April 20 2014

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#CookingWithZac: Zac Posen’s Passover Chocolate Mousse With Hazelnut Oil


zacblogAnyone who follows Zac Posen on Instagram knows he’s not only handy with a needle and thread. After a long day at his Tribeca atelier or the television studio—Project Runway won its first Emmy with Posen on the program—the designer goes home and whips up fabulous home-cooked meals, many of which he posts to his account for the delectation of his more than 423,000 followers. It will be no surprise when he lands his own cooking show. And we know what he should name it: CookingWithZac, of course, after the hashtag he uses for his food pics. In honor of Passover, Posen shares one of his favorite recipes. And no, it’s not brisket.


Passover Chocolate Mousse With Hazelnut Oil
Preparation time: 10 minutes; chill: 4 hours
Servings: 8
* 7 ounces dark chocolate 70 percent cacao
* 1/2 cup hazelnut oil
* 1 vanilla bean, scraped
* 4 eggs, separated
* 2/3 cup powdered sugar (kosher)
* 1/3 cup brewed coffee
* pinch of kosher salt

Start melting the chocolate in a saucepan over low heat. Let it cool at room temperature before adding the hazelnut oil, the scraped vanilla bean, and coffee. Set aside.

In a mixer bowl, beat the egg yolks and powdered sugar until the mixture is pale yellow, thick, and forms a ribbon. Add this to the chocolate mixture.

Whisk the egg whites until they are stiff but not dry-looking, then fold the whites into the chocolate.

Pour into dessert cups and refrigerate for at least four hours.

Sprinkle on some kosher salt right before serving.

Photo: Instagram/@zac_posen

Bianca Brandolini and Alexia Niedzielski Collaborate with Osklen



Everything’s coming up Rio this season. At last week’s much-buzzed-about Fashion Rio shows, we couldn’t help but get a little jealous after seeing all the island-ready prints and colors. (How many vacation days do we have left?) We were particularly drawn to Oskar Metsavaht’s latest swimwear offering at Osklen. For the first time, the designer—who also presents ready-to-wear in New York—focused solely on his swim range, which he designed in collaboration with stylish jet-setters Bianca Brandolini and Alexia Niedzielski. A first look at the collection debuts exclusively here. “While our customers know and love our swimwear, I wanted to increase visibility through our runway show,” Metsavaht told “[Bianca and Alexia] are half-Brazilian, half-French, so [they] embody our mood, carioca mixing elegance and cosmopolitism.”

Niedzielski cited the French Riviera of the fifties and sixties and photos taken there by Slim Aarons as the main sources of inspiration. Luckily, there were no string bikinis in sight. “We wanted to explore new bikini shapes,” she said. “This is very new for Brazil, as they are used to tiny, mini bikinis! We wanted to revisit retro cuts in a modern, Brazilian way.” Bustier-style tops, high-waisted bottoms, and molded cups had a pinup vibe, but metallic finishes, saturated colors, and tropical prints packed a modern punch. “We wanted to stay faithful to the Osklen DNA by using all of these beautiful patterns of Rio and Brazil’s luxe vegetation,” she added.

Niedzielski and Brandolini also knew exactly what women look for in a swimsuit. “We really tried to design for lots of different women. Our mothers with elegant one-piece suits, our sisters with more cheeky cuts and jumpsuits…We named each piece according to someone we know,” they explained.

Not vacation-bound? Not a problem. Many of the pieces could easily transition from beach to street, blurring the line between swimwear and ready-to-wear. All the more reason to stock up. “I really think we created a collection that is original and new, a balance between the chic European style with the sexy Brazilian beach culture,” Metsavaht said.

6397, Won’t You Be My Boyfriend Jean?



“Boyfriend jean” imposters, beware. Where once there were only ill-fitting baggy pants masquerading under that nebulous title, today there’s a variety of more convincing options. At the forefront is industry vet Stella Ishii’s 6397, a brand born of Ishii’s own quest for the correct ratio of slouch to slimness.

