Prada and Schiaparelli Exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

While perusing through my closet the other day, I stumbled upon my first pair of designer shoes. I bought them during the Summer of 1996. They were 500 Dollars. My rent was $489 per month and my mother thought I must have lost my mind; but I was not investing in a commodity, I was investing in a piece of art…

My first job, a stones throw from minimum wage, was in fashion; and the Prada Mary Janes were the most wanted shoe in Manhattan. The craftsmanship and detail of the engraved leather shoe, still captures the imagination of New York’s fashion elite. These shoes from the vantage point of a collector, were a home run. Why would a seemingly poor girl use an entire paycheck to make such a purchase? – my thoughts at the time were two. First… I needed to cut my teeth in fashion by wearing these Prada’s a season before release; Second… In addition to all the reasons above, I wanted to someday see them in a museum. That day has finally arrived.

The Prada / Schiaparelli Exhibit: An Impossible Conversation – Metropolitan Museum of Art May 1 thru Aug. 11, 2012. Is essentially a tale of two cities. The Juxtaposition of Muccia Prada and Elsa Schiaparelli’s designs evoke a sense what the Italians like to call “Siamo diversi ma tutti uguali” Translation?: In our differences we are the same.

Two designers side by side provide for us an explosion of feminine talent and design with an underlying lust for all that is tantalizing and curious. Not an in your face kind of sexuality, but a dip here, a toe cleavage there, an imagined conversation (allowing the observer to eavesdrop) between the two, where men and masculine provocations are the focal point and women are their intellectually desired counterparts.

On a bittersweet note: my Mary Janes, while sadly, not a part of the exhibit, were happily featured by photographer Karl Guerre (who photograph’s for Vogue Italia and Marie Claire.com streets styles) thereby confirming my Prada’s authenticity and regard. I do not yet own a Schiaparelli, but I imagine someday I will.

“Herb Ritts: L.A. Style” April 3 – Aug. 26 in Los Angeles

Madonna

Madonna, by Herb Ritts

The Getty Museum is to host an exhibition of fashion photographer Herb Ritts.

“Herb Ritts: L.A. Style” is set to open on April 3 and will run through Aug. 26 in Los Angeles. Paul Martineau, associate curator of photography at the Getty organized the exhibition, which is the first major survey in the United States of Mr. Ritts’s work since a 1996 show at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.

Herb Ritts began his photographic career in the late 70′s and gained a reputation as a master of art and commercial photography. In addition to producing portraits and editorial fashion for Vogue, Vanity Fair, Interview and Rolling Stone, he also shot iconic campaign images for Calvin Klein, Gianni Versace, Gianfranco Ferre, Gap and Ralph Lauren.

Mr. Ritts died in 2002, at age 50.

Images: Herb Ritts

The Star of Greece Cafe South Australia

The Star of Greece Cafe in Port Willunga, South Australia named for, and located atop, one of the most catastrophic maritime disasters in Australia’s history (the sinking of the Star of Greece July 13, 1888 ) boasts one of the most quietly visited hot spots down under. Known for it’s seafood ,btw it is not a Greek restaurant, this relaxed perch with full views of the gulf will make your vacation pretty special. The Chef is Troy Dulvesteyn.

85 Year Old Marilyn Hagarty’s Olive Garden Review for Grand Forks Herald Goes Viral

THE EATBEAT: Long-awaited Olive Garden receives warm welcome
All in all, Eatbeat columnist Marilyn Hagerty writes, the new Olive Garden “is the largest and most beautiful restaurant now operating in Grand Forks. It attracts visitors from out of town as well as people who live here.”
By: Marilyn Hagerty, Grand Forks Herald

After a lengthy wait for Olive Garden to open in Grand Forks, the lines were long in February. The novelty is slowly wearing off, but the steady following attests the warm welcome.

My first visit to Olive Garden was during midafternoon, so I could be sure to get in. After a late breakfast, I figured a late lunch would be fashionable.

The place is impressive. It’s fashioned in Tuscan farmhouse style with a welcoming entryway. There is seating for those who are waiting.

My booth was near the kitchen, and I watched the waiters in white shirts, ties, black trousers and aprons adorned with gold-colored towels. They were busy at midday, punching in orders and carrying out bread and pasta.

It had been a few years since I ate at the older Olive Garden in Fargo, so I studied the two manageable menus offering appetizers, soups and salads, grilled sandwiches, pizza, classic dishes, chicken and seafood and filled pastas.

At length, I asked my server what she would recommend. She suggested chicken Alfredo, and I went with that. Instead of the raspberry lemonade she suggested, I drank water.

She first brought me the familiar Olive Garden salad bowl with crisp greens, peppers, onion rings and yes — several black olives. Along with it came a plate with two long, warm breadsticks.

The chicken Alfredo ($10.95) was warm and comforting on a cold day. The portion was generous. My server was ready with Parmesan cheese.

As I ate, I noticed the vases and planters with permanent flower displays on the ledges. There are several dining areas with arched doorways. And there is a fireplace that adds warmth to the decor.

Olive Garden has an attractive bar area to the right of the entryway. The restaurant has a full liquor license and a wine list offering a wide selection to complement Italian meals. Nonalcoholic beverages include coolers, specialty coffees and hot teas.

On a hot summer day, I will try the raspberry lemonade that was recommended.

There’s a homemade soup, salad and breadstick lunch available until 4 p.m. daily for $6.95.

An olive branch on menu items signified low-fat entrees. There is a Garden Fare Nutrition Guide available for customers seeking gluten-free food. And for those with food allergies, Olive Garden has an Allergen Information Guide.

All in all, it is the largest and most beautiful restaurant now operating in Grand Forks. It attracts visitors from out of town as well as people who live here.

Olive Garden is part of the Darden chain of restaurants that also operates Red Lobster. There are about 700 restaurants, including four Olive Gardens in North Dakota’s major cities.

Olive Garden has gained a following since 1982 with its ample portions and relaxed ambience. It’s known for its classic lasagna, fettuccine Alfredo and chicken Parmigiana.

Reach Hagerty at mhagerty@gra.midco.net or call (701) 772-1055.