Accessing one’s creativity can be lonely as hell. You have to remove yourself from anything distracting / fun / remotely social in order to grasp whatever weird idea may live in the deep folds of your brain. Or you can be like me and attempt to mindlessly scroll on Instagram and simultaneously write the next great American novel, only to notice your sentence structure is starting to mimic social captions and your brain has lost all ability to hold an attention span longer than a second.
While creatives are notoriously reclusive in order to engage their creativity, we still need to socialize, less we let a week go by without getting dressed and start to resemble The Dude (cough, cough — been there). With this in mind, we decided to gather some of our favorite creatives friends of the site together for a meal and some riveting conversation about — you guessed — creativity. But to get these special ladies to crawl out of their creative dens and put on pants, it couldn’t just be any old dinner. We wanted a space, a menu, and an environment as wow-inducing as our guests. We looked no further than our friends at The NoMad to host our salon-style dinner in their jewel-box of a space: The Cupola!
The Cupola is the small dome-shaped space at the very top of The NoMad Hotel. As someone who has been known to help shut down The Elephant Bar at The NoMad, I was shocked to learn that this private, ten-person dining space was hanging out on the roof this whole time. Not only is its privacy special, but upon entering, the history and artistry of the space feel instantly inspiring. The Cupola is the pinnacle of The NoMad brand; combining elegance with inclusivity, while defining the art in architecture — and the creative energy it exudes is palpable.
You’d never know it, but The Cupola is actually a former decorative covering for a water tower! In 2012 it was painstakingly restored to match the building’s original Beaux Arts glory. The walls and ceilings are covered in gorgeous mosaic tiles in an installation called Starry Night, inspired by the lights of the New York city skyline. Its history set a decadent backdrop and the perfect narrative for our evening’s shinning purpose — to be a space for gathering and sharing, centered on delicious food and intimate conversations. And gather and share we did!
When I think of fearless, creative women there are a few names that consistently ring in my head. Lynette Nylander, the VP of Content for Alexander Wang and one of my favorite writers we’ve hosted on the site is always at the top of mind. Not just because of her creative output, but because of her energy. It’s constantly uproarious, loud and engaging in the best of ways. Lynette brought her other creative half, Madeline Poole, who you might know from her wicked nail art and even cooler style. Lynette described their relationship as “the person who you send all your creative inspiration to on Instagram” and we all poked and prodded at their burgeoning creative collaboration — more on that to come soon ;)
I’ve spoken about my love of Julie Houts before when we featured her here. Not only is Julie a talented illustrator and writer, her book, Literally Me, came out last year, but she can also do “bits.” I’m going to try to explain what a “bit” is but it’s almost impossible to explain. It’s just… well… a bit! It’s a funny, made up exchange that you build upon, improvising back and forth. It was a constant part of my Los Angeles life and Julie is one of the few friends in New York who still exercises that part of my brain so I love any opportunity to do a bit with her. Even if it’s as only in passing as we’re saying goodbye — as it happened this night. Julie brought along one of her best friends, Miranda Levitt, who is an old school friend of the site — having been featured here, here and here! Miranda runs a studio for brand consulting and has worked with some of our favorites such as Batsheva, Maryam Nassir Zadeh and Rachel Comey.
The Fortunato sisters, Lizzie and Kathryn have always been our favorite twins. We even travelled down south to Charlotte with them. What I think is particularly interesting about their dynamic is that Lizzie holds down the creative side of her business (the eponymous jewelry line, Lizze Fortunato), while Kathryn runs the business side. But their relationship as twins is one of the most successful creative partnerships I’ve seen. I say this because they are still best friends who even commute to work daily together. You know when you immediately feel at home with someone because they are with their better half, and therefore so relaxed and inviting? Well, the Fortunato sisters do this so well you find yourself feeling like the third sister when hanging out with them.
My biggest takeaway from the night was, we’re not alone. Like I mentioned, sometimes being a creative feels like you’re an ostrich with your head in the sand. These women reminded me, it’s quite the opposite. We’re all struggling, hustling, and coping with wine, together. Which makes it all the more glorious.