A passion for food + fashion

Posts Tagged ‘billy fong’

Uncle Sam Wants You, Foodinista!

In Fashion on September 23, 2010 at 2:19 pm

I am unapologetically in an army green phase, thanks to my friend Billy, who gifted me with this lovely camo bag earlier this summer from the Army Navy Surplus store on Vine in Hollywood. At $20, a STEAL considering Prada’s $1,120 version at Barneys. And I like mine better. Those-in-the-know have come to recognize this as the Billy Bag. Originally we dressed it up with an orange Hermes twilly, but then I found this old Chanel camellia kicking around in my closet. Ditto on an old favorite Marc Jacobs trompe l’oeil jacket in army green with cream pinstriping. I wore it to a meeting at Tiny G’s preschool yesterday and I love it today as much as I did back in 2003, when it came home for the very first time!

As I packed for a weekend getaway at the Ace last weekend, I noticed that army green was holding strong with my old-lady Chloe prescription sunglasses (PS – don’t ever get prescription lenses put in a frame this large—they are unbearably heavy to wear after a couple hours), a fabby new shade of Chanel Khaki Vert nail polish and a favorite Erès bikini, which is more of a mushroom color really but it wanted to tag along. Who knew that Billy, who was also in Palm Springs this past weekend for a friend’s birthday party, would surprise me with a $3 gun-print bandana from the Army Navy Surplus in Atlanta, GA??

Postcards from Billy

In Fashion on August 8, 2010 at 2:50 pm

For the newly initiated, POSTCARDS is recurring feature with fashion advice from my dear friend Billy, an art consultant with a wicked eye and even wickeder wardrobe. In this edition, Billy takes us shopping for fall before packing his monogrammed bags for the East Coast….

Postcard From Your Time Zone

Dearest Foodinista,

I am getting ready to depart your fabulous little hamlet. As you know I arrived a month ago for the Getty’s Museum Leadership Institute and have been happily ensconced in Scholar Housing in Brentwood. Thank God the June gloom that was hanging on when I first arrived was not an indicator of what was to come. The whole month ended up being glorious weather—how can you beat a city that is perpetually between 62 and 68 degrees? It even got cool enough on some evenings for a chic little cashmere cardigan.

I went with all good intentions to stay focused and studious, but alas reverted back to former left coast and indulged in the deadliest of vices—shopping with you. Our morning shopping trip with pre-launch Prosecco and omelets at Barney Greengrass led to the opening of the flood gates. During the entire month I scored: perforated white Gucci loafers with contrasting blue grosgrain under the toggle (how I went this long without these I’ll never know),  preppy brown Prada loafers, brown Prada sneakers (I decided with the amount of eating that I was doing that I needed to feign some sort of exercise this trip), incredibly chic Theory army green Bermuda shorts and a fur trapper hat from the wonderful Army/Navy store on the corner of Santa Monica and Vine (where I got your “Billy bag” camo tote).  I got some belated birthday gifts, all from Fred Segal (how L.A. of my West Coast friends), including a nifty white rubber Nixon watch and an amazing pair of blue pants with a red and white stripe down the side that were Franklin + Gower exclusively for Ron Robinson/Fred Segal. [FOODINISTA NOTE: How fun! Franklin + Gower is designed by the husband of my cooking club amiga Sally Horchow!]

My most priceless gift was a painting from my dear friend, Annie Wharton.  I was so happy that you got to visit her wonderful gallery in Chinatown, The Company.


Oh, how I miss the Left Coast.  Each weekend I rented a convertible and popped in my 80s soundtrack.  Cruising around Chinatown and Hancock Park with Icicle Works Whisper To A Scream and Bran Van 3000’s Drinking in L.A. made me feel like I was in my twenties again hanging with the Leo and his posse and the Dawson’s Creek gang.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for throwing me that fabulous going away party.  Your home is MTV Cribs worthy and I am loving the renovated garage, in gorgeous shades of fuschia and gray, which is now serving as your retreat. Also, who knew that apparently your father should be my style icon? We both seem to have a prediliction for pairing Bermudas with knee high socks and loafers. The pic of him in front of the Taj Mahal was über chic.

So, on to some wardrobe suggestions for you and the other girls in my life.  I am anxiously awaiting the September issues to find some real inspiration, but thankfully I have seen quite a few things that are worth purchasing—some are investments and others are cheap thrills (we are still in a recession, aren’t we)?

As you know, I often rummage through the offerings in the boys department at Brooks Brothers.  I love Thom Browne’s Black Fleece line, but come on – shrunken blazers for $800 when you can just buy one in the boys section for $100?  That said, some of the items in the girls department are quite playful and definitely less serious than what is on display in the mothers area.

This little cashmere intarsia crewneck sweater is too adorable and references the seminal Lisa Birnbaum Preppy Handbook. It could also be mistaken for Chanel (even better when spending this token amount).

The cut of this blazer-inspired dress seems almost European and edgy.  I would pair it with some knee high chocolate brown boots, dark gray wool tights and your Billy camo bag/tote for Fall.

Louis Vuitton military coat with cap sleeves.  OMG – time to sacrifice little G’s college fund and invest in this piece for your wardrobe.  Who cares if it would rarely be appropriate based on California weather, just sit around your house with the air conditioning blasting.

Everyone must have at least one pair of little kitten heels this Fall.  My fave is the Prada bow version in black/Bordeaux or beige/chocolate.

For super cheapy thrills hit Forever XXI and score some of their jewelry.  Buy all of their owl pieces and definitely this peacock bib necklace (only $10).

