3 posts tagged "Barbra Streisand"
You may not have eaten there, but you’ve definitely seen the Empire Diner—that lovely hunk of metal stationed on the corner of 22nd Street and 10th Avenue in New York’s Chelsea neighborhood. The 1940s eatery made a cameo in Manhattan, and even appeared in a vintage Heinz Ketchup ad. Perhaps more impressive, though, is the fact that in its heyday, the retro diner, which served as the backdrop for Robert Farbers’ iconic 1970s Bloomingdale’s campaign (above), was a favorite grub hub for everyone from Madonna to Steven Spielberg to Barbra Streisand. After a tumultuous half decade (due to some complicated lease negotiations, it closed in 2010, briefly reopened as a horribly touristy joint dubbed the Highliner, and then closed again), Empire has risen once more under the direction of executive chef Amanda Freitag. According to WWD, the new menu offers old-school favorites (think pancakes and milkshakes) as well as more highbrow bites, like gravlax with caviar. Between the food and the history, it sounds like the new Empire has achieved the perfect balance of flash and nostalgia to attract the area’s lofty gallery set.
The work of Stephen Burrows is as much about fun as it is about fashion. And that message shines through in a retrospective of the designer’s early creations, which opens at the Museum of the City of New York tomorrow. Burrows and the show’s curators, Phyllis Magidson and Daniela Morera, gave Style.com a sneak peek of the exhibition, which features more than fifty garments created between 1968 and 1983. “I didn’t think of it as history-making or anything,” says Burrows of his early, flowing garments made to be worn with ease on the dance floor until 4 a.m. “I just did what I wanted to see in front of me.”
Intentional or not, Burrows’ clothes were history-making. At the beginning of his career, fashion’s status quo was old-world, and generally French. It wasn’t until the fabled “Battle of Versailles”—a decadent 1973 fund-raiser for the then-decaying palace during which American designers Burrows, Halston, Bill Blass, Oscar de la Renta, and Anne Klein outshined elite French talents Yves Saint Laurent, Christian Dior, Hubert de Givenchy, Pierre Cardin, and Emanuel Ungaro—that American designers became truly respected. Burrows’ fresh, fun, and wildly colorful Versailles collection—shown on video in the exhibition—was all about a free-spirited aesthetic. His presence at “The Battle” also made him the first African-American designer to rise to international acclaim. Continue Reading “Stephen Burrows, Still Dancing” »