Mr Blasberg
4:19 pm

NEW YEAR’S EVE AT AN OLD HANGOUT: ST. BART’S

08/01/2014, Derek of the Day, Fast + Louche

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Paul McCartney was sat next to a friend of mine at lunch over the holidays and said to her how thankful he is every single time he finds himself on the island of St Bart’s. And further, any idiot who complains about being there, which was the in thing to do for awhile, was a wanker. So, who am I to argue with a Beatle?

Yes, I ended up in St. Bart’s again this year. I wasn’t sure I would, and I’m certainly not complaining about it. But I spent some time wondering if I should try something new. Palm Beach? Aspen? Los Angeles? New Year’s Eve is a good time to get away in fashion because, well, everyone takes off. It’s hard to work, even if you want to. And after nearly half a decade going to the same place, I debating a change of scenery. Then, when I was in St. Louis for Christmas, I realized: If it’s not baroque, don’t fix it.

Like McCartney said, St. Bart’s is heaven. The island is small, the weather is wondrous, the food deliciously European, and the surf is beautiful. (But, spoiler alert: Ain’t nothing cheap on this island.) My favorite thing to do on St. Bart’s is what my friend Dr. Samantha Boardman, she of the website Positive Prescription, and I call The Hike. It starts behind her house on Flamands Beach and twists and turns through the cliffs and mountains behind Colombier Beach, which is arguably one of the most magical places anywhere. One of the highlights of this particular trip was a drive over to a new venue on the other side of the island for a new hike. It’s a place called Grand Fond, and it reminds me of where poets in Ancient Greece would have imagined the sirens would sing. The coast was jagged, rocks shooting out and the waves crashing out and creating giant sprays and temporarily tepid pools. One of the formations has been unofficially labeled as The Wash Machine because the tide continuously beats against it. The merciless power and beauty of nature, in full effect.

This was a more sedate New Year’s bash. (In years past, Roman Abramovic would host a lavish bash that would have the Black Eyed Peas, or Gwen Stefani, or Kings of Leon perform.) This time, Tico Mugrabi and Mike Fuchs did a dinner at Taiwanna, which was revved up when McCartney did an impromptu countdown at midnight. For me, the next few hours were a bit of a blur. I know we went to see Jimmy Buffet sing Margaritaville in town, and I did dance with some new friends at a nightclub. But still, the next day I did The Hike.

This season, I had some marvelous brushes with transportation devices. There was a Mini Cooper that I borrowed from a friend, and left outside, top down, during a downpour. (It was towed away. The way I told my friend: Do you want the good news or the bad news first? The good news is that I didn’t drown. The bad news is that your car did.) And then there was the Waverunner that nearly drowned me. After growing up on the Lake of the Ozarks, I thought I had mastered those things. But they ain’t got waves in Missouri like the do in the Caribbean. Found that out the hard way.

Toward the end of the stay, when my jeans were getting a bit tighter, I realized I needed to step up my athletic game. My friend Dasha took me paddleboarding, which I didn’t excel at. (Scroll down for proof.) But something I was better at was kicking the ball around with some of her Russian friends at the stadium on the island. I realized, though, that Russians don’t mess around when it comes to football.

The holidays ended and it was a rough reentry to the real world. Because, as anyone who lives above the Bible Belt and West of the Rockies can tell you, America is in the Polar Vortex. So, here I sit at my kitchen table, pouring through my pictures from paradise. The sea and the sun seem like they are so close, but also so far. Happy new year!

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Captions, from top: The view from Grand Fond; my room had hooks where I’d hang my white jeans and pink pants because I knew I’d have to put them at the back of the closet when I came back to New York; me and Marc on New Year’s Eve; the fireworks outside the Rosen’s house; French Vanity Fair’s Virginie Mouzat, Jean Pegozzi and Katie Lee; Paul McCartney takes the mic for the New Year’s Even countdown; the Brant Brothers, now official staples of St. Bart’s; Gabi and Charlie Rosen with their lady friends Roni and Gabriella; Peggy Seigel and Samantha; Vito Schnabel and Alberto Mugrabi on the puddle jumper; Russian Christmas; me and Dasha in a Mini Cooper I nearly ruined; a Jetski that nearly ruined me; a daily reminder that I was lucky to be avoiding the Polar Vortex, if only temporarily; a field on the Grand Fond side of St. Bart’s; Jessica and Samantha on the top of Grand Fond; some of the rocks on the bottom of the cliff; my feeble attempt at paddleboarding; the view from atop The Hike; Dasha on the pitch; Dasha and I after our football match, looking wore down yet rugged.

8:00 am

A REAL SLIDE SHOE: MY BELOVED SUMMER SANDAL

31/08/2013, Derek of the Day, General

I’ve never hard such a response to a pair of sandals. The simple, three-stripe, navy blue Adidas flip flops I ordered on Amazon in the spring as my go to summer footwear had quite a reaction on my social media. And the comments ran the gamut. Some said they were ugly, passé, skewing too grunge; others said they were chic, classic, comfortable.

For me, they’re all of that and so much more. The sandals are most importantly extremely nostalgic. In case I needed to remind my dear reader, I fancy myself a closeted jock (remember when I played soccer on the V team?) and these were the sandals that I wore to countless games and tournaments when I lived back in Missouri. Nowadays, these sandals are probably the only thing that both me and my brother, an accountant who lives in Texas, both have in our wardrobes. And, if I may be so bold, these little pieces of plastic go with everything: With jeans and a T-shirt, with a bathing suit, with khaki trousers and a button down. I’ve worn them to cocktail parties and spin classes. Well, to be honest, maybe I’ve worn them too much. (Not that the people at Another Magazine would agree with me. They love them too.

Finally, these bad boys are a little bit of gender equality. Remember the fuzzy, fur lined sandals that Phoebe Philo did at Celine? Why can the chicks get by with a comfortable and stylish slide? So, these are the mens version. And so much cheaper.

 

10:00 am

Natasha At Night

26/01/2012, Derek of the Day

Natasha Poly on the roof of the Standard Hotel in New York City after the Met gala on May 4th, 2010.

10:00 am

Some Very Nice Nuptials

25/01/2012, Derek of the Day

Mother-of-the-bride Andrea Dellal with designer Giambattista Valli and the bride, wearing a costume made Valli dress, Charlotte Dellal at her wedding in the English countryside on May 30th, 2010.

9:30 am

A Very Fabulous Fabiola

23/01/2012, Derek of the Day

Fabiola Beracasa at The Box in New York City for Jason Beckman’s 30th birthday party on December 15h, 2006.

9:30 am

Three Amigos in Mexico

19/01/2012, Derek of the Day

The Three (Devastatingly Handsome) Amigos: Nicolas Malleville, James Penfold and Robert Konjic in Tullum, Mexico, on February 16th, 2008.

9:30 am

The Modern Masked Beauties

18/01/2012, Derek of the Day

Vladimir Roitfeld and Giovanna Battaglia at the Save Venice gala at the Plaza Hotel in New York City on March 28th, 2011.

9:00 am

They’ll Tri Anything Once

17/01/2012, Derek of the Day

Bobby Kennedy and Lyle Maltz in Central Park after completing the New York City Triathlon on July 21st, 2010.

10:00 am

Two Chelsea Girls

13/01/2012, Derek of the Day

Jacquetta Wheeler and Amy Sacco outside of what was at the time Bette restaurant on October 30th, 2007.

10:00 am

A Windy Night In Miami

12/01/2012, Derek of the Day

The vegan chef Arden Wohl on the roof of the Raleigh Hotel on December 5th, 2006, during the Art Basel festivities in Miami Beach, Florida.