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Andreja Pejic Sunday Routine- The New York Times

The model Andreja Pejic on her way to the Whitney Museum of American Art. “I love immersing myself in art for a couple of hours,” she said. CreditGeorge Etheredge for The New York Times 

The model Andreja Pejic had become a name in the fashion industry while she was still male and named Andrej. In 2014, after a career of gender-fluid appearances on the catwalk for Marc Jacobs and Jean-Paul Gaultier, she underwent gender-reassignment surgery, which made her star burn only brighter: Ms. Pejic became the first transgender model to be profiled in Vogue and to land a campaign with a major cosmetics company, Make Up for Ever. As she prepares for New York Fashion Week, Feb. 9 to 16, Ms. Pejic, 25, who lives in the East Village, spends her Sundays drinking tea, going to yoga class and eating a brunch with the works. NEESHA ARTER

TEA PARTY I usually wake up around 9, and the first thing I do is make myself a cup of tea. I drink a lot of tea — green tea, white tea and all kinds of herbal teas. An antioxidant boost is a great way to kick-start the day. My social media followers very well know about my old ladylike tea obsession. I buy the stuff in bulk from Amazon. I also slap on a little concealer on the under eye circles, especially if I had an eventful Saturday night. It calms me down.

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Ms. Pejic at Modo Yoga in the West Village. “I love to sweat it out, but it’s also very much about my mental health too,” she said. CreditGeorge Etheredge for The New York Times 

MORNING UPDATE I enjoy my tea in bed, while I update myself on what’s going on in the world. On top of scrolling through my social media news feeds and consuming often pointless but addictive content (as we all do, don’t deny it), I like to read The New York Times via the app, and not just the Styles section, every section. Weirdly enough, I’m a macroeconomics enthusiast. Hit me up if you want to chat about the materialist conception of history.

STAYING INFORMED Stepping outside of my personal bubble, or that of fashion or beauty, is pretty important to me. We need more young people stepping outside of their own immediate realities and identities and looking at the world and society in an objective way and arming themselves with political knowledge, because let’s face it: The world is not getting any better at this point.

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Ms. Pejic, who was raised in Australia, likes the Aussie cafe Coco & Cru in NoLIta.CreditGeorge Etheredge for The New York Times 

GOODNESS IN A GLASS I kick off my metabolism with a glass of O.J. and a pretty big smoothie. I put in chia seeds, flax seeds, raw organic honey, fresh spinach, hemp seeds, avocado, matcha, spirulina, raw almond butter, almond milk, berries, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds. Now this might sound like I’m a vegan/organic/raw health junkie, but I promise you I’m not. Basically I’m just too lazy to cook at this point in my life and packing everything into a blender is easy enough. Also this keeps my immune system alive and well, it’s good for my skin and detoxes my body from excessive intake of free Champagne at the parties.

NAMASTE Around 11 a.m., I head to Modo Yoga in the West Village for a hot yoga session. I love to sweat it out, but it’s also very much about my mental health too. I always walk out — well, barely walking — with a fresh perspective on life, a red face and a slimmer waist. Sanity is hardly guaranteed in the fashion industry, so anything that slows my slow descent toward a nervous breakdown gets a thumbs up from me.

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Ms. Pejic at the Whitney. “Stepping outside of my personal bubble,” she said, “is pretty important to me.”CreditGeorge Etheredge for The New York Times 

GIRL TIME After yoga I usually grab lunch with my girlfriends, who luckily love Modo Yoga too. I always look forward to some needed girl time. I was raised in Australia, so I like going to Coco & Cru. It’s an amazing Aussie cafe in NoLIta. Conversations include boys, toys and hormones. Sundays are a day to pig out on a plentiful brunch, my favorite meal ever. I’m talking eggs, bacon and the works. Yes, Fashion Week is coming up, but who cares anymore about being a stick, right?

ART APPRECIATION I usually drop off my laundry and head to Chelsea to check out art galleries or to the Whitney Museum of American Art. I love immersing myself in art for a couple of hours; it’s a source of inspiration for me. I also love the beautiful view of Lower Manhattan from the museum’s rooftop.

DOWNTIME Depending on my mood, I either go to the cinema or just stay at home and unwind with some Netflix. My latest obsession is the BBC show “Versailles.”

IN VINO VERITAS To wind down, I’ll typically pour myself a glass of Steltzner Claret and turn on the new xx album. My night can’t end without posting weird Snapchats to my followers to say good night.

