Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Rock the Rieslings, Part 1: An Overview

If Mitt Romney (pictured at left) drank, his wine would be Riesling, ever so versatile. Not sure about his fellow diners. Photo by Steve Jurvetson.


AH, Riesling.
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways: dry, sweet, steely, fruity, biting, smooth and every way in between.

One of the most versatile varietals ever – how can anyone describing the wine do justice to the grape?

Most varietals do not present great versatility in flavors. Imagine a dessert Cabernet Sauvignon, for instance. What about a spicy Chardonnay? Ever sample a citrus-filled Pinot Noir? Now witness a wine that can take on seemingly conflicting hues. That's the magic of Riesling: the myriad ways to combine the grape's natural sweetness and minerality with a floral fruitiness.

Let me translate: Ever bite into an apple that somehow seemed to taste of flowers? Now wash all that down with Evian (mineral water) sporting a twist of lemon. Any one of those four flavors can dominate – or balance out – in a Riesling: fruity, floral, minerality, citrus.

Tweak the sugar content or the acidity and the wine spans the range from bone-dry aperitif, to something to quaff alone or with beef, to a fine dessert wine.

Do the math: four basic flavors, a range of sweetness and acidity, and every permutation in between – that's how many ways to love Riesling. Word to the wise: Though Rieslings are a singular varietal, approach them as more of a classification of wines, for there is no one singular style.

Rieslings: Little-to-No Respect
If Rieslings are so fabulous and so versatile that there is at least one to suit any taste, why aren’t they more celebrated? Why aren’t they more popular outside of Germany, Austria and Eastern France?

Part of the issue is relatively low production. Unlike the so-called “typical” wine-growing regions that share the same parallel from France and Spain to Australia, Rieslings prefer what most others varietals do not. No dry and hot climes for them; wet and cold make Rieslings happy, when the mold mostly leaves them alone. Quality Rieslings are therefore a low-yielding crop. By virtue of sheer production, Rieslings go outnumbered.

Another issue, to put it somewhat delicately, is an “odor problem.” Uncork a bottle and inhale – urgh, reminiscence of the gas station right under the nose. Sometime the scent is strong (a petrol or oily nose) and sometimes the barest hint breezes by.

Like Epoisses, Riesling is the delicious "stinky cheese" of wine. Photo from

Sometimes there’s no scent at all, and then the true Riesling lovers bristle at being denied this telltale pleasure. But expecting to taste florals and fruities and minerality and sweetness only to be met with engine oil can be offputting.

Advice: Oh, suck it up and drink. Most cheeses smell bad, if you think about it, and most cheeses taste great. Riesling is the stinky cheese of wines. Get the glass past the nose. Open up, pour down the hatch, and then judge the grape – but not before.

Since Rieslings have more shades, hues and varieties than Mitt Romney's political positions, finding the right one can be a daunting undertaking. One approach is simply to pick a bottle and drink, record the sensations, pick another, and so on. The unfortunate side effect of this sustained approach is a desiccated liver.

To save your liver and avoid traipsing haphazardly through cases of Rieslings, follow a few steps to be discussed next week.

Next Up: How to find the Riesling for YOU

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Bats, Balls & Big Easy@23rd Annual Celeb Sports Auction

The Derek Jeter 3,000th Hit Commemorative Louisville Slugger Black Bat is among the scores of items open for bids at the 23rd Annual Celebrity Sports Auction. Photo courtesy of Amazon.

FOR the right price, someone can walk away with two tickets to the 2013 U.S. Open (tennis). Same deal on a Napa Valley California wine tour and a Charlotte Ronson wool military jacket in olive green.

It all comes down to the winning bids placed during the 23rd Annual Celebrity Sports Auction. The live and silent auction is planned for Monday (5 Nov.) at New York City’s Madison Square Garden, provided all is well after Hurricane Sandy.

New York Jets player Muhammad Wilkerson. Photo from New York Jets.

