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A Restored Art Deco Hotel First Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright
Set at the base of the Phoenix Mountain Preserve, the Arizona Biltmore was once a retreat for the 1920s Hollywood jet set. Surrounded by palm trees, this landmark Waldorf Astoria Resort is revered for its Art Deco design — architect Frank Lloyd Wright was the lead consultant for the hotel’s commissioned architect, Albert Chase McArthur. Welcoming a new stage in its history, the property recently reopened after a 15-month renovation, with the Hilton hospitality group tapping design consultants Virserius Studio, the architecture firm PHX Architecture and Jim Smith of Serving the Nation, Inc., to oversee the property’s restoration, which included a refresh of its 701 contemporary guest rooms (luxury cottages and villas among them). Also new to the property is an adults-only pool and the transformed Wright Bar, where the famous tequila sunrise cocktail was originally invented by the bartender Gene Sulit. During a stay at the property, guests can also enjoy six additional pools, tennis courts and two 18-hole championship golf courses at the Arizona Biltmore Golf Club. arizonabiltmore.com.
Leigh Batnick Plessner, the co-creative director of Catbird, Brooklyn’s destination for fine jewelry, slid into the artist Cassi Namoda’s DMs back in September. A fan of Namoda’s paintings, Plessner wanted to gift her with a piece from Catbird’s collaboration with the Met. Namoda herself has long been fascinated with the history of jewelry; her own collection ranges from an Ethiopian bronze bracelet to a Hellenistic necklace with Carnelian. The two soon decided to create a capsule collection of their own. The line, which took eight months to design, is inspired by Namoda’s home country, Mozambique, and the real-life hidden treasures on sunken merchant ships unearthed by locals on deep dive expeditions. “My cousin, who lives there, has the most beautiful collection from these excursions,” says the artist. The collaboration consists of seven pieces, including an aquamarine choker and a matching garnet-and-pearl necklace and earring set inspired by Princess Elizabeth of Toro, an accomplished lawyer, politician and diplomat, who is one of Namoda’s muses. In honor of the launch, Catbird will be making donations to two Mozambique charities, Save the Children and Kurandza. The collection will be available exclusively on catbirdnyc.com and in their flagship store beginning July 28. From $64.
Wu Tsang’s Work About Beverly Glenn-Copeland
When the Guggenheim’s assistant curator X Zhu-Nowell invited the artist Wu Tsang to exhibit one of her films last summer, Tsang proposed an ambitious new site-specific work. The resulting video and sound installation, “Wu Tsang: Anthem,” marks the first of its scope in the museum’s rotunda. It presents a film-portrait of the composer, singer and transgender activist Beverly Glenn-Copeland, who produced striking and soulful experimental albums in relative obscurity beginning in the ’70s, until a recent surge in interest from cult record collectors led to the 2016 reissue of his 1986 studio album “Keyboard Fantasies” and an international tour in 2017, as well as a 2019 feature documentary by Posy Dixon. Like many of Tsang’s works — which combine narrative, documentary and fantasy to explore states of “in-betweenness” — “Anthem” is a collaboration with its subject: “I’m always trying to find ways to distill the essence of what that performer’s energy is,” says Tsang. To capture Glenn-Copeland, the artist navigated strict Covid protocols, including a 17-day quarantine in Canada, where the singer is based, before recording him performing a series of compositions. Projected onto a billowing 84-foot-long curtain that hangs from the oculus, the film seeks to create the atmosphere of a public address, says Tsang, centering Glenn-Copeland as a leader and trans elder in a way that is both monumental and playful. “Wu Tsang: Anthem” is on view through Sep. 6 at the Guggenheim Museum, 1071 Fifth Avenue, New York, New York, guggenheim.org.
A New Line of Sunglasses, Handmade in Italy
After the success of their unique venture into backgammon boards, Sabah — the boutique shoemakers best known for their modern twist on traditional Turkish leather slip-ons — are at it again. With Sabah Sun, which debuted this month, they’ve released their first line of sunglasses. Handmade in Italy, these round-framed glasses are distinct in color choice (from transparent blue to amber and more) as well as look and feel (the frames are substantial yet lightweight). Featuring Carl Zeiss lenses that offer 100 percent UV protection, Sabah’s first-edition specs have a limited run of 400. $265 a pair, sabah.am.
While the pandemic kept her locked down at her Brooklyn home, designer Emily Bryngelson brought an idea to life, one that was five years in the making. In December, she hosted the first Sibling Vintage pop-up — named in honor of her sister, who died last year — at the Williamsburg, Brooklyn, vintage shop Horizons. There, she sold dress shirts, which had been reworked from vintage men’s clothing, with modern silhouettes (often with cinched waists or cropped cuts) and directional details including cutouts across the back and floral eyelet embroidery. Bryngelson spent the better part of 10 years designing for large-scale brands like J.Crew as well as smaller lines such as Sea. She witnessed the industry’s rapid cycle of production up close and had long dreamed of giving discarded garments a new life. Last year, she began searching for high-quality cotton button-downs on eBay, in thrift stores and rag houses, and has now amassed an inventory of about 200, all waiting to be reimagined. Because every shirt is different in size and fit, Bryngelson can’t use a pattern and must sew each piece individually at her Boerum Hill studio. This deliberate slowness “is different than what people are used to, and how the process of design is,” she says. By contrast, these one-of-a-kind pieces, which she now posts on the brand’s Instagram and website, tend to sell out within minutes. From $110, siblingvintage.com.
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