Tuesday, May 20, 2014
Carter's New Book and Book Party
With Carter at the party for her new book in Soho.
My friend Mary Randolph Carter, who is a long-time creative director at Ralph Lauren and who is known as Carter, just published a new book, and Ralph Lauren hosted a party to celebrate in the RRL store in Soho. I met Carter some years ago when I freelanced at Ralph Lauren (I am also freelancing there now), and we have remained friends since. At Ralph Lauren, she had the most unique office that I have ever encountered in the work place. Layered with antiques, art, textiles, blankets, books and magazines, it was like a trip to a cabin in Maine although it was located at Madison and 60th. Carter has written several books and a favorite of mine is called For the Love of Old which captures in words and pictures her passion for things from the past that have a history. Carter loves antique finds and vintage clothes, and her personal style is completely unique to her and always inspiring.
The new book is about collecting and it's called Never Stop to Think...Do I Have a Place For This? (Carter's last book was A Perfectly Kept House is the Sign of a Misspent Life - Carter likes long titles!)
In this book, she encourages readers not to be deterred by lack of space if they find an antique or collectible they like. "If there is a place in your heart, then there is a place in your home," Carter said to me at her book party. "It gives you permission to find the wackiest thing and embrace it. If you see something and it speaks to you then you don't have to say no. I never have."
Inside, the book profiles nineteen collectors who proudly display their passions. I like the typography of the titles which looks like handmade paper cut outs -
This is the "price tag room" in Stephanie Lloyd's home where she prices items for her shop, Hudson Mercantile, in Hudson, New York -
Here is the New Orleans kitchen of Allain Bush. I like the simplicity of the colors -
Jennifer Lanne's studio in a barn in Saratoga, New York, is a great spot for an artist -
The photography is by Carter Berg who is Carter's son, and it reminds me of The World of Interiors magazine which lovingly captures splendors of the past. This book celebrates following your own voice and pursuing what appeals to you to create a singular personal style that is above and beyond passing trends. I'm a big fan of Carter's artistic approach and it has definitely influenced me.
I love how she signed our book
at her book signing party which was a big ta-doo at the Ralph Lauren RRL store on West Broadway. Carter's many friends and fans mobbed the place -
There was a long bar set up on one counter -
and Carter's book was for sale at the register -
Ralph Lauren himself came to congratulate Carter. The room quieted down and Carter thanked Ralph and noted that when they were introduced she realized that "I met someone who loves more things than I do." Ralph complimented Carter saying, "She's been a great asset to me and the company and she's better than ever."
The RRL store on West Broadway is one of my favorite places, with its vintage-inspired clothes and evocative displays.
It's a trip back in time, and there is a vignette to look at in every corner, like the combination of this antique industrial lamp, leather and canvas messenger bag, and old-fashioned cotton shirt.
Outside as the party wound down, dusk was falling in Soho -
It was kind of magical.