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Why New Yorkers are lining up to climb a stairway to nowhere and see inside Frida Kahlo’s closet

Sarah Kennedy
Upper Level View Through the Vessel - Courtesy of Forbes Massie Heatherwick Studio

A Stair is Born

This Friday’s opening of Vessel, a maze-like ‘park’ at the nucleus of the Hudson Yards development, is spring’s hottest ticket. Thomas Heatherwick’s design rivals the High Line for Manhattan promenading, and while it may not feel cool to climb the 2,500 stairs (154 flights!) around its 80 landings in NYC’s summer heat, the waiting list is long.

View of the Public Square and Gardens looking South from 33rd St. New York Credit: Courtesy of Forbes Massie Heatherwick Studio

Non athletes can instead wait for The Shed, the area’s forthcoming art space, headed up by another Brit, Alex Poots, and promising community-embracing projects, plus air conditioning. Phew!

Hungary for the new

Nanushka is the Hungarian brand behind the most photographed coat on Fashion Week showgoers, a lush puffer in soft vegan leather. The label is Reach certified (the EU standard for non-toxicity), leaving us free to enjoy the soft tailoring, in roomy shirts and so-stylish elongated trousers and skirts.

Nanushka's puffer jacket

‘You can even put the tailored pieces in the washing machine,’ London College of Fashion-trained founder Sandra Sandor told us at her a/w ’19 show. Nanushka’s mock-croc mules are probably high on lots of spring shopping lists, too.     

Saks and The City

Brand new L’Avenue restaurant at Saks Fifth Avenue is old-school elegant, with smart waiters, booths and upscale food including a $65 Dover sole, in line with the Parisian original.

The Dining room at L'Avenue

The all-day restaurant pitches Saks back into the golden age of department stores, so beautifully celebrated in Amazon’s series The Marvelous Mrs Maisel, fans of which will seize the chance for the formal dressing a visit will demand. Afterwards they can head to the designer shoe floor and snap up some fuchsia-pink Fendi Freedom satin crystal pumps.

Gold finger

Nail cages, finger cuffs and dangerous golden claws are what’s happening on some of the city’s coolest hands right now. L’Enchanteur in particular has it, er, nailed, with its transformative designs in gold and silver.

Midas Touch Finger Caps, from $185.00 Credit: L’Enchanteur

Twins Dynasty and Soull Ogun are native New Yorkers who founded the brand on a desire to transform their customers into powerful beings. A handful of their heavenly and strong signature pieces would do it for me if I had – oh, I don’t know… somebody else’s life.

In her own image

Frida in New York, 1946 by Nickolas Muray Credit: © Nickolas Muray Photo Archive. (Photo: Brooklyn Museum)

Find inspiration at Appearances Can Be Deceiving, spring’s big exhibition covering the life of Frida Kahlo, at the Brooklyn Museum. Following shows such as David Bowie Is, this intimate delve into Kahlo’s life and style goes beyond any previous exhibitions for sheer volume. After Kahlo’s death in 1954, much of her clothing and possessions were locked away, to be rediscovered in 2004. 

Until 18 May, brooklynmuseum.org

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