Sophisticated Living St. Louis May/June 2021

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{St. Louis' Finest}

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May/June 2021 five dollars


A N G A DA RT S H OT E L . C O M @ A N G A DA RT S H OT E L

N O W L E A S I N G R E TA I L F I N D U S AT C I T Y F O U N D RYST L . C O M


F E I S T Y. F A B . F U N . ADJ Interiors is a full-service, high-end residential interior design firm that delights clients nationwide with innovation, spunk, and seamless experiences. We are storytellers—humbled by the challenge of interpreting your vision and telling your story through the elements that surround you. By prioritizing personalization, we deliver stunning, layered spaces that work for clients’ lifestyles and evoke the wow factor for years to come.


{St. Louis' Finest}

May/June 2021

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Celebrating the return of going out. We missed getting dressed up for weddings, galas and events. Photo from Ithaafushi-The Private Island by Rupert Pearce.

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From Past to Present

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Bird’s Eye View

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Turning Point

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Room Service

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Fun in the Sun

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Rainbow Connection

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Bibliotaph

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Stars of the Show

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Pinot Off the Beaten Path

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The Palm Beaches

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Of Note... Island Style

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The Electric Gran Turismo

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Fearless Fashion

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Thrown from the Loop

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Art as Cool as the Artist

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Painting What You Love

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Works Express Artist’s Commitment to Human Rights

Didi Akinyelure, founder of April & Alex

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on the cover:

58 Fearless Fashion 2

May/June 2021


CM &

INTERIORS

314.328.1923 | www.candmstudio.com |

candminteriors


May/June 2021

69 Art as Cool as the Artist Photo by Gussie Barnidge-Spicewood Photography

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Sophisticated Society

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Taking it to the Streets: COCAcabana

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Sophisticated Weddings

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Fabulous Feud Live

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Marygrove’s BLOOM

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Kids Rock Cancer

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SLSO Concert

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Family Portraits

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What I Love Right Now


Photography by: Matt Marcinkowski

9751 Clayton Road | St. Louis, MO 63124 | 314.872.3955 | www.mgarch.net


From the Publisher

It took a pandemic, more than 500,000 deaths, a contentious election, shootings, riots and marches, failing businesses everywhere and thousands of immigrants stuck on our borders to awaken our spirits. But now, people are fired up. We are engaged. And while we may not agree on these issues, we are living during a time of heightened sensitivities and it’s all out in the open. It’s not pretty and most are concerned with where things go from here, but for the foreseeable future there is no going back to the way it was. Let’s face it, it wasn’t so great. It felt more normal to some, but just below the surface were many problems which were ignored and tolerated for years. The cold hard truth is that we live in a world where people don’t agree on many issues. Even among political parties people don’t agree. There are more racists than I ever thought possible. The stock market has been soaring but businesses are failing. Our national debt is out of control. Senseless crimes and homicides evade even our most committed and tenured law enforcement agencies. A generation of kids are missing school, hypnotized by social media and are more depressed and suicidal than ever. As a nation, we’re spoiled, entitled and most often bystanders to the problems we are facing. Even family members are not talking about the tough issues because, well, they’re too tough. It’s time we get off the sidelines because our world is no longer a spectator sport. We have to demand that our media is independent; we have to do more than unfriend people we disagree with on social media. We can’t turn a blind eye to the problems of our cities or to rampant racism, sexism and discrimination in a multitude of forms. But there will be no quick fixes. We cannot simply change our elected officials or our laws and expect people to change. It will take years and generations of hard work to find the things we can agree on. Let’s put aside what no one can agree on, accept that the other isn’t bad or wrong and focus on the issues we can come together on. Let’s tone down the rhetoric, turn off the polarizing news and pundits, read more moderate points of view and meet in the middle. For years people complained about St. Louis; but people are finally doing something about it. If you think it needs to get better or safer before you invest your time, money and energy, guess again. We have to invest in order for it to change. Let’s celebrate the people who are doing this and ignore the complainers. Visit new neighborhoods, talk to people who don’t look or think like you do, keep an open mind, support new restaurants, support a new nonprofit and drive a new way home. You’ll be amazed at what you’ll see, what you’ll find and what you unlock about yourself you never knew. I recently toured the luxury residences -- One Cardinal Way -- soaring high above Busch Stadium. Until now I never thought about living downtown, but this building truly has it all. It’s a diverse community in the heart of downtown. My wife is the true Cardinals fan and she went crazy for the views of the ballfield, Gateway Arch, the fitness centers and walking district in Ballpark Village. The infinity pool with the perfect view of the game is ingenious. Hats off to Bill DeWitt III and The Cordish Companies for a masterful job and taking a risk on St. Louis. The fact that the building is more than 90 percent occupied is a testament to their vision. If the only thing we can agree on is the love of the Cardinals, so be it. Watch the games on TV, watch from the stands, cheer them on from Ballpark Village, listen on the radio or with your family and friends. Support the players who are helping us win games and feel some compassion for the players who don’t live up to expectations. But always act like a true Cardinals fan -- be respectful, give the other team a helping hand up and salute the players who have moved on and are now our competitors...because at the end of the day life is like baseball, we all get three strikes, four balls and nine outs. Let’s make the most of it. Play ball. Craig M. Kaminer, Publisher craig@slmag.net

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Alise O’Brien Photography

ARCHITECTURE + INTERIOR DESIGN www.studiolark.us | @studiolark


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PUBLISHER Craig Kaminer ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER Cortney Vaughn EDITOR Lou Ann Wilcox ______________________________________________ CONTRIBUTORS Writers Rob Levy Jessen O’Brien Bridget Williams Photographers Matt Marcinkowski Joe Martinez Alise O’Brien Advertising Design Donna Shelton SophisticatedStLouis.com Carrie Edelstein ________________________________________________ SOPHISTICATED LIVING MEDIA Eric Williams - CEO Bridget Williams - President Greg Butrum - General Counsel Jason Yann - Art Director

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Introducing luxury apartment living like never before at One Cardinal Way. Featuring 1-bedroom, 2-bedroom and penthouse apartment homes with floor-to-ceiling windows, chef-inspired kitchens, top-of-the-line appliances, luxury finishes and breathtaking views of Busch Stadium, the Gateway Arch, Mississippi River and the St. Louis skyline. Schedule your tour today! • 5 STAR RESORT-QUALITY AMENITIES • IN-BUILDING SECURED PARKING • CONTROLLED ACCESS BUILDING • PERSONALIZED CONCIERGE SERVICES • PET-FRIENDLY COMMUNITY 1 CARDINAL WAY | BALLPARK VILLAGE

