By  on June 28, 2005

NEW YORK — It's easy to get carried away imagining a year-round resort lifestyle. Motu Tane, a collection started by beauty guru Francois Nars and fashion designer Sophie Theallet, aims to make that dream a reality, even if just a fashion one.

Motu Tane, which launches at retail in mid-October, offers lightweight and floaty looks that would work equally well for a night out in New York or a Caribbean beach. Motu Tane takes an unusual approach: rather than offer seasonal collections, the duo has decided to concentrate on resort and will offer it year-round.

"The idea of doing resort exclusively offered a pretty wide range of possibilities," Nars said. "People travel all year round, so it's not just limited to winter. The collection will be sold the entire year."

Nars came up with the concept in Tahiti, where he spends a lot of time each year.

"I am working on a book on Tahiti, so I was really frustrated with the fact that I couldn't find any great fabrics to photograph," Nars recalled. "I called Sophie and asked her if she could remake some vintage prints. She re-created the prints ... and that's when we started talking about creating a collection and a lifestyle only for resort."

Theallet, who holds the title of chief creative officer, worked with Azzedine Alaia for 10 years and with Jean Paul Gaultier for three years before teaming up with Nars Cosmetics, for which she designed cosmetics bags, uniforms and T-shirts.

Nars also recruited Jennifer Lister, who left her post as chief executive officer of Nars Cosmetics Inc. for the project, which has no relation to the cosmetics firm. Nars sold his cosmetics company to Shiseido in 2000.

"When Sophie and Francois had this brilliant idea to create a new brand, I couldn't imagine a better move," said Lister, who serves as Motu Tane's president and ceo.

They decided to name the collection after Nars' Bora Bora island, which also serves as its main inspiration. The 80-piece collection includes Polynesian-print silk chiffon dresses with details such as raffia halters and shell necklines, crinkle chiffon Victorian-inspired blouses, satin Empire-waisted dresses with gathered sleeves and luxe jersey printed T-shirts.

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