Of course, no actual celebrities – sports or otherwise – will be up for auction But expect a framed and autographed photo of Muhammad Ali nee Casius Clay at his first Golden Gloves Tournament and Derek Jeter’s 3,000th Hit Commemorative Louisville Slugger Black Bat. Also in the mix are four tickets the 29 Dec. game at the Barclay Center between the Brooklyn Nets and the Cleveland Cavaliers with ball kid opps.

Grapevines at Long Island's Mattebella Vineyards. Photo from Mattebella Vineyards Web site.

New York Jets fans have an opportunity to bid on the Jets Suite package. It includes 24 tickets and VIP parking permits for the 2 Dec. game against the Arizona Cardinals. Like the Napa Valley wine tour (minimum bid $5,000), the suite is a live auction item and has a required minimum bid, $2,500.

Carli Lloyd of the U.S Women's National Soccer Team. Photo by M. Stahlschmidt/Sideline Sports Photography.

Proceeds from the auction benefit the Starlight Children’s Foundation NY*NJ*CT, which provides crucial services to sick children and their families. A goodly number of Starlight children and their families will be in the house to meet, greet, and cheer on bidders. The night is also an occasion to honor various sports celebrities. Being recognized this year are gold medal soccer players, Carli Lloyd and Heather O’Reilly, the New York Jets’ Muhammad Wilkerson, Kenny Cooper of the New York Red Bulls, New York Knicks player Larry Johnson and New York Rangers legend Nick Fotiu.

Tracy Letts, Carrie Coon, Amy Morton and Madison Dirks in “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf.” Photo by Michael Brosilow.

As evidenced by the Napa Wine tour and the CR jacket, not all auction items are of the sports variety. In the arts and photography category is an autographed and framed photo of Elton John. One of the trips being offered is to New Orleans for jazz and dining. It comes with a three-night stay at the Pere Marquette Hotel and a six-course dinner at Commander’s Palace Restaurant.

New York Rangers player Nick Fotiu (ret.) Photo from New York Rangers.

Theater fans can bid on tickets to “Who’s Afraid of Virgina Woolf” that includes dinner to the Bryant Park Grill. Speaking of that restaurant ensconced in the beautiful park just east of Times Square, it is one of several dining experiences (for 10 people ) in the gourmet category. For the wine-lover who does not successfully bid on the Napa Valley tour, there is an opportunity to place a winning bid for a private tasting at Long Island’s Mattebella Vineyards.

Going once, going twice. Sold!

Visit and/or call 212-354-2878 to learn more about and purchase tickets to the 23rd Annual Celebrity Sports Auction. Also use the Web site address to learn more about the Starlight Children’s Foundation NY*NJ*CT.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Trick or Treat!: Fall WICKED Sale From Nicholas K

IT’S that time of year. Just about everybody is feeling just a little wicked, including the good people at Nicholas K.

To that end, the label offers the Fall WICKED Sale. No tricks. The deal is pretty straightforward: Everything – every stitch – for Fall 2012 is 15 percent off. (Enter code: WICKED at checkout online.)

This season, designer Nicholas Kunz was inspired by the West of the United States, whether it be the characters of the Wild West or artist types that form the mosaic of the Southwest. This vision is most overtly clear in the fringe, cowboy hats and Aztec-like prints. At moments it seems, NK is also channeling the flapper era through a few dresses, in particular. (See video above of Fall 2012 collection shown during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at New York in February.)

Jedda Boot in mink has side zipper and top buckle strap, over-the-knee leather panel, platform wedge and wood-covered heel ($826.00) Photos from Nicholas K Web site.

Inspiration not withstanding, the collection is on sale only through Halloween (31 Oct.). Interested bodies should not dither, especially those in the path of Hurricane Sandy on the East Coast of the United Sates who have power and time on their hands.

Note to the uninitiated, Nicholas K works with layers for both women and men, but no one should feel intimidated by the tableau. On the Web site, the looks are broken down into the parts of their sum, e.g, “outerwear,” “pants,” “tops,” “shirt,” “dresses” and so on. (See picture show below of some parts.)

