Photography by Zoe Weber

Dennis Basso


| Upper East Side

Pared-down street wear may be de rigueur, but Dennis Basso is seeing to it that Upper East Side élan never goes out of style. Chock full of regal A-line gowns, floor-skimming tulip skirts and fur-trimmed everything (the designer got his start selling fur out of the back of a black town car), Basso’s collections are never short on sophistication. Rather, they’re made up of the sorts of things you’d wear to the Oscars or the Met Ball if ever you were to be invited which is perhaps what drew his dear friend Joan Rivers to so many of his designs. Dedicating his latest collection to the one-and-only Rivers, there were ‘60s-inspired tunic dresses, fur boleros and shimmering silver gowns that would have surely made her proud. Here, Basso sits down with CITIPHILE to reveal his little black book on NYC.

NEIGHBORHOOD STANDBY: My go-to spot is Le Bilboquet (MAP IT, x). I love their Cajun chicken and the service is perfection. It is better than being at home.

COFFEE OR TEA: Coffee at the bar inside Sant Ambroeus (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x).

ALL-TIME FAVORITE RESTAURANT: Cipriani (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x) uptown. I love the tuna tartare and the veal Milanese. La Grenouille (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x) is nice for special occasions too.

COCKTAIL DE LA NUIT: A Grey Goose martini, up, clean at Bemelmans Bar at The Carlyle (MAP IT, x).

WHERE TO BRING OUT-OF-TOWNERS: The Waverly Inn (MAP IT, BOOK ITx) for a taste of downtown and Bemelmans Bar for uptown— they are very NY.

BEST BRUNCH: The Standard Grill (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x). Afterwards, I like to walk on the High Line and visit the shops nearby. It makes for a great Sunday.

GUILTY PLEASURE: A great big bowl of pasta at Da Silvano (*Location now closed).

NY’S BEST-KEPT SECRET: My tailor, Dino. (P: 212.861.1157)

FIRST THING I MISS WHEN I’M AWAY: The feeling that I am living in a small town even though it is a big city.

REGULAR AT: Brownings Fitness (MAP IT, x) for one-on-one training.  It is quiet, semi-private and they treat you beautifully.

DATE NIGHT STANDBY: A nice quiet dinner at Sant Ambroeus followed by drinks at The Carlyle.

DELIVERY GO-TO: Shun Lee West (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x). I get the Chan-Do chicken, crispy prawns with xo sauce, pork fried rice and wonton soup.

TO GET INSPIRED: The streets: looking at people young and old, at architecture, store windows and art… the streets are flooded with inspiration for me.

TO RELAX AND UNWIND: Our house in Watermilll, L.I. There are no telephones; we read, watch movies and hang out.

CLOSET CHECK: My style is uber-classic with a little bit of edge. Whether it be a new blazer or an accent of the “in” color, I’ll mix in something new to always be in fashion. I shop at Bergdorf Goodman (MAP IT, x), Saks Fifth Avenue (MAP ITx), Barneys (MAP IT, x) and Zegna (MAP IT). I like to see it all.

BEST HOME DÉCOR: Creel & Gow in the city (MAP IT, x) and antique shops in London like Carlton Davidson (MAP IT).

BEST HOST/HOSTESS GIFTS: Bergdorf Goodman, 7th Floor.

GROOMING BLACK  BOOK: My hairstylist, Anthony at Pierre Michel (MAP IT, x).

ULTIMATE NY MOMENT: Walking through Rockefeller Center during the holidays; seeing the tree and all of the lights is so special. CP

Dennis’s New York

From L to R: First Row: Sant Ambroeus; Men’s footwear from Bergdorf Goodman; Pasta at Cipriani; Creel & Gow décor. Second Row: Brunch at The Standard Grill; Inside Cipriani; Zegna menswear; Dennis Basso designs.


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