City Pulse

By Amber Roniger

Oooooo, you are so gonna love this fab new centre du pampering on the Mad Ave I have for you! The NAO SALON + SPA opened just last week, how’s that for speedy chic delivery? Are you caveling? Nao, already a hairstylist rock-star in Tokyo and London, is spanking new to the States. But across the Pond, Nao’s style sanctuary sensation has been evolving over the last 30 years, ever since his father started a simple barbershop that bloomed into an international fashion leader in cutting-edge hair design. This salon ees lush, like Gucci-sushi and spice, and everything nice.

If you’re anything like me, I know all you femmy-felines have suffered at least one indignity at the hands of a hairstylist. Honestly, I’m secretly terrified at the prospect of leaving all the styling decisions to Nao (will I land up looking like some exaggerated anime heroine?). But I decide to trust him and let him go to town on my crown. And true to reputation, Nao turns out to be a hairstyle psychic, reading my hair aura exactly and creating the perfect do for me. He totally got my funky, no-hassle needs without my having a say a word. And I left the place smiling from perfectly shorn ear-to-ear, completely hep on my new do and the first-rate service. Thank God there was no repeat performance of winged-feathers from the 80’s, SuperCuts nightmares from the 90’s, and the suburban-housewife-misguidedly-layered-hairdon’t in the new millennium. Yes, I’ve been scarred by these hideous misadventures. I was a bit of a haircut-a-phobic, but now thanks to Nao, I’ve discarded my old phobia.

After experiencing Nao’s luxe personalized hair service (and killer head massage, thank you shampoo lady!), I’m dying to get the Signature Facial and other oxygen treatments (full menu of services at: www.naonewyork.com). Also, to try the newest spa treatments from Japan, which detoxify and slim, create radiance and release stress in most unusual ways. So join me, the Mad Ave’s newest hairess, at Nao and get spoiled silly by a team of A-list stylists, colorists and make-up artists. Now I understand why Demi flies everywhere with her personal style entourage. It is sooo worth the extra stress for extra-stylie tresses!

NAO SALON + SPA
609 Madison Avenue (at 57th St.)
(212) 752-1111
www.naonewyork.com

Anglo Mania!
By Alisa Leonard

All this drizzly spring weather has me sporting my green Wellington’s…which only remind me of my favorite place outside of NYC and that’s merry ‘ole England. Oh god I love it there– Go Man U! Bangers ‘n mash…oh and who doesn’t adore those bobbies’ uniforms? I am, you see, a misplaced ex-pat who loves her Harrod’s and Camden thrift and antiquing in Bath. Ah yes, with London calling ever so loudly, and no time for a hop across the pond to satiate my current hankering for a trip to Justin Kara on Portabello Road, I tromped my Burberry and Wellies-clad self over to the MET for a dose of “Anglo Mania.”

The Anglo Mania exhibit is, well, fabulous to say the least and has “Anna Wintour” written all over it. The Conde Nast and Burberry sponsered affair is tattooed with Brit-vogue splendor and haute British fashion….you will simply drool over the Alexander McQeueen offerings, not to mention the gorgeous designs of Burberry, John Guilliano for Dior, Stella McCartney, Vivienne Westwood, Paul Smith, and a host of antique and estate-pilfered frocks that look something of an Alice in Wonderland tea-room fantasy.

So this is my suggestion: start with High Tea at High Chai (Amber wrote about this favorite spot of mine in your last e-blast) to get into the mood, then mosey on up to the MET. The exhibit space itself is like walking right into The Manor house of (fill 3-part name of English village here)…the theme is “Tradition and Transgression,” and indeed the whole thing is like hoity-toity, Knightsbridge toff meets East End punk with elements of England’s subversive, Victorian-era opium den and brothel house decor that are none too subtle. Don’t miss “The Hunt,” a modern twist on said English tradition, featuring a most killer collection of Burberry apparel including a lavender silk gown that’s to die. Oh but my absolute favorites are a rivetting black gown, “The Raven” by John Guilliano, and the punk’s ball which is only the most genius representation of ’70’s haute-punk a la Eastenders ever. Needless to say my visit did much to appease my need for tartan and Union Jack….but also invariabley insured that I would need to be seeing the runway lights at Heathrow, pronto. So cheerio and all that….get thyself to the MET!

Originally published May 2006
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