LIVING THE ISLAND LIFE
Somewhere over the horizon, located in a destination with no deadlines or demands, lies an island mentality where you can breathe freely, live spontaneously and relax in style. Tommy Bahama style.
Tommy Bahama is so much more than a luxury lifestyle clothing brand; it also offers a full range of island-inspired home décor products that put the finishing touches on your island bungalow, even if that bungalow is located in Highland Park or Uptown. The company offers a wide selection of quality products, from indoor and outdoor furniture to bedding, bath sets and barware, so you can add Tommy Bahama flair in any room of your home.
At the Legacy West location, you will find candles and diffusers with island fragrances as well as flatware and barware. Larger items, such as bedding, throw pillows and dinnerware, can be ordered in the store and either shipped to the store or directly to your home.
All of the products are classically designed with island motifs. In bedding, large-print palm fronds in relaxed hues, botanical prints on slubbed all-cotton fabric or color palettes inspired by ocean waves and opalescent beaches, create comfortable duvet sets that will transform your bedroom into a relaxing oasis. The barware is handcrafted and etched with graceful fronds. And, the bath sets provide a classic island elegance with subtle palm designs. Also on offer is a wide selection of pillows and fabrics in a palette derived from paradise.
Tommy Bahama has partnered with Lunada Bay Tile to create a premier collection of handcrafted glass tiles and with Oriental Weavers to create an array of indoor and outdoor rugs, perfect for any part of the home where you want to create a coastal living experience. With Tommy Bahama Home any home can—and should— have the look and feel of fine resort living.
CHRISTOPHER MARTIN GALLERY OPENS IN NYC
Art lovers from Dallas and Aspen are familiar with Christopher H. Martin and his stunning abstract works painted on acrylic. The namesake Dragon Street gallery is a must-see destination for any art collector who visits the Dallas Design District.
In October, Martin opened his newest location in New York City at 1015 Madison Ave., between 78th and 79th streets, in Manhattan’s Upper East Side.
The opening exhibition, titled INIZIO, meaning “at the beginning” in Italian, features a new body of work by Martin. Executive director Antonio Cortez curated a selection of works that reflect a rediscovery of Martin’s signature reverse painting techniques and a reinvention of recent aesthetics.
In the 8-foot-square painting Wicked Garden, Martin uses a neutral palette of cascading bluish gray interlaced with soft metallic undertones and mixed with free-flowing interwoven black strokes; a palette of vibrant colors fills the spaces in between. The work negotiates geometry and abstraction, control and abandon, and recombines chromatic energy with neutral tones, fusing natural abstraction with contemporary modernist aesthetics.
In other paintings, like the 8-foot-square Dreamy Galactic Lover, Martin uses a palette of earthy tones layered with light circular strokes depicting bodies that float and appear devoid of gravity. Martin lightly hones the acrylic surface, which softens the color and brushstrokes, creating a mesmerizing and utterly calm experience.
The inaugural exhibition also includes Martin’s signature disc paintings, displayed in free-floating clusters that create sculptural wall arrangements. The Aria Noir series features discs in diameters ranging from 48 to 24 inches. In each disc, a dynamic range of metallic rings are held between deep black centers and crisp black edges.
With a career that spans almost 24 years, Martin has shown in Paris, Basel, Berlin, Venice, Miami, New York, the Hamptons, Houston, San Francisco and Los Angeles, to name a few. A favorite in Dallas, it is now time for Martin to expand his sphere in the art world by setting up a gallery in New York City. christophermartingallery.com
POLO AND PROPERTY IN OAK POINT
Minutes from the North Dallas Tollway and IH-35, just south of 380 between Denton and Frisco, sits the charming town of Oak Point, home of the Prestonwood Polo & Country Club. Ranked amongst the 20 best suburbs of Dallas-Fort Worth, the quaint community is distinguished by its small-town atmosphere and pastoral privacy.
The Prestonwood Polo & Country Club is a one-of-akind master-planned project offering a total of 22 home lots, each on 2.5 acres, anchored by the largest United States Polo Association (USPA) member club in North Texas. Prestonwood was chartered with the USPA in 2008. It is also one of the only polo clubs in the country to offer build-to-suit land surrounded by hundreds of live oak trees, three Bermuda grass fields, two arenas, a three-quarter-mile track and more.
Developed by Henry S. Miller’s grandson, Vaughn Miller, president of VCM Development, Prestonwood is ideal for any equine sports fan, including for the polo enthusiast who wants to watch and enjoy, or ride in, the regular polo matches. The club offers lessons and the convenience of housing your horse on-site, and the lots provide the peaceful feel of the country with easy access to the city.