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Into The Gloss- Neesha Arter, Writer

Neesha Arter, Writer

neesha-arter-writer-1

 

“I grew up in Albuquerque and went to college in California, where I studied creative writing and ended up writing a book. While I was in LA for school, I started writing for Angeleno Magazine, which is how I began working in journalism, too. Eventually I moved out to New York to get a book deal, which just happened two weeks ago! It’s called Controlled and it’s a memoir about sexual assault. I really couldn’t be happier that it’s getting published. It’s a really exciting time for me. [Ed note: Controlled (Heliotrope Books) will be available fall 2015.]

When I’m not working on the book, I write for New York Magazineand the New York Observer. I’ve been fortunate enough to interview some of my favorite people in entertainment for stories I’ve worked on—people like David Lynch, Drew Barrymore, Orlando Bloom, Barbara Walters…My conversation with Barbara was definitely one of the most memorable. It was also kind of controversial on a personal level because it was Woody Allen’s opening night of Bullets Over Broadway—not too long after his open letter went out in the New York Times about his relationship with Dylan—and Barbara Walters publicly supports him. I feel very strongly about this kind of thing and I do a lot of activism when it comes to sexual assault awareness. My editor was like, ‘You’re covering this!’ and I just said ‘OK!’ I didn’t think she was going to do interviews, but I just kind of jumped in front of her and said, ‘I’m Neesha Arter from New York Magazine! Can I talk to you for a second?’ and we got to talk, so that was great. I’ve watched The View since I was little and even if we disagree, I still admire her so much.

I also guest write for Mariska Hargitay’s Joyful Heart Foundation about various issues dealing with sexual assault. And I did the social media for this documentary called Brave Miss Worldwhich was written and directed by Cecilia Peck, Gregory Peck’s daughter. It’s about Linor Abargil, an Israeli who won Miss World in 1998 and was raped six weeks before she won the crown, and then later in life speaks out about it and travels around the world to help other victims of sexual assault. It’s really gratifying to be involved with such creative people making a difference. Everyone knows someone that has been affected by these issues. Sexual assault happens every day. I wrote an article for Teen Vogue about this and I had people writing to me from Australia and everywhere else saying, ‘I was raped and I haven’t told anybody except for you…’ and it’s just like, wow, that is a heavy thing. Nobody talks about it, which only makes it more important that the media shines a light on the cause. And if I can help somebody and say, ‘You’re not alone,’ then that’s all I want to do.

For my job and my activism, I go to a lot of black tie events to interview subjects and support causes close to me. But because I’m usually there to work, I don’t worry about if my hair or eye makeup is really ‘working.’ It’s not about being a celebrity, it’s about blending in and finding the story. I’ll do a darker eye—just pencil and mascara though, never shadow—and blow dry my hair. And then I’ll use what I use every day. I found MAC Powder Blush in Breezy because the lady at the store was like, ‘Oh, this one is probably good,’ and I’ve used it ever since [laughs]. I like powder formulas over creams because I find them easier to apply. My favorite mascara is Maybelline The Colossal Volum’ Express. My suitemate used it in college, and she always had pretty eyelashes, so I used hers before eventually buying my own. And I love lip gloss. I have so many! Paul & Joe Lip Color in Pink Ballerina is a good one, Stila Lip Glaze in Grapefruit is always a winner, and MAC Tinted Lipglass in Pink Lemonade is just fun to put on. Anything pink! It gives me that extra boost of confidence when I’m doing red carpet interviews or a one-on-one with someone I admire in the industry, so it’s definitely a product I can’t live without.

When it comes to skincare, I stick to the classics. I’ve been using Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash in Pink Grapefruit for as long as I can remember. I follow that up with their Oil-Free Moisturizer for combination skin. I use it during the day and at night. My mom gave me Clinique All About Eyes Serum because I have a huge issue with insomnia. Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair is also good for calming my eyes when I can’t sleep.

I actually use my favorite lotion, Soap and Glory Butter Yourself Body Cream, in the shower. It’s really good for when the air is dry in the winter. Then I shampoo my hair with Alterna Caviar Clinical Daily Detoxifying Shampoo and their Daily Root & Scalp Stimulator. They’re super fancy products that my friend gave me and I love the way they make my hair smell. I haven’t used Alterna Caviar Working Hair Spray since, like, prom, but I always keep it around just in case I need a little bit of extra volume.

