The T Checklist: 5 Issues We Suggest This Week

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In the heart of Kyoto is Nijo Castle, which served as the seat of the Japanese Empire. Across the street is an estate that for centuries had a different type of dynasty, that of the Mitsui family, which was long occupied by prominent businessmen. The property will be open to the public in the form of the 161-room Mitsui Kyoto Hotel next month. With two restaurants run by respected chefs – Tetsuya Asano, formerly L’Espadon at the Ritz Paris, and Shozo Sugano – it offers diners an undoubtedly sumptuous experience, but the idea was to keep a homely feel. Tenants enter the restored Kajiimiya Gate, built during the Genroku era (1688-1704), and can take part in the morning meditation in the family’s former drawing room, the walls of which are lined with hinoki cypress trees and overlook the garden pool and offer the weeping cherry tree. The bedrooms are modeled on traditional Japanese tea rooms, with birch wood floors and soft, low furniture. Further relaxation, possibly after a private tour of Nijo Castle, can be done in the hotel’s underground onsen. Room rates start at around $ 875 per night, 284 Nijoaburanokoji-cho, Aburano-koji St. Nijo-sagaru, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto, Japan, hotelthemitsui.com

Camilla Pecci-Blunt was born in Paris in 1925 and was the youngest child (along with her twin Graziella) of a wealthy and aristocratic Italian-American family. From a young age, she picked up a camera and began taking photos at the various events she was invited to, including lunch at Villa Reale di Marlia, the Pecci-Blunt estate in Lucca, Italy, and the wedding between Fiat chairman Gianni Agnelli and Princess Marella Caracciolo di Castagneto. Desiring a less conventional existence, Camilla eventually married, much to her family’s dissatisfaction, at 37, a handsome and charismatic American from Wisconsin named Earl McGrath, who was six years her junior. Together, the couple began a glamorous life between film, rock and roll and art that included dinners, parties, after parties, weddings and vacations with Mick Jagger, Joan Didion and Audrey Hepburn. Jacqueline Kennedy, Andy Warhol, Cy Twombly, Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, Sonny Mehta, Anjelica Huston and many others. At any given moment, McGrath was never without her camera (first a Roliflex, then from the 1960s a Nikon). McGrath died in 2007, but her carefully organized photographs are finally being published by Knopf in Face to Face this month, with accompanying essays by the couple’s friends: Fran Lebowitz, Harrison Ford, Griffin Dunne, Vincent Fremont and Jann Wenner (as and an introduction the journalist Andrea di Robilant). Since McGrath’s photographs were never used for any type of publicity (and her subjects were her family and friends), they have a wonderful sense of openness and intimacy which, taken as a whole, capture an incredibly fulfilling and joyful life. $ 75; penguinrandomhouse.com.

In contrast to the ballet itself, the origin of the ballerina is imprecise. However, we do know that in the 1940s, American dancewear maker Capezio was commissioned by popular sportswear designer Claire McCardell to create a collection of ballerinas to transform the petite-looking dance shoe into an everyday style. Not too long after that, in 1956, the French ballet clothing company Repetto designed a pair of apartments for Brigitte Bardot. Since then, fashion has been very attached to this simple accessory that is elegant and practical at the same time. Recently, a handful of designers have found ways to update the wardrobe yet again. For her latest collection, inspired by Ireland’s remote Aran Islands, Simone Rocha mixed up beads, tweed, seashells and necklaces in a variety of pieces, including a cream-colored Mary Jane faux fur with a strand of faux pearls that extends across the toe line. Loewe produced a soft, shallow throat made of leather that was adorned with an oversized, flower-like pearl brooch. Meanwhile, Maison Margiela has updated its famous tabi (the Japanese split-toe style) shoe with metallic spray paint. And Gucci mixed gold and silver hardware with a youthful floral print and pointy toes. While heels probably won’t find much use when we head into another season of social distancing, a lively apartment is always useful and can even add a feather to your crotch.

Amid the ups and downs of the upscale cuisine of the Covid era, Chef Jeremy Chan of the pan-continental London restaurant Ikoyi had to adapt. Known for its hyper-seasonal tasting menu, Chan introduced easy-to-use a la carte options like fried chicken this summer. “I wanted to reach new audiences while expanding our cover,” says Chan, a detail-obsessed Princeton graduate who was born and raised in the north of England. But the recently imposed curfew at 10 p.m. by the city restricted Chan’s format for choosing his own adventure. “We’d have half the restaurant doing the tasting menu and the other a la carte orders and two hours to do it,” he says. After some consideration, he and his five-person kitchen have re-prioritized the Prix Fixe so that flexible orders are only possible before 6 p.m. Those who don’t want to eat before sunset should know that the revamped à la carte program serves as a kind of hit role in Chan’s year of experimenting à la carte: One example is Ikyoki’s creamed spinach – a new exclusive early bird and dark horse -Favorite of Chan. “I’m obsessed with it,” he says of the updated classic – a blend of naturally salty Japanese spinach, brown butter and garlic confit, mascarpone, and “crystal clear” mushroom oil, served with caramelized veal nuggets with caviar. “It’s a very pure dish and I think it will stay on the menu for a long time.” 1 St. James’s Market, St. James’s, London; ikoyilondon.com.

Stylist and designer Colin King is known for creating low-key but atmospheric interiors that may above all feel calm. And by his own account, he was nervous about using color in his work for a long time. “It’s very abstract,” he says, “every color has many properties – and then you put furniture on it.” But when the textile company Beni Rugs invited him to work on a collection of them With thick hand-knotted flooring, he took the opportunity to experiment with a palette that was more vibrant than his signature whimsy grays and whites – one that was partly inspired by a trip he made last year with the brand’s founders, Robert Wright and, to Morocco, Tiberio undertook Lobo-Navia. The 11 designs released this month, ranging from striped compositions of ocher, eggplant, and navy to criss-crossing fields of terracotta and vermilion, are all custom-made by artisans in the Atlas Mountains who cover every step of the process, including rearing Sheep for wool and dyeing and weaving of the yarn, entirely by hand. But if the burnt oranges and earthy yellows of the carpets are reminiscent of the landscapes of their home country, the impressive juxtaposition of the collection is due to a source closer to King: the work of the American Abstract Expressionists Barnett Newman, Mark Rothko and Clyfford Still. Her images, which the designer was always drawn to, inspired him to soften the collection’s warmer, sunburned hues with a range of deep, deep blue tones. “I ended up adding more colors,” he explains, to his own surprise, “but I think I’ve created a spectrum that feels calm in a different way.” From $ 545, benirugs.com

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