Hot topics, cool covetables: The editors are in a bit of a frenzy
by the editors of FD / styling by BRITTANY WINTER / photographs by CHRIS PLAVIDAL
LEAF IT ALONE
Maple Terrace’s days may be numbered. Reports and rumors are flying of the potential sale of — by far — Dallas’ most outrageous apartment building. The land, they say, is ripe for residential development. That elegant, eccentric old pile has harbored Judy Garland, Greer Garson, Dean Martin, Elvis Presley, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Liza Minnelli, fashion designer Todd Oldham, interior designers Jan Martin and John Bobbitt, food critic Mary Malouf, retailer Ken Knight, artist Dan Rizzie, museum director Joan Davidow — the list of characters and kooks goes on and on, and has since the place went up in ’27. I have never lived there — but in my mind, I have. Unbelievably, Maple Terrace has zero historic designations, so anything could happen. We’re already losing Uptown’s cool, building by building, all made of beige spray-on stucco and pushed out to the sidewalks like Home Depots on HGH. Sightlines are shrinking in. I’m freaking out. So, take a memo, current owners and any future buyers of Maple Terrace: If one wrecking crane rolls onto that property, I will come after you. I will tear you limb from limb, leaf by leaf. (You should see me around here at deadline time. You do not want to mess with me.)
Retire the clutch! Stow the pouchette! This season, there is one bag for your milk money and it’s got double Cs. (It’s also going to be nearly impossible to get.) With its quilted details, pearl embellishments and chain-and-leather strap, this witty metallic bag —part of Karl Lagerfeld’s fall 2014 collection, shown in a full-on Chanel supermarket built inside the Grand Palais in Paris, complete with Chanel-ized foodstuffs and signage — has all the makings of a classic, covetable Coco creation. (Or, in this case, a Coco carton.) The milk-carton bag is the ultimate in hands-free extras, making for easy shopping — grocery or otherwise. What’s more, you won’t have to abandon your dairy-free diet. $4,800 through Chanel Highland Park Village
—Bradley Agather Means
THE LIP SMACKER
A book so sexy it will turn you on? All true — and not just for bibliophiles. Fashion aficionados, book collectors, photography lovers and fine-art followers will thrill in getting up close and personal with Alice Harris’ seductive new compendium, Blow Me A Kiss. Published by Powerhouse Books, the tome is a visual exploration of lips and all their rouged, pouty allure. Each turn of the page is pleasurable, with photographs from the likes of David LaChapelle, Cindy Sherman, Man Ray and Bert Stern. There are other forms of art represented, too, from Richard Phillips’ painting Der Bodensee, which depicts an upside-down beach beauty and her lusciously lacquered pout, to the kitschy Jeff Koons sculpture Michael Jackson and Bubbles, which shows a gold-outfitted Jackson and his identically dressed pet monkey, both sporting eerie, candy-apple-red smirks. Wit and sex appeal between two covers? Pucker up. Information powerhousebooks.com.
Evidence that Dallas and Fort Worth are becoming authentically cool? Their budding blocks. At a formerly desolate corner of Sylvan Avenue and I-30, the seven-acre compound Sylvan Thirty debuts next month, creating an instant community with its multistory apartments and ground-floor shops. In West Dallas, the restaurant incubator Trinity Groves has proven such a hit that developer Trammell Crow Residential is snapping up key neighboring properties. On Greenville Avenue, a four-block span from Belmont Avenue south to Ross Avenue is getting tons of buzz. (With a bustling Trader Joe’s, the hip new Steel City Popsicles, plus restaurants and boîtes galore, the lowest part of Greenville is the decidedly more grown-up Uptown.) Deep Ellum is on an upswing again with packed barbecue joint Pecan Lodge, rumors that institution Wild About Harry’s may open a second location there and the $64-million makeover of the Dallas Farmers Market. In Fort Worth, Magnolia Avenue south of downtown just keeps getting sexier. The avenue is now lined with imaginative shops and eateries, from the adorable Magnolia Cheese Co. to new tapas restaurant 24 Plates. The common denominator among these upstart ’hoods? Creative cred.
—Christopher Wynn and Christina Geyer
Defection. Breach of contract. Trade secrets. The hottest “versus” in the style universe now? Heritage Auctioneers & Galleries vs. Christie’s Inc., case number 651806-2014, filed in June with the supreme court of New York. The summary, in cocktail-party chatter? The Dallas-based auction house says Christie’s poached its 26-year-old handbag expert — he’s been called the Birkin Whisperer — who took with him proprietary information, customer lists and future profits. Heritage virtually established the luxury-accessories auction market — Birkins, Célines, Chanels, Leibers and the like — and had pitched Birkin Boy, baby-faced Matthew Rubinger, who once sold handbags on eBay from his bedroom, as a star. Heritage’s complaint sizzles with the words seize, windfall, ill-gotten, unfair and unethical — and it demands $60 million in damages and lost income. With pre-owned Hermès bags pulling more than $100,000 and $200,000 each on the auction market, one can quickly surmise why the accountants are nervous. Christie’s position so far? Purse-lipped.