Ishii, who started her career as a translator to Rei Kawakubo in the late seventies, quickly made a name for herself, and by the mid-nineties was helming Staff USA, where she brought the likes of Maison Martin Margiela and Vivienne Westwood stateside. Departing just after Renzo Rosso acquired Staff International, Ishii launched The News in 2001. The airy Soho loft-cum-sales and press agency became a quick favorite among the industry and aided in the successes of bold-faced brands like The Row, Alexander Wang, and 3.1 Phillip Lim. In the fall of 2012, spurred by forays into tailoring men’s denim to fit her own frame, Ishii launched 6397 and found acclaim and a burgeoning fan base that includes such categorically cool women as Lauren Hutton, Patti Smith, and Jamie Bochert.


Fast-forward to present day, and what began as a quest for the perfectly slouchy jean has grown rapidly: Today, denim makes up about only 35 percent of 6397′s offerings. The label’s keen eye for detail (its cult favorite Twisted Seam denim was an homage to the way a man’s pant leg naturally rotates inward over the course of the day) translates into collections of impeccably cool, androgynous basics. Mechanics suits, cashmere loungewear, elegant silk camisoles, a buttery camel coat—6397 boasts all the building blocks of the ultimate easy wardrobe. A fruitful long-term partnership with graphic designers Studio 191 spawned a series of emblazoned tees last year, bearing enigmatic slogans such as “High as the hills”; another boasts the reproduced scrawl of a (damned good) Nirvana set list. Per Ishii, “We have known and worked with [Studio 191] for almost fifteen years, so there’s a real sharing of aesthetics and humor that makes it fun.” And while the 6397 woman at first glance would seem to share some sartorial DNA with both 21st-century Parisian gamines and downtown Manhattan girls, Ishii is hesitant to put geographical boundaries on her brand’s ethos. “I think it’s more of a mind-set that’s universal.” It pays to be fluent in the language of cool.

6397 is available at Barneys New York, Totokaelo, and Le Bon Marché.

Zosia Mamet Celebrates Spring With Honor


“I was thinking of fireflies and a summer wedding…or a funeral,” recalled Honor’s Giovanna Randall. “Something under the stars, a mysterious event, a nighttime party—the idea that sad times and really happy times bring people together.” The designer is talking about the origins of her Spring ’14 collection—a moodily feminine assortment of barely decaying lace and vintage-fabric-adapted, botanical-printed pieces—and the inspiration for the range’s new film, which debuts here. Written and directed by Honor cofounder Rachel Fleit, the short follows a grief-stricken girl (none other than Girls star Zosia Mamet) as she bakes a cake for a lost friend (Zoe Kazan) and conjures up the friend from the grave for a midnight birthday celebration.

It’s an eerie, bewitching trip through loss and celebration, a sort of mystical evening set in a weathered, Secret Garden-style mansion. “Giovanna and I have both experienced the loss of important women in our lives since we started Honor,” explained Fleit. “I had this on my mind when I was writing the script—what it would be like if we could bring them back to the physical world for an evening. I imagined we’d dance around in fabulous dresses, eat lots of cake, and just be with each other…all the best things.”

For Mamet, the short was equally emotionally charged. “The role was one of a girl experiencing true loneliness,” she said. As for the clothes, which, unlike in most fashion films, take a back seat to the plot, “I’m not a very girly girl, but I do enjoy embracing my femininity,” Mamet offered. “I think Giovanna’s clothes do that to a T. They always make me feel beautiful.”

Mary Katrantzou for Adidas Originals Is Coming


MAry KatrantzouIn case there was any doubt: The sneaker trend in fashion isn’t going anywhere. Thank Adidas for that. News recently broke that the sportswear label has teamed up with Pharrell Williams for a long-term partnership, and it was announced today that Mary Katrantzou is designing a capsule collection of Adidas Originals footwear and apparel. That’s a lot to look forward to.

The London-based Katrantzou is known around the globe for her innovative digital prints, so we’re anticipating plenty of bold colors and graphic motifs—but if last week’s interview with the designer told us anything, it’s to expect the unexpected. She’s been moving away from kaleidoscopic prints and exploring more pared-back ideas, and this high-street partnership may be the perfect opportunity to experiment.

The Adidas Originals by Mary Katrantzou collection hits stores this November. Calendars marked.

Photo: Getty Images