The ensems do look rather cool, though, combined the way they are on the video, no?

Visit to learn more about the Nicholas K Fall WICKED Sale.

Picture Show

For Her

Zev Onyx flat-front pant in leather and cotton-stretch jersey ($665.00) and Thorn Shirt in viscose with scoop back and fringe ($902.00).

For Him

Kilmer Jacket in wool and viscose with draped front and tie-front closure ($688.00) and Cole Pant in polyester and viscose with elastic at hem, cuffs and back waistband. ($244.00).

For Her

Harlot Dress in viscose and printed Georgette with long sleeve and cutout shoulder ($221.00) and Zuma Jacket in leather with faux fur outer layer, leather fringe and two-way zipper/buckle closure ($1,163.00).

For Him

Yale Scarf in alpaca wool with hood and rib detail ($249.00) and Wellard Shirt in cotton with two-way zipper/button front and dual-button flap chest pockets ($244.00).

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Fashion Group International's Night of Dream Catchers

Viola Davis presented the Fashion Group International Dream Catchers "Brand Heritage" award to The Maramotti Family for Max Mara. Photos from Getty Images.

25 OCT. 2012/NEW YORK – IN accepting the “Humanitarian" award, Wynton Marsalis told the assembled at Cipriani Wall Street that his reference for fashion is the southern Louisiana ladies.

These belles dressed regular doing the week but on Sunday donned their best, including some baaaaad hats for going to church.

WM was one of several honorees at the 29th Annual Fashion Group International Night Of Stars hosted by Simon Doonan. The theme this year is “Dream Catchers.” The awards honor architects, retailers, designers and sundry others.

The “Superstar” award went to Carolina Herrera. Among the “Star” winners were Derek Lam and Gareth Pugh. The “Architect” award went to Annabelle Selldorf.

Carolina Herrera was presented a Fashion Group International Dream Catchers "Superstar" award by Renee Zellweger.

Taking “Brand Heritage” honors was The Marimotti Family for Max Mara; Tiffany & Co earned “Sustainability” honors.

The black-tie affair attracted some pretty heavy hitters, including Viola Davis, Karl Lagerfeld, Renee Zellweger and Liya Kebede

Visit to learn more about Fashion Group International and the Fashion Group International Night of Stars Dream Catchers honors.

Rodriguez for DesigNation Has Turkish Accents

Katie Holmes, Emma Roberts and Julianna Margulies decked out in looks from the collection at the launch of Rodriguez for DesigNation. Photos from KatieHonline.

22 OCT. 2012/NEW YORK – NARCISO Rodriguez has come a long way from Newark, New Jersey and from the late ‘90s when he designed the wedding dress of friend/muse Caroline Bessette who went on to marry John F. Kennedy, Jr.

NR has since had numerous milestones. One of the latest is his collaboration with Kohl’s, the inaugural DesigNation initiative. It debuted at a soiree in the sleek minimalist space on the ground floor of the IAC Buildling in the Meatpacking District

Julianna Margulies, Narciso Rodriguez, Katie Holmes and Emma Roberts at the launch of Rodriguez for DesigNation.

DesigNation focuses on fashions inspired by faraway lands. Rodriguez for DesigNation is informed by a trip to Istantbul, Turkey. Along with a sometimes orangish-reddish color scheme, the designer works in the architectural construction that is his bread and butter.

Joining the designer at the launch of Rodriguez for DesigNation were pals Katie Holmes, Julianna Margulies and Emma Roberts.

Rodriguez for DesigNation will be available online at and at Kohl's stores on 7 Nov.

Praise For Fine Town/‘In the Spirit of New Orleans’

Jerry Shriver, Debra Shriver and Bryant Gumbel at the launch of "In the Spirit of New Orleans" at the Red Rooster. Photos from Patrick McMullan.