TURN IT DOWN
N-O-I-S-E A-B-A-T-E-M-E-N-T. There it is in big, bold letters, on a photograph of the newly refurbished Dallas Love Field airport on a page of the website of the Town of Highland Park. (The Love Field Noise Complaints page. Yes, a dedicated page.) Indeed, a particular sound has residents of tony HP up in arms. The offense? The roar of jets taking off from a certain runway at Love. The runway, called Lemmon, has been pressed into more commercial-aircraft duty than before — growing pains from Love’s renovated terminal and new gates — and it sends planes low over million-dollar Highland Park manses. A complaint log on hptx.org paints a pretty noisy picture. One from Fairway Street: “Two planes flew right over house after 6 a.m., loud enough to shake double paned windows.” From gazillion-dollar Beverly Drive: “Submitted a complaint to the City of Dallas — They didn’t seem to take it seriously.” Another, from last August: “Airport noise has significantly increased on Lemmon RW, it is becoming unbearable.” With the Wright Amendment abolished effective October13, and even more flights coming to Love (Southwest Airlines and Virgin America are increasing service in October), will the noises get louder? Or will moneyed HP residents somehow put those jet engines on mute?
Follow the oil and you’ll understand why Dallas-to-Dubai has become the hottest flight plan around. Emirates began daily service from Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport to the shiny city last year and now it has a problem: room on the plane. So, come October 1, the airline will replace its 266-seat workhorse Boeing 777 with the world’s largest and most luxurious commercial passenger jet, the Airbus A380, which can carry more than 800. (Emirates is reportedly planning a more gracious configuration of 489 seats.) The wide-bodied, double-deck plane has a cult following among frequent-flying passengers who favor its sleek, airy cabin and lounge-y bar areas. Of course, competition among Middle Eastern carriers at D/FW is growing — Qatar Airways landed last month and Etihad Airways arrives in December — but, so far, only Emirates has those A380 bragging rights.
The only way to cool off this time of year is a dip — or a full-on plunge — into the nearest body of water. Such times call for a watch that can handle the sun and surf and look great at the office. The one every discerning man in Dallas will want is the new Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph by Audemars Piguet. With its black-on-black details — including its ceramic bezel, its rubber strap and its dial with a carved and gridded méga tapisserie pattern — set against a forged carbon case, the hunky timepiece is sporty in spirit, yet the gold hour-markers and hands give it every bit the sophistication of a vintage Rolex Daytona. That golden luster is the only shine you’ll be seeing, as the glare-proof sapphire crystal and case-back mean you’ll be able to mark the time no matter how bright the summer sun. This black beauty is water-resistant, too, all the way down to100 meters. Here’s the kicker: There is only one in Dallas. This is it, dunked into icy cold water. (We couldn’t resist.) Better hurry. Time is most certainly of the essence. $36,900 at Eiseman Jewels
There are culinary calls that warrant a trip west on I-30: a Joe T. Garcia’s margarita and a BBQ fix from Railhead Smokehouse. Now, you’ve got a reason to drive over for dessert: Melt, the new artisan ice cream shop in Fort Worth. The creamery is the brainchild of Kari Crowe Seher, a local photographer who decided to bring a farm-to-cone philosophy to ice cream. Boy, did she deliver. Melt produces its ice cream in-house, relying heavily on local and fresh ingredients. (One example? Avoca Mocha, made using beans from the coffee shop around the corner.) The flavor list is short — only six — and there are no toppings to accompany your double-scoop cone. This, friends, is a quality-over-quantity kind of place. Beans, which is Melt’s version of vanilla, and Chocolate-Chocolate are mainstays on the menu; the other four flavors change according to season. This summer’s favorites have included unique creations such as Mint Julep, a blend of fresh Texas mint and blueberry-lemon jam, and Sweet Bees, a refreshing mix of Hill Country lavender and local honey. It’s a good thing there are no limits on samples: Trust me, you’ll want to lick them all. 954 W. Rosedale St., Fort Worth
FTD?1-800-Flowers? Who needs ’em! These days, it seems everyone — especially among a certain breed of fashionable female — is suddenly a florist. The 24-year-old socialite Krystal Schlegel touts “whimiscal flower arrangements” on the Instagram account of her new company, Flowers By Krystal. (The business was sparked by a flower-arranging class she took in Paris with her style-setting sis Kimberly Schlegel Whitman.) Schlegel pal Kathleen Auffenberg Hill just launched her biz, Leenys Flowers, too, and Hill’s sister-in-law, Taylor Tomasi Hill, the Dallas native turned New York street-style star (and former creative director of the fashion shopping site Moda Operandi), has made her foray into flowers. Her “storefront” is @tthblooms on Instagram and already boasts a staggering 25,000 followers. Are you a pretty young thing looking for something to do? Are you an A-gay in need of a career change? Diving into freshly cut chrysanthemums, peonies and poppies is just the thing for you.