And after a painful trip of eyebrow threading and a few failed pedicures, I swear by eyebrow waxing and painting my own nails. I just couldn’t stop laughing during those foot massages. Am I the only one who’s ticklish? So overall, I’m pretty low maintenance. I don’t have a ton of products, but the ones I do use, I’m very loyal to. I’ve gotten the most guidance from my mom, partially because there aren’t a ton of Indian women in the media—though I think Freida Pinto and I would be great friends.”

—as told to ITG

Photographed by Tom Newton.

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At Home With Nicole Miller- New York Observer

At Home With Fashion Designer Nicole Miller in Her Tribeca Apartment

Nicole Miller in her home.  (Photo by Celeste Sloman/New York Observer)

“I like to spread out my Sunday newspapers with my coffee in the morning,” said Nicole Miller, while sprawled on her couch on a rainy afternoon in Tribeca. Ms. Miller shares the 3,200-square-foot loft with her husband, son and Godzilla, her beloved Rhodesian ridgeback. The palatial space consists of three bedrooms, a dining room, a kitchen, three bathrooms and a large living area. The arched windows and simplistic white walls are enhanced with views of the Freedom Tower. Bright accents, including orange and green rugs, Verner Panton royal blue chairs, and midnight black wood floors add depth to the airy space. Even Ms. Miller’s vase collection, ranging from a Scandinavian blue vase to a forest green vase handmade by her teenage son, proves that the beauty of the home’s décor lies in the details.From home goods and handbags, to jewelry and bridal gowns, Ms. Miller has been one the power players in the fashion industry since the 1980s. Calm and serene in demeanor, she confessed to being a real foodie. “My mother’s French, so I was always obsessed with food, except I hesitate to mention foie gras anymore because people want to kill you.” The designer can be found picking up fried sea urchin from Nobu, dining at Da Silvano, or finding the right ingredients at Chelsea Market for Bouillabaisse or risotto.

You are an avid collector of contemporary art. Have you always been collecting? I went to RISD (Rhode Island School of Design) and the first paintings I ever bought were at RISD alumni auctions. The first one was a still life from one of the teachers. I’ve bought a lot from my friend Mary Boone who also attended RISD. As for my Ross Bleckner painting, I told Mary I wanted one and she said, “I will keep it in mind.” One day she called and said, “I have the Ross Bleckner for you.” I went over to the gallery and was thinking, “What if I don’t like it? How can I say no?” Then I walked in and said, “Oh my god. Sold!” She couldn’t have picked out a more perfect piece for me. I also love this painting by Julio Galán. He had been painting my dresses in Mexico and I ended up introducing him to my friend Paige Powell, who worked for Andy Warhol; Andy loved his work and bought some pieces.

Ms. Miller's living space. (Photo by Celeste Sloman/New York Observer)

Who designed your home and what are a few of your favorite things? Dan Rowen designed my home; you can see his modernist aesthetic. He had previously done many art galleries in the city. A few things I love are my Serge Mouille light fixture from a 1950s art dealer and a red Jean Prouvé sideboard that has all my kitchen stuff in it. The color makes the room so happy. My painting by Damien Loeb is a favorite, too. He actually lives in the neighborhood. 

How long have you lived here? When I first bought this apartment about 30 years ago, it was just one apartment, but since then I have connected two more spaces to the original loft space. My first apartment was on East 77th street, then I gradually crawled downtown to 52nd, then 38th, and so to here. I couldn’t live above 14th Street now. I always felt going home to Tribeca was like going home to the country at night. It has changed a lot since then, but it is still very much a neighborhood. The restaurants are great.

How does being a fashion designer influence your ideas for designing a home? Since I work in such an eclectic environment, I try to keep my apartment pretty sparse, however, it’s hard to keep things minimal the longer you live in a place. We also have a lot of plants here. My husband is more of the gardener, where as I check my basil every day and love herbs.

(Photo by Celeste Sloman/New York Observer)


You spent time studying fashion in Paris. How important a place is it for you?  Every year I go to Paris for the fabric show Premiére Vision, and sometimes for vacation. Having a French connection has always been meaningful to me. It was really helpful growing up speaking French and I’ve always had a lot of French friends. Paris always reenergizes me, but so do a lot of other places. I travel a lot in the United States and I love going to Los Angeles. New Orleans is one of the most fun cities. I’ve always loved the cities that have a culture and a personality.

