PaperCity Magazine

November 2014 - Houston

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NOVEMBER | PAGE 23 | 2014 I DON'T LIKE RUFFLES. RED LIPSTICK. — GAIL RUBIN I DON'T LIKE PINK. I ONLY WEAR BLACK NAIL POLISH. AND A PASSION FOR MENSWEAR. Don't get me wrong. There's nothing better than the drape and fit you experience when you find that perfect women's garment that accentuates your curves. But I've always been very drawn to the clean lines, complex simplicity and color palette (navy, black, khaki, white, mélange gray) and subtle patterns (houndstooth, muted plaids, checks and stripes) that are found in menswear. THE HUNT FOR THE PERFECT. I spend a lot of time walking through stores and boutiques to get a sense of seasonal trends in the market for my work; I'm not big on personal shopping. I don't follow brands or labels, though somehow in a subconscious way I'm always drawn to designs from Saint Laurent (or, more accurately, when it was Yves Saint Laurent). The rush I feel always stems from something spontaneous. Recently I was in NY and walked past a tiny shop with a long black leather dress in the window, with a leather strap wrapped all the way around the bodice. I spotted it from across the street — and, I'm telling you, my heart started racing. I ran in and shouted to the owner, "Tell me about that dress in the window. I think it's about to change my life!" I have absolutely no idea who makes it, but I tried it on in the middle of the store, and it was a life-changing experience, so I slapped down my AmEx. I have no idea when I will wear this, considering I don't attend galas, and if I attempted to wear it in Houston any month outside of February, I might wick to death. But it hangs in my closet, where I gaze at it every day, and that brings me inspiration. THE PEOPLE YOU KNOW. I've been fortunate to work with so many talented designers. Now that's a personal process. I don't think most people realize how much goes into designing — whether it's a garment or a leather good or piece of jewelry. It's a very vulnerable place a designer has to go to to create. It's a part of them. And it's an honor to be a bystander to that. Really. It's what I love most about my job. Seeing the designer in a raw and personal place and then figuring out how to carefully storytell that to others. It's a very intimate thing. EDITING. With age comes awareness of what you like and what you don't. And as we age, we take a little bit from all of the phases we've lived through and then morph it into what we're really comfortable with. Personally, I like simplicity. I'm not so driven by labels. It's about clothing with great lines, and the lines are such that they make you feel great, and it's about bringing something so simple into life that it becomes beautiful. I think that's much harder than adding so many embellishments that something loses its appeal. OLD SCHOOL. There's nothing like the texture of paper and the smell of the ink it's printed with. I find it funny that the new buzzword in the marketing world is "experiential," relating to building a brand mostly on social media platforms. For me, the way an impression is made or changes my thinking about something stems from an experience that stimulated my senses. Something I touched. Something I smelled. Something I felt. Something I saw in front of me with actual (not virtual) depth. Both my apartment and office look like an archive for magazines. I must have thousands of them stacked up. They're works of art. And that can't be experienced on a computer screen. SOMETIMES YOU JUST KNOW. Favorite color, black. Then navy, gray and white. I don't like ruffles. I don't like pink. I only wear black nail polish. And red lipstick. Ever since I was 15. I think a woman's body is a canvas. And I love simplicity and bringing it to life with shape and fit. CHANGE. I got married. I got divorced. The economy tanked. There were challenges with business, the sky fell, and it kind of became a perfect storm. I also had some health issues, and the foundations of my world really started to change. From the outside, everything looked great, but inside I went through some suffering. I think anytime you go through that and survive it, you are still who you were, but you come out a smarter and better person. I think I rebuilt myself, and I feel good and am happy. Friends, family, hard work, getting a good laugh in … The main thing is I appreciate things much more than I ever did. Because for a while I lost my sense of humor, and I've gotten that back, and it feels good … You just need a release when you go through so much. Every day is to be honored. FRESH LOVE. I had been dating — but all that really came from it was a handful of funny stories to share with friends over cocktails. Then several months ago, during a work trip to NY, I reached out to a friend of a friend to grab a drink. The whole thing was a joke, really. But from the minute I met him, I knew he was someone special. It was for sure a sliding-door moment. It feels amazing to feel love again. WHITE RIVER, ARKANSAS. My father's side of the family has been going there for three generations. I get a different kind of inspiration that is just as great when I'm on a tin boat floating down the river in Arkansas. It's a very sacred space. We fly into Little Rock and drive to a small town called Gasville. To the same spot. On the same part of the White River. With the same fishing guides. I've been going since I was a small child, and it's one of my most cherished and sacred places. FAVORITE MOVIE. My favorite movie of all time is Drumline. Watch it; it will change your life. You can't help but find yourself, no matter where you are — on a flight, in your living room. It just makes you stand up and air-drum. You can't help it. I've seen it easily 30 times. Every time, it's the same. CLOSING. My mantra in life — whether it be in work or in relationships, any decision you make — is "Information is power." And part of what I do is deliver information to my client to help their businesses be more place-able. Sometimes that doesn't always feel good going down. But what makes me good at what I do is that I don't change the message. Gail poses below Purdex Proposition by Guy Van den Bulcke (artist for the royal family of Belgium) in the Renoir Suite at La Colombe d'Or. She wears Isabel Marant , from Sloan/Hall. Jewelry from In the gardens at La Colombe d'Or, in a Nina Ricci gown, from Sloan/Hall. Gail wears vintage Chanel and Alexis Bittar jewelry from

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