds. Ted Mather designed the lighting. The structures will eventually be lit from within by over 8,500 color LED’s, shifting colors to coordinate with interpretations of holiday music.

TWC Stars

TWC Stars

A quick bite with B near Herald Square, and then some shopping before the thunderstorms were set to roll in. But not at H&M

Dutch duo Viktor and Rolf unveiled their design collection at H&M on Thursday. This is H&M’s third foray into the elite-desiger/mass-market retail arena: their previous high fashion collaborations featured designs by Karl Lagerfeld (2004) and Stella McCartney (2005).

Such designer pairings ostensibly represent some democratization of design. Michael Graves, Philippe Starck and Isaac Mizrahi for Target come to mind. Unlike Target’s “Design for All,” which has featured several amply stocked lines by each designer, H&M’s lines have been focused on scarcity: extremely limited stock and one-off collections. The strategy had already proven successful: Lagerfeld’s limited edition collection was devoured the morning it hit the floor in 2004; the following year, McCartney’s line sparked riots (and all sorts of unbecoming behavior.) By most accounts, the entire 40 piece collection sold out of all New York City stores within 15 minutes to bargain-hungry fashionistas who had waited on line overnight–while the media giddily covered the frenzy.

Fortune aptly dubbed this marketing trend “mass-clusivity“: limited-edition items created by big chains to generate heat and sell out fast. For the retailer, there’s virtually no downside: the media coverage alone is priceless. And shoppers who arrive after the exclusive goods have sold out may resort to making other purchases. For the most part, what makes these clothes desirable is not their inherent quality–which is immaterial–-but the demand manufactured by their scarcity, i.e., their exclusivity, manufactured or otherwise. What H&M is selling, even more than designer clothes, is the designer experience. And by making their limited edition collections available to anyone willing to invest the hours on line and to throw themselves into the fray, H&M seems to be promoting the democratization of not just design, but designer shopping itself.

So they did it again: this time, to somewhat less insane effect (Viktor & Rolf being more a cult Paris-based label, lacking the label recognition of McCartney, and even Lagerfeld.) Still, there was plenty of madness to cover–not at all limited to the United States.

The centerpiece of the collection was this wedding ensemble: tuxedo and bridal gown (which was limited to an edition of 1,000 worldwide.) Needless to say, by the weekend every shred of V&R was snatched up–hence the “Sold Out” broken heart–though available for purchase on eBay… at a price-gouging markup, of course.

Sold Out

There's 1 comment so far ... Hazy Sunday

November 20, 2006

I like how you break it down for us. It’s all upside then, eh. 🙂

Go for it ...