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EVA THE EVERYWOMAN: If New York & Co. needed proof that Eva Mendes was the perfect celebrity collaborator to connect with a diverse group of people, it found it Tuesday at its dinner at the Chateau Marmont in West Hollywood. Presiding over a party of 30, including stylists Ilaria Urbinati and Jeff Kim and Hollywood wife-turned-Web entrepreneur Cassandra Grey, the actress urged everyone to introduce themselves before the arrival of the burrata and kale salads. Flaunt Magazine publisher Luis Barajas joked he was “the Dos Equis guy” while design consultant Alejandro Blanco advertised he’s a single Libra. New York & Co. chief executive Greg Scott smiled approvingly. “She has her own unique style. It resonates with the clothing,” he said, adding that she convinced the work apparel specialist to offer turbans, bodysuits and midi-length skirts.
Accessorizing a strapless lace dress from her spring collection with an Escada jacket and Bionda Castana gold floral lace heels, Mendes sandwiched the dinner between two other promotions for the brand. Earlier that night, she christened its new pop-up shop at the Beverly Center, where bloggers snapped selfies for the in-store Instagram wall. This evening, she’s trekking some 30 miles south of Los Angeles to Cerritos to pose for photos with customers.
Though her three-year partnership launched last fall, Mendes professed that spring is her favorite season. “I’m an L.A. girl,” she said. “I’m always in a dress. I’m always in floral.” Her flirtation with fashion dated back to grade school, when she paired a denim skirt and red boots with a peach-colored shirt and red babushka-style kerchief and pearl earrings. She even scoured thrift stores in Detroit to dress her character in “How to Catch a Monster,” the dark fairy tale written and directed by Ryan Gosling with Saoirse Ronan and Christina Hendricks.
“I found a ton of stuff in Detroit that inspired my line,” she said. Perhaps the standout item is the peach floral pantsuit similar to what her older sister wore in the Eighties. “I’m very excited about that one because it has an emotional meaning to me,” Mendes said.