I know you love to ski and wakeboard. How long have you been doing those activities and how did you start? I started taking waterski lessons about 12 years ago with Camille Duvall-Hero. She taught me how to get up on one ski. Later, I started skiing with Global Boarding in Sag Harbor. Now I ski, wakeboard and wake skate. My husband, son and I all enjoy it.

You’ve lived here for 30 years, what makes New York home? People always say, “Are you a New Yorker?” and I say, “Well, I didn’t grow up here, but I just can’t imagine living any place else.” I just have a sense of calm when I come back to New York. I’m always happy when I return from a trip. New York just feels like home. 

(Photo by Celeste Sloman/New York Observer)

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The Lady’s Room- The Chic Woman Caves of New York (New York Observer)

The Lady’s Room

The Chic Woman Caves of New York
By Neesha Arter

Room 3

Who doesn’t need a purple library? Designed by Amanda Nisbit


F
or years men have been disappearing into “man caves.” There, they’ve  watched baseball games, played poker and drank scotch. But if men need a room to retreat to when they want to pretend to be Don Draper, women need one where they can pretend to be Joan Harris. It’s time for ladies to have their own sanctuaries. Forget anything as simple as a walk-in closet. It’s time for the woman cave. They’re not just a place to get dressed or try on shoes. They’re a place to be the kind of woman you always dreamed of being when you were a kid.

And it’s a dream that has turned into the latest interior design trend.

Melanie Charlton, CEO and Creative Director of the closet customization and design company Clos-ette, says, “More and more square footage is being allocated to women’s dressing rooms in New York City. From client to client and even in development and design work, the majority of my projects are becoming more about the female and her own space. Most women in New York City want a walk in closet and want to put a desk or a chair in it, too. It’s all about luxury and abundant space.”

Whether it is a vibrant, purple library in an Upper East Side townhouse or an elegant 1930’s inspired bathroom, these “women caves” each represent their owners’ personalities. They embody femininity, luxury and sophistication and independence.

Room 1

Claudia Giselle’s sultry bathroom.

The Siren’s Lair

This bathroom by Claudia Giselle might well have designed for a 1940’s starlet. Rita Hayworth seems like she could be hiding slightly off camera in a bubble bath, awaiting a call from Prince Aly Khan. Why shouldn’t the modern woman be just as glamorous? The serene cream and gold colors offset by a bold black ceiling – and the sense of light and open space reinforced by crystal sconces and lamps – screams “elegance” (but softly, like a lady).  You’ll just need a negligee, some bubble bath and a romantic relationship with someone titled to complete the scene.

Room 2

A refreshing take on the office by Nichole Lioacono.

Professional Glamour

Working women in New York live in their offices, so why shouldn’t thee office have a chandelier? This spacious sun-lit space by Nichole Loiacono balances feminine comfort with all the demands of a busy office. There are plenty of feminine touches, like floral pillows and candles, but this is also a clearly functional workspace. The freshness and airiness of pink, subtle purple and white are offset by the crispness and contrast of black accents including a prominently displayed logo. The table offers a fine meeting area while the couch may be conducive to marathon brainstorming sessions.

Grape Expectations (Top)

It’s okay to be a grown-up, sophisticated woman about town and still have a favorite color. In fact, you should own that color. You’re an adult. You can do that. This library by Amanda Nisbit makes liberal use of purple (check out the inside of the bookshelves!) while interspersing it with occasional dashes of orange and green. Remember: this is your room, and it can be whatever color you want it to be.

Room 4

Party Hard: Amy Lau’s club inspired living room.

 Downtown Drama

Want to time travel back to a Studio 54, circa 1977? You can’t. You probably can’t even visit Paris Hilton’s modern day “nightclub room.” But with hot pink chairs and cool black tables you can at least feel like a legend in your living room. This nightclub inspired living and dining space by Amy Lau may be the most fabulous spot in town. Despite all the evening glamour, this room still capitalizes on light with polished floors and reflective surfaces. Here’s hoping you have a Halston dress ready.

Room 6

Nick Olsen shows you how not to be timid in the bedroom.

Acid Prep

The spirits of Jonathan Adler and Lilly Pulitzer seem to have come together to create this bedroom. Yes, you can combine pink and green! And while you’re at it, latticed mirrors, and stripes, and florals! Designer Nick Olsen has created a space so cheerful that even a typically reserved Upper East Side WASP would want to jump on the bed (and the tufted headboard should help minimize injusries)..

Published in The New York Observer

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