the Insiders


November 19, 2009 4:12 PM

Eye, Fashion

WWD Postcard: Rafe Totengco

Rafe Totengco
Rafe Totengco

Accessories designer Rafe Totengco dishes to WWD about his recent visit to Hong Kong:

Let me tell you about Hong Kong. It's fast and furious. It makes New York look like Boca. I've been coming here for so many years it's like my second home. As soon as I land, I hit the ground running. There are places to go, people to see. I always run over to Causeway Bay to check out all the small boutiques that carry local designers. They're on trend and cost a fraction of the price compared with the major labels.

November 10, 2009 9:43 PM

Eye, Fashion

Miller Time

Sienna Miller is busy. In addition to clocking eight performances a week in "After Miss Julie" on Broadway, the actress is also co-designing her ready-to-wear collection Twenty8Twelve with her sister Savannah who lives in London. But the girls are not letting the Atlantic Ocean get between them.

"That's the wonders of modern technology. We Skype a lot," Sienna says. "There are such great vintage stores and fabric places here that I can source and send my ideas back to Savs and vice-versa."

On Monday--Sienna's only night off--the Miller sisters spoke with WWD about what's next for the British label.

WWD: Sienna, you just moved to New York temporarily and Savannah, you're visiting here for the week. How are you finding the city so far?
Sienna Miller: I love New York. I was born here so I feel like I have an affinity with the place. But I'm here just for four months doing the play.
Savannah Miller: I love the pace here. London's great but it's a sleepy town compared to New York. This is on a completely different level. The energy is so exciting and it's impossible not to get caught up in that.
November 9, 2009 10:12 AM


Pots O' Gold

An invitation to a potluck meal calls to mind Pyrex dishes filled with green bean casserole and Tupperware loaded down with hand-frosted cupcakes. But on the Upper East Side, things are done a little differently.

The new cookbook "Park Avenue Potluck Celebrations," which benefits The Society of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, features tried-and-true recipes from some of society's top hostesses, including Coco Kopelman and Eugenie Niven. In the spirit of sharing, here are a few dishes handed down from their kitchens to yours. Viking stove not required.

November 9, 2009 9:57 AM


Designing for Dancing Stars

Karole Armitage dancers perform "Itutu" in costumes by Peter Speliopoulos.
photo by Julieta Cervantes
Typically, costume designers get into the trade hoping it will take them one step closer towards their ready-to-wear design aspirations.

But Peter Speliopoulos, Donna Karan's creative director, is taking the opposite approach. Speliopoulos, who has also designed for Christian Dior, Carolyne Roehm and Cerruti, created the costumes for Itutu, choreographer Karole Armitage's latest production. Itutu premiered Friday at the dance company's Armitage Gone! annual gala held at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.

Charles Grom's upgrade for Macy's Inc. Friday held a glimmer of hope for the New York City retailing scene as well.

The J.P. Morgan analyst switched his recommendation on the stock to "overweight" from "neutral" Friday and pinned part of the change on an improvement in Manhattan's shopping backdrop.

Willem Dafoe with Alenka Kraighter in "Idiot Savant."
photo by Joan Marcus
I see my fair share of theater, ranging from way Off-Off Broadway experiments to big money productions on the Great White Way. And while I don't always come away with universally positive reactions, I have never quite encountered the complete sense of bafflement that Richard Foreman's "Idiot Savant," currently at the Public Theater, inspired in me.

This is not to say that I did not enjoy the play. Watching Willem Dafoe on stage in an intimate space for 80 minutes is pretty much a win-win situation. Add in a talented supporting cast, fantastical set design and an enthusiastic audience, and the ante only rises.

City Out My Window: 63 Views on New York
New Yorkers will never look out their windows the same way again.

In his latest work, "City Out My Window: 63 Views on New York," illustrator Matteo Pericoli has recreated the city landscape as seen from the offices and homes of renowned urban dwellers including Mikhail Baryshnikov, Mario Batali and Philip Glass.

The cover of the "American Fashion Cookbook: 100 Designer's Best Recipes," published by Assouline in conjunction with the CFDA, shows illustrations of two chicly dressed and very slender women. One is holding a glass of wine; the other, a platter of fish. Neither is eating or drinking. Nor do their reedy figures and model-esque poses suggest an air of hunger or appetite.

That message doesn't bode well for a book that is ostensibly about the ingestion of food. So I was ready to be disappointed when I cooked a meal using its recipes.
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