Beauty and estilazos are hard to find. Nowadays, it’s about mixing and everything-goes — as long as it has esencia y originalidad. You definitely don’t want to look like an Alexander McQueen model straight-out-of-the-runway. That’s not style, that’s having money and being lazy, not to mention lacking creatividad. At the Armory Show art fair, I found some beauties juxtaposed with the beautiful art on display. Let me give you just a bit (pues no econtré mucho).
Raúl De Nieves: Raúl is an artist himself. His work was on view at the Giti Nourbakhsch gallery booth from Berlin. He definitely stuck out from the crowd with his simple, original style. Photographed here in front of his favorite piece from the Show, a Christian Holstad.
Turban: Vintage “Modest by Jones”.
Jewelry: Gold vintage Indian aretes and rings.
Shirt: Donna Karan, vintage.
Shoes: Cabjuks-ish style leather shoes/ vintage.
Lucy Mitchell-Innes: This woman IS the gallery. It was a pleasure to meet such a classy and suave lady, owner of Mitchell-Innes and Nash gallery in New York. It was always very refreshing to sense her excitement* when she spoke about Puerto Rican artist Enoc Perez, whom she represents, and agreed to be photographed in front of one of his paintings with Xoxa. My eye, muy disimuladamente, scanned her ensemble and I was right, “gurl se tiró las telas,” very elegant.
*Let me tell you, excitement was definitely lacking when I spoke with other galeristas. parecía haberse ido pa’l carajo. Some of the gallery reps needed an infusion of enthusiasm de emergencia. Don’t they want to sell? When talking about their art or artists some of them seemed !Bien apesta’os! …diito.
Sam Axelrod: And you might ask. “¿Y qué tiene este Axelrod, lead singer and guitarist of the band “The Narrator”, that is so stylish? Style. (!No me pregunten más! It is what it is. Like it? Buy it! A-la Gallery style.)
When I first spotted him, I thought it was a mannequin in front of a Houser & Wirth painting. Then I asked Sam about his clothes and bingo! I knew I would find some interesting idiosyncrasies. His 70’s blazer he borrowed from his cousin. The tie? His dad’s. The trousers he got at a “Mexican second-hand store*”, and the sneakers, well, he has been buying a pair of blue Pumas once a year for the past 11 years.
*I wonder what he meant by a Mexican second-hand store. Is it in Mexico? Or Mexican second-hand stores, that, besides selling molcajetes and piñatas, sell fabulous flat front pants made-to-measure? I’m in!
Bold: Yes, 1970’s flight attendant pero la doña “le dio hasta abajo” con la perreria y ‘endilgue’ attitude, you had to be there. Huge bufanda, cinturilla-meets-fitted-dress-meets- somber-makeup-meets-simple-hair estilo. Very clean. What is she wearing? “Frankly my dear I don’t give a damn.” She was gone with the wind to her next trans-Atlantic destination.
Simple: Simple doesn’t have to be aburrido. Look at Xoxa! One-ply synthetic chiffon wrap with elastic band; clean, fresh hair pulled back on a rabito and always-sexy y con estilo. Of course, la perra has THAT killer body you are either born with or pay for it: “Para verse bien vestido hay que verse bien desnudo.” – Oscar de la Renta.
Equally flawless in its simplicity is the artwork commissioned to John Waters for the Armory this year. Only John can shift and play regiamente at so many levels. By the way, don’t miss his new documentary film “Beautiful Darling,” the story of James Slattery who would later transforms into Candy Darling and becomes part of Warhol’s posse and Factory icon.
Mister Estiletto: Black/White and red specs tweed fitted jacket with peak lapels and epaulettes: Vintage.
White tuxedo shirt: Francesco Smalto.
Glasses: Tom Ford.
Piotr Uklanski image: Raúl de Nieves reflected on a Piotr Uklanski piece. A raw interpretation of what our photographer du-jour Raquel Perez-Puig would classify as “Los Visibles”: the stylish, the noble, the distinguished. The ‘others’ are simply forgotten. Never underestimate the power of beauty.