If summer sojourns didn’t quite leave your face with a restful glow — not enough SPF and too many Tequila Sunrises can do that — do not panic. One quick and relatively painless trip to Espa at the Joule will have you lighter and brighter in no time. The treatment to book? The cellular renewal enzyme facial. Already famed among insiders for improving radiance and reducing pigmentation — those naps in the sun are why you have too much — the 90-minute treatment includes a deep cleansing followed by an enzyme-peel exfoliation that removes dead-skin cells. (Worry not: The tingling sensation is normal.) Afterward, your skin will be rewarded with a rose-quartz-crystal massage and a creamy mask that will soothe and lift. Yes, that magic last word. $240; 214-261-4555; thejouledallas.com
When is a car dealership not a dealership? When it’s a “gallery.” Tesla Motors found the ultimate loophole to a Texas law that prevents it from selling cars directly to the public — franchised dealerships have been the business model for decades — when it opened said gallery inside NorthPark Center this summer. The sleek, 3,000-square-foot space is for ogling and education only: If you want to order one of the California company’s acclaimed Model S all-electric sports sedans, you’ll be kindly directed to Tesla’s website. The shrewd move echoes other unorthodox steps by Tesla’s eccentric chief executive officer, Elon Musk, who is dismayed that electric cars are still less than 1 percent of other automakers’ sales: He announced in June that he is giving away his company’s technology patents to any and all competitors. (Yes, at no charge.) And last month, on influential scientist Nikola Tesla’s 158th birthday, Musk pledged a cool $1million to the Tesla Science Center in Shoreham, New York, toward building a museum to honor the Tesla Motors’ namesake.
THE COCKTAIL SHAKER
Jose Mejia’s Neiman Marcus business card says only “Bartender, The Mermaid Bar,” his official title since August 5, 2004, the day before he turned 24. The title does not do him justice. For a decade he has been the face, the brand, even, of the so-called Mbar at NorthPark Center. The bar was circling the drain before his arrival; now, from Thursdays to Sundays, it is a see-and-be scene. Neiman’s has tried to replicate the bar’s success elsewhere, but with little success. The reason? There is but one Jose Mejia. He not only pours the drinks, but hand-makes most of what goes in them. (“I take great pride in that,” he says.) That mimosa is freshly squeezed. That Bloody Mary is seasoned and horseradish-grated to order. Ask him to surprise you and he’ll wow you instead. The native of Honduras has grown an army of regulars who squeeze into the tiny bar near the menswear section. If one goes missing, he’ll text to make sure all is well. He scoffs at the mixology craze, at those barkeeps who “focus on what they know how to do but never look past the glass” to see the drinker looking for company. You are not just his customer and he is not just your server. “No matter what problems come to the bar,” he says, “I have to make sure each customer leaves with a happy face.”
THE O’KEEFFE UNKNOWN
A little family competition is good for the soul — or is it? In Ida O’Keeffe’s case, it wasn’t so great for her art career. Ida was the younger sister of artist Georgia O’Keeffe, recognized as the mother of American Modernism. The growing friction of success between the sisters — one had it, one had far less — resulted in Ida’s work falling to the wayside of Georgia’s. Almost 60 years after her death, it’s the little sister’s turn. The forthcoming 2017 Dallas Museum of Art exhibition “Ida O’Keeffe: Escaping Georgia’s Shadow” will feature for the first time, ever, watercolors, prints, paintings and drawings by the closeted artist, as well as photographs of her taken by the renowned photographer Alfred Stieglitz — who just happened to be her older sister’s longtime lover. The exhibit’s nationwide tour kicks off here, because, of course, no one does things bigger and better (or first) more than Texans. Above: Ida O’Keeffe’s Variation on a Lighthouse Theme II, circa1932, oil on canvas
It probably took you months, maybe years, to jump on the emoji train. (You thought they were for teenagers and the adults who acted like them, didn’t you.) But once you started, you couldn’t stop. Why tap out “thank you” when you can give someone a fist bump instead? With its 7.0 update released in mid-July, Unicode gave the texting world a set of spanking-new emojis — about 250 in all — to express even more nouns and feelings. Yes, the latest set includes a spider, a hot pepper (use it instead of typing out “mi cocina tonight?”), a floppy disk and the Vulcan Salute. But the one that’s getting all the attention? The middle finger. Just think of all the times you’ve longed for that one. Bad dates. Breakups. Bitchy friends. Now, you can show them how you really feel — making that little picture worth, oh, a thousand characters.