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Archive for March, 2009

Ice cream means summer, and while I’m a strong proponent of the requisites chocolate and vanilla, sometimes, you have to awaken those sleepy taste buds.

One of my most favorite gelaterias is Philly shop Capogiro. I’ve never actually been to the store (something I wish to amend, pronto!), but I’ve devoured the stuff through samples we used to get at my office. When I saw the pint reading “Salt,” I was both terrified and intrigued. Well, mostly intrigued, since I’ve rarely met a dessert I didn’t like.  It was an amazing sensory experience. The flavor had a strong salty component, definitely, but not in an overpowering sort of way. It evoked the sea–fresh and earthy (the flavor might’ve been “Sea Salt”), but it still tasted like ice cream, with a strong dose of cream and sugar to balance out the intensity. It’d work amazingly well with some homemade caramel for a salty-sweet combo that would probably be out of this world.

Philadelphia's Capogiro; photo: Flickr (user gophila.com)

Philadelphia's Capogiro; photo: Flickr (user gophila.com)

I had three scoops of Vosges Chocolate‘s Naga Ice Cream on a warm spring day in the Upper East Side. I was feeling adventurous and since the shop’s exotic chocolates have rarely disappointed in the past, I’d figured their exotic ice creams would be equally as pleasing to my palette. For my culinary bravery, I was rewarded exponentially. The flavors come at you in waves. First you taste the custard and the coconut cream, but soon, as the cold cream slips down you throat, you notice the expertly blended curry, which leaves a splendid sort of aftertaste. It’s more layered than a Dostoevsky novel. I very highly recommend it! (Three other unusual flavors, Pandan, Wattleseed and Red Fire, are available as well.)

Vosges Exotic Ice Cream; photo: vosgeschocolate.com

Vosges Exotic Ice Cream; photo: vosgeschocolate.com

Listings:

Capogiro
Midtown Village
119 South 13th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107
Telephone: (215) 351-0900

Vosges Chocolate
1100 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10028
Telephone: (212) 717-2929

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People who take fashion seriously bore me to tears. The question mark-shaped models (stand up straight! for reals!), the frowny editors wearing head-to-toe designer (please be more creative, especially in this economy) trying fruitlessly to balance on their Louboutins, the rushed flacks who all seem to be losing their minds at the exact moment you catch a glimpse of their frantic faces. The scene, the whole thing is just so…tired. That’s why I’ve always been a fan of Alexander McQueen–the merry man of fashion. I used to stay up late when I was in my teens to watch his runway shows premiere on VideoFashion. Each season, he combined expertly tailored clothes with a show of unapologetically perverse storytelling and unencumbered wit. It was theater at its very finest. I still remember a Fall 2002 show replete with ghost-faced models leading wolves (or wolf-like dogs) through an open air, hauntingly lit, Victorian castle. The clothes fit the setting, yes, but these weren’t antique replicas–this was futuristic Goth with a splash of S &M (harnesses, breast plates, etc.). It was disturbing (in a fun creepy doll collection sort of way), but intensely elegant.

The Fall 2009 show conceived by McQueen was similarly filled with astonishing layers. The clothes themselves were gorgeously cut, as always, but they also incorporated a comedic element, in that the pieces and prints mocked the revelatory fashion inventions of the 20th century–Dior’s houndstooth separates, Chanel’s tweed, his own intense reds and burnt oranges and Hitchkockian Bird prints. Everything was exaggerated as though the clothes themselves were stage actors coated with a harsh layer of makeup meant to heighten the sweep of each feature. This was fashion’s last stand, if you will. The Brazil (the futuristic film, not the country)-inspired faces with their enormous rouged lips and non-existent brows depicted an after-the-rubble scenario: these clothes are fashion’s legacy; in the end, they’re utterly meaningless and might be worn by survivors with hubcap hats. At least, that’s my interpretation. Or, maybe McQueen was just having fun and the setting and accessories were done with no covert meaning and just entertainment in mind. Either way, fashion isn’t life, it’s just candy for the eyes and McQueen’s a master candy maker. (And no, the collection doesn’t remind me of Zoolander, silly fashion journalists.)

Re-assembled Dior worn with a hat made of what looks like medical gauze wrapped around aluminum cans! photo: style.com

Re-assembled Dior worn with a hat made of what looks like medical gauze wrapped around aluminum cans! photo: style.com

Those haunting faces under a hubcap hat; photo: style.com

Those haunting faces under a hubcap hat; photo: style.com

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