22 OCT. 2012/NEW YORK – IT can be fairly described as a love letter to The Big Easy. The Crescent City. Nawlins’.

It is Debra Shriver’s “In the Spirit of New Orleans, a book that pays tribute to just about every facet, from architecture to zydeco, of one of the most fascinating cities in the United States and the world. DS, a self-described "New-New" (New Orleans-New York) resident, gives Mardi Gras its proper due, too.

Debra Shriver, Marcus Samuelsson and a good book.

“In the Spirit of New Orleans” was given a proper fete by Assouline Publishing and Marcus Samuelsson at the latter’s Ginny’s Supper Club at the Red Rooster in Harlem.

Wynton Marsalis, who wrote the book’s foreward was not in attendance. But another native son of New Orleans, Bryant Gumbel, dropped by for the festivities.

Visit to learn more about “In the Spirit of New Orleans."

Friday, October 26, 2012

In ‘Cloud Atlas,’ What One Does Today Lives On ...

“CLOUD Atlas” will likely go down as one of the year’s most provocative, misunderstood and critically acclaimed films. It reportedly received a 10-minute standing ovation after its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival last month.

The sprawling work, with three directors and a big-name cast headed by Halle Berry and Tom Hanks, opens in North America today. (See video above.)

Some critics love it with all capital letters and bold type. Others have called “Cloud Atlas, ” directed by Tom Tykwer, Andy Wachowski and Lana Wachowski, laughable, as well as well-meaning but ultimately a mess.

“Confusing,” pronounced a film companion of Yours Truly whom I ran into last night right after she sat through its almost three hours (164 minutes for North America; 171 for the UK). Incidentally, there is no intermission.

Halle Berry and Keith David. Photos courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures.

“It started out in the present-day,” Companion said, her eyes glassy with bewilderment or suffering the effects of sitting in a dark room looking at a bright screen for what’s considered nearly half a regular work day in the United States. “Then it went back in time to the 1800s, then it became futuristic. I didn’t understand it. I don’t think I want to see it again.”

“Once was enough," asked I.
Companion simply nodded in response.

Doona Be.

Film critic Roger Ebert pronounced that he simply has to see “Cloud Atlas” three times. He’s already seen it twice for those who may have lost count.

It’s not much of a stretch to imagine that “Cloud Atlas,” which was shot in Hong Kong Germany, Singapore, the UK, United States and other locales, could cause such varied responses. The film is based on David Mitchell’s critically acclaimed and award-winning 2004 novel of the same name.

“Cloud Atlas” employs six different stories that unfold in different places and different eras to make the point that our actions – for better or worse – have consequences that impact the past, present and future. These actions have the power to work for good or evil.

The six stories each have a narrator or protagonist. The first story starts in the 19th-century South Pacific and the sixth story is set at a time far into the future. Initially, the tales work on a continuum. Each main character in the story that follows reflects on the story just ended. Then gears shift rather dramatically as the stories end but go back in time – not forward any longer – ending where it began.

Susan Sarandon and Jim Broadbent.

No doubt, all of this back and forth will give some viewers whiplash – and yes – may cause annoyance, confusion and, delight. The actors (and makeup people) sure work overtime and over time. Virtually all have multiple roles that also transcend gender, ethnicity and age. Susan Sarandon, whose appearance is something of a cameo, plays four characters; Jim Broadbent plays five. Hugh Grant, HB, TH and Hugo Weaving have six roles.

Tom Hanks and Jim Broadbent.

Another not so surprising observation about “Cloud Atlas” is that it opened in time for Oscar consideration. Taking into account its reception at Toronto and among the major critics, it will likely receive some nominations. And perhaps some winners, too.

“Cloud Atlas” is rated R for "violence, language, sexuality/nudity, and some drug use." Visit to learn more about "Cloud Atlas."

