MUSIC MAKERS
Beyond the runways, a smattering of musical acts should also provide fashionable entertainment this week, beginning with Cat Power’s — aka Chan Marshall’s — gigs around town. Marshall’s haunting voice and tough chic style provide an antidote to all last season’s polish. Meanwhile, Dopo Yume, one of the city’s sexier boy bands, plays directly to the fashion crowd with their poppy, flirty rock ’n’ roll.

This week will also see the release of two stylish albums: Courtney Love’s long-anticipated comeback, “America’s Sweetheart,” and Kylie Minogue’s “Body Language,” her ninth studio album, which is already climbing pop charts in the U.K.
Cat Power: Feb. 13 at Northsix, Feb. 15-16 at the Knitting Factory.
Northsix, 66 North Sixth Street, Brooklyn.
Knitting Factory, 74 Leonard Street.
Dopo Yume: Feb. 12 at Mercury Lounge, 217 E. Houston St.

— Lia Wong


CLUB KIDS
Since it opened in December, Marquee, Noah Tepperberg and Jason Strauss’ new club in West Chelsea, has been mentioned 14 times in The New York Post. Yet, just over a week ago, The Daily News still managed to mistake it for another venue. “We were confused with the Marriott Marquis,” says a befuddled Tepperberg. “They ran a picture of Dennis Rodman and Lizzie Grubman here with the caption ‘At the Marriott Marquis.’”

It’s an easy mistake to make, considering the generic choice of name — there’s even a third Marquee on the Bowery that’s home to mostly live musical acts — but Tepperberg, formerly of Suite 16 and Conscience Point, says it was carefully calculated. “We went through about 15 names. We were going to call it Avenue, Linea, so many of them,” he says. “A name like Marquee is a descriptive name. I mean, there’s a huge marquee in front of our place. Plus, when you describe a cool club, the best night there is their marquee night.” And, it’s easy to say. “You know, it’s a one word, two syllable name. It just rolls off your tongue.”Marquee will host 10 fashion week events alone, including tonight’s Cheap Date party, the Raf Simons show and Patricia Field’s birthday bash, but the space — once a garage — has still not been put to the test. Tepperberg and Strauss designed the club so that a car could be driven into it with the idea of hosting flashy events. “The companies that are spending big money to sponsor events are beverage companies and automobile companies,” Tepperberg says. “So we thought it’d make sense to be able to fit a car through the side door.”

Tepperberg attributes Marquee’s popularity to the personal and professional relationships he and Strauss have developed growing up in New York and through their event planning company, Strategic Event Management and Marketing, Inc., which counts Reebok and Tommy Hilfiger as clients. That, and the fact that the 6,500-square-foot space can accommodate tons of guests.

Though the initial buzz is bound to wear off, Tepperberg has faith he can keep attracting the right crowd. “How you keep a place fresh is by changing it constantly,” he explains. Eighty red lanterns hang throughout the club for fashion week, and Tepperberg already has plans to build an outdoor patio in the back by spring. Rearranging furniture, bringing in different seating and moving the DJ booth are also possible ways for him to spice things up. But for now he’s banking on the reputation he hopes to build. “People will want to have their events here if they see that successful events have been held here before,” he says. “You know, being consistent is also a draw.”
— Emily Holt


USERS GUIDE TO NYC’S MARQUEES
Marquee: 289 10th Avenue (between 26th and 27th Streets)
Square footage: 6,500 square feet
Opened: December 2003
Scene: Democratic free-for-all downstairs, VIPs in the upper mezzanine.
Hot night: Tuesday’s host Danny A corrals in the fashion crowd.
Celeb guests: Sean Penn, Uma Thurman, Andre Balazs, Hope Atherton, Patrick Swayze.Marquee: 356 Bowery (between Great Jones and 4th Streets)
Square footage: 1,400 square feet
Opened: February 2003
Scene: Both sexes for nightly burlesque performances, men only downstairs at gay bar Slide.
Hot night: Saturday’s High Life/Low Life party for draq queen Sweetie’s cabaret act.
Celeb guests: Marc Jacobs, Boy George, Janeane Garofalo.

