Earlier this week I traveled to Savannah to speak at SCAD Style, the month-long chock-full festival put on by the Savannah College of Art and Design that culminates in a student fashion show and lifetime achievement award. This year’s recipient: Isabel Toledo.
I was delighted to be in the company of an impressive roster of speakers, such as Pulitzer Prize winning Washingnton Post fashion critic Robin Givhan, hip-hop pioneer Russell Simmons, interior designer Jonathan Adler, Barneys creative director Simon Doonan, designers Mark Badgley and James Mischka, architect Clive Wilkinson, MoMA curator Barry Bergdoll, New York Times art critic Michael Kimmelman and many others. I would have loved to stay the month attending each talk – and I recommend it to all, since all lectures are free – but alas, my stay was just a few days. Continue reading
I’ve been in Savannah less than 24 hours and I’ve already satisfied three desires:
1. I had shrimp and grits (less than 20 minutes after landing) at the big and bawdy 700 Drayton restaurant at the Mansion hotel on Forsyth Park.
Verdict: Usually I prefer a cream sauce but this one had a gravy, which was also nice, if rich, and the mushrooms rounded it out nicely.
Ever since he popped on the scene in Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, interior designer Thom Filicia has been my secret gay crush. So likeable, so real and so adept at giving hopeless schlubs cool-livable style. His look is classic with modern touches. Very now, with a grasp of the past.
If you could afford to hire him — like J.Lo and Mark Anthony did for their Hamptons house, right, which was featured in Vogue Living — you could have his magic touch. But GOOD NEWS, Filicia just announced he’s releasing the Thom Filicia Home collection via with partnerships with several well-known manufacturers, such as Vanguard. Let’s hope the prices are recession-friendly so we can all have a piece of Thom. More to come on that.
Another great way to get a piece of Thom’s style. His book, Tom Filicia Style: Inspired Ideas for Creating Rooms You’ll Love.
For more of Thom, check out his portfolio here. Or visit Habitually Chic’s coverage of Thom here and here.
The new season of Thom’s show Dress Your Nest starts April 22 on The Style Network.
Oh we love to hate Jeff Koons. The artist’s sculptures have fetched millions, he’s represented by heavyweight Gagosian Gallery, yet he once married a porn star and he’s known for works that look like enormous balloon animals. Something’s not right here.
Or is it.
A new book explores the kitch-loving world of Koons. Koons ($70, Rizzoli) is a reissue of a limited edition book (the first signed copy of that edition went for $450,000 at auction). But don’t buy a book because it will go up in value, buy it because you love it. O.K.? Continue reading
Visiting wineries in Virginia is usually fun and lovely but not always especially palate-pleasing or affordable.
The state does two things well: Cabernet Franc and Voignier, so if you don’t like the tobacco-y red or sweet-floral white, you’re usually out of luck. Plus, prices usually hover around $20 a bottle, which is too high for so-so wine.
So, I was pleasantly surprised to find a fine, Meritage at Blenheim Vineyards for just $10. A touch of oak and tannins with nice hints of cherry and plum. Not bad at all. In fact, pretty darn good. Continue reading
Discover the next bluegrass and roots-rock stars in this music-loving college town.
WHERE TO STAY
To be within a quick walk to live-music venues, book accommodations in downtown Charlottesville.
The outdoor “Downtown Mall” is chock-o-block with venues. To be near the action, stay at the three-story Victorian 200 South Street Inn, right, (from $160). Request room 18 on the second floor, which is insulated from downtown’s rumbling trains. Fuel your night of living like a rock star at Asian-tapas restaurant Bang!, across the street (213 Second St. SW, 434-984-BANG).
Rub elbows with performers at the Omni Hotel (from $169), a three-star high-rise, popular with headliners at the state-of-the-art John Paul Jones Arena — named after a donor, not the bassist. If Keith Urban, Phil Lesh and Bruce Springsteen sightings are nil (they’re all playing the arena this spring/summer), take solace in the indoor and outdoor pools, seven pillows on the beds, and the unparalleled location on the Mall.
For easy access to the University of Virginia’s nightlife strip, “The Corner,” check into the Dinsmore House Inn (from $119), an exquisitely preserved bricked colonial. If you plan on finding an afterparty, request the Veranda Room for its private entrance.
Three blocks away on Elliewood Avenue restaurants such as Coupe DeVille’s and the Buddhist Biker Bar, above, let the party spill outside, at the latter on a generous fenced front lawn, with live reggae, blues or rock most nights.
WHERE TO EAT
Posted in Travel, Music
Tagged Charlottesville, Va., Corey Harris, Charlottesville Pavillion, Dave Matthews Band, Spudnut Shop, 200 South Street Inn, Bang!, Mas, Shenandoah National Park, Skyline Drive, Blackrock Summit, The Hackensaw Boys, Blenheim Vineyards, Best of What's Around, Coran Capshaw, Thompson D'Earth, Twisted Branch Tea Bazaar, Gravity Lounge, The White Spot, Mono Loco, Dinsmore House Inn, John Paul Jones Arena, City Guides
I’ve asked Chris five questions that we’ll release over a series of days with a piece of work each day. See all five paintings in the gallery or read Day 1 here.
What’s the oddest, funniest, nicest thing someone has said to you about your work?
“The only reaction to art, music, that I will stand behind, is that of honest affinity. For someone to say, “I love this painting because I love it.” That’s all I want to hear.
Sometimes folks will say, “Your work is so fun. I would like never to hear that again.”
“The Hummingbird, I painted on my easel, and it became a friend,
floating next to the panels painted to the left, and right of it, over the course of a year. Again, here comes saw. Freed from the easel, hummingbird gets
his chance to shine, or fly, really, on his own.”
For more on Chris, visit his site or blog. Portrait by Ash Daniel Photography.
Hey everybody, we’re now curating art! Since I’m passionate about art and want to share the inspiring artists I’ve come across, I’ve decided to begin a series of featured artist profiles accompanied by 5-piece art shows. All work will be under $2,000 and available for sale in the Culture Fix Gallery. Think of it as a virtual gallery where you get to meet the artist.
Meet Our April Featured Artist: Chris Milk Hulburt Continue reading