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Walking Far More Than a Mile in Sendra Boots

HEAD’S UP: In case you haven’t heard, it’s fall. Autumn! What a wonderful time of year, no? For weeks now, those in the rag trade have been rolling out their new stock for shoppers who may be in the market for a few more threads and layers or to get shoppers in said mood. To help trade and to help VEVLYN’S PEN readers and followers (potential shoppers), Yours Truly will be bringing to your attention over the next few weeks or so various fall collections. What shall I call these snapshots, for I won’t bore you with a treatise? Yes! I've got it: “Glimpses of Fall.” I reckon just about every Thursday through Thanksgiving or November (whichever comes first; I haven’t checked the calendar:o), I’ll provide a peek at a collection/line/brand that I deem captivating and worthy of your notice. Happy shopping! (potentially).

GOODYEAR Sewing is a double-enforced sewing method that ensures that shank and sole remained joined. Separation is not an option.

Goodyear Sewing is but one of 250 steps required to make one pair of Sendras. This very detailed process translates into comfortable boots that are going to be around for a long time – possibly as long as nearly a century like Sendra Boots, the Spanish company that produces the fanciful footwear.

Men's Biker, 58 Md.tan, No. 3434. Photos from Sendra Boots Web site.

Sendra boots are the brainchild of a leather tanner’s son who was enamored of the cowboy boots he’d seen during time spent in the United States. On his return to Almansa, Andrés Sendra opened shop, selling cowboy boots and riding boots. Today, great-grandson Francisco Javier Sendra is keeping tradition alive and has expanded the company to include accessories and “style” boots, best described as those selections somewhere between cowboy and riding

Women's "Style," Olaya Oxido 498, No.10659.

Sendra boots are 92% handcrafted. This explains in huge part the aforementioned 250 steps, comprising cutting and sculpting leather, as well as the embroidery and piercing required to create the various motifs. And then combining them all to create a final product, each with its own number.

Men's "Style" May Olimpia Marron, No. 10658.

Beyond the obvious craft is also aesthetics. Fall 2012 men’s and women’s styles fall under such rubrics as Aztec, Belted, Floral, Fur, Patriotic and Reptilian. Sendra Boots are available at several destinations online (Google “Sendra Boots”), as well as at Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, Western Héritage and other select stores around the world.

Women's Cowboy Cuervo Rojo-du cados, No. 3840.

Some of life’s many sensations – “freedom, challenge, passion, sophistication, rebellion or sensuality” – shape the Sendra Boots Fall 2012 collection.They were very much in the air during the making of the Fall 2012 lookbook shot by Eudes de Santana to a hard-driving, nitty gritty rock ‘n’ roll soundtrack.(See the video above.)

Visit for more information about Sendra boots.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

TeQava: Tequila That Has Built-In Sparkle

WHAT lingers in the memory is the taste of a mild fruit – some kind of berry or nectar. It’s a little sweet, but not too sweet for the palate that prefers dry to fruity. It is light and refreshing.

That is what the memory serves about TeQava. Say what? TeQava, it’s the world’s first ready-mixed sparkling tequila – straight outta the revered Atotonilco distillery in the highland town of Jalisco, Mexico.

TeQava. What’s in a name? It stems from the word Tequila – Teq and from cava, the Spanish word for sparkling wine. TeQava, however, contains no wine. (See video above.)

What’s its pedigree? TeQava is made from a triple-distilled blend of silver tequila made with 8-year-old agave. These combine to make one of the purest forms of tequila. This is the good stuff, not to be wasted on shots, rather savored like a cognac. Added to these ingredients is a mix of natural flavors and carbonation. Get that? It’s all natural – no processed sugars.

TeQava can be enjoyed on the rocks or with no ice at all. Photos from TeQava Facebook page.

TeQava has been available in the United States for approximately two months. It will roll out over select parts of the rest of the world in the coming months. Yours Truly had the pleasure of drinking TeQava over two days last month during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week New York. It was a main attraction in Allure Upstairs, the VIP section of one of several media lounges.

The good, fine folks behind TeQava would be ever so pleased if consumers refrained from adding vodka, whisky, rum or any other spirits to their beverage. If a body must add something, it is advised that it be more fine tequila or, simply ice.

A tequila-lime mahi mahi taco would pair well with TeQava.