ONECARDINALWAY.COM 314.621.0001


From the CEO of Stifel

“Six miles, in the snow, uphill, both ways.” As the years go on, I find it’s getting harder to comment on the march of technology without invoking the tone of my grumbling grandparents. You know: the eternal, hoarse-voiced lament about how easy kids have it now, how soft and cushy their world is. “The civilized man has built a coach but has lost the use of his feet,” wrote Ralph Waldo Emerson, always a reliable grouch, in 1841. The problem is that it’s almost never true -- especially not if you take complexity into account. In fact, it’s almost always the opposite. When I wanted to pass a note in class, I used a pencil, a paper and my palm. Now, sending a message under the desk depends on familiarity with an entire software stack, a handle on the global networking infrastructure, and most critically, an aptitude for rapid judgement about corporate privacy statements and retention policies. What could an illtimed screenshot mean for one’s entire future, and that of one’s family? But what about time? If there is anything from my childhood that deserves an elegy it is the way we knew time. I may never have walked uphill to school, but I did have to trudge through time -- the thick, muddy time that pools between noon and dinnertime on a humid Midwestern Sunday. We spent those days on a lake, where I learned to waterski and to beat my parents’ friends at Euchre, because there was nothing else to do. This year, I spent the Easter holiday with my kids and grandkids, and as always, it was an exhibition on the miracles of social media, virtual reality and drone flight. But more than that, what they showed me was an alarmingly virtuosic use of time. As a child, I trudged through time. But my grandkids, with all these implements of diversion, skate through it. That lake I grew up on was far from anywhere, measured in miles or minutes. I am grateful for that, because more and more I realize the importance of both dimensions. Distance only makes something remote, while time puts it in perspective. All that unclaimed time is where you get to know yourself; it is the headwater for the ambition and character that runs through a lifetime. I have also found it is where I am most open to change. Through a chance meeting with another idle soul or the sudden impulse to pick up a lonely book, empty time is where new ideas sneak up on you. When everything is a gesture away, what’s missing is the time for self-reflection. Time to just think. Time to be bored. Time to swim in one’s thoughts as they grow calm. As reluctant as I am to admit it, our grandparents were right about the value of those six uphill miles -- but not because they toughened the feet. They were good for the mind.

Ron Kruszewski Chairman and CEO Stifel Financial Corp.

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Alise O’Brien Photography

The Heart of the Home Transitional style celebrates simple elegance, bold patterns, classical shapes and architectural embellishments. The hearth room of this newly constructed residence draws inspiration from these elements to create a classic space that is both elegant and inviting. With the goal of creating a comfortable space for relaxing and entertaining, the designer maximizes lounging areas with elegant finely crafted furniture from Hickory White and Taylor King. In front of the furniture grouping, the dramatic stone fireplace becomes a beautiful focal point, while the cozy window seats offer additional seating. From stately wood beams to intricate moldings, thoughtful architectural details were incorporated into the room, adding rich layers and dimension, all illuminated by the natural light coming in from tall windows. The designer expertly planned each detail of this room to be a perfect balance of luxury and comfort, a hallmark of Castle Design.

–Laurie LeBoeuf, Interior Designer

www.emilycastle.com (office) 314.727.6622

bringing their visions to your life.


FROM PAST TO PRESENT Written by Jessen O’Brien / Photography by Alise O’Brien

A leaky fridge was the last straw. This St. Louis family had long struggled with what to do with the kitchen in their nearly century-old home, which was too small and too removed from their main living area. “For years we had wanted to update it, but it was just a very land-locked room -- with no way to make it larger. And that was always going to be disappointing and not quite scratch the itch of what we were trying to accomplish,” says the homeowner. When the refrigerator started to leak, they knew they had to do something. “We have a beautiful home, but we were spending so much time in one of the smallest rooms of the house, and that just seemed silly.” The solution proved to be swapping the kitchen with the family room -- which sat on the opposite end of the home -- and creating an addition where a large screened porch sat which had begun to show its age. It was an idea they had toyed with before, but each architect they had talked to had drawn up plans that weren’t in keeping with the look and feel of the original house. That is, until they met with Scott Krejci, senior project architect with Srote & Co Architects. “The homeowners love the home, and you can see it in how much they enjoy and care for it. They were both clear in wanting the design to blend seamlessly and complete what was missing for 14 slmag.net

them in the home,” says Krejci. “The solution was a wonderfully light and generous kitchen, great room, patio and screened porch in a beautiful setting.” Whereas other plans they had looked at involved a flat, onestory addition, Krejci’s vision echoed the peaks and height of the original home, giving them three stories to play with. Those extra floors opened up new possibilities, enabling them to build out a spacious, walk-in closet in the master suite. “The design called for historic details and finishes, and the integration of modern structure and construction methods,” says Krejci. “Period Restoration executed it flawlessly, bringing passion for the work and the knowledge and craftsmanship it required.” On the outside, stones were carefully chosen to match the existing exterior. To make the interior feel just as seamlessly connected with the original home, the homeowners brought in Meghan Heeter of Castle Design. “Meghan’s phenomenal. She’s got such great taste and knows ours,” says the homeowner. “We don’t like having choice overload and she’s good at making very tractable decisions for us. And when she comes up with something, it’s usually exactly what we want or really, really close to it.”


Opposit epage: Metal mixed with a black walnut base give the custom hood by Rawurth its unique patina. This page: Gold flowers are hand-painted on the chandelier by Ironware International.

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The backsplash’s white-and-gray floral pattern is inverted in the roman shade, a Morris & Co. embroidered linen fabric called Pure Honeysuckle.

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Contemporary vases sit side-by-side two stone urns in the living room.

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The cabinet grilles and Calcutta marble flooring echo the diamond shape of the bathroom’s stained-glass window.

“The inspiration for this project was really the home itself. It’s a beautiful century home; we wanted to celebrate that history but also make it look fresh,” says Heeter. “We were very conscious of the materials we used since we wanted to make them feel as though they had always been there. For example, the new kitchen has these beautiful terrazzo floors that match those in the foyer of the home.” The other benefit of those terrazzo floors? Their ability to withstand family life. “They always say they don’t make homes like they used to, and it’s really true. Part of the reason is the materials they used,” says Heeter. “Terrazzo wears beautifully, even if the dogs or kids are hard on the floor. So not only is it a reflection of the original home, but it also shows that these materials were selected for good reason.” Ultimately, the homeowners were looking for a balancing act: a design that stayed true to the original home without feeling like a museum and that was as functional as it was beautiful. The key was determining which elements to continue, like the terrazzo floors, and which to update. For example, leaded glass windows are one of the standout features of the existing home. The addition has new 20 slmag.net

windows, which provide much better insulation, but with a nod to this original feature of the interior design. Heeter worked with Alspaugh Kitchen and Bath to build a custom kitchen and a wet bar with leaded, antique German glass in the top cabinets. Other highlights in the kitchen include the pendant lighting, hand-forged by Ironware International, and the backsplash, a floral micro-mosaic tile by Walker Zanger. “What I love about it is as you walk through the room, you get all these beautiful reflections,” says Heeter. “It’s just gorgeous. The homeowner loved this tile so much we had it flow up the entire wall.” Stairs lead down from the kitchen to the great room, where a palette of mostly whites with touches of red creates a visual link with the stone work on the exterior of the home. Iron fixtures and furnishings -- from the chandelier and custom handrail to the hand-forged side and console tables -- continue a material found in the original home. “ I w a n t e d t h e g re a t r o o m t o b e e l e g a n t b u t a l s o approachable,” says Heeter. “I chose some elevated fabrics, like the Lewis and Wood drapery fabric you see in the dining area, which is an 18th-century English print called Palampore. Then, I


