Leave it to Coco Chanel to create limited edition sneakers for 2014. Since last year, Pharrell Williams sported a custom painted Chanel sweatshirt, and now the brand is taking to the streets. Sneakercon beware and Michael Jordan may need a new design team at Nike. Chanel has limited edition sneakers, they dont play. They are the coach this season. #teamChanel.
Black American Express required.
Kelly Bensimon’s apartment is undeniably chic. Using bright bold colors and mixed patterns (the fabric used to re-upholster her purple velvet couch was purchased from Zarin Fabrics, thank you very much), Kelly has created a downtown bohemian oasis. Shiny black and white painted wood floors and big, colorful artwork—including a life size sculpture of a horse—pull it all together.
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Laura Gómez plays Litchfield Penitentiary inmate Blanca Flores. (Credit: Getty Images / Ilya S. Savenok)
By Kelly Killoren Bensimon July 24, 2014
‘Orange Is the New Black” has drawn raves for its diversity and complex female characters, many of which have broken out thanks to their challenging roles.
One such actress is Laura Gómez. The current New Yorker, who was raised in the Dominican Republic, plays the seemingly crazy Litchfield Penitentiary inmate Blanca Flores. But that isn’t the only notable role on her resume.
The actress is a member of the Repertorio Español, where she has participated in critically acclaimed plays, including “Doña Flor Y Sus Dos Maridos” and “La Casa de los Espiritus.”
Gómez has also been the face for brands such as CoverGirl and Suave and has provided her voice for the Spanish audiobooks for “How the García Girls Lost Their Accents” and “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao.” She’s also worked in film, writing, directing and producing the short films “Hallelujah” and “To Kill a Roach.”
We sat down with Gómez at Morandi in the West Village, where she clues us into what it’s like to play Flores and what she loves about New York.
Q: Where are you from?
A: I’m from the Dominican Republic.
Q: Why did you come to New York?
A: I came here in 2001 to train as an actor.
Q: Who did you study acting with?
A: I studied the Meisner Technique with Robert Patterson.
Q: What made you connect with that technique?
A: I connected with the moment to moment of not overacting and just responding. I look for that in my own life, just trying to be present.
Q: You play a crazy person on TV. How does that make you feel?
A: It’s been liberating to use my tools in acting. In makeup, they laugh because they have to make you un-pretty. I even get a unibrow. It’s always a challenge as an actor, and I love the character work.
Q: How has “Orange Is the New Black” changed your life?
A: The show has such had a huge impact. Now when I go to auditions and meet casting directors, they know who I am. Viewers are loving the show and its diversity.
Q: You were invited to the Jeff Koons and H&M collaboration launch. What did you think of it?
A: I loved it. I just went to the Jeff Koons exhibit at the Whitney. Before I went, I was sitting in a dentist chair getting a root canal, and decided I was definitely going.
Q: You aren’t just an actor.
A: I have also written and directed two short films — “To Kill a Roach” and “Hallelujah.” I took a course at NYU’s film school. Now my films are getting into festivals and have even won awards.
Q: What’s your personal style?
A: I’m eclectic. I can go in so many directions: funky, sexy and sometimes conservative.
Q: What from your Dominican roots gave you a solid foundation?
A: I am very family-oriented and respectful of my elders. This business can be a bubble. My upbringing grounds me in humility and pride.
Q: Where are your favorite restaurants?
A: I love Gramercy Tavern, Morandi and the Asian restaurant Decibel.
Q: What do you love about New York?
A: I honestly love Central Park. It’s quiet and I love to write there.
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What was the luxurious home of Gianni Versace in Miami is now the latest celebrity haunt. Located on Ocean Drive across from the beach, the mansion has pampered even Shakira.
Fresh watermelon juice is the refreshing drink you are met with as you venture to your bedroom suite which has a double California king.
The restaurant is open 24/7 and the Onyx bar is for guests only. Any service is available from Yoga to blow outs for your night out. The mosaic pool is beyond decadent.
Its a peek of ultimate European luxury in Miami Beach.
WAIT WHAT???? July is almost over???
While all my friends are in Europe or Mykonos, Ive been staying close to home.Teddy went to sleep away camp for the first time, and Seas been playing tons of tennis. I launched my first candle line BAISER rose and been interviewing amazing new talent like Laura Gomes from #OITNB.For Teddy birthday celebration, we surprised her with tons of pink balloons and a unicorn, of course.
I saw the Yankees win, and I even ate noodle soup there, WHAT??
After taking a few marketing classes, I have become obsessed with start ups._one of my new found favorites is the non toxic beauty line BEAUTYCOUNTER. Get some.
And my nephew is a star water polo player, so Ive been spending a lot of time on the Metro North Train to watch him play.
And I ven was invited to the launch party for Dating Naked, HOLD on! No one was naked there, but they did ask if I wanted to be photographed with topless men. Ahhh :(((
And Jeff Koons opened the new flagship store on 5th Avenue. This is clearly the ultimate fusion of art and fashion, just saying,
Here’s my July go to looks :
1. AG jean shorts and denim and supply work shirt
2. JCrew white button down and scuba skirt
3. Repetto ballet flats
4. White Azzedine Alaia fitted knee length dress
5. Ann Taylor slip dress
6. Alice and Olivia 20s slip dress
7. Lisa Perry hot pink shift dresses.
6. Charliebymz bikinis
7. Make your own fly knit Nikes
8. Beauty Counter beauty products
9. Bike everywhere in my Clos du Bois Bike by C Wonder
10. C Wonder silk pajama pants.
As the weather gets warmer, New Yorkers can’t wait to get outside and sweat it out. So now the big, daunting question on everyone’s mind is: “What do I wear while I’m working out?”
