reasons to be cheerful, 2010 edition

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Reasons to be Cheerful

Overwhelmed by the start of a new decade? Relax. We’ve handpicked the best in art, music, food, and cartoon jewelry design to make your transition out of the aughts as painless as possible. With George Clooney, Jeff Koons, and Attila the Hun on the list of upcoming attractions, it could even be fun.
—Alison Baenen

Photo: Courtesy of Disney Consumer Products

Wear Me: Tom of Wonderland
Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland adaptation had the honor of being 2009’s most buzzed-about movie that didn’t actually come out in 2009. Such is the power of Disney and Depp. But the most intriguing news was that the Mouse House had enlisted sometime punk provocateur Tom Binns to create a jewelry line inspired by the children’s tale. (Spike Jonze’s Where the Wild Things Are—which boasted its own jewelry collection by Pamela Love and hairy monster suits at Opening Ceremony—appears to have set a precedent.) Somehow, we expect Binns’ broken-teacup necklace ($1,000 to $1,500) will be more of a hit among the Jane Hotel crowd than the See Jane Run set. The other film we hope the Cinema Society secures for a screening: rock-‘n’-roll photographer (and Control director) Anton Corbijn’s The American, a spy thriller starring old smoothy pants himself, George Clooney.

Alice in Wonderland opens in theaters March 5; The American is expected in theaters September 1.

Photo: Marcio Madeira

Chouette Shop

Moan all you want about the globalization of fashion. We couldn’t be more thrilled that a piece of Paris is landing in Soho next month. When we broke the news that Isabel Marant was opening her first stateside boutique in NYC—and heard it would carry jewelry, accessories, and pieces from her Étoile line in addition to the signature collection—we were tempted to camp out on the corner of Greene and Broome right then and there. One borough over, meanwhile, Brooklynites are chomping at the bit over rumors that a Barneys outpost may be headed to Cobble Hill. Neighborhood diehards will ask: Does Brooklyn need another chain? To which we answer, in this case, yes.

Isabel Marant, 55 Greene St., New York, opening February.

Photo: Courtesy of the Metropolitan Opera

Attila, the Fun
Watch out, Costume Institute—New York’s other Met, the one with the actual divas, is staging its own fashion spectacular this winter. The opera house, now officially under the auspices of Peter Gelb, has snagged some nontraditional heavyweight design talent for its production of Verdi’s Attila: Renowned architects Herzog & de Meuron will be on set design, while Mrs. Miuccia Prada is handling the costumes. As a first-time costumer, Prada brought unusual levels of advance hype to the show when she reportedly refused to clothe the Met’s non-sample-size extras. News outlets were shocked, though not so shocked that they won’t be lining up in droves on opening night.

Attila opens February 23 at the Metropolitan Opera, New York.

Photo: Marcio Madeira

Fast and Not So Loose
Short, tight, and covered in holes, Mark Fast’s sexy take on sweater dressing combines fashion’s continued craze for knitwear with fashion’s continued craze for lots of leg. After he sent a trio of plus-size models down his Spring 2010 runway, the 28-year-old Central Saint Martins grad gained a following (and lost an outraged stylist). Now that he’s scored a forthcoming line for Topshop, we imagine his erstwhile clothes-pegger wishes she’d stuck around. Need more high-low? Jean Paul Gaultier’s Designer Collaboration for Target lands on shelves March 7, Zac Posen’s Z Spoke line debuts at Saks this spring, and the New York designer’s Go International line for Target arrives April 25. Bargain hunters, ye shall not go (completely) naked.

Bonjour, Beck
A record by Serge Gainsbourg’s daughter produced by Mr. Odelay could reek of chic-ster overload. Who’s on drums? Carine Roitfeld? But IRM, Charlotte Gainsbourg’s new collaboration with Beck, has an unusual backstory. The album, which translates to “MRI” en anglais, is based on Gainsbourg’s many trips to the magnetic-resonance-imaging tunnel, a place she’s had to frequent since her 2007 brain hemorrhage. called the title track a “psychedelic mind meld” and gave it an 8 out of 10. Pair it with prep-ster foursome Vampire Weekend’s sophomore effort, Contra, which includes a track described by Rolling Stone as a “frenzied punk scramble.” It’s sure to make you wish you were sipping a horchata somewhere south of wherever you are.

IRM will be released January 26; Contra comes out January 12.

Photo: Courtesy of Chatwal

Get a Room
The great New York hotel-restaurant renaissance of 2009—see Le Caprice, the Breslin, etc.—looks set to continue this year. Opening sometime this spring, the Lambs Club in the Chatwal New York will put chef Geoffrey Zakarian just one Theater District block away from 44, the restaurant in the Royalton Hotel where he made his name during its late-eighties/early-nineties heyday. Still hungry? David Chang’s Má Pêche is serving breakfast and lunch at the Chambers Hotel, with full banh mi and honjozo-cocktail service coming soon. Downtown, dinner service at Café Gitane at the Jane starts tonight, January 4.