New York Marriott Marquis: 1535 Broadway (between 45th and 46th Streets)
Square footage: over 100,000 square feet of banquet space.
Opened: 1985
Scene: Business travelers and vacationing families mixed with boldface names attending Bette Midler’s annual “Hulaween” party.
Hot night: “Any night the theaters are on, we’re busy,” says a spokeswoman.
Celeb guests: Denise Richards, Sting, P. Diddy at various special events.


JUST RELAX
This week, New York can expect to see more beautiful people than usual because hairstylist Ted Gibson, whose clients include Angelina Jolie and Frankie Rayder, just opened a salon in the Flatiron District. He’ll work his magic in a relaxed downtown atmosphere, while still delivering the posh touches typically found in uptown salons.

Upon arrival, each guest is offered a hot cup of Aveda Relaxing Tea, followed by a complimentary hand massage. Then she can choose from an array of fragrant oils to be used during a scalp, neck and shoulder massage, which accompanies any hair service.

Before leaving, everyone receives a “finishing touch” — a mini-makeup application from one of Gibson’s artists. “All the girls just run to the bathroom and redo their makeup anyway, so why don’t we just do it for them?” he says. Color by Jason Backe, Gibson’s partner in business and life, is on the menu, as are facials and brow services, with manicures and pedicures soon to follow.

Meanwhile, though Silk Day Spa looks like a high-end apothecary from the outside, inside awaits a subterranean refuge for weary show-goers. After unwinding in the rock garden-style steam room or gauzy meditation room, visitors can experience a variety of body treatments that range from a basic massage to the shamelessly decadent Eastern Indulgence treatment — a 90-minute marathon of cleansing, buffing, massaging and moisturizing — all administered by a doting staff.Ted Gibson: 184 Fifth Avenue, 2nd floor, 212-633-6333Silk Day Spa: 47 West 13th Street, 212-255-6457
— Jessica B. Matlin
STAR SIGNS
Stella Starsky and Quinn Cox, astrologists who go by the moniker “Starsky & Cox” and will be holding court at Barneys today to celebrate the publication of their new book, “Sextrology: The Astrology of Sex and the Sexes” (Harper Collins), come as a pair. Since they met at school in Grenoble, France, and realized their mutual interest in astrology, they’ve been inseparable. Well, sort of.

“We’re on-again, off-again, mostly on,” says Starsky on the phone from the West Village apartment she and Cox sort of share. “We live mostly together, but we both need a lot of space. I’m a Capricorn and Quinn’s a Libra and we’re perfectly in keeping with that alignment. We very much share an intellectual spiritual connectedness.”

What separates Starsky & Cox from your average street astrologist is their revolutionary belief that there are not just 12 astrological signs, but 24. “We’ve always maintained that men and women of the same sign are actually different signs,” explains Cox. And their book — which was generated from an idea by their friend, Rob Weisbach, who had an affinity for their columns in Teen People — splits each sign into masculine and feminine. And it does it from both straight and gay perspectives to detail not only the psychology of one’s horoscope, but how to use it to reconcile relationships and sexual proclivities. (They also see private clients, many of whom are in the fashion industry.)

The analysis can go from the deep to the superficial, but seems to have helped Starsky & Cox work out some kinks, so to speak. In the book, they write that the Capricorn woman likes “tweed, flannel suits” and “spectacles,” which, if you’ll notice, Cox is wearing in the accompanying photo here; while the Libra man appreciates “tall women,” “cleavage” and “alabaster skin.” According to Cox, Starsky is “a real statuesque lady.”

And though the book suggests that certain pairings work better than others, “In the spirit of optimism, every combination can work and of course there’s so much more than sun signs,” reminds Starsky.Besides astrology, Starsky has worked as a fashion stylist and Cox as a journalist. The pair also studied acting with Uta Hagen. They’re at work on a live show — “You know, patter and songs” — and are pitching a scripted television series based on their lives. “By all accounts, we’ve lived pretty extraordinary lives. We have friends all over the world, and they always say, ‘You guys seem to be kissed by kismet,’” says Starsky. Among their pals from France is one J.K. Rowling, whom they knew pre-Harry Potter. “This is when we were buying each other groceries and rolling cigarettes. She owes us a bag of groceries, I always say.”

As for their big Barneys celebration, Cox says he’s “discouraging the paparazzi,” but that he’s “expecting the Patrick McMullans of the world to come — only because they’re friends. Parker Posey’s supposed to come, John Bartlett’s a close friend, though I think he’s hiking this weekend. We’re sort of old school characters,” he muses. “Now that Florent’s open 24 hours again, we now have some place to go at 4 a.m. and that’s very old school. We’re from the day when your neighbors upstairs and down didn’t know what Dolce meant. We’re from that late Eighties, early Nineties, pre-mainstream fashion environment. We shun Starbucks, even though we see Graydon Carter going there every day in our neighborhood.”

As Cox continues his musing, Starsky steals the phone back, admonishing him, “Espresso in the afternoon is sometimes not a good thing,” but just in time to offer some astrological advice for Fashion Week. “There’s a sense right now of things spinning out of control, and what we suggest people do is be really relaxed and ready. It’s great to be prepared, yes, but you don’t have to be on your guard,” she suggests.

“Yes, you have to look fabulous, yes, get up early and yes, you have to stay out late,” continues Starsky. “But be a little nicer to each other, smile a little bit, loosen up.” Because with all those out-of-towners, there are just so many astrological possibilities.
— Marshall Heyman
ART HAPPENS
Over in West Chelsea at the Marianne Boesky Gallery, last year’s fashion star, the Japanese pop artist Takashi Murakami, serves as curator for “Tokyo Girls Bravo,” a presentation of work by 10 young female artists from Japan. Through a wide range of mediums, including photography, painting and handicrafts, their art celebrates “kawaii,” the bright-eyed, pop-fueled cutesiness that made Murakami’s work for Louis Vuitton so fun.

Meanwhile, at Klemens Gasser & Tanja Grunert Inc., Finnish artist Eija-Liisa Ahtila exhibits her impressive sculpture as well as her eerie video, “The House,” and at Gagosian, Franz Gertsch shows a series of painstakingly painted images of Patti Smith, made from photos taken by the artist himself.

“Tokyo Girls Bravo” at Marianne Boesky Gallery, 535 West 22nd Street.? Eija-Liisa Ahtila: Klemens Gasser and Tanja Grunert Inc. 524 West. 19th Street.Franz Gertsch: Gagosian Gallery, 555 West 24th Street.
— L.W.


FINE DINING
There’s no better time to launch a chichi new restaurant in Manhattan than fashion week, as the arbiters of cool descend upon the city and head to parties at locations often never to be heard from again. But two new bôites seem destined to enter the permanent annals of New York restaurant history.

At the Time Warner Center, Laura Cunningham has just opened the exclusive 74-seat Per Se, the New York incarnation of Thomas Keller’s fabled French Laundry in Napa Valley, which has been known to make potential customers pull out all the stops for a reservation. They have wept and screamed and even bribed: With all the diamonds, rare orchids, lavish invitations, crystal, furniture and flat-screen TVs she’s received, Cunningham could start an auction house out of the California restaurant’s storage room. (For the record, she divides the spoils with her staff.)

And if the food at Per Se is anything like French Laundry’s, Cunningham will have to contend with a legion of entitled New Yorkers. “One thing I’m not remotely affected by is bullying,” she says. “I can either do something or I can’t.”Though Jean-Georges Vongerichten has opened a steak house called Rare in the Time Warner Center, he’s also jazzing up Pan-Asian food at Spice Market in the Meatpacking District in the same building as Soho House. There will be lots of satés, spring and summer rolls and noodle dishes, with specific accents on cuisine from Thailand, Vietnam and Singapore. “The decor is very Indian,” says Lois Freedman, Jean-George’s business partner. “The designer brought back artifacts that are hundreds of years old, recovered from an old earthquake, and reassembled them. Wait until you see it.”

And among many sizzling evenings sure to happen there this winter, it’s a sure bet Spice Market will host at least two before it opens later this week: Marc Jacobs will throw his after party there on Monday, and Victoria’s Secret celebrates the publication of its limited-edition book of provocative photography on Wednesday.
SPICE MARKET: 29-35 Ninth Avenue; PER SE: 10 Columbus Circle

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