As fashion-forward New Yorkers, we require sporty, athletic, serious gear. We aren’t hanging from the bars in the gym like they are a jungle gym, after all: We are building up for the jungle out there and for what’s sure to be a smoking-hot summer.
WHAT I’M LOVING:
I’m a big fan of Splits59, which creates authentic workout wear that makes any body looks great. The paint-splattered leggings ($120; at splits59.com) are very cool.
Lululemon is one of the most popular lines and known for ruching and even ruffles, but I love the brand’s Satya tank tees ($58; at lululemon stores). Yes, workout gear can be sweet.
Sweaty Betty (77 Mercer St., 646-386-7003) is the new kid on the block in Soho and sells a variety of great, statement-making styles.
If you like color and are part of the SoulCycle indoor cycling cult, like I am, I suggest wearing all SoulCycle clothing (available at soul-cycle.com and SoulCycle studios). If you can get through a class, you should be able to wear a something with the logo that makes a statement.
If you’re a member of Equinox (or even if you aren’t), check out an outpost of the gym’s shop (equinox.com for locations) for great workout clothes.
This season, I’m obsessed with Nike — and so are my teenage girls, and we know how picky teenagers are. The Nike Free 3.0 Flyknit running shoes are like wearing super-comfortable Missioni-esque sneakers. Get a pair. ($140; at nike.com)
GREAT PLACES TO WORK OUT:
Everyone knows I’m a SoulCycle fanatic. Nothing makes you feel better than getting the bad stuff out by cycling it away with insane music and a room full of incredible women with amazing bodies. I also think the women are there to see Jake Gyllenhall, who regularly goes to classes. (soul-cycle.com for locations)
Barry’s Bootcamp gives you the body men can’t stop thinking about. Sweat required. (barrysbootcamp.com for locations)
ModelFIT is for the supermodel — or the New Yorker who wants to look like one. If you want a lean and toned body like Anne V or Karlie Kloss, get into a class now. (212 Bowery, second floor, 212-219-2044)
SLT NYC is another model must to strength, lengthen and tone. (sltnyc.com for locations)
My yoga go-to is Jivamukti. Dechen Thurman is my instructor — he’s incredible smart, handsome, poetic … and Uma Thurman’s brother. 841 Broadway, second floor, 212-353-0214
Vanderbilt Tennis and Fitness Club has my favorite tennis courts and is located above Grand Central: old guard and chic. (15 Vanderbilt Ave., 212-599-6500)
For those uptown women who have the best bodies and can fit into couture, MaryAnn Browning of Brownings Fitness will help you burn even that pasta dish you can’t deny yourself at Sant Ambroeus. Have some gelato, too. MaryAnn loves a challenge. (980 Madison Ave., 315-292-7547)
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South Korean born designer, Son Jung Wan took NYFW week by storm with elegant hues of grey, taupe, and blue. Her signatures furs draped 30s style elegant gowns which deem perfect for a starlet to wear. Son Jung Wan, the talented and graduate of Sookmyyung University in Industrial Craft , also won the Golden Needle Award and Designer of the year in 20005 in Seoul. Her apparent love of the arts was apparent in her palette for fall. Her designs are timeless, pretty, and embellished with the finest and most sumptuous fabrics. Fall 2014 reflected this elegance even in her menswear which was flanked with fur and color.
Each Touch collection is inspired by the idea of transformation. RISDY graduate and Calvin Klein designer alum experiments with textures, killer knits, floor length shirt dressing, and her signature leggings. The collaboration with Common Projects for ankle suede/leather boots focuses on black and burgundy. Effortless and Functional with each touch.
Photo credit: Ralph Lauren’s Mark Reynolds transformed his home’s unused basement Space.
The small space is the new cool space.
I turned my closet into an office, and Ralph Lauren’s Mark Reynolds repurposed his Hamptons basement into a hangout space — which he affectionately calls the “naughty room” – filled with all the items he won’t part with. Another New Yorker concealed a baby’s room in an open-floored dining area by using outward-facing book shelves.
Look around and create what you need in your existing space. We all need a place to let loose and we all need a place to store our prized possessions.
“Increase the square footage of your house now without virtually any construction or additional cost,” said Reynolds, senior director Creative Services at Ralph Lauren.
So, how did he do it?
“I simply took what we already had in storage below — unused furnishings, lighting, artwork, additional household supplies, including liquor, of course, and all that family junk too precious to part with — and organized it into a living space, added a little music room, dimmed the lights and, before we knew it, a room filled with our personal blast from the past has now become the ultimate party room,” he said.
Give your space a New Year’s revolution and rebel against interior convention.
Here are some pieces to get your started:
Modern beds from Overstock
Get organized with baskets from the Container Store.
Rattan and metallic woven rugs from Calypso St. Barth
Jo Malone candles to add some allure to your space
Books books books: The Strand has everything from fashion books to Hemingway.
Anthropolgie’s bedding and velvet chairs
Event designer Jung Lee has cool tabletop items that are perfect for any dinner party.
Murano glass ashtrays
An Hermes tea set
Philippe Starck plastic dining chairs
Shearling anything from Overstock
Glass bedside lamps from Lamps Plus
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