Ah, to be Carlos Souza, peripatetic brand ambassador for Valentino, international hobnobber, family man. Who doesn’t love him? The tailors of Hangzhou, China, that’s who.
Souza was in the Assouline store at Claridge’s in London on Monday night for the U.K. launch of his first book “#Carlos’s Places” — yes, the hashtag is intentional for maximum social media visibility. He recalled that during a visit to Hangzhou, he spotted some elegant monks and wanted to buy one of their long, flowing robes for himself.
This story first appeared in the October 15, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
“The monks are so elegant, but when I tried to buy the robes, the shopkeeper asked me, ‘Are you a monk?’ I said, ‘No, but I pray a lot.’ He said it wasn’t possible,” a crestfallen Souza said. Preceded by a book party in New York last week, this one drew Princess Marie-Chantal of Greece and her daughter Maria-Olympia, Valentino Garavani, Giancarlo Giammetti, Khali El-Assir, Charlene Shorto de Ganay and her children with the author, Sean and Anthony Souza.
The book features hundreds of Souza’s Instagram snaps — three-and-a-half years of postings — in addition to musings on his native Brazil, his adopted Rome and Gstaad, Switzerland, and his occasional stopovers, of which there are many. There’s even a picture — shot on the spur of the moment, and when he wasn’t supposed to be looking — of Anne Hathaway and her husband Adam Shulman on their wedding day. “We were trying to catch the last of the sun for [our wedding] photographer,” Shulman said. “Carlos captured the feeling inside that moment — and we still felt alone.”
As the Souza set was dining on Cheyne Walk in Chelsea, at the home of Marie-Chantal, over at the buzzy Chiltern Firehouse, Alexander McQueen launched the local edition of the annual Frieze Art Fair, which doesn’t officially start until today.
“I think Lee would have loved it here,” said Shaun Leane, an old friend of the late designer. “Because he was all about gathering people together for a good time and, here, there’s all these beautiful alcoves to have a laugh in with your mates.” The mates included Kering boss François-Henri Pinault and wife Salma Hayek, Florence Welch, Naomi Campbell, Edie Campbell, Kim Gordon, Otis Ferry, Josephine and Alexandre de La Baume and Tom Hooper, the director of “The King’s Speech.” Sarah Burton, meanwhile, offered up some of her knowledge of the art market: “What I know about buying art is this: You’ve got to love it. Because you have to live with it.”
Actor Jamie Campbell Bower arrived with his model girlfriend Matilda Lowther, who started at art school this week. “Is there also a Frieze festival in Scotland?” she asked. “Um, no,” corrected the boyfriend, “that would be the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.”