Author: Katie Slater

A Twenty Something Tour of the Town – Florence

With summer officially knocking on the door, a trip I took from two summers ago has me wishing I was back in Florence.  During this summer abroad six of my close friends and I had the privilege of soaking up the best in Italian cuisine, cocktails, and of course you can’t leave Italy without some fine Italian leather!  Can someone PLEASE take me back! Here is a look at some of my favorite spots in one of my favorite places on earth: Florence, Italy.

Il Latini – A lovely family style Italian restaurant.  There are two seatings at the restaurant and expect massive lines to get in the door for both!

La Giostra – best pear ravioli in the world

Grom – I highly recommend the Creme de Grom

The Secret Bakery – This hole in the wall is a true treasure of Florence.  Opening up after hours you are lucky if you can find the bakery and snag a chocolate croissant!

Acqua al 2 – the pasta sampler is a must!

Procacci – best specialty foods made with truffles!

Art Bar – Here you will find the most thoughtful and artfully created drinks in the world.  Try the passion fruit caprioska!

Infinity – beautifully crafted leather goods

Ponte Vecchio – Notorious for high prices and gorgeous jewelry; great for window shopping!

Bobboli Gardens and Pitti Palace

Piazzale Michelangelo – The views walking up and from the piazzale are stunning.

San Lorenzo Market – a great spot for weekly shopping, people watching or to grab a bite to eat.

This brief list doesn’t begin to touch the surface of what Florence has to offer.

If you haven’t been, it is a must!

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The English Baroque Reborn: Easton Neston

Easton Neston was originally built in 1702 by Nicholas Hawksmoor, who also had his hand in projects such as Blenheim Palace and Castle Howard. Hawksmoor’s design can be classified as English Baroque with his grand portico entrance on the façade as well as giant order columns that suggest a level of grandeur and weightiness. It must also be noted that Hawksmoor included signature lugs or “ears” on the corner of the windows which add a sense of illusion and drama. The dramatic details and sheer craftsmanship of work have kept art historians and enthusiasts alike returning to Easton Neston. While many properties of this stature stay within family lines or are placed in the hands of the National Trust, others are auctioned off through major auction houses like Sotheby’s and Christies.

In 2005, Leon Max of Max Studio purchased Easton Neston from Sotheby’s after a majority of the home’s interiors were auctioned off at the same sale. This left a need to restore the interiors to it’s English Baroque roots.

Max found the perfect duo to take on this grand manor. He chose Ptolemy Dean who had just been inducted as Westminster Abbey’s Surveyor of Fabrics. For the interiors, Max appropriately selected Lady Henrietta Spencer-Churchill who grew up in Blenheim Palace. Since Easton Neston is comprised of 36 rooms and 32,000 square feet, the team had their work cut out for them. Not only did the entire house need new interiors, but the inner workings of the home dated back to the 1920’s. Through a long process of replicating 18th century designs, buying furniture off site and selecting art that would compliment the space, this exquisite team was able to successfully bring Easton Neston back to life.

I guarantee that Leon Max will be having numerous parties with this dream backdrop! Enjoy a video campaign from Max Studio Spring 2012, filmed onsite at Easton Neston.

Our High Wire Act: An Opening at BLG

Planning for an opening is a daunting task, a flurry of activity that begins months before the event. After previewing a large body of work from the artist, Bill and the staff select favorites and begin conceptualizing an overall theme around the work. For example, our upcoming exhibit entitled Sacred Portal is a sophisticated reference to the work’s carnal subject.

Titles don’t just pop out of thin air; in fact, our last show, The Irascible Muse: A Coming of Age and Fried Green Tomatoes, started with over 2 hours of discussion, brainstorming, and some random word associations until we were absolutely delirious. We took a break and the next day got it just right with a comical twist at the end.

Then there’s inventory, installation, wall tags, marketing and of course the great opening night party! The work arrives to the gallery (normally a week or two before the opening) and it is time for our wonderful, and might I say charming, installers to do some heavy lifting. Uncrating, placing , installing and lighting the work can take up to a week.

 

Bill works his curatorial magic as he strips the gallery to make room for new. Next, the gallery girls to inventory, tag, photograph, and properly document everything with pricing, materials and dimensions. Changes are still made up until the day before opening night to make sure the work makes just the right impact and that the client’s eye will move in a harmonious rhythm from object to object and idea to idea.

If you receive our invitations by mail or email you have become quite familiar with the graphic brilliance of Madame Kwan (prime example below).

Marketing is a coordinated effort and Alex Delotch Davis has her foot tapping in it all. We call all of our favorite journalists, print, online, radio and television, with what we think is the most interesting story in the world (sometimes they agree). We load up the car and hand deliver invitations to our favorite restaurants, design firms, and boutiques to share with their preferred clients. We push email blasts, twitter, facebook, and every other social media that connects us with the world. All to get the right people in the right place at the right time.

Finally opening night: food, wine, flowers, and music all arranged somewhere between uncrating and tweeting. It’s the final element of pizzazz trademark of any BILL LOWE event. For the Pierre Le Duc opening Bill and the staff selected light spring inspired food that would not overpower one’s palette. For the flowers white and lush seemed to be the perfect echo to Pierre’s monumental white linen canvases. As for the music, Florence and the Machines is included amongst our usual upbeat tunes.

 

[Flowers by Twelve and Catering by Soiree]

It’s a real high wire act keeping all the parts moving. What seems like a tranquil, ambient gallery space is underscored by lots of shuffle and buzz that keeps people coming back for more!

Gallery Girl Style: Modern Traditionalist

Spicing up your work wardrobe can be a bit of a challenge when you slip into the same routine. However Alex Delotch Davis is always surprising us with new ways to mix and match pieces from her wardrobe and creating elegantly chic outfits.

Here Alex is wearing a camel color skirt she inherited from her mother that becomes the focal point of the outfit. The A-line structure of the skirt accentuates her waist giving her body a wonderful curvature.

 

Alex chose to pair a white oxford with her mother’s circle skirt as “It’s one of those pieces that stands on it’s own so a simple white blouse seemed like a nice compliment”. Not only does the white oxford compliment the tones of the skirt but the subtle detailing of the shirt adds an element of crispness to the outfit.

To finish off the look Alex wears Fendi gold stud earrings, a gold monogrammed necklace and nude peep toe pumps with a delicate bow!

Alex’s go to gallery outfit is not only great for client meetings throughout the day but transitions perfectly from day to night with a nude pair of pumps (pictured here). Happy Hour here she comes!

 

Inspiration from the runways:

Now recreate Alex’s perfect gallery look!

Skirts: Asos, Allencompany, Ted Baker

Shirt: Asos

Shoes: Enzo Angiolini, Christin Michaels

Earrings: Lucia K., Gucci

Behind the Set of Fashion Week

Many of the designers showing at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week 2012 incorporated intricate sets to showcase their fall lines. The bold color palettes and textural elements of their designs are further enhanced through the incorporation of these elaborate sets. Award-winning architect Zaha Hadid adds a sense of playfulness and whimsy to the streamlined designs of Karl Lagerfeld of Chanel.

 

Architect Zaha Hadid for Karl Lagerfeld with Chanel

 

Other designers remove their work from the starkness of a white runway and add dimension through color, texture, and even reflection. Whether it’s to enhance the expressive lines of the design or to create a powerful back-drop, the sets of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week 2012 are something that no spectator could miss. In some instances, these sets stole the show! Enjoy the runway highlights!

 

Sculptor Rachel Feinstein for Marc Jacobs

Chris Benz

Prabal Gurung

Band of Outsiders

Cynthia Rowley

Imitation

Jason Wu