7 posts tagged "Carlos Mota"
“We’re exchanging songs for shirts,” announced Matt Berninger, front man of the Brooklyn band the National at last night’s opening of Zara’s Fifth Avenue flagship store that drew the likes of Jen Brill, Todd Selby, Hanne Gaby Odiele, and Narciso Rodriguez. The fête celebrated the Spanish brand’s largest outlet in the United States, spanning four floors with more than 32,000 square feet devoted to women’s, men’s, and children’s clothing and accessories. “I love Zara,” confessed Rodriguez. “They’re so intuitive about what women and men want.” The designer’s recent purchase? Two pairs of red trousers. “Every time I wear them I get compliments.”
Not every guest was well versed in all things Zara, however. “I can’t believe it’s inexpensive,” mused first-time customer Rafael de Cárdenas, eyeing a men’s suit. “It doesn’t look cheap; I’m impressed.” Also ogling the menswear was Zara virgin Jen Brill. “I never shopped here, but Carlos Mota once wore this amazing white blazer with blue piping and I still think about it,” the Chanel ambassador told Style.com. Meanwhile, Kate Schelter extolled the brand’s timesaving virtues. “You can walk in and within 15 minutes find a piece to wear that night,” enthused Schelter, in a monochrome look punctuated with a gold bib necklace. “People keep asking me if my outfit is Zara tonight…nowadays people can’t tell the difference.” She added with a wink, “It’s not, but it goes to show you that Zara can look like Valentino.”
As he himself will tell you, when Carlos Mota put together his first book, Flowers: Chic & Cheap, he was hoping that some of his decoration-loving friends would be willing to host a few fêtes for the tome. Well, he got what he asked for: Since the tome came out in May, Mota has done parties uptown and downtown and even across the ocean. “In the end, I think I’ll be promoting this thing for longer than it took me to put it together,” he joked. “Not that I’m complaining. You know me: I love a good party.” And apparently, a good party loves him. Last night, John Demsey (pictured, left, with Mota) hosted a sit-down dinner for Mota in his Upper East Side town house, bringing the likes of Marjorie Gubelmann, Stefano Tonchi, Cynthia Rowley, Anne McNally, Rachel Roy, Adam Lippes, and Cornelia Guest. Dinner was served at three tables on the second floor, with each seat bearing its own personalized arrangement. Many people, including Tonchi, mistook them for artificial. “But he does amazing fake arrangements,” W‘s new editor in chief protested. This one, at least, was more chic than cheap.
“Any china, any soup tureen, any teapot or coffee pot will make a pretty vase with two or three flowers. Any glass bottle, any sauce bottle, any beer bottle. I just found these great paint cans from Home Depot that cost like three dollars, and they’re amazing.” Just some of the floral advice Carlos Mota was doling out last night at a party for his new book, Flowers Chic & Cheap.
“The idea of the book is basically, don’t be afraid of flowers,” Mota explained. For the party, he’d imported a burst of pink azaleas, peonies, and roses into a suite at the Mercer Hotel and dressed to match them. Among the guests who stopped by to smell the roses: Amanda Brooks, Tory Burch, and Francisco Costa (pictured, right, with Mota and Brooks), whose minimalist designs for Calvin Klein are a nice reference point for amateur florists. “You’ve got to be careful when you start mixing and you don’t know what you’re doing,” Mota pointed out. “The safest thing is to stay with one color and one flower.” Mota’s cheap-chic philosophy makes more of less, so no fancy flower market needed—not even, he went on, a corner deli. On photo shoots for Elle Décor, where Mota is a contributing editor, the Venezuela-born stylist has raided meadows and backyards everywhere from Minnesota to Marrakech. “Any branch from any tree,” he said. Don’t be afraid of flowers? It’s the flowers that should be afraid. “Watch out, trees, I’m coming over with a big machete!”
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!”
I go to Positano every summer to visit Giambattista Valli. This year, Victor Alfaro, Melvin Chua, Carlos Mota, Justo Artigas, Carlos de Souza, Hervé Bougon, and Anne McNally came along. We had a blast taking little boat rides to have lunch and dinner along the coast. My favorites are La Conca del Sogno, a 20-minute ride by boat, Adolfo for spaghetti vongole, the Hotel San Pietro for the best smoked dorade ever, and, of course, the Tre Sorelle for fried zucchini at dinner. This photo was taken at the very cool club Music on the Rocks. We danced to “I Know You Want Me” by Pitbull all night.
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about this blog
- editor matthew schneier covers all the news in style, from high street to high fashion, with dispatches from new york, l.a., london, paris, milan, tokyo, beijing, and more