A Crop of New Hotels in the Catskills
Left: at the forthcoming Eastwind Oliverea Valley, A-frame cabins are tucked into the hillside. Right: the team at Hotel Lilien wanted the property’s guest rooms to feel like “a good friend’s house,” said Leah Harmatz, the founder and principal designer at Field Theory, the design team behind the property’s restoration.Credit…Left: Lawrence Braun. Right: Daniel Schwartz
By Allison Duncan
“There’s been significant development over the past five years,” Bjorn Boyer, the co-owner and co-founder of Eastwind Hotels, says of New York’s Catskills region. The group will open its newest property, Eastwind Oliverea Valley, in the area this January. It joins the ranks of hotels like Wildflower Farms and Inness in the rejuvenation of the mountainous stretch of upstate New York that’s just a short drive away from the city. Oliverea Valley’s 30 accommodations — a mix of free-standing A-frame cabins and stylish guest rooms in a central building — mark the first time the brand, which also operates hotels in Windham and Lake Placid, has “started from scratch,” says Boyer. The interiors are inspired by the Scandinavian sentiment of hygge, with wood furnishings, gently worn rugs and sheepskin throws. Just 25 miles away is another newcomer: Hotel Lilien, an 18-room boutique hotel and cocktail bar designed by the San Francisco-based firm Field Theory in collaboration with the Lost Boys Hospitality Group, which opened for weekend stays in August but will be fully bookable starting Dec. 1. The hotel features a mix of furnishings that pay homage to the original 1890s architecture of the property. Think “a blue-green Wes Anderson-esque reception nook, Huey sconces, Mulberry duck motif wallpaper, a black-and-white checkered tumbled marble entry floor and antique Persian rugs,” all of which took “over a year” to hunt down, said Leah Harmatz, founder and principal designer at Field Theory. “We layered in pieces from different eras, just as someone who lived in a home over many decades would slowly amass an inspired and meaningful collection of furniture and art.”
Bright Cheesecake Bites Inspired by Nick Cave’s Latest Exhibition
By Caitlin Kelly
The artist Nick Cave and his partner Bob Faust were first connected to Eli’s Cheesecake in 2022, when all three were awarded the Mayor’s Medal of Honor for their contributions to the city of Chicago. Soon a creative collaboration with the bakery, which has been run by the Schulman family since they first started making the cakes in 1978, was in the works. The result is a set of 1-by-1-inch cheesecakes inspired by the Spinner Forest entrance to the artist’s survey exhibition “Forothermore,” organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago and on view at the Guggenheim until April 10, 2023. The symbols and brightly colored chocolate that adorn the bites were taken from the hanging garden ornaments that make up the installation. They come in vanilla, raspberry, lemon (Cave’s favorite), chocolate-vanilla, and dulce de leche flavors, with net proceeds from sales going toward the artist’s Facility Foundation. “We’re so happy that this collaboration will help us continue to support arts and arts education programs across Chicago as well as provide young and emerging artists grants, individual commissions and exhibition experiences worldwide to push their practices forward,” Cave shared. “The squares are meant to be an edible response to the life tenets presented in the exhibition: love and happiness equals peace, and act as guideposts to connect us, just like food does.” $125 for set of 10, elicheesecake.com.
Celebrating a Former Fashion Brand, One Color at a Time
By Laura Neilson
In its four years of existence, the New York City-based fashion label Sies Marjan cultivated a legion of devotees with its vibrant designs. When the brand suddenly closed in the summer of 2020, the city’s fashion landscape lost some of its color. A newly published tome by the brand’s founder and designer, Sander Lak, offers up a remedy of sorts in the form of 300 photographs, including snapshots from the runway and ad campaigns, behind the scenes moments and other mood board miscellany under the title “The Colors of Sies Marjan.” For Lak, its mission was equally personal. “I always wanted to make a book, but I also felt like it was the right way to close that chapter,” the Dutch designer said, adding that its purpose was not only a celebration of the brand’s imaginative collections but also a way to honor the 35 or so employees working there at the time.
Naturally, Lak organized the book’s imagery by shade, starting with a deep burgundy (the signature hue of the label’s logo) and continuing through a spectrum of colors with names like Olympic blue, McYellow, Twizzler red and Seaweed. “It doesn’t matter if I put the first collection next to the last collection next to a research image next to a color swatch. It all feels like Sies Marjan,” Lak said, referencing the brand’s distinct, anachronistic aesthetic. Interspersed throughout are conversations with artists, collaborators and friends, such as Rem Koolhass, Isabella Rossellini and Julie Mehretu, who Lak interviewed about their own relationships to color. Lak summarizes his own preoccupation with the subject in an opening statement, paraphrasing a quote from the painter Claude Monet: “Color is my daily obsession, joy and torment.” For readers and fans, this book will likewise delight and inspire. $65, rizzoliusa.com.
A Baltimore Exhibition of John Waters’s Art Collection
By Sydney Gore
John Waters only buys art that he wants to live with. “They are my roommates,” he says of the pieces in his collection, “they’ve always been my friends.” Some of his friends — about 90 of them — have recently been relocated to the Baltimore Museum of Art for an exhibition, open Nov. 20, curated by the photographers Catherine Opie and Jack Pierson titled “Coming Attractions: The John Waters Collection.”
Opie and Pierson have each known Waters for decades. “They get the kind of work that I like, and they understand that pretension is my enemy and we have to have a little bit of a sense of humor about all of it,” Waters says. As a buyer, he says he gravitates toward pieces that others might dismiss with “my kid could have done that.” A 1950 painting by Betsy the Chimpanzee, a former resident of the then-Baltimore Zoo, is a prime example. “I buy art that many people do not get and makes them angry, including me,” Waters adds. At the museum, a Mike Kelley collage shares wall space with a Paul Lee-painted washcloth, a Daniel McDonald work and a Doug Padgett dart board; elsewhere, a toilet paper sculpture by George Stoll is in good company with a Roy Lichtenstein screen print and Richard Artschwager’s “Mirror” (1988).
But if you ask Waters which part of his legacy at BMA means the most to him, it’s not being on the board of trustees, or his promise to ultimately donate 372 pieces of fine art to the museum, but that one set of bathrooms — the set that was recently renovated to be gender-neutral — is now named after him. “They wanted to name the gallery after me, but I said I wanted the bathrooms. They thought I was kidding. But no, it was a deal breaker.” “Coming Attractions: The John Waters Collection” is on view through April 16, 2023, artbma.org.
Sustainable Candles, Adorned With Picasso Paintings
By Zoe Ruffner
When Diana Widmaier Picasso first encountered Amen’s mycelium-packaged candles at Dover Street Market in 2020, she found a striking similarity between the sustainability-driven brand and her late grandfather Pablo Picasso: “In his 50,000-piece oeuvre, Pablo never once used plastic as a medium, even though he experimented with every material,” noted Diana, who was then in the midst of curating an exhibition dedicated to her mother: “Maya Ruiz-Picasso: Daughter of Pablo,” now on display at Paris’s Musée Picasso through the end of the year. Starting next week, the museum’s visitors can take home their very own Picasso, thanks to a new collection of hand-poured candles created in collaboration with Amen founder Rodrigo Garcia. “They’re like a white canvas ready to be painted — and who better to paint them than Picasso?” Garcia says of his line’s signature Limoges porcelain vessels, which, for a limited time, will feature four of the prolific artist’s lesser-known works, each complemented by a distinct, paraffin-free aroma: “Figure” (1927) offers a blend of orange and cinnamon inspired by summers in the South of France, where Pablo long lived and worked. “Guitare à la main blanche”(1927), a piece that incorporates the initials of Marie-Thérèse Walter, Diana’s grandmother, lent itself naturally to a single note of jasmine, which Pablo spoke of in an intimate letter he wrote to the French model in 1936, less than a year after the birth of their only child together. Muses Diana, “With this captivating, feminine and floral fragrance, my grandfather captured the scent of his secret lover” — much like the candle itself. $117, amencandles.com.
Alex Eagle’s Expanded Cashmere Collection
By Gage Daughdrill
When colder weather calls for strategic layering, it’s the cashmere sweater’s time to shine. For those whose closets are currently lacking the seasonal staple, the designer Alex Eagle has conveniently expanded her collection of signature soft knits, all made in North London. A classic roll neck, a new style for the brand, comes in eye-catching colors like neon pink and yellow, while a V-necked jumper is now offered in a bright green and crisp crimson, among other vibrant options. With the best-selling latter design, Eagle was seeking to update a men’s cricket jumper she once cherished. “It felt so quintessentially British and I loved it dearly,” she says. “I wanted to create a version that was still a classic but more wearable by making it a boxy fit with a dropped shoulder.” Then there’s a cricket vest and cardigan — also new styles, meant for both women and men, and effortlessly wearable into spring. From $579, alexeagle.com.
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