The original windows are draped in a Colefax and Fowler fabric called Snowtree, adding a feminine touch to the bathroom.

mixed in more casual fabrics, like the plaid you see on one of the chairs or some of the textiles on the sofa, which are just a bit more relaxed and inviting.” A dining area, wet bar and living space centered along a grand fireplace round out the great room. Although originally the plan was to vault the ceiling, the team decided to do a tall flat ceiling instead. Exposed beams were added, giving the space a more inviting period aesthetic. Flattening the ceiling also created more space upstairs, enabling the homeowners to make a late addition to their renovation plans: an updated master suite. Period Restoration quickly swung into action. “I have to give them a lot of credit. It was a pretty remarkable turnaround and was sprung on them in the middle of a project at a busy time of the year,” says the homeowner. “We started the project over Christmas and worked Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve and Day to finish the bathroom as quickly as possible,” says Randy Renner, the president and owner of Period Restoration. “We worked closely with Meghan Heeter and Castle Design to implement the vision of a beautiful and functional bathroom that compliments the home, which was built in the

1920s. It’s a bathroom that won’t go out of style and will remain beautiful forever.” A Murano-glass light fixture and thoughtful mix of largescale tiles with a more delicate mosaic contribute to a look which is both luxurious and soothing. But the star of the show is the freestanding tub with nickel finish, which sits beside one of the home’s original stained-glass bay windows. “There’s a beautiful, polished-nickel grille behind the cabinet doors which repeats the pattern of the original window,” notes Heeter. “I love that window -- it’s just stunning -- and we wanted to incorporate an element from it into the other side of the room.” Redoing the master bath was an unexpected bonus, but not the only one. The addition not only provided the family with the kitchen, living and entertainment space they had wanted, but also breathed new life into the original home. “There are wonderful rooms in our house that we weren’t using as much because of the layout and where the old kitchen was,” says the homeowner. “The addition has re-opened those beautiful, original parts of the home that weren’t used as much as we’d like. I love that it’s still the same house, just with great new attributes and features.” sl

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Stacking the odds in your favor Whether it’s time to celebrate a special day, or make any day feel special, let Albarré add some sparkle to your life.

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DON’T JUST LIST YOUR HOME, SELL IT W I T H J U L I E L A N E R E A L E S TAT E

CONTACT JULIE LANE Learn more at julielanerealestate.com. julie@ julielanerealestate.com 314.303.6504 janet mcafee inc. 9889 clayton road saint louis, missouri 63124 314.997.4800


BIRD’S EYE VIEW

Written by Craig Kaminer / Photos Copyright Whitney Cox Photogaphy and R.D. Jones Associates In the last year, two new buildings in St. Louis opened with extraordinary views and access to our city’s best assets. One Hundred Above the Park, which was featured in our Sept./Oct. 2020 issue, soars over Forest Park, has breathtaking views of the park looking west and downtown looking east. With its avant-garde design by famed Chicago architect Jeanne Gang and steps from the best park in America second only to New York’s Central Park and our prized cultural institutions, I wasn’t sure things could get any better. But One Cardinal Way, in the center of Ballpark Village, with views into the stadium from outdoor sundecks with seating, outdoor cooking stations, infinity pool and a resort-like vibe sets the bar high for the ultimate St. Louis luxury lifestyle -- except of course if you root for teams other than the Redbirds. Entering the gated access off Walnut and Broadway, there is an abundance of surface lot parking for visitors wanting to make a quick stop or spend some time at Ballpark Village before entering the building. High tech security by ButterflyMX, a 24 hours a day concierge welcoming every guest, and an expansive vestibule with bold, colorful and priceless art and artifacts pay homage to the Cardinals and baseball in general. A quick peek around the corner reveals an easy to access mail room, smart lockers for packages and three high speed elevators which whisk you away to the floor of your dreams. 24 slmag.net

The 29-story, 297-unit building, which is a 50/50 partnership between the Cardinals and The Cordish Companies, is the next phase of the grand vision for Ballpark Village. Rumor has it a Phase 3 residential tower is in the works. The Cardinals and the DeWitt family continue to invest in and around the stadium and perhaps single handedly are reinvigorating downtown. Bill DeWitt III, the president of the St. Louis Cardinals, said “This vision started in 2000 when we first began talking about building a new stadium, turning the outfield to face the old stadium and opened up 10 acres for future development. We envisioned putting amenities on top of parking, with apartments getting better and better as you go up with extraordinary river views, the Old Courthouse, sunrises and sunsets and views of Clayton, not to mention the entire ballfield. From many apartments you can watch the game live from your bed. So many people who never considered living downtown have embraced One Cardinal Way because the building is so well executed, Ballpark Village now has critical mass, and while we don’t have every amenity you would have in a New York City neighborhood, you have most of it. You can reverse commute, walk to work from downtown and be in the center of the most desirable urban amenities.”


St. Louis Cardinals President, Bill DeWitt III at One Cardinal Way Photo by Matt Marcinkowski

