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Gucci Gets Glam ... Again

Swell set swarms opening of the new Gucci Boutique

Spanish Coffee Recipe from Absinthe

This hot drink from Absinthe is a pyrotechnic showstopper. Serves 1

Sugar for coating rim of glass
1 ounce 151-proof rum
ground cinnamon (preferably in a shakable container)
4 ounces hot coffee
1/2 ounce Kahlúa
1/2 ounce brandy
whipped cream

Coat the rim of a wineglass with sugar, and pour the rum into the glass. Using a lighter, ignite the rum. Being careful not to tip the rim of the glass toward the ground, twist the glass in your fingers and sprinkle the fire with cinnamon. (Be careful: This will generate some large bursts of fire!) When sugar is caramelized around the rim of the glass, put the fire out by pouring coffee into the glass. Finish with Kahlúa and brandy, and top with whipped cream.

Andre 3000 On His Benjamin Bixby Line, Steely Dan and Increasing Your Style Quotient



If you were thinking right about now that seemingly every celebrity—and his mother—has caught Project Runway fever, you’d be right. The story usually goes: Celebrity has zero design background. Celebrity is approached by investors to slap his name on a clothing label executed by a team of designers. And said celebrity is dubbed over night a celebrity/designer.

Andre Benjamin is all too familiar with that scenario. Years ago, the entertainer— more widely known as one half of the hip-hop duo OutKast—signed a licensing deal with investors to launch an OutKast clothing line, which made a chunk of change, but admittedly had little to do with Benjamin’s vision. “I learned quickly that unless you’re putting the money up for it, your sign-off doesn’t mean anything because they send you things a day after it’s too late to change anything,” Benjamin recalls. “I knew from that point on, I wanted to make clothes that I could really stand behind and understand.”

A style icon in his own right, Benjamin has since recently launched his namesake menswear line, Benjamin Bixby, a moniker referencing Benjamin’s fashion design alter ego, and a deliberate departure from his identity as a musician. The line is completely self-funded, and the rugged-meets-clean cut pieces, sketched by Benjamin himself, have clear references to 1930s collegiate prep. I sat down with Benjamin last night, just before 7x7’s private party hosted in his honor at Bloomingdale’s, where he put on his designer hat and let us in on some of his fashion insight.

Gala Season Shopping: Where to go for the perfect party dress

One of the most common questions I get right around this time—the calm before the gala season storm—is “Where should I go shopping in San Francisco for a party dress?” And with all the back-to-back events that hit in September and October, the ladies are typically looking to avoid the horror of all fashion horrors: the dreaded McFrock that shows up all over town on every other gal the same night. Other than the usual department store suspects, where else can you shop on short notice for that next formal affair?

Eater's Deathwatch is Dead (for now)

I’m a fan of Eater—for the record, I often find it’ssnarky-lite tone quite entertaining (I’m sure I will retract this when Paolo,the editor, starts poking fun at my overuse of the phrase “for the record” likehe did with SF Weekly’s Merideth Brody’s “enticing”—butI’ve never been a fan of their Deathwatch column, which encourages readers tonominate restaurants they deem doomed. They’ve put Avenue G, Yoshi’s and Senson this watch.

 

Eco-Friendly Wooden Postcards from Night Owl Paper Goods

Sending a good old-fashioned note in the mail is so unusual in this time of e-mailing, instant messaging, texting and online social networking. But I still like to send notes and am particularly fond of the postcard (bonus: no wasteful envelope).

I discovered products from Night Owl Paper Goods at an event with eco-friendly merchants and fell instantly for the postcards made of sustainably harvested yellow birch with sweet and simple designs of birds, flowers and butterflies (pictured). I bought a couple but they sat on my desk, where I admired the designs for a while—then I finally went ahead and framed them. Now I plan to go with my original intention of sending them by buying a few more.

Don't Be Scared

The SF Film Society U.S. premiere of Robert Mailer Anderson's

Days before Halloween, the U.S. premiere of Pig Hunt (created by director Jim Isaac, co-writers Robert Mailer Anderson and his cousin, Zack Anderson, executive producer Nicola Miner) received its SF Film Society debut at the Clay Theatre.

7 Questions with Wall-E Director Andrew Stanton

Andrew Stanton is the man behind Wall-E, the animated apocalyptic tale about the last robot on earth. From the Oscar-winning director who also brought us Finding Nemo, in my opinion, this is his most brilliant work yet. I recently met up with Stanton at Pixar headquarters for another exciting installment of Seven Questions.

What do you hope audience members will take from Wall-E?
Andrew Stanton: I hope they are just as entertained as with other Pixar movie experiences but in a fresh, new way.

Moby, Talib Kweli, Ashley Judd Appear in Oakland Musician's Documentary on the Slave Trade

Oakland musician turned documentarian Justin Dillon has always used his guitar like an AK-47 (see Love is the Greatest Revenge). Now he's using it like a video camera for a rockumentary with a cause—Call + Response. After learning about atrocities in Russia while traveling with his band, Tremolo, Dillon decided to embark on a life journey to eradicate the slave trade.

Thrift Shopping Tips

Some people find shopping at thrift stores to be an arduous task. I’ll admit that several years ago I used to think the same. I would usually emerge from a Goodwill store empty handed, feeling defeated and worried that I had picked up the lingering scent of mothballs during my unsuccessful hunt. Soon I realized that the problem wasn’t the stores I was visiting—it was me! My theory is that in order to hit the thrift store jackpot, you need to be shopping with an open, creative mind, lots of free time and even more patience.

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