PaperCity Magazine

February 2020- Houston

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Page 19 of 103

OBSESSIONS. DECORATION. SALIENT FACTS. 18 D ear Gucci, where have your matte lipsticks been all my life? If you long for the perfect matte lipstick that isn't dry, stays on all night, and looks amazing, you may have just found your favorite new dance partner: Gucci Rouge à Levres Mat. Creative director Alessandro Michele puts it more succinctly: "Lipstick is primitive, and symbolic of an almost ancient and evocative language. Something that sends a precise message even when it's no longer on." We couldn't agree more. Yes, you want this; you'll thank us later. Gucci Rouge à Levres Mat $42, a t S e p h o r a . Steven Hempel W hen our contributing design editor Randy Powers informed us about a cool new plant shop in town, we drove right over to check it out. The Flora Culture is owned by Jemine and Matthew Oakes; Jemine, who heads up operations, grew up in Nigeria, surrounded by tropical foliage and Matthew, design director, recently left his gig at Kirksey, where he was an environmental graphic designer. Matthew grew up outside Houston on 15 acres, where his love for horticulture began with a botanical garden at the age of 12. His background in design is evident in the clean, Scandinavian-inspired aesthetic of the store (they chose the location in part because beloved bakery French Riviera is next door), with a massive living wall. F ourth-generation Australian jewelry designer Margot McKinney doesn't do collections. Rather, she creates jewels when she finds the right gemstones that speak to her. Her works combine opals, South Sea pearls from palest dove to dolphin gray, jawbreaker-sized gemstones in purple, blue, magenta and yellow, and diamonds. We're wild about a necklace comprised of three ropes of rare Tahitian keshi pearls, each the size of a hummingbird egg, shimmering between silvery gray and steely slate, embellished with outsized diamond- pavéd pearls and a massive amethyst pendant with a halo of tanzanite, peridot, and tourmaline. "We jokingly call it 'Margot Pavé' because pavé is usually really, really tiny," McKinney told MAD ABOUT MARGOT PaperCity at a recent visit to Houston's Neiman Marcus. "And everybody knows that I love really, really big gems." Of keshi pearls, she says, "Sometimes when the pearl farmer is opening the oyster to find a pearl he knows is there, there will be one of these naturally occurring pearls as well. They're really miracles of nature, and to have enough pearls to make into a suite of three strands is quite special."At Neiman Marcus, margotmckinney. com. Anne Lee Phillips GO TO THE MATTE EMBRACING THE FLORA CULTURE Matthew is flora obsessed — he even makes his own soil. And he wants your plants to thrive: The Flora Culture offers complimentary potting with a special blend of soil, and experiential workshops, from simple plant potting to soil science. When we stopped in, Matthew was creating a preserved moss wall sculpture for a client. They also offer living walls, in- space design, interior-scaping, and plant and floral design for events. What makes this habitat hot is the mix of well-priced large exotics like portea bromeliads ($95) and impressively tall plants like 7-foot-tall fiddle-leaf fig trees ($160), 10-feet-tall dracaenas ($260), to the obscure Thai Constellation monstera ($105) that sell quickly to aficionados who spread the word via Facebook message boards. You'll also find The Flora Culture Matthew and Jemine Oakes herbariums, succulents, and chic vessels. If you don't see what you're looking for, the proprietors have a greenhouse at their home in Jersey Village that contains their personal collection and the store's overflow. The Flora Culture, 3100 Chimney Rock, Anne Lee Phillips Margot McKinney necklace of Tahitian keshi pearls and amethyst pendant with tanzanite, peridot, and tourmaline Gucci Rouge à Lèvres Mat

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