And I’m not just referring to the Important Estate Jewelry which will be auctioned at Doyle New York (http://www.doylenewyork.com/
) on April 16th (over 600 enviable lots by such iconic makers as Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, Buccellati, Tiffany & Co., and David Webb to be exact). There’s no denying the impossibly dazzling appeal of the high carat weight diamond rings, bracelets, brooches, earrings, fine watches, objets de vertu, elegant compacts, cigarette cases, and compacts, representing the Victorian, Edwardian, Art Nouveau, Art Deco, and Modern eras. But last evening, during the course of an exhibition preview at the famed auction house, it was obvious that the real life gems were Isabel and Ruben Toledo, the impossibly talented duo, who where there to celebrate the publication of:
Roots of Style: Weaving Together Life, Love and Fashion
By Isabel Toledo with illustrations by Ruben Toledo.
Click Here to Buy Book
Talk about a labor of love. While the prolific and creative couple make beautiful music together on a regular basis, are always in perfect harmony with one another, and have successfully collaborated on many things in life, this is their first book. And as anyone who has put pen to paper knows, writing can truly be a labor of love (often times without the love part). 6 months in the making, the end product is yet another example of just how in sync this couple is, as Ruben’s artwork makes Isabel’s words truly come alive.
Isabel told me that she wrote all her notes in longhand (rather than computerize them), and it was only when Ruben said “I have the perfect illustration to go along with that thought”, that it was included in the final edit. In the introduction, Isabel describes the entire writing process as a “vulnerable and intimate undertaking, not unlike the process of making clothes”. She goes on to say that style and fashion “inspires optimism” for her, and gives her the tools to communicate. She also observes that “fashion is what time looks like”, and admits that when Michelle Obama wore her coat and dress “on that gloriously frozen Inauguration Day, I was woven into time and into history itself”.
This is a very revealing and personal look inside the life, mind, and soul of one of our generation’s most revered fashion designers. Isabel hopes to inspire those who read it to “follow their instincts, trust their individuality, and discover their own personal style signature”. Speaking of individuality and style, the subject of Raf Simons, (Dior’s new designer), came up and the Toledos said he is a friend and they agree it is a wonderful choice. I for one, completely concur as I have always been a big fan of Mr. Simons’. I appreciate his aesthetic, which has been consistent from the start. His designs are always beautiful, smart, chic, supremely luxurious in a most modern way, and perfectly balanced, and he never demeans or insults women. He is never funny or ironic, as so many other designers can be (and we know who they are, right?)
I am a long time fashion editor with 40+ years of experience. As senior market of Harper's Bazaar for 21 years I met and worked with every major fashion designer in the world and covered all of the collections in Paris, London, Milan and New York. I was responsible for overall content, finding and pulling in the best clothes out there, and for formulating ideas and stories.
Sounds like an insightful and inspiring book. It is always interesting to get inside the mind of those with great talent.