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Nancy Gonzalez By The Book

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It was a book party for Assouline’s new Nancy Gonzalez tome, and the evening found company creative director Santiago Gonzalez (above, center) in a somewhat literary mood. When pressed for an update on the label’s fall offerings, he pooh-poohed such a seasonal mentality. “We don’t believe in seasons,” the Chanel-clad dandy told us. “We make objects. We’re not exactly fashion, and we don’t want to be.” So what will we see, then? In lieu of description, he rushed to fetch the only inspiration he permits his design team: a reproduction of conceptual artist Robert Barry’s 1971 piece It has a beginning, order, limits, possibility, structure, which is, literally, a sheet of paper typed with a list of words. “It has a beginning, order, limits, possibility, structure, continuity…” he read off rhapsodically.”It’s beautiful because it’s about everything that’s our collection. It’s very perfect.”

Gonzalez, of course, is a noted art appreciator—and just as noted art acquirer. The showroom, where the Gonzalezes, mother and son, sipped Champagne with the likes of Bonnie Morrison, Adam Lippes, Carlos Mota, and Dayssi Olarte de Kanavos, is beautifully appointed: a Campana brothers chair here, an exquisite marble table there. A recent trip to Art Basel in Miami yielded a few more purchases, but despite the festival’s party-happy reputation, nothing more scandalous for Gonzalez himself than an early bedtime. (The better to prepare for the next morning’s appointments, of course.) Judging from the crowd—most of whom looked as if they’d regard a trip to the 57th Street showroom as a jaunt downtown—scandal usually keeps its distance from Nancy Gonzalez and her upper-crust clientele. Well, with some perhaps justifiable exceptions. “Darling,” crowed one partygoer to Santiago on her way into the elevator, with a quick kiss on the cheek and a rearrangement of her décolletage. “If you are missing a few bags, I have stolen them in my boobs!”

Photo: Neil Ramus/PatrickMcMullan.com

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