Photo: Lacey Terrell / Courtesy of HBO

If Chloë Sevigny’s prairie chic is part of what keeps us tuning into Big Love week after week, it’s fitting that the original beauty queen of the badlands—Sissy Spacek—will be guest-starring this season as a Washington lobbyist with a multi-episode arc. Spacek’s endorsement of the HBO drama, plus the Golden Globe noms it racked up this year—best drama television series, best-actor and -supporting-actress nods for Bill Paxton and Sevigny—means polygamy might finally get the respect it deserves.

Big Love, season 4, premieres Sunday, January 10, at 9 p.m. on HBO.

Photo: Nathan Branch

In Bed With Easton Ellis
Less Than Zero, Bret Easton Ellis’ debut novel, is getting a sequel. According to one “eastonellis” on Twitter, the first sentence of Imperial Bedrooms (like Zero, the title nods to an Elvis Costello composition) is: “They had made a movie about us.” Whether or not that turns out to be the case, it sounds appropriately meta. Bedrooms is likely to spawn a film adaptation, which raises the tantalizing possibility of Zero star Robert Downey Jr. reprising his role as a drug-hooked youth who’s now grown older and turned sober (see, we weren’t kidding when we said “meta”). In the meantime, add The Informers to your Netflix queue. A flawed but still underrated 2009 release based on Ellis’ 1994 book of short stories, it stars Mickey Rourke, Billy Bob Thornton, and Kim Basinger, alongside a plausibly conveyed sense of ennui and an awesome array of eighties haircuts. If you prefer to read your books and can’t wait till June for Bedrooms, there’s also The Unnamed, whiz lit kid Joshua Ferris’ follow-up to Then We Came to the End.

Imperial Bedrooms will be published June 15; The Unnamed hits shelves January 17.

Photo: Theo Wargo / WireImage

Your 2010 Late-Night Spot Revealed—Kind Of
The New York Daily News has insisted Paul Sevigny’s Beatrice Inn replacement, rumored to open this spring, will take over Civetta in Nolita or the Puck Building in Soho, while Page Six claims Sevigny—who may or may not be partnering with Rose Bar’s Nur Khan—is eyeing Noho real estate. In other words, those who know won’t tell, and those who tell won’t get past the door. Still, it’s worth waiting for the details. Sevigny—a hipster who sails, a DJ/club owner who hates e-mail—is one of New York nightlife’s few originals, and the Beatrice did as much to kill off the bottle-service ethos as the recession did.

Photos: ARS / ADAGP / Timothy Baum Col. (L); Man Ray Trust / ARS / ADAGP / Getty Museum / ICP (R)

Surreal and Real-Surreal
Following up its excellent Avedon exhibition last year, the International Center of Photography is mounting Twilight Visions: Surrealism, Photography, and Paris, a look at photography in the City of Light in the twenties and thirties. At the New Museum, contemporary-art lovers should find plenty to talk about when Jeff Koons curates a building-wide exhibition of Athens-based art collector Dakis Joannou’s impressive personal collection (which includes some Koonses, of course). It’s OK to pretend the third-floor gallery is your living room.

Twilight Visions: Surrealism, Photography, and Paris runs from January 29 to May 9 at the International Center of Photography, New York; The Imaginary Museum: Dakis Joannou Collection, curated by Jeff Koons, runs from March 3 to June 6 at the New Museum, New York.

Photo: Patrick Demarchelier / Condé Nast Archives

Seeing More of Your Favorite Models
Lara Stone isn’t the only model who’s taken stick for not adhering to the industry’s ridiculous stick-thin norm. After almost a year of being M.I.A. on the runway, Catherine McNeil became the subject of some unflattering rumors about weight gain. Well, while Stone’s career is in overdrive, McNeil’s is in serious comeback mode. The curvier-than-some model took a turn on this month’s Vogue Australia cover, looking blond, bronzed, and beautiful; and Patrick Demarchelier shot her in full-on yacht-chic regalia for a leggy spread in January’s British Vogue. If McNeil, Stone, and Gemma Ward—another reemerging catwalker dealing with negative body-image hype—were the new prototypes for healthier-looking models, we’d be much relieved. For now, there’s always Crystal Renn.

Photo: Courtesy of Quirk Books

Zombies, the New Vampires?
With Daybreakers, starring Ethan Hawke, out this week and Eclipse, the next installment in the Twilight saga, due in June, vampires still have their fangs sunk firmly into the throat of pop culture. But we can’t help thinking the whole bloodsucker thing is a little 2009. Who will fill the undead void? Zombies. Natalie Portman has signed on to play Elizabeth Bennet in the movie of Seth Grahame-Smith’s Jane Austen mash-up Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Diablo Cody, meanwhile, is taking S.G. Browne’s Breathers: A Zombie’s Lament to the big screen. No word on casting, but we’d love to see Megan Fox (who starred in Cody’s first foray into true gore, Jennifer’s Body) go head to head with Portman in a living-dead box-office showdown sometime in 2011.