“We’ve re-created the magic of Norman Brinker’s Willow Bend Polo Club, except this time we’re keeping the polo fields,” says Miller. “Each lot owns a piece of the polo fields. They each have a 1-acre area to build and the rest is the open space easement that the polo club will maintain.”
Prestonwood is a family- owned and -operated club, and creating a family-friendly environment is a large part of the mission for Miller and his wife, Dena. In addition to being supporters of the Miss Texas Scholarship organization, which provides scholarships for young women, the Millers use polo to raise money for worthwhile causes. The club hosts two major charity events each year: Polo on the Lawn Kentucky Derby day in the spring and Polo on the Midway 380 Guide Cup in the Fall. The foundation’s goal is to grow the sport of polo by introducing it to new players and teaching existing ones in a friendly, competitive environment.
As the home lots are built out, there are special seasonal plans for the community, ones that hearken back to family traditions. “The holidays will be a special time at Prestonwood,” says Miller. “It’s one of the quietest and most peaceful places I’ve ever seen at night. We’re going to have Christmas lights ring the perimeter of the development and offer carriage rides, like my grandfather, Henry S. Miller, did at Highland Park Village.”
For more information about the limited number of lots, contact Angela Downes of Virginia Cook Realtors at 214-505-4289 or via email at adownes@virginia cook.com.
MAKING REALITY BETTER
For years people have talked, promised and evangelized that we would, one day, be able to be “in the movies.” 3-D films were supposed to “put us in the action.” Simulator theaters offered a form of immersive experience, but none of these actually fulfilled the ultimate goal of complete immersion and interactivity with a film property. Even the holy grail of immersive experiences, virtual reality (VR), failed to complete the task.
The VOID, offered exclusively in the state of Texas at Cinemark West Plano theater, is, without a doubt, the pinnacle of immersive VR experiences. The VOID, the latest iteration of VR—a technology that first emerged in the ’90s with limited success due to graphic resolution and latency among other technical limitations—allows participants to truly feel that they are in another world, in this case, based on one of the world’s most popular film franchises: Star Wars.
“With The VOID at Cinemark West Plano and XD, guests have the chance to experience a hyperreality simulation and be transported into some of the most treasured Cinematic universes with family and friends,” says James Meredith, Cinemark SVP of marketing and communications. “At Cinemark, we are proud to bring this cutting-edge, state-of-the-art, innovative experience to the DFW area.”
Star Wars, Secrets of the Empire allows four-member teams to experience what it would be like to be a rebel fighter on a mission against the dark forces of the Empire. This is not only every fanboy’s dream, this experience also will be enjoyed by every human 10 years of age and older and over 48 inches tall. The VOID’s team has also developed other virtual experiences that put players into the worlds of films, such as the iconic paranormal comedy Ghostbusters, an original horror story called Nicodemus: Demon of Evanishment, and a simulation based on Disney’s Wreck-It-Ralph films, all of which will make their way to the West Plano Cinemark. After a brief pre-show video that sets the backstory, your squad of rebels are ushered into a staging area where you are prepared for your mission. A comfortable, easy to adjust backpack and head-mounted display (HMD) are fitted for each person. Once there is a thumbsup from all participants you are guided to the first room of the virtual experience.
Upon crossing the threshold the world changes from the interior of a Cinemark to the fantastical world of Star Wars. You and your friends look like stormtroopers and the walls transform into a galaxy far, far away. What makes the experience better than anything ever offered before is the fact that your spatial bearings are never lost because the virtual world and the real world, outside of your HMD, are in perfect synchronicity. If there is a computer graphic handle, reach out and touch it, you actually feel it and it moves just as you see it doing in the simulation. Computer graphic buttons depress for perfect tactile sensation and fun puzzle-solving games. Even the floor feels like molten metal in one area. As if that weren’t awesome enough, when you hover over a lava field in the game, you feel the heat and smell—is that BBQ?
If you have ever wished to be “in the movies,” this is your best chance. The VOID and Cinemark have surpassed the competition by light-years.
“Cinemark is always innovating and finding different ways to enhance the overall entertainment experience for our guests,” Meredith says. “We’re excited to currently be the only theater company in the United States to offer The VOID technology.”
BE A GENTLEMAN, ALWAYS A GENTLEMAN
What does it mean to be a gentleman today? Bashar Alhuneidi, founder and creative director of adam aleksander, a luxury men’s fashion brand that recently opened in the tony Star in Frisco, has an answer. “The meaning of what it is to be a gentleman began to change and evolve. It used to be reserved for men born into nobility or prominent social status. For me, being a gentleman represents the men who worked for their own success as well as the success of others yet also displayed values of hard work and leadership. A gentleman is a man of character. A gentleman is a man of actions and honorable behaviors.”
Alhuneidi, a 20-year veteran of the fashion industry, can talk at length about what it means to be a gentleman, but he would rather show you, especially when it comes to how gentlemen dress.
Alhuneidi and co-founding partner Hunter Bywaters spared no expense when opening their showroom. The shop’s interior design is like something out of The Kingsmen film series that was set in a London haberdashery. Bespoke seating from Dallas’ Emmanuel Design Group, an exquisite heirloom chandelier, and two custom interactive, state-of-the-art displays, produced by Spacee, set the tone for a one-of-a-kind experience for gentlemen looking for the finest in menswear.
A virtual version of Alhuneidi featured on the store’s front glass greets passersby. The holographic version of Alhuneidi guides interested guests to an interactive menu on the window. From there customers can tour the store’s offerings—from the luxury handcrafted suits and accoutrements, like ties, cuff-links, leather goods and more, to the many art events that adam aleksander hosts with local galleries.
The Spacee technology brings a whole new meaning and experience to window display.
Inside, customers will be greeted by the real Alhuneidi, who is determined to modernize and simplify the custom-tailored suit experience while upholding its traditionally high standards. “Our brand celebrates craftsmanship when producing luxury items for gentlemen,” Alhuneidi says. “Applying the top craftsmanship principles and techniques, adam aleksander’s international artisans use only the finest fabrics, leathers and curated materials to construct dress wear, smart casual fashion, shoes and accessories of exceptional quality, fit and style.”
In addition to the real staff, you will also meet a virtual bartender, another production from Spacee. Floating above a custom-created bar in the back of the shop, the female bartender appears and, through proprietary voice recognition technology, will actually take your complimentary drink order and banter with you like the best real bartender.
“We offer a one-of-a-kind experience in luxury menswear, and we turned to Spacee to create a one-of-a-kind bartender to enhance that experience,” says Bywaters.
The retail experience is becoming a more experiential event to compete with the onslaught of Amazonian online shopping. The adam aleksander store is on the forefront of not only creating an enhanced shopping experience, but also leading the way for men to return to an era of gentlemanly behavior.
“Dressing like a gentleman is one element in behaving like a gentleman,” says Alhuneidi.
A film set is a busy and often chaotic place. Dozens of people are moving about conducting their individual tasks in the hopes of creating a unified product: the vision of the director. Filmmaker Johnathan Brownlee was working on a film when he noticed that this particular set was different than others he had experienced. It was organized, buttoned-down and operated with a smooth efficiency unlike anything he had seen before. When he inquired about the reason, he learned that many of the crew were former military.
Brownlee had an epiphany about the similarities between media production and military campaigns: both are mission- focused, team-oriented and adhere to a stringent chain of command. Often there is a need to pivot creatively and quickly to get the job done. A few years later, when Brownlee became the CEO and president of the Dallas Film Society (DFS), he had the means and support to implement an idea to train veterans in the art and craft of filmmaking, providing them with an outlet for their own creative ideas as well as a path to a new career.
With the aid of DFS supporters Maggy Croxville and her husband, both former Marines, the Veterans Institute for Film and Media (VIFM) was born in September 2017. The first class of four veterans graduated in May 2018, and the second class of eight students will have graduated by publication date.
Film Basic Training is the first offering of VIFM. This three month, fully sponsored program provides honorably discharged U.S. veterans with unparalleled access to an innovative curriculum taught by an engaged faculty and staff as well as other professionals. The course combines theoretical education with hands-on experience using the same equipment, techniques and workflows used by industry professionals. The program also is supported by mentorships that prepare vets for careers in digital cinema, broadcast television/news, corporate and industrial films, online/streaming and social media content, digital editing and post-production, and audio production/post-production.
In addition to the educational component, VIFM hosts North Texas VetFest (#NTXVetFest), an event designed to bridge the gap between military veterans and the civilian communities in which they live and work. The inaugural event featured a trio of films, each providing a different perspective on the challenges veterans face transitioning from active service back to civilian life.
VIFM is a 501(c)3 charitable organization and is always looking for willing hands. Supporters can serve in a variety of ways, depending on interest and availability, including volunteering time or donating money or in-kind services.