Spotlight on: Christos Dovas

Celebrated designer Christos Dovas is your first stop for a celebration in unforgettable style. Dempsey & Carroll’s Austin Ackles sat down with him to discuss how Greek origins formed a great New York talent.

 

QUESTION: You’ve been involved in garment design and construction since an early age. Can you tell us about those beginnings?

CHRISTOS DOVAS: I believe I was born artistic – The fact that I grew up with a father who was a shoe designer was a coincidence of destiny. I first learned to design from picking up the leather scraps from the floor, and making small wearable pieces. As a child, I watched my father buy raw materials and deal with market professionals – This taught me about business. watching my father work at the bench itself taught me how to pull the grow and straighten the fabric. I would say I was most fortunate to see my dad working original designs from the 50’s 60’s 70’s in leather skins, fabric and laces.

QUESTION: When we think of your work, what images would you like first to pop into our heads?  Light? Air? The sea? How has your Greek heritage informed you design?

CHRISTOS DOVAS:  I am a dreamer. I want my designs to conjure up the imagery of books, sculpture and paintings– secret stories all through the medium of my pencils and threads. It sounds funny but I get inspired while in New York; blending my past work experience and the city’s active lifestyle results in contemporary, artful pieces. My creations are influenced by pure poetry, clarity and symbolism. I love to design, create, and ultimately make women feel beautiful.

QUESTION: What thrills you most about Greece? And what do you find most exciting about New York?

CHRISTOS DOVAS: In Greece, it is exciting to be surrounded by time. History and Art have left marks with the Ancient Greek artifacts that inspire me daily. In contrast, New York’s contemporary presence is alive with a melting pot of different cultures.

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QUESTION: You’re an amazing colorist! When you use color, it feels at once bold and yet gently nuanced. Are there colors have you not been using that you are becoming more and more interested in?

CHRISTOS DOVAS: Since childhood, I have loved to draw with my pencils in black and white, along with watercolor and wax. I love gentle, smooth, soft pastels in combination with strong, dark, powerful hues. There are many different ways that color and fabric can be combined to create unique creation. The personality of someone is definitely the most important factor to consider when applying color onto fabric.

 

QUESTION: What’s it like to work with you and your studio? Can you tell us a little about the experience of commissioning your work?

CHRISTOS DOVAS: I am an old fashioned designer, which means that I like to show personal interest in the commission of a dress. Once we agree on the design, I begin to drape the fabric and bring to the drawings to life. Lots of hand-stitching is involved in the execution, and many fittings will happen to perfect a bespoke design.

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QUESTION: Can you give us a tip? What design elements should be avoided for practicality reasons?

CHRISTOS DOVAS: My philosophy revolves around beauty and timeless elegance. I would rather stay with simplicity instead of opting for a design with lots of lines and shapes.

 

QUESTION: When you’re seeking inspiration and renewal, where do you head?

CHRISTOS DOVAS: I often seek inspiration through books, art history, paintings, and sculptures. I always like to head to the Metropolitan Museum of Art here in New York and I love reading biographies of artists and designers.

 

QUESTION: Before we go, will you please share a sweet story about one of your favorite clients?

CHRISTOS DOVAS:  Every moment is a special occasion, though weddings take the cake. When designing a wedding dress, the mother is always the biggest advisor to the bride.  When it comes to details, there are usually different ideas and opinions to be had, especially when choose sleeve embellishments. A bride-to-be chose one ribbon with embroidery as the finish detail, and the mother chose another ribbon with bugles and crystals. There were a lot of hard decisions to make on their end in terms of which ones to choose. The final creation was beautifully stitched with attention to detail to make both the bride and mother happy with the design!

Learn more about Christos at http://www.ChristosDovas.com 
Credits:
Photography: Manuel Vasquez and Stephen Shadrach
Model: Jackie Swerz
Make Up artist: Alison Cornely,
Hair: Abby Ballin
Portrait credits: Francois Legagneur

 

 

 

#DestinationDempsey

When creating our Jet Set collection, we wanted to honor four iconic cities that would resonate with locals and travelers alike. Each unique city features engraved correspondence cards and envelopes that are hand-lined with city maps and vintage artwork. 

We worked with four influencers from around the world to create a blog post with their top hidden gems and experiences with our Jet Set Collection.  Follow along to discover Paris, London, Los Angeles, and New York with highlights from our #DestinationDempsey campaign.

 

Paris

We started in Paris, as Emily Jackson (@theglitteringunknown) shared her five can’t-miss places in the City of Lights on The Glittering Unknown. From strolling through the popular Marais neighborhood, to enjoying a cocktail on the Seine River by Le Pont Alexandre III, the “Je ne sais quoi” of Paris was beautifully captured.

 

London

We then took a trip across the English Channel with Andrea Cheong (@fleurandrea) as she wrote about her favorite places in London, a bustling metropolis that juxtaposes historic sites with modern architecture and technology. We followed her handwritten clues on The Haute Heel to discover instagrammable hot spots like Plum Spilt Milk, along with classic spots like The Victoria and Albert Museum.

 

Los Angeles

We flew across the country to sunny California to meet Caroline Juen (@loveandloathingla) in the City of Angels for her guide on Love & Loathing LA. Whether you’re soaking in old Hollywood glamour at the iconic Beverly Hills Hotel, or cheering for a baseball game at Dodger’s Stadium, there are plenty of great experiences to be had by Angelenos and tourists alike in Los Angeles.

 

New York City

What better way to end Destination Dempsey than Alyssa Ponticello (@runwaychef) as she shared her love letter to New York before beginning her cross country trip to move out west? Alyssa’s guide on Runway Chef brought us all over our home city, from brunch at West Village hot spot Buvette, to taking in skyline views at Brooklyn Bridge Park in DUMBO. New York is, after all, the city so nice they named it twice!

 

Where are your favorite spots in Paris, London, Los Angeles, and New York? Discover our Jet Set Collection to inspire your next trip and use the #DestinationDempsey hashtag on social media to share your travels. 

Spotlight on Tessler Events

Eyal Tessler of New York City-based Tessler Events knows exactly what makes an important day a most memorable one. Recently, Dempsey & Carroll’s Austin Ackles asked him to reveal some of the secrets of his successes.

 

AA: What should fill our heads when we think of Tessler Events?

ET: When thinking of “Tessler Events” I would like people to think of us as more than just event or party planners. I want you to think about us as your partners in creating memories for life and making dreams come true. We don’t just look at the end result because we like to think of ourselves as your event architects; we take you through the journey of the planning so you can enjoy and learn every step of the way.

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AA: Is there a venue in New York that you long to design for but have not yet had the chance?

ET: One of my dreams is to do a midsummer night alfresco dinner in Central Park.

 

AA: You’re capable of beautifully expressing a variety of aesthetics and I’ve seen you do very clean and modern spaces that are still very lush and opulent in mood. Your work seems so new, but where in your journeys do you find inspiration?

ET: I love just walking around the city and getting ideas and inspiration from theater, movies, fashion, architecture, art and more.  It’s not always about the big things — the right small element that can sometimes deliver the biggest impact.

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AA: To you, what makes or breaks a dinner party?

ET: I think a dinner party should be a reflection on the hosts, together with the art of entertaining. It’s all about putting together the right group with the right menu in the right atmosphere and with the right seating scheme. If you don’t have all of these elements, you can unwittingly create a recipe for disaster.

 

AA: How large can a dinner party be until place cards are necessary?

ET: I think any size dinner party can have place cards. Part of the art of entertaining is making sure the right people sit next to each other to fuel conversation and, sometimes, new relationships.

 

AA: And how large can a dinner be before escort cards are needed?

ET: I think any dinner party with more than two tables should have escort cards so it’s easy for your guests to find their seat.

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AA: Do you care to share any pet peeves about tablescapes? What are you fussy about and most relaxed about?

ET: I don’t like tabletops that are too crowded and fussy because a table setting should be comfortable and welcoming. I don’t think you need five different glasses for each place setting at all times; you can always reset silverware and glassware. A big no-no for me is to have a centerpiece that prevents conversation between people across the table. I think for small dinner parties, sometimes less is more.

 

AA: When the day is done, how do you like to wind down?

ET: I like to exercise, listen to music and just separate the work day from the private life. Disconnecting is a very hard task as a business owner, but I try my best!

 

AA: And when you’re traveling for pure pleasure, what kind of adventure are you hoping to find?

ET: My happy place is the ocean, so the best adventures for me include a beautiful beach with lots of time to relax and recharge.

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Spotlight on Virginia Edelson

Based in beautiful Aspen, Colorado, Virginia Edelson of Bluebird Productions creates unforgettable events for the experience of a lifetime. Ever conscious of her impact on our environment, Dempsey & Carroll’s Austin Ackles asked Virginia how she achieves so much while keeping the region so gloriously gorgeous!