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In the two years during the development of One Cardinal Way, Marnie Sauls, executive director of residential management for Cordish Living, lived downtown above the Schnucks-owned Culinaria, to help better shape what One Cardinal Way could be and make it a magnet for tenants and fans alike. She got rid of her car, rode her bike everywhere and called an Uber when needed. She and her dog Oliver loved their morning walks and quickly discovered that the new building being planned needed to be like an amenity-rich gated community. “I felt perfectly safe, rode with my new group of friends to restaurants, walked every day and quickly fell in love with downtown. Our goal for One Cardinal Way was to build a community in the heart of St. Louis that never existed before -- where you can work, play, party and get social. I think everyone will agree we exceeded this goal in every way. The sunrises and sunsets from our building can’t be beat, not to mention the fireworks whenever the Redbirds hit a homerun.” As a resident, you have access to seven stories of indoor assigned garage space, all controlled by key fobs and monitored from every angle by cameras. With an abundance of grocery carts and hand trucks, no car load of bags should require more, but if you do, the concierge and staff can make sure your shopping bags arrive swiftly and safely to your apartment. Bicycle parking is abundant as are bike paths in all directions. The key feature of this building is the eighth floor. Boasting more than 30,000 sq. ft. of amenities, the eighth floor includes a 15,000 sq. ft. outdoor terrace overlooking the field with plenty of seating to watch the game, gas grills and dining tables to enjoy dinner, a state-of-the-art entertainment kitchen where guest chefs 26 slmag.net

prepare meals for residents, a world-class gym with places to work out even outside, an infinity pool with a birds-eye view of Busch Stadium, an indoor-outdoor, full-service bar, multiple seating areas, a conference room and multiple large screen TVs which live stream Cardinals games whenever and wherever they play. While some buildings with similar amenities often don’t have people using them, One Cardinal Way is a decidedly social community that makes the most of the perfectly conceived lifestyle. On my tour, one guy was on a work call, a group was in the conference room, some people were on their computers, a couple played pool, a few sunbathed on the deck and others all seemed to be heading to the eighth floor after work. It’s truly the heart of this building. Yes, the eighth-floor amenities are better than anything else in St. Louis and even the newest buildings in Los Angeles, Miami or Chicago. But there are few residential buildings that can boast the abundance of art found at One Cardinal Way, and with the theme centered around our hometown team no less. Canvas Art Consultants Director Matthew Whitaker worked in tandem with the interior design team at Baltimore-based RD Jones + Associates and key members of the St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame & Museum curatorial team to develop a collection of distinct works with a narrative rich in all things baseball. Wallcoverings have been adapted from historic photos, baseballs wrap columns, Bill DeWitt Jr.’s bat collection is prominently on view and even the most abstract paintings and sculptures relate to the baseball theme. This building is a shrine to baseball. While it may not replace going to Cooperstown, life at One Cardinal Way is like having a 365-day baseball season.


Cardinals Red -- which is not used by anyone other than the Cardinals -- is the prominent color throughout the building. If you’re a Cubs fan you’ll hate this place, but if you love the Cardinals, get ready to fall in love again. From the front door, garage or eighth floor, each floor of apartments is unique and stunning. Elevators open to a bigger than life blow-up of a historic baseball photo. You’ll never have to wait for an elevator, but if you do, you’ll never grow tired of looking at the details. The apartments are fabulous with views that would make anyone question whether or not they would ever want to use blinds. All the apartments feature top-shelf appliances, full-size washers and dryers, walk-in closets, center kitchen islands, hardwood floors and cement ceilings to complete the lofty feel. Available are onebedroom, two-bedroom and penthouse units ranging from 571 to 2,573 sq. ft. that make great use of the space. Considering the amenities on the eighth floor, it’s hard to imagine spending much time in your apartment. Rents begin at $1,400 per month and top out at $8,000 for a two-level unit on the highest floor. Plenty of parking is available at a cost of $150 per space per month. Leases are negotiable for up to three years. At the time of my tour, only three two-bedroom units remained and perhaps 12 one-bedrooms, so you should move fast if you want one. With the season just starting, these will go quickly, but putting your name on a waiting list is also an option. Unless you need the extra space, a one-bedroom with a terrace overlooking the stadium is the perfect size for a single person, a couple who travels, a corporate apartment or as a luxury suite to watch ball games. It’s

probably cheaper than a luxury box with more space and you can bring your own food. After picking out the apartment I wanted, we headed to Ballpark Village to see what life would be like outside the building, and of course to pick up a Nolan Arenado jersey for my son’s birthday. In addition to the excitement of watching a game with hundreds of other fans, Ballpark Village has restaurants and bars galore. No shortage of wings and beer here. Down the street is the new Live! by Loews Hotel, The Whisky Bar, The Bullock, the PwC Pennant office building and the 31,000 sq. ft. of Onelife Fitness, which is free to use for all One Cardinal Way residents. Just across the street -- literally -- is the stadium, ticket gates and baseball souvenir shops. If you have a pet, no worries. The building is pet friendly and has many grassy areas steps away from the front door for walking a dog. And, the new Arch grounds are just 400 ft. away. Add to that the Riverfront, Citygarden and Kiener Plaza, there’s more to do with your faithful companion than you can shake a stick at. Until now I wondered what it would be like to live downtown. After all, I grew up in the Bronx so I am used to city living and a little urban decay. One Cardinal Way is the reason to move to the Riverfront. Sure it’s not for everyone and the burbs still seem better for school age kids, but talk to anyone who ever lived across the street from Yankee Stadium, Wrigley Field or one of the other great baseball shrines, and you’ll quickly get it. Living in the shadows of Cardinal greatness is not like anything else, and if you like St. Louis but want to fall in love with its possibilities, you owe it to yourself to check out the classiest baseball address anywhere. sl

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a place for everything


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TURNING POINT

Written by Flint W. Fowler, Ph.D. / Photo courtesy of Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis It’s hard to believe that my initial career interest was physical therapy. In my mind it was the best way to earn a living combining my love of science and sports. Well, imagine my surprise when my real passion turned out to be working with and for the children of the St. Louis region. Stated plainly, physical therapy strengthens and improves outcomes. My career in youth development focuses on the same results -- building capacity and inspiring promise. I am captivated by the array of talents displayed by young people today. Their curiosity must be encouraged, their questions must be respected and their ambitions require our assistance. Former Secretary of State and Boys & Girls Clubs of America Governor Condoleezza Rice said that “Human capital will determine power in the current century, and the failure to produce that capital will undermine America’s security. Large, undereducated swaths of the population damage the ability of the United States to physically defend itself, protect its secure information, conduct diplomacy and grow its economy.” It is all of our responsibility to inspire and enable all children and teens to realize their full potential as productive, responsible and caring citizens. In its publication, Voice, Choice, Access & Passion: Preparing the Centennial Generation for Leadership, Boys & Girls Clubs of America reports that those born after 1997 are the vanguard of a generation that is not expected to know a higher standard of living than their parents’ generation. This mobile-first generation is defined by diversity, always present technology, social media, 24/7 information cycles and increasing rates of educational and social disparity. With our global economy and a workforce that requires 21st century skills and postsecondary training and education, too many teens are stepping into adulthood without the tools they need to become financially independent, and for many, break the intergenerational cycle of poverty. Out of School Time (OST) programs like Boys & Girls Clubs play a powerful role in helping young people, especially teens, develop the critical social armor they need to achieve success. The presence of social support systems such as OST programs, mentoring initiatives and even employment opportunities can act as important social shields to insulate vulnerable youth from the pathologies that create the slippery slope leading to disconnection. Despite the powerful role that OST programs can play to help youth prepare for leadership, access itself poses a challenge that must be addressed. In most communities, services for teens, for example, are sparse. A report by the Afterschool Alliance makes the case for more and stronger pre-college programs for our nation’s youth and teens, noting that millions more would participate in an after-school program if one were available to them. Boys & Girls Club leadership has long argued that OST providers should create a college bound, workforce development culture that supports pre-teens and teens before they encounter academic challenges or get on the path to disconnection. Early work experiences are key to developing productive citizens and leaders. A report by Professors Paul Harrington and Ishwar Khatiwada at the Drexel University Center for Labor Markets and Policy notes, among other things, that “Exposure to work experience in teen years has long-term benefits. Labor market work experience helps teens accumulate human capital by exposing them to the world of work where they learn essential job and career skills.” Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis ultimately seeks to have its members develop these traits: Passion & Purpose; Voice & Agency; Growth Mindset; Grit & Resiliency and Personal Brand & Character. If you have never seen the work we do, want to roll up your sleeves and get to work or are willing to join in our mission please contact me at flint@bgcstl.org.

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Dr. Flint W. Fowler has served as President of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis (formerly Herbert Hoover Boys & Girls Club) since 1996. He is responsible for managing the strategic planning and operations of the Club in support of its goals and mission. A native of St. Louis, Fowler received both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Psychology from Washington University, and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Education from Saint Louis University. Other professional positions include Managing Director for INROADS/St. Louis, a national nonprofit career development organization for talented minority students; Executive Director, Operation Teamwork; Upward Bound Director and Employment Supervisor at Saint Louis University; and District Executive for the Greater St. Louis Area Council, Boy Scouts of America.

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TED WIGHT tedwightrealestate.com |

Stlouis.style | 314.607.5555

You Deserve a Pool this Summer. C O N TA C T T E D T O D A Y T O F I N D Y O U R

PIECE OF PARADISE

dielmannsothebys.com |

dielmannsir | 314.725.0009


Alila Marea Beach Resort Encinitas, California

ROOM SERVICE Notable new hotel openings around the world Written by Victoria Chase

The Sable at Navy Pier

CALIFORNIA | The Alia brand brings its model of sustainable tourism, innovative eco-design, and intimate destination experiences to Southern California with Alila Marea Beach Resort Encinitas's opening on March 17th. "Marrying the striking design and artisanal luxury experience that the Alila brand is globally known for, with the authentic warmth and vitality of San Diego, Alila Marea Beach Resort Encinitas is truly a destination not to be missed," said General Manager Benjamin Thiele. "Our team is honored to open our doors to the local community and travelers to experience our new luxury resort in this breathtaking location." Located in an iconic seaside town along the coastal bluffs of San Diego, the 130-room Alila Marea Beach Resort Encinitas is complete with an oceanfront pool, culinary experiences by award-winning Executive Chef Claudette Zepeda, expansive indoor-outdoor meeting and event spaces, serenity-invoking Spa Alila, and thoughtful, locally inspired and restorative programming. With the hotel's namesake, "Marea," meaning "tide" in Italian and Spanish, the resort features a distinctly Southern California feel, in harmony with the area's natural landscape throughout, as well as from the vibrant surf and beach culture that surrounds the property.

Room rates at Alila Marea Beach Resort Encinitas begin at $639. For more information and reservations, visit alilamareabeachresort.com. CHICAGO | When it opened in March, the 223-room, seven-story Sable at Navy Pier, part of the Curio Collection by Hilton, became the first hotel built "on top" of Lake Michigan. The $100 million build is a joint venture by James McHugh Construction Co. and Powers & Sons Construction Co. "A project like this comes around once in a lifetime, and it's the exact type of complex construction – from building over water to working around Navy Pier's 9 million annual visitors – that we excel at and like to execute," said John Sheridan, executive vice president of McHugh Construction. Named after the USS Sable, a naval training ship that served as a Great Lakes luxury cruise ship prior to World War II, the Sable at Navy Pier is more than 800-feet long and affords each of the guest rooms a one-of-a-kind views of the Windy City skyline. Also re-opening this spring adjacent to the hotel is another McHugh/Powers build— Offshore—the world's largest rooftop bar (as certified by the Guinness Book of World Records) on top of Navy Pier's Shelter building. Room rates at Sable at Navy Pier begin at $204. For more information and reservations, visit sablehotel.com.

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Virgin Hotels New Orleans

NEW ORLEANS | Scheduled to open this summer in The Big Easy's up-and-coming Warehouse District, Virgin Hotels New Orleans will feature 225 guest rooms, the brand's flagship restaurant, bar and lounge Commons Club, a lush rooftop pool deck and lounge, state-of-the-art fitness center and dedicated meeting and event spaces. The new-build property will combine colorful, tropical architectural motifs with Virgin Hotels' signature style. Designed by local interior design firm, Logan Killen Interiors, the design will incorporate a Southern residential feel with elements such as an enclosed sunlight-filled porch and the brand's unique, home-y Chambers layout with two distinct spaces separated by a barnstyle sliding door. For more information, visit virginhotels.com/coming-soon/. MALDIVES | Unveiled earlier this year by the Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts brand, Ithaafushi-The Private Island, is the largest Maldivian private island, a nearly 2.5-acre slice of heaven in the heart of the Indian Ocean. Its name, 'Ithaafushi', is translated to mean 'Pearl Island' in Dhivehi, the Maldives' local language, and represents the isle's beauty and distinction. "Designed for the most discerning of travelers, Ithaafushi – The Private Island is the epitome of exclusivity, perfectly placed within one of the most inspirational destinations in the world 34 slmag.net

where a dedicated team anticipates every need and delivers the brand's elegant and effortless service at every turn," said Nils-Arne Schroeder, vice president, Luxury & Lifestyle, Hilton, Asia Pacific. Located close to Malé, guests reach the private retreat via a 40-minute ride on one of the resort's six luxury Ithaafushi Princess yachts or via a 15-minute seaplane flight. The sprawling estate accommodates 24 guests in a two-bedroom overwater villa, a three-bedroom villa set within a lush garden, and a beachfront four-bedroom residence. The private island's dedicated culinary team promises to take guests on a diverse culinary journey, offering bespoke menus to be enjoyed in an array of extraordinary settings. Guests who want to explore the resort's various dining experiences can journey a short distance to the main island, where ten specialty dining venues await. A dedicated Wellness Concierge is on hand at the overwater spa to provide customized therapies catering to each guest's needs. The meditation and yoga pavilion, along with a fully equipped gym, offer magnificent ocean views. Young visitors will be in a paradise of their own on the private island estate with a dedicated children's pool and a gaming area. For information and reservations, email Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts MLEON.Hotel@waldorfastoria.com.


Aerial view of Ithaafushi-The Private Island in the Maldives

Interior of the two-bedroom overwater villa at Ithaafushi-The Private Island in the Maldives

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Hotel Drover in Fort Worth, Texas

TEXAS | Forth Worth's Hotel Drover, an Autograph Collection Hotel that opened in late March, is nestled alongside Marine Creek in the Fort Worth Stockyards National Historic District. Notable for its kitschy-glitzy style that aims to bring the spirit of the pioneering West to life, the 200-room property embodies a true sense of place as the anchor of the award-winning Mule Alley district. This $175-million redevelopment project is comprised of beautifully restored, 100-year-old horse and mule barns that are now home to a varied collection of restaurants, entertainment venues, retail heritage brands, and creative workplaces. Greeting guests is a signature neon Cowboy installation by Austin's famed Evan Voyles. Global and local artists alike are showcased throughout public spaces and the no-two-are-alike guest rooms. Unique features include Hotel Drover-branded leather check-in booths, a two-story lobby library filled with Texas-inspired books, custom antler and blackened steel chandeliers, and cowhide lounge chairs. The property boasts a pair of "one-of-a-kind" retail shops — Lucchese Custom Collection, a truly bespoke experience offering custom and made-to-fit items, and Little White Lies, a beautiful, hand-curated artisan shop with a decidedly feminine yet rustic flare. 36 slmag.net

Featuring a hearty contemporary Texas fare menu, the hotel's signature eatery, 97 West Kitchen & Bar at the Fort Worth Stockyards, is led by Executive Chef Grant Morgan. Outside, The Backyard at Hotel Drover provides a unique space to enjoy live music along with a burger and a frosty adult beverage. The ranch-style heated pool and hot tub in this sprawling outdoor retreat are enveloped by a mix of towering mature oaks, cypress, maple, pines mixed with agave plants, and saguaro cacti. Further setting the scene are cabanas with hanging daybeds and crystal chandeliers, creekside bar seating, yard games, and firepits. Room rates at Hotel Drover begin at $180 per night. For more information and reservations, visit hoteldrover.com. NEW YORK | Bringing a Blackberry Farm-type experience to the Catskills, The Chatwal Lodge, which opened in April, is located at The Chapin Estate, a 2,500-acre gated residential community in Bethel, NY. Architect and designer Steve Dubrovsky specializes in 19th-century Adirondack style, and he is also a four-time circuit champion of the Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association.


The Chatwal Lodge in Bethel, New York

Casa di Langa in Italy's Piedmont region

Accommodations include ten suites, with private patios overlooking the 1,000-acre Toronto Reservoir Lake; a 1,000-sq.ft. treehouse that rises 25 feet off the ground; and an 850-sq.ft. glam tent. Activities range from fly fishing in the on-property trout stream and kayaking with a to-go picnic, to private music classes at the Lodge and priority access to exhibitions at Bethel Center of Performing Arts. Room rates at The Chatwal Lodge start at $1,200 per night. For more information and reservations, visit thechatwallodge.com. ITALY | Scheduled to open in June in the heart of northern Italy's Piedmont region, just 1.5 hours from Milan, the 30-room boutique hotel Casa di Langa combines traditional Piedmontese design with a solid commitment to sustainable practices. "From our first visit to Piedmont, my wife and I were struck by the grandeur of the landscape, the unforgettable food and wine, and, most of all, the generosity of the people," shares Kyle Krause, Chairman and CEO of the Krause Group, an American company that owns a diverse set of businesses in Italy including the Serie A Italian football club Parma Calcio 1913 and Vietti and Enrico

Hyper-local cuisine is featured at Casa di Langa in Italy's Piedmont region.

Serafino vineyards in Piedmont. "With this hotel, I'm proud to have the opportunity to share the Piedmont we love so much with our friends and guests from all over the world," he added. Head chef Manuel Bouchard, who worked at five Michelinstarred restaurants in Italy before turning 25, will guide the cuisine at Fàula Ristorante, the hotel's fine dining establishment. At Sorì Cocktail Bar, guests can indulge in wines from around the world and neighboring vineyards, including rare bottles from its sister wineries, Vietti and Enrico Serafino. Guests will be privy to a thoughtful selection of authentic experiences. These encompass exploring historic vineyards via Vespa; a wine academy offering the opportunity to attain certification from the Wine & Spirits Education Trust; on-property truffle hunting with Lagotto dogs, and a dedicated truffle concierge; and, hands-on cooking classes using ingredients sourced from an on-site garden and greenhouse. An eco-luxe spa, heated infinity pool, and state-of-the-art fitness center round out the guest amenities. Room rates at Casa di Langa begin at $526 per night. For more information and reservations, visit casadilanga.com. sl

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FUN IN THE SUN

An American entrepreneur brings a British Classic back to life. Written by Andre James

Designed by Sir Alec Issigonis in the 1950s for the British Motor Company (BMC), the original Mini Moke, the site of which conjures images of the breezy beach party era à la Annette Funicello and Frankie Avalon, was originally intended for use by the British army as a parachute-droppable vehicle. Too-low ground clearance and an underpowered engine made the classic Moke unfit for military service. However, when BMC pivoted to public sales in the 1960s, the quirky car quickly gained popularity among the civilian sector, despite a laundry list of shortcomings that included a propensity to rust quickly. After BMC ceased Moke production in 1968, the brand persisted in Australia, where it was built from 1966 to 1981 and known first as the Morris Mini Moke and then the Leyland Moke. Between 1980 and 1984, 8,500 "Californian" Mokes were built at British Leyland's subsidiary in Portugal. The final iteration of the original Mini Moke was produced by Italian motorcycle manufacturer Cagiva. From 1990-1993 Cagiva’s build of 1,500 Mokes is a small fraction of the more than 50,000 that were manufactured between 1965-1993. Entrepreneur Todd Rome, the founder of Blue Star Jets, first fell in love with the curious Mini Moke while vacationing on the tiny Caribbean paradise of St. Barts. After selling Blue Star Jets, he founded Moke America in 2016 and set about reengineering the 20th-century icon into a 21st-century E-car. To tackle the ground clearance issue, Rome's Moke sits on 14-inch wheels. The glass windshield has been redesigned to be larger and sit higher to accommodate taller drivers better. A refinement of the painting process for the steel and fiberglass chassis better fends off rust. There's also a four-wheel drivetrain, hydraulic steering, front disc brakes, rear drum brakes, a parking brake, a Bluetooth sound system, and a backup camera. For the ultimate ease of use, the car can be fully charged in eight hours (providing 40 miles of range) by plugging it into any standard household 110 outlet. Street legal and completely customizable from roof-to-rims, each Moke is made at the company's plant in Sarasota, Florida, and takes approximately 90 days from order placement to delivery. While the Moke's cool factor is undeniably off the charts, you won't be breaking any land speed records as it has a top speed of just 25 MPH, which drops to around 15 MPH on steep grades. At present, Moke America is producing a 007 San Monique edition that pays homage to the classic Moke James Bond drove in LIVE AND LET DIE during his visit to the fictional Caribbean island of San Monique. The eco-friendly electric vehicle is presently shuttling guests around at resorts including Hotel Joaquin in Laguna Beach, Isla Bella Resort in the Florida Keys, SLS South Beach in Miami, and The Menhaden in Greenport. Moke America has partnered with brands including Louis Vuitton, Vilebrequin, and Serena Williams Fashion on bespoke Mokes, and the company boasts a cadre of celebrity fans who pop up behind the wheel on the company's Instagram feed. Starting at $19,475 you can build and order your Moke at MokeAmerica.com. sl

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RAINBOW CONNECTION Colored gemstones to wear with pride

Clockwise from top left: PF&B Safari Ombre Ring ($1,255; foxandbond.com). Mara Rainbow ring from GFG Jewellery ($1,872; gfgjewellery.com). Rainbow sapphire tennis necklace from Graziela ($13,250; grazielagems.com). Nicole Rose rainbow sapphire and garnet heart ring ($1,950; nicolerosejewelry.com). Sorellina Mini Monroe crescent white onyx earrings ($6,000; sorellinanyc.com). Gold and enamel Fidget ring from Origin 31 ($5,408; origin31.com). All You Need earrings from Aisha Baker ($3700; aishabaker.com). Rainbow Mega Swirl earrings from Graziela ($1,990; grazielagems.com). Somewhere Over the Rainbow green amethyst earrings ($2,275; mateonewyork.com).

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Clockwise from top left: Sphaera gemstone Hex ring from Laura Caspi (lauracaspi.com). Oyster Perpetual DayDate 36 with 10 baguette-cut rainbow-colored sapphires on the dial (price upon request). Available from Richter & Phillips in Cincinnati, OH; The Diamond Cellar in Columbus, OH and Nashville, TN: Reis-Nichols Jewelers in Indianapolis, Davis Jewelers in Louisville; Simons Jewelers in St. Louis, MO; and rolex.com. Yael Sonia Perpetual Motion Solo long tiered pendant ($6,950; yaelsonia.com). Rainbow bracelet from Sweet Pea Fine Jewellery ($790; sweetpeajewellery.com). 45mm Hublot Big Bang Unico Full Baguette King Gold Rainbow timepiece. Available at Moyer Fine Jewelers in Indianapolis, IN; King Jewelers in Nashville, TN; and hublot.com.

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Bibliotaph... Nutured by Nature

Compiled by Victoria Chase

Originally written as journal entries addressed to a friend, this series of poignant essays by poet and filmmaker Gretel Ehrlich chronicles her first years on “the planet of Wyoming,” where she moved in 1975 to make a series of documentaries following the death of her partner. Gretel Ehrlich—The Solace of Open Spaces—paperback, 144 pages, Penguin Books (penguin.com) In this essay by famed philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson, he lays out the foundation of transcendentalism, the idea that we should live in harmony with, rather than domesticate, nature. Ralph Waldo Emerson— Nature—paperback, 128 pages, Penguin Books (penguin.com)

A vibrant collection of short stories culled from Susi Seguret’s experiences growing up in rural Appalachia's natural settings before moving to France for two decades to hone her culinary skills. Susi Gott Séguret—Child of the Woods: An Appalachian Odyssey— paperback, 176 pages, Hatherleigh Press (hatherleighcommunity.com)

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Beautifully photographed, this book offers 70 solution-oriented recipes to make cooking outdoors easy and enjoyable. Emma Frisch— Feast by Firelight: Simple Recipes for Camping, Cabins, and the Great Outdoors—hardcover, 208 pages, Ten Speed Press (crownpublishing.com)

Though best known for his work with Weimaraners, William Wegman is also an accomplished painter, draftsman, writer, and avid outdoorsman. In this highly personal volume, Wegman shares ways to look to nature for inspiration and how its interpretation in popular culture and the arts forms the roots of his aesthetic. William Wegman—Hello Nature: How to Draw, Paint, Cook, and Find Your Way—hardcover, 176 pages, Prestel Publishing (penguinrandomhouse.com)


bib 'li' o 'taph, [bib-lee-uhtaf, -tahf ]: a person who caches or hoards books For those who have sought solace in the great outdoors during the pandemic, this guided journal features inspirational quotes, an activity log, a state-by-state list of top outdoor destinations, and thoughtful journaling prompts to make the most of being nurtured by nature. Ink & Willow—Get Outside: A Journal for Refreshing Your Spirit in Nature—hardcover, 224 pages (penguinrandomhouse.com)

Scores of people discovered the joy of being a plant parent during the pandemic. This lively illustrated book is full of interior design ideas, plant care and troubleshooting tips, and recommendations for more than 70 houseplants. Emily L. Hay Hinsdale—Never Put a Cactus in the Bathroom: A Roomby-Room Guide to Styling and Caring for Your Houseplants—paper over board, 208 pages, Tiller Press (simonandschuster.com)

Stylist, best-selling author and columnist Selina Lake shares her advice for utilizing materials best suited to a natural living look to create beautiful, sustainable, and stylish rooms throughout your home. Selina Lake—Natural Living Style: Inspirational Ideas for a Beautiful and Sustainable Home—hardcover, 160 pages, Ryland Peters & Small (rylandpeters.com)

Countless studies have shown that the simple act of going outside is really good for us. Each chapter of this book combines anecdotes and literature alongside recent medical and scientific discoveries to show how nature can heal us and how to utilize this information in your everyday life. Alice Peck—The Green Cure: How Shinrin-yoku, Earthing, Going Outside, or Simply Opening a Window Can Heal Us—paperback, 144 pages, CICO Books (rylandpeters.com) Available on June 15, this book showcases new ways to escape into Europe’s vast and eclectic landscape, with an emphasis on environmentally-friendly travel. Gestalten and Canopy & Stars—Stay Wild: Cabins, Rural Getaways, and Sublime Solitude—hardcover, 256 pages, Gestalten (us.gestalten.com)

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STARS OF THE SHOW Jewelry designs that are heaven sent

Clockwise from top left: Ashley Zhang Belcher chain with dog clip clasp and onyx diamond star charms (ashleyzhangjewelry.com). Emily Kevin Stella Cluster necklace ($3,700; emilykuvin.com). Starstruck pendant from Eden Presley ($3,300; edenpresley.com). Nouvel Heritage medium star ring ($1,600; nouvelheritage.com). Patek Philipps 6102P Celestial. Available from Reis-Nichols in Indianapolis, IN; The Diamond Cellar in Columbus, OH; and patek.com. Frédérique Constant ladies Slimline Moonphase Stars timepiece ($4,695). Available at King Jewelers in Nashville, TN; and us.frederiqueconstant.com.. Buddha Mama enamel star huggie hoop earrings, $1,050. Double moon tassel diamond earrings from Sig Ward Jewelry ($5,500; sigwardjewelry.com).

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Clockwise from top left: Show and Tell Read 2 Embrace mini pendant from NeverNot ($1,613; nevernot.co.uk). Hera ring from Bondeye Jewelry ($1,875; bondeyejewelry.com). EF Collection diamond Mini Moon & Star stud earrings ($500; efcollection.com). Celestar ring from Samantha Tea ($436; samanthatea.com). Hands to the Stars brooch from Anthony Lent (price upon request; anthonylent.com). Istanbul bracelet from Selim Mouzannar ($9,200; selimmouzannar.com). OMEGA Constellation Co-Axial Master Chronometer 36 MM ($30,700) Available from Moyer Fine Jewelers in Carmel, IN; Richter & Phillips in Cincinnati, OH; Genesis Diamonds in Nashville, TN; and omegawatches.com. Ana Katarina Air hoop earrings ($2,070; anakatarina. com). Ring Concierge Starry Night ring ($1598; ringconcierge.com).

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Christian, Michael and Hannes Reinisch Photo by Julius Hirtzberger

PINOT OFF THE BEATEN PATH Written by Bonnie Graves

Historically associated with France’s Burgundy region – most notably, the Côte d’Or, or “Golden Slope” – the pinot noir grape has had an ancient and varied evolution in the wine world. The six acres planted by the Zellerbachs in 1953, later part of the lauded Hanzell Winery in Sonoma, are considered to be the oldest plot in the United States with seminal plantings in Oregon and in the Finger Lakes happening shortly thereafter. But pinot was slow to catch on with American consumers, who initially favored cabernets and zinfandels, until a movie called “Sideways” re-established the grape in the minds of many. In the years since, California and Oregon have seen an explosion of pinot noir both in terms of acreage and brands. But where else does pinot thrive? For lovers of this grape, a grape known for being finicky to grow and transcendent to taste, getting off the established pinot path is a great way to fully experience its many expressions. Pinot noir thrives in more marginal climates, and most particularly needs a strong diurnal shift to ripen while preserving trademark acidity. Warm days need to be offset by cool nights, and threats like mold, hail, frost, under-ripening versus burned skins, etc., all combine to make pinot noir farmers nervous. But when the microclimate is right, pinot noir can be epic. Below are five bottles of pinot noir from places you might not expect. Each is made in small-lots, by hand and by winemakers who favor minimal intervention. Each of these speaks of its place, its “terroir,” with unique aromas and textures that are still 46 slmag.net

unmistakably pinot. From Austria to New Zealand to the UK to Chile to South Africa, these pinots are worth seeking out: Global warming is a key factor impacting many winegrowing regions; for Austria, typically a bastion of white grapes like riesling and grüner veltliner, it means that the potential to produce reds like pinot noir is expanding dramatically. As the vitis vinifera ripening band moves inexorably northward, places like Austria’s Thermenregion are making unexpectedly spectacular pinots. A favorite producer is Johanneshof Reinisch, where a trio of brothers are making waves just thirty minutes south of Vienna. With vines that are over twenty years old planted on limestone soils, the Reinisch pinots have beautiful, herbaceous notes of cedar with cherry and anise. 2017 Johanneshof Reinisch, “Grillenhügel” (Thermenland, Austria) SRP $35, www.circovino.com, www.j-r.at Another winegrowing region directly impacted by warming trends is in the United Kingdom, not an area typically associated with making wines, although mead and whiskey and beer have done just fine. Master Sommelier Laura Rhys is the Global Ambassador for Gusbourne Wines, located at the estate in Kent which dates to the year 1410. Her mission in tandem with winemaker Charlie Holland is to convince the world that English “fizz” and the pinot noir that often goes into it can be world-class. While much of their proprietary pinot is made into Champenoise-inspired bubbles, their still pinot noir is well worth ferreting out if you can find it.


Laura Rhys - Gusbourne

2018 Gusbourne Estate, “Boot Hill Vineyard” (West Sussex, UK) SRP $70, www.broadbent.com/usa, www.gusbourne.com A far cry from the chalky soils of Kent is the tiny Chilean region of Limarí, where a pocket of coastal limestone has proven perfect for pinot noir. The Legado reserva bottling from producer De Martino is an example of why sommeliers try wines blind – you’d never guess this amazing pinot is from a mostly unknown region in Chile and that it only costs about $20. It’s that good. With winemaker Marcelo Retamal recently named international Winemaker of the Year, the cat is out of the proverbial bag. Concentrated notes of red fruits and purple violets with a hint of forest combine in a medium-weight pinot noir that way overdelivers for the price and then some. 2018 De Martino Reserva, “Legado” (Limarí, Chile) SRP $20, www.broadbent.com/usa, www.demartino.cl Heading around to the other half of the Southern Hemisphere, we arrive at New Zealand where pinot noir has quickly established itself as a contender to its flagship friend, sauvignon blanc. While the bulk of NZ’s exports are still fairly inexpensive grocery store whites, winemaker and Master of Wine Steve Smith has tirelessly championed quality over quantity. Steve pioneered Craggy Range, one of New Zealand’s most successful wineries, before partnering with investor and friend Brian Sheth in 2017 to launch Pyramid Valley. Farmed biodynamically, the

Steve Smith and Brian Sheth - Pyramid Valley

wines from their two estate vineyards in North Canterbury and further south in Central Otago are impeccably pure expressions of just how great Kiwi wines can be. The 2018 pinot noir from Otago, widely considered to be one of the premium sites for the grape across the globe, is exceptionally silky with aromatic notes of lush cranberry spice, orange peel and juniper, and is also entirely vegan. 2018 Pyramid Valley Estate (Central Otago, New Zealand) SRP $50, www.pyramidvalley.co.nz Lastly, if ever there were an unsung country making amazing wines that aren’t exported widely enough, it’s South Africa. Wine importer TRUWINES is looking to change that as founder Jesse Balsimo’s mission is to bring small-lot, family-farmed wines from South Africa to the States. While chenin blanc and pinotage South Africa’s homegrown favorite - remain the most widely planted white and red grapes, the pinot noirs coming out of cooler climate parcels continue to impress. Oak Grove’s location in Elgin, a smaller subdivision of the Western Cape of South Africa, features south-facing slopes at nearly 1500 feet above sea-level, and its wines are remarkable. The 2018 Groenlandberg pinot noir is an homage to the Green Mountains that tower above. 2018 Oak Grove, “Groenlandberg” (Elgin, South Africa) SