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Kate Spade, by any other name

In 2013, Tiffany & Co. celebrated Baz Luhrmann’s new film version of “The Great Gatsby” with a day of events that concluded with a Roaring ’20s-style party at the Fifth Avenue flagship. I swanned through the night in a black column dress that was accented mainly by a Kate Spade necklace of green turquoise florets. Throughout the evening, several people stopped me – this was at Tiffany’s, remember – to say what a great necklace it was.

That was the Kate Spade effect. Whether it was with a statement necklace or a book with an inspirational saying or one of her signature vibrant handbags that marked a young woman’s coming of age and defined a generation in the good-times ’90s, Spade had a way of lifting you up. That she could not do the same for herself proved to be her tragedy. …

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Viva, Uribe

Recently, I had the pleasure of writing an essay for a new monograph on the contemporary Colombian artist Federico Uribe – whose haunting mixed-media paintings and sculptures draw on a difficult childhood, his complex relationship with Roman Catholicism and the violence of his homeland to explore issues of sex/gender, passion and the body, among others. Now the book is set to be released. ...

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Beauty in the ‘Beast’

A shoutout to the new film version of “Beauty and the Beast,” which proves you can build on previous iterations and make something that is related but individual.

Of the three Walt Disney versions using Alan Menken’s score – which also include an acclaimed animated movie and a Broadway musical – this latest interpretation is by far the most adult (although kids will still enjoy it). ...

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Up on the (USTA) roof

In my novel “Water Music” – the first in my series “The Games Men Play” – the tennis-playing protagonists fall in love before a US Open final that they assume will be rained out.

That is no longer a plot option.

On Tuesday, the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Queens, N.Y. unveiled the new retractable roof for its Arthur Ashe Stadium. And while not everything went off without a hitch, more than 200 invited sponsors, staffers and members of the press seemed most impressed with what is nothing short of an engineering Grand Slam.

“Oh, oh, did I feel rain?” Katrina Adams, chairman of the board and president of the White Plains-based United States Tennis Association, teased under sunny skies. “Well, guess what? It doesn’t matter now. A plan more than 10 years in the making literally comes to a close today before our eyes.” ...

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