 

 

  •  Seasonal Flowers – We recommend consulting with your floral designer to select flowers and greenery that is seasonal and sustainable. The environmental impact is less (transportation, fuel, keeping cool, etc) and the design feels more appropriate. Bonus points for using a floral designer who works with farmers to source flowers that limit the use of pesticides and herbicides!

 

  • Potted Plants – We suggest incorporating potted plants and trees into the design when appropriate. These potted components of a design can then be gifted, put into homes, planted or repotted and used in a different capacity. We adore cut blooms and can’t imagine a wedding without them… but mixing cut and arranged with potted is a lovely approach to lessen the impact on the land.

 

  • Compost florals (and food) at the event – We recommend composting any green products after an event. It may not be the glamorous part of an event to discuss,  but it certainly has a large impact on our landfills.  

 

  • Group Transportation – When venue appropriate, we recommend providing transportation for all of your guests to and from a wedding. This will cut down on the fossil fuels burned by many many cars.

 

  • Local Food – Not only does local food just taste better, it’s better for the environment and supports the local community.

 

 

Destination Dempsey: Labor Day

Labor Day is coming up and some of us are planning on taking advantage of the long weekend to enjoy the final days of summer. We asked the team about where they plan on heading, a fun fact or anecdote about their destination, and what piece of Dempsey & Carroll stationery they plan on bringing with them. Bon voyage!

 

Umara: I’m traveling to good old sunny California!

 

Emma: I’m going to Block Island to spend the week (and long weekend) with my family

  • There are too many reasons to love Block Island, especially because it’s been a family tradition since my dad was 11. I love the moment on the ferry ride over when I can see the first glimpse of the bluffs and then the town comes into view. Nothing beats spending the day at the beach and wandering through town or taking a hike on one of the many trails.
  • I’m bringing pieces from our collaboration with The Maryn because it’s perfect for spending time by the sea!

 

Jaimie: I’ll be at Yankee Stadium for the Yankees/Red Sox game! What better way to spend Labor Day weekend than watching the National Pastime and cheering on your favorite team (The Yankees, of course) while they play their #1 rival?Jaimie- Yankee Stadium

  • My favorite part of the stadium is Monument Park. I love seeing the history and all the retired numbers (#7 forever)! It’s also absolutely necessary to get a hot dog and a beer (and maybe some cotton candy). It’s a baseball game after all!
  • The Dempsey & Carroll Game On Handsome Tablet is perfect for keeping scorecards. Play ball!

 

Carolyn: I’m traveling to Newport Beach, California for a wedding206360_MW_ColiseumPool_378_r11

  • I’ve actually never been to Newport Beach before, but The Resort at Pelican Hill looks incredible! What’s not to love?
  • I’m definitely bringing some Jet Set: LA for my trip to the West Coast

 

Austin: This Labor Day, my partner and I will spend the long weekend as guests of a dear college friend at her house on Lake Pocono in Pennsylvania.IMG_0234.JPG

  • The lake sits in the middle of a vast preserve and, when the houses that surround it were built, there was a requirement that they not be visible from the lake. Eagles soar above as your canoe glides across the surface. No speedboats here.
  • Our host loves Dempsey & Carroll paper so what to bring her is a no-brainer. This year, a Schumacher Journal for her sketching habit, and Jet Set: Los Angeles note cards because she loves to travel and that classic airliner engraved in blue is a complete charmer! Stationery makes the smartest gift because the recipient will be reminded of you each time they treat a friend to a special handwritten note.

 

24 Hours in Los Angeles with FORM Design Studio

image009Based in Los Angeles, Josh and Rafi of FORM Design Studio are at the forefront of modern, sustainable living, but still take time to appreciate the allure of the Old Hollywood glamour in their city. Don’t forget to check out our collaboration with FORM after you read about their go-to spots in LA!

 

 

 

 

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Where to Stay

  • Favorite Hotel: Château Marmont, because classic is always “in.”  The Château, as it is called, offers a taste of Hollywood at its finest.  For locals, this is a picturesque and quiet spot to meet friends for a drink, a meal, or some people watching.

 

Where to Eat and Drink

  • Casual Dining: This is a toss-up between Din Tai Fung in Arcadia and Mozza in Hollywood.
  • Din Tai Fung is a Taiwanese dumpling house.  We must confess, it is a chain, but the dumplings are made in-house and by hand (you can watch from the huge window that looks into the kitchen).  There is something so clean about this food; you can taste every ingredient in each dumpling.  The simplicity is what makes it so special.  It’s now become a phenomenon, so line up early!