Well, I am already missing you terribly.  Think of me when you are shopping along Rodeo or hitting the Bev Center.  Rock it out with some Prince, circa the Purple Rain years. Can’t get enough of Take Me With You.

XXX Billy

The Billy Bag

In Fashion on August 4, 2010 at 12:59 pm

What is this terribly chic bag, you ask? “Is it Helmet Lang?” a salesperson at Barneys desperately wanted to know. Is it from Alexander McQueen’s camo collection? guessed another.

It is not.

I’ve dubbed this totally glam piece “The Billy Bag.” This past Saturday on his last night in town, my dear friend Billy Fong brought me this beloved parting gift. Who else would think to purchase a camouflage tote for about $20 at a nearby Army Navy Surplus store and accessorize it with an Hermès twilly plucked from my closet? Thank you, Billy, for keeping the folks at Barneys guessing and for glamming up my wardrobe. You would not believe how many complements I’ve gotten on my new Billy Bag—the elusive must-have accessory for fall!

Postcards from Billy: 40th Birthday Recap

In Fashion on July 5, 2010 at 9:15 am

Ballroom champion Anna Trull with birthday boy Billy Fong at the Mansion on Turtle Creek, Dallas

Dearest Foodinista,

Lordy, lordy I’m 40. I had stressed for months leading up to the birthday weekend that I would turn in to some awful bride who spends the whole time stressing about inconsequential details and thankfully that did not occur. Thanks in large part to the fact that everyone got along so well (hey, I’m selfish as hell and chose the inner circle well).  I am so happy that you met everyone and especially Miss Brooke Hortenstine. Did I not say in advance, the two of you were separated at birth – effortlessly stylish girls who work in the fashion trade, but have never drank the Kool-Aid. Also, the minute you started talking about L.L. Cool J and she brought up TI, well I was so happy to be a fly on that wall.

Every moment of this weekend was a perfect mix of high and low (you know me, I like to mix up Le Cirque with some trashy hustler bar). Christen and Derek Wilson were so sweet to arrange for two caregivers (she kept texting me before we got there – “take your time, we got two nannies ready for any child emergencies”).  Pool time was incredibly chic and I was so happy that I had lost 4 lbs before I got to Dallas – love, love your uber-stylized Facebook pics which began with a poolside table with Vogue, cell phones, cigs and overflowing ashtrays.

The Mansion, of course, did not fail to live up to expectations. What were your favorite outfits of the weekend?Anna Trull, ballroom dancing champion, looked flawless with her bob hairdo and touch-the-sky false eyelashes.  I’m sad you missed my final outfit – slim fitting khaki shorts with Psycho Bunny (with the requisite bunny) argyle knee socks, Hermes belt and prep school white Brooks Brothers button-up oxford.  The mix of music was so me, slightly schizophrenic the way it went from jock jams like House of Pain (love me some shamrocks and shenanigans) to old school rap (L.L.’s stories – so intriguing) and 80s new wave.

So, on to more important details – gifts.  Your Filson shooting bag arrived today and I’ve had the biggest grin on my face ever since I opened the card that said “Happy shooting.”

Brooke’s navy blue Panama Smythson address book with BF monogrammed in silver will be the perfect complement.  Now, I must find some chic bullets. Perhaps some Ich Luge ones, like those that Christian Slater refers to in Heathers would be best.  I now know that the perfect storm for a birthday is girl friends and cocktails (both in large doses), as well as a chic locale.

Well, onwards and upwards, perhaps 50 will be even bigger if I make it another 10 years?

XXX Billy

p.s. See you soon.  I heard about this really cool Crafts Fair that we must go to together in L.A.

Mansion on Turtle Creek

In Food, Media, Out of Town on June 7, 2010 at 2:32 pm

© Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek, Dallas TX

This past weekend my husband and I flew to Dallas, TX, for a dear friend’s 40th birthday bash. I fully expected the weekend to be a blast. I mean, come on, this is Billy Fong we’re talking about. But what I didn’t expect was how much I would LOVE the city of Dallas. And who wouldn’t, checking into the Mansion and being greeted at reception with a cookie and iced latte?

Every last detail of this hotel is first rate (it’s a sister property to the San Ysidro Ranch in Santa Barbara), and the hotel’s restaurant boasts the only Michelin-starred chef in Texas, Bruno Davaillon. My husband and I chose to celebrate our anniversary dinner there on Friday night before joining the party on the terrace to fête Billy. I think it incredibly rude to photograph food in a posh restaurant as it disturbs the experience for other diners. However, since we were eating so early and alone in a corner I asked our server if he would mind and he said snap away! So here is a taste of a most memorable meal, starting with oysters served with a spicy cocktail sauce and wasabi caviar. What I love is the gorgeous bed of rock salt and peppercorns on which the oysters were served:

Then there was this grilled asparagus and mushroom risotto with shaved parm and meyer lemon emulsion. I love risotto passionately, but find that only about 1 out of every 10 you order is worth it. This was one of those sublime risottos that keeps me coming back for more.

I might start getting emotional if I talk too much about my main course, it was so beautiful. Coconut poached Maine lobster with madras curry and hearts of palm:

Meanwhile my husband turf-ed while I surfed, and he was every bit as smitten with his duo of braised short ribs and prime filet with potato fondant and MARROW BUTTER.

And then it was out to the patio to celebrate. Here’s a sneak peek at the chic of Billy’s entourage. L to R, Minnesota ballroom dancing champion Anna, NY art consultant Meredith, the Birthday Boy, and PaperCity‘s Dallas co-editor and social editor, Brooke Hortenstine.