Consumers are strongly encouraged to pair TeQava with baked, roasted, sautéed or grilled fish, beef and pork. Of course, they feel obligated to remind consumers to drink responsibly.


Visit to learn more about TeQava, including where to buy it.

Monday, October 22, 2012

'ReConstitution 2012': Decoding Presidential Debates

YOU know the saying, “There are liars, damn liars, and there are politicians.” Well, not exactly, but so apt, no?

To help voters and potential voters break through the doubletalk, exaggerations, misleading statements and outright untruths of the major party candidates for the president, is “ReConstitution 2012.

From the brains of the art and technology studio, Sosolimited, ReConstitution 2012 is a free, live web app linked to the U.S. presidential debates. (See video above.) It can be used during and after the debates, the latest of which is scheduled for 9 tonight EDT. The focus will be on foreign policy.

Alas, alas, (alas, alas, alas!!!), ReConstitution 2012 does not extend to the debates of the nonDemocratic and nonRepublican candidates for president. One is scheduled for tomorrow night at the Hilton Hotel in Chicago. Answering questions from moderator Larry King in a program sponsored by the nonpartisan Free and Equal Elections Foundation ( will be Justice Party nominee Rocky Anderson, Constitution Party nominee Virgil Goode, Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson and Green Party nominee Jill Stein.

The debate of these additional candidates for president will air on C-Span and will be livestreamed via the Internet at 9 p.m. EDT. It will also be broadcast on WBAI 99.5 and its Web site (

Meanwhile, did President Barack Obama actually call the attack on the Libyan embassy a terrorist attack the day after as he claimed in last week’s debate? Was Mitt Romney really responsible for the success of Massachusetts schools as he repeatedly asserted.

Using algorithms and other means that most normal folk don’t understand, the app can take into account the candidate’s state of mind at the time of a statement. It can also provide insights into the meaning behind words.

Reconstitution 2012 is best viewed in Chrome or Safari.

Visit to learn more about Reconstitution 2012.

Zlatan Ibrahimović Takes Home Golden Foot

Zlatan Ibrahimovic shows off his Golden Foot award as Pele cheers him on at the Golden Foot award ceremony. Photos by Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images.

AND the winner is Zlatan Ibrahimović!

The captain of the Swedish national football (soccer to those in the United States) team beat out nine others to take the 2012 Golden Foot award at a lavish ceremony in Monaco at the Sporting Monte Carlo “Salle de Etoile.”

Upholding tradition, ZI – nicknamed “Ibracadabra” because of his technical skills and magic with the ball – left his footprint in the cement on the Champions Promenade aka the football Walk of Fame.

Pele receives his special Golden Foot award from Princess Stephanie of Monaco who is accompanied by sports agent Antonio Caliendo.

Among legends receiving special awards were Franco Baresi, Eric Cantona and Lothar Matthäus. Edson Arantes do Nascimento aka Pelé received a special Golden Foot award “as the greatest football player to have ever played the game.”

The Golden Foot Award is given each year to an outstanding footballer. The candidates are selected by a jury of 52 sports journalists from around the world and the winner is chosen by fans who cast their votes online at the Golden Foot Web site ((

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Esentia Mall Welcomes Luxury Brands Into Its Bosom

Gregorio Marsiaj, Eva Herzigova, Capital Partners founder and CEO Burak Oymen and model Teresa Maxova on red carpet outside Esentai Mall VIP opening party. Photos by Vladimir Tretyakov/Getty Images.

HEAD’S UP: Welcome to “Week in Images.” Simply put, it is snapshots – photos, videos, drawings, painting, graphic elements, etc. – that capture select goings-on in New York City and around the world in any given week. “Week in Images” will be published on some Saturdays or Sunday.

19 OCT. 2012/ALMATY, Kazakhstan – SUPERMODEL Eva Herzigova was a star attraction at a 1,000-person VIP party to celebrate the opening last night of the ultra-upscale Esentia Mall in the central Asian country of Kazakhstan.

Among brands taking up space in the mall is Saks Fifth Avenue, which is opening its first store in all of Asia. New to the Kazakh market are Burberry, Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci, Loro Piana, Louis Vuitton, Ralph Lauren and Stella McCartney.

Coming soon are Fendi and Tommy Hilfiger. The night featured fireworks, an aerial display and a fashion show.

Fashion show during the opening ceremony of Esentai Mall.

Located in the city of Almaty – considered the financial, commercial and cultural capital of Kazakhstan – the six-story Esentai Mall has 160 stores, a food court and move theater.

Esentai Mall, developed by Capital Partners and designed by the architectural firm (SOM) responsible for New York City’s Time Warner Center, opens to the general public today (20 Oct.).

Visit to learn more about Esentai Mall.

Target's 50th Anniversary Party Is a Circus

The scene under the big top at the Target 50th Anniversary party. Photo from Billy Farrell Agency.

16 OCT. 2012/NEW YORK – TARGET (tar jay) celebrated 50 years in business with a star-studded party with a circus theme at Center 548 in the Chelsea section of New York City.

Spotted under the big top were Bullseye the dog, Tony Bennett and Alicia Keys. The singer-songwriter serenaded the retailer with an a capella rendition of Happy Birthday.

Among the revelations during the party were new collections from Target’s latest big-name fashion collaborators. Get a load of these names: Carolina Herrera, Diane von Furstenberg and Oscar de la Renta.

17 OCT. 2012/MILAN – BARBARA Gonzalez is one lucky devil, and she has a busy year ahead of her.

The Pamplona, Spain native has the distinction of being the 2012 MARTINI girl, winner of the MARTINI Royale Casting. She would beat out more than 3,000 competitors from 23 countries for the title in a months-long contest. Several thousand were whittled down to 28 semi-finalists who competed in various challenges ( for the votes of judges and the voting public before they were reduced to seven.

Along with bragging rights, BG receives €150,000, a starring role in the new MARTINI ad campaign, a dozen outfits from and 12 pairs of Christian Louboutin shoes. Here’s to hoping that one of the dozen includes boots for walking because BG will be doing a lot of it at various promotional stops in 2013 when MARTINI celebrates its 150th anniversary. (See video above that includes announcement at Milan's Terrazza MARTINI of BG as the winner of the casting.)

Barbara Gonzalez, perhaps drinking to her victory. Photo by Sven Hoffmann/Getty Images.

Named after the MARTINI Royale cocktail, the MARTINI Royale Casting is a global search to find the woman who best demonstrates the philosophy of MARTINI, “LUCK IS AN ATTITUDE.”

The seven finalists from which BF was eventually chosen spent a week in Pessione, Italy, the home of MARTINI, competing, having fun and learning some of the history of MARTINI. Part of the Bacardi Group, MARTINI is a leading Italian winemaker and purveyor of aromatised and sparkling wines, including MARTINI Prosecco. It was founded in 1863.

Past MARTINI girls are Monica Belluci, Naomi Campbell, Thandie Newton and Charlize Theron.

Bergdorf Goodman Wears Well Its 111 Years

Robert Cavalli and Karolina Kurkova at the Bergdorf Goodman 111th anniversary party at The Plaza Hotel. Photos from Billy Farrell Agency.

18 OCT. 2012/NEW YORK – IT doesn’t look a day over 87.

Bergdorf Goodman, that it. A who’s who in fashion and a few other sectors turned up at The Plaza Hotel dressed to the nines, per the invitation, for the luxury retailer’s continuation of the celebration marking its 111th year in business.

The question is who was not there? Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, though both were in town. Also Joe Biden and Paul Ryan who were not in town.

The calm in The Plaza Hotel ballroom before the Bergdorf Goodman party.

Not to worry Robert Cavalli and Karolina Kurkova (wearing RC) helped raised the roof in a ballroom decked out for the occasion.

The designer/model duo was among a number of such pairings promenading about the premises. Amongst others were Jason Wu/Erin Heatherton and Zac Posen/Coco Rocha.
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