Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Old Money In The East Village

I have a soft spot for the New York Post. I know that it is not exactly the paper of record, but the headlines make me laugh (my favorite cover was during Heather Mills and Paul McCartney's divorce, with a picture of Heather Mills scowling accompanied by the headline "Hopping Mad"), and I can always get through the Sunday paper (not necessarily true of the New York Times).

And in this blissfully digestible sunday paper is a feature that I look forward to every week: "My New York". This is a chance for major and minor celebs alike to give the readers of the Post their ten or so favorite spots in the City. Now some of them are sort of like Gwyneth Paltrow's restaurant recommendations: good but completely obvious. I mean Central Park is great, but as the largest continuous swath of land in Manhattan, it is not exactly a hidden secret.

But occasionally you get some gems, like Helena Christiansen's "My New York". Now I already have a minor Helena obsession going. I ran into her coming out of the door of C.O. Bigelow a couple of years ago and was blown away not only by her beauty but by her innate coolness. Then I checked out her store Butik , which was full of fabulously unique clothing and effortlessly hip knickknacks, and fell a little more in love. Plus I covet her bangs.

So when she recommended John Derian as a must see shop, I made a mental note to check it out when I was in the East Village next.

This past weekend I found myself mere blocks from the shop, so I ducked out of the dark, snowy afternoon into the soft, vintagey light of John Derian's world (a world I would very much like to live in by the way).

I was met with tables and tables of decoupage plates and platters. The images were fantastic. Botancial illustrations, giant bugs, bats, but my favorite was an excerpt from a letter on a blank background: "I must insist that you return my trinkets. This is your last chance." I think that would be perfect as a mail tray, and had to seriously restrain myself from buying it on the spot.

And as I poked farther back into the store I found lamps to fall in love with (my favorite was unfortunately $695), dishes,

flatware, objets,

hanging lights, moroccan poufs, the best smelling candles in the world (I believe they were made by Astier de Villate), and a phenomenal collection of brushes...for cleaning, I guess.

Everything in the store was ostensibly classic, but at second glance had some sort of edgy twist to it. You had the feeling that one of those slightly faded but pleasingly eccentric old money families would have a big old heap of a house filled with everything in the shop. And as I have a secret wish to be a rich eccentric I also have a not-so-secret wish to own everything that John Derian sells. As will you, I daresay.


Terry B said...

I think you've got the eccentric part nailed, Laura. Just need to work on the rich part. Me too, sadly. What a lovely shop!

Laura said...

Ha! I would agree...

Pigtown-Design said...

Doesn't this place rock! I hope you also went to his little antique shop a few doors up (or down) from the main store.

Laura said...

No! I didn't even see it. Thanks so much for the recommendation, I'm heading there this weekend.

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