Zac Posen & Ecco Domani

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In a collaboration that launched last month, fashion designer Zac Posen dressed a limited edition Ecco Domani Pinot Grigio bottle in a whimsical floral design as bright and festive as the wine itself.

I sat down with the famous couture designer recently to get the story on how the collaboration came to be and the inspiration behind the design.

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What is the idea behind the new label design for Ecco Domani’s Pinot Grigio?

“I wanted to work with the FLAVORS, play with the brightness and floral notes, something that would work in a more modern and decorative decor and something that says “party-time”. I also incorporated the actual Ecco logo into the design of the flowers and wanted to bring out the sparkling quality of it, the lightness and the flowers, something that picked up on metallic and something transparent to see the beautiful green color of the wine.”

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Where did the design inspiration for the flowers come from?

“When I was at a flea market in Japan I found a beautiful floral obi textile I later redeveloped into a pattern we used in a collection a few years ago (see jacket below). The flowers are little reminders of the wild imagination and creation of nature. There is nothing more inspiring than the natural form. It is abstract and wild in terms of construction and as beautiful as it gets.”

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Tulum, Mexico

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Discovering Tulum has been on my list for a while now. My friend Claire, who I recently featured in a post about appreciating friends, wrote a perfect go-to guide to Tulum I’ve had bookmarked in my Travel Lust folder for a while now. When Pandora Jewelry reached out to me to bring to life their summer collection, some of which are inspired by palm leaves, I knew my dreams of Tulum would come true. 

Traveling is always such an adventure. You have a mental image of what a place is going to be and then what it is in actuality once you get there. Tulum is that fantasy place, bohemian and still a bit wild so much that you can’t believe a place like this still exists. I’m sure 30 years ago it was even more authentic. Everything is a bit sandy, a lot of locals do not speak English, air conditioning doesn’t really exist, nor the need to wear shoes. In Tulum, you’re supposed to spend your days on the beach, keeping life simple and natural. 

I chose three key pieces of Pandora Jewelry’s summer collection to take with me, the Tropical Palm RingTropical Palm Necklace and Tropicana charms which felt appropriate with their graphic leafy palm tree patterns that mimicked the canopy of leaves I quite often relaxed under as a respite from the afternoon sun. I love that now, since my return, when I look at these pieces I’m instantly transported back into that summery feeling from this Mexican oasis. 

See my discovery of Tulum, what I wore, where we stayed and more below!

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Above~ Waiting to go to dinner at Hartwood in Rachel Zoe’s Leona Ottoman Linen dress, with Pandora Jewelry’s Tropical Palm Ring, and Tropicana charm bracelet and all natural hand woven tote I picked up at Coqui Coqui. 

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We stayed at the Papaya Playa Project which we enjoyed very much. It’s comprised of white adobe buildings you maze your way through. We had a “New Casita” which was a two floor loft facing the ocean with huge bathtub on the 2nd story porch

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Welcome to NIZUC

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From almost anywhere at the resort you have views of the Caribbean sea and a front row seat to a spectacular sunset show every night. The service, especially in contrast to the very bohemian world of Tulum, was some of the best I’ve ever experienced. While giving you the sensation of complete privacy they still manage to show up at just the right moment to fulfill any wish or desire you crave. The grounds are spotless, keeping a very zen feeling throughout the resort. With six amazing restaurants (I was able to eat at 5 of them) and the most beautiful spa I’ve ever seen (best facial of my life btw), they set it up so you never have to leave. Of course, there are some places that you travel to where you want to go out and explore but at NIZUC it’s very simple: you rest, relax, eat, sleep and repeat in the most comfortable way possible.

I’ll be honest, I prefer more historic resorts or locations so I didn’t expect to be so taken by a new hotel but I fell in love with NIZUC. We would lay in the day beds by the ocean in the mornings, have amazing Mexican food for lunch, go for a swim in the infinity pool overlooking the Caribbean and resort grounds while sipping on a rum cocktail from the swim-up bar. At night we would dress for dinner, have drink while watching the sunset at one of the many lounges and talk about how we never want to leave over a quiet dinner perfectly served.

As if it needed another reason to be spectacular, it’s only a 15 minute car ride from the airport through tree-lined boulevards. Done. When can we go back?…

(Above, walking the corridors of NIZUC in a white TIBI maxi dress)

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Men In This Town

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This past year my friend Giuseppe Santamaria not only published a new book but started a print magazine, MITT, which is a quarterly digest on the “Men In This Town”. I love that living and working in New York introduces you to an array of amazingly ambitious and talented people and I was beyond thrilled when Giuseppe emailed me to ask if I would be a contributor to their 2nd issue. One problem, I told Giuseppe: I had to be honest, I’ve never done a men’s fashion editorial, and I actually know nothing about the men’s fashion world other than the fact that John Jannuzzi works at GQ and I love the way men look in suits.

One of the characteristics that I possess that has really changed my life is my natural ability to say yes to anything I find a challenge. I love climbing the mountain and slaying the dragon, killing the fear of unknown, so I got to work. I emailed John, I think the subject line was something to the effect of “HALP”. John put me in touch with the amazing stylists at Carson Street Clothiers in Soho, James Ralston & Justin Doss, and I asked Porsche Cooper, hair & makeup artist for one of my favorite shoots of all times, to also jump off the cliff with me. It’s really a wonderful thing to ask people for help, being vulnerable is important, and having the end result a collaboration of parts you couldn’t have found success without. 

Then we had to find our model.

Here is where fate played a role. Enter: Eduardo Ramos. A charming Cuban American, model, writer, and actor. His presence on set was magnetic and we were all totally sucked into his latin world. He shared with us stories of visiting his family in Cuba, the way it really is there and not the touristic description of the vintage cars and cigars, but the day to day way of life living in a communist country.  It was fascinating and changed the entire photoshoot on the spot. I had him speak Spanish to the crew while I photographed him, and we looked for ways to shoot beyond the clothing, into the person before us.

I talked to Giuseppe afterwards and said, “You have to interview this guy for the magazine, his story is so interesting and relevant to what’s happening in culture” which is exactly what Giuseppe did and you can read all about it in the article “¿QUE ES CUBA?” in the June issue of MITT.

Below are some of my favorite photographs from our sitting-

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Above Suit by Eidos | Shirt by Umit Benan | Slippers by MELINDAGLOSS | Panama Hat by Carson Street X Cappellificio Biellese

Below Grey Donegal Suit by Camoshita United Arrows | Polo by Camoshita | Shoes by Lemaine

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