 

  • At another end of the culinary spectrum, there is the marvel that is Pizzeria Mozza, the brainchild of partners Nancy Silverton, Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich.  This place is the distillation of the best parts of each of the owners’ talents. If you are in Los Angeles and you want to challenge the wisdom that the best pizza in America is in New York, give it a shot.  Neither of us eats dairy or wheat, but we eat pizza at Mozza.

 

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Orsa & Winston delicacies

  • Fine Dining: Our favorite upscale restaurant is a small spot that has recently wriggled its way into our hearts: Orsa & Winston.  The degustation menu is ever-changing depending on the available fresh ingredients (and in Los Angeles, the parameters are as broad as they come). The food is magnificently conceived and deftly offered and the service is impeccable. The wine pairing is “just so,” working seamlessly and symbiotically with the chef’s creations. This is a great date spot.

 

 

 

  • Favorite Bar: This is an easy one: Augustine Wine Bar.  This gem is in Sherman image005Oaks and it has become our go-to for all things celebratory.  Not only is the food spectacular (you can expect anything from a simple plate of artisanal charcuterie, to a beautifully charred octopus or a perfect duck confit), but the wine offerings are remarkable. What these guys are doing is offering really wonderful, vintage wines by the glass in a super sexy setting to a wide variety of wine enthusiasts. We have had warm, intimate evenings together there as well as raucous nights, meeting some real characters at the bar.  The staff is knowledgeable, kind (we’ve made good friends), and always ready to chat about the more esoteric experiences one can find in the bottle.

Augustine Wine Bar

 

What to See

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The Getty Center

  • Our favorite museum in LA is The Getty Center.  The never-ending parade of world class exhibits that move through The Getty are not to be missed, but the permanent collection is of extraordinary merit itself.  The grounds are breathtaking along with the structures themselves, which were designed by Richard Meier.  The museum is, purportedly, the world’s largest installation of travertine.  With its fountains, sculptures, and gardens, The Getty offers visitors more than one could absorb in a day. The restaurant there is one of the most civilized locations in all of Los Angeles, drawing much more of NY crowd than anything else and the view at sunset is something to write home about.
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Huntington Gardens

  • We would say that in the “attraction” category, there is no better place than the Huntington Gardens in Pasadena.  Being there is like slipping into Alice’s Wonderland!  If you weren’t a botanophile (we are having some debate as to whether or not that is a word) before visiting, you certainly will be afterwards.

 

Thank you for sharing your Los Angeles favorites with us, Josh and Rafi!

Where are your favorite destinations to visit in Los Angeles or other cities around the world? Discover our Jet Set Collection to inspire your next trip and use the #DestinationDempsey hashtag on social media to share your travels. 

24 Hours in Rome with Cristina Verger

Cristina VergerNew York-based destination event planner Cristina Verger is an expert at creating the most memorable events all over Italy and beyond. Dempsey & Carroll’s Austin Ackles asked Cristina to let us in on the very best places to hang our hats in her beloved birthplace, Rome!

 

 

Where to Stay

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  • Hassler Roma: Located at the top of the Spanish Steps with phenomenal views, Hotel Hassler Roma positions you a short distance from the Trevi Fountain, the Colosseum, the Vatican, and countless other treasures.

 

Where to Eat and Drink

  • Coffee breaks: Sant’Eustachio Il Caffe has the best coffee in Rome! Located between Piazza Navona and The Pantheon, this café opened in 1938 and the beans are roasted right on the premises.

 

  • For a quick bite to eat: Refreshing, pure and modern, Yugo Fusion, is a delight to the palette as much as it is to the eye.

 

  • Fine Dining: Tucked away down a side street near the Pantheon and intimately designed, La Rosetta has earned its irrefutable reputation by perfectly preparing the freshest fish and seafood caught daily.
  • Drinks: As seen in Fellini’s classic 1960 film, La Dolce Vita, Harry’s Bar is a must for a reviving cocktail with a little celebrity spotting on the side.

What to See

  •  Borghese Gallery: This is an extremely tough one to choose because all of Rome is an open air museum. Originally built by Architect Flaminio Ponzio as a Villa Suburbana for Cardinal Scipione Borghese, you can get your fill of masterpieces by Bernini, Caravaggio, Titian, and more.

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Thank you for sharing your Rome favorites, Cristina!

Where are your favorite destinations to visit in Rome or other cities around the world? Discover our Jet Set Collection to inspire your next trip and use the #DestinationDempsey hashtag on social media to share your travels.