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July 22 2014

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3 posts tagged "Isabel and Ruben Toledo"

Toledo’s New Tome

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Last night, a host of industry veterans, including Steven Kolb, Fern Mallis, and Paper‘s Mickey Boardman, gathered at the W Times Square to congratulate Isabel Toledo on her new tome, Roots of Style: Weaving Together Life, Love, and Fashion. “I wanted to inspire young designers to do things their way and hold onto their own voice,” the Cuban-American designer told Style.com of the book (featuring illustrations by her husband, Ruben), which is part memoir and part manual to the world of fashion. “These days you need renegades in fashion; otherwise there’s no spark.”

Paper‘s Kim Hastreiter recalled her first encounter with the couple in 1984. (“l met Ruben when he was a sales boy at Parachute in New York.”) According to Hastreiter, “Isabel and Ruben work together in creating fashion; she comes up with the ideas and he draws them—they’re like one person.” Adding, “Isabel is an outsider. Even though she’s not on the cover of Vogue every month, she’s the one that’s going to be in history books.”

Still, Mr. Toledo admitted to not always being the ultimate confident spouse. “The first show was terrifying,” he revealed. “I wanted to cancel three seconds before but Isabel said, ‘No, let’s go for it.’ “Ever the artiste, he played host by sketching impromptu caricatures into lucky guests’ book dust jackets, causing Hastreiter to cry out, “You’re like one of those portrait guys in Central Park!” To which Toledo quipped, “That’s where I got my training.”

Photo: Dean Neville/BFAnyc.com

Shining Stars

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“At least it’s not snowing this year” was a phrase heard repeatedly at Fashion Group International’s 15th Annual Rising Star Awards luncheon, held today at Cipriani 42nd Street. There were several FGI veterans in attendance, including Catherine Malandrino and past winners Thom Browne, Christopher Coleman, and Monica Rich Kosann (all three were also presenters today), who could remember prior years when the event was held on an especially chilly day. For the Rising Star nominees, however, it was a day full of firsts.

“I have been nominated for a few awards and not ever been in this situation,” Simon Spurr said, sounding quite surprised, as he collected his menswear award from Browne. “Obviously, this one is very special because, well, it’s my first one.” Before Nonoo designer Misha Nonoo picked up her womenswear award (she and Wes Gordon both won in the category in a tie), Nonoo joked, “If I end up having to give a speech, I am not nervous—I just had three bellinis,” she said. “Plus, they e-mailed us last night saying we absolutely had to keep our speeches under one minute.”

She might not have been nervous, but keynote speakers Isabel and Ruben Toledo were feeling the heat before they spoke (maybe that’s because they had more than 60 seconds to talk). “You know, we don’t do this [give speeches] for a living,” Ruben told Style.com as he snagged a bite of cake before heading to the stage. Meanwhile, his wife had lost her appetite for the moment. “I can’t eat now, but when I get back, I hope this steak is still waiting for me.” They had no reason to fret—they had plenty of wise words to offer the group. “When you have no budget, you learn to create out of thin air. Pragmatism becomes your best friend and you learn to do very much with very little,” Isabel said. “Whatever you love about what you do, keep on doing it. Don’t lose sight of that, no matter how hard things get.”

Photo: Ryan McCune /PatrickMcMullan.com

A Night At The Museo

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El Museo del Barrio threw a fiesta for its patrons last night to unveil its new renovation, a year and a half in the making. “It’s great to have the lights back on and the art back up,” wrote The New York Times yesterday about the dusted-off and expanded Fifth Avenue space, and partygoers like Isabel and Ruben Toledo and Christian Cota looked inclined to agree. The museum is reopening with a pair of exhibitions, Nexus New York: Latin/American Artists in the Modern Metropolis and Voces y Visiones. The former—which includes this painting, Fourteenth Street, 1920, by Joaquín Torres García—is a chronological history of Latino art in New York in the first part of the last century. The latter show features highlights from the museum’s permanent collection. The official ribbon-cutting is tomorrow morning; after that, El Museo is hosting another party, this one open to the public and free.

El Museo del Barrio, 1230 Fifth Avenue at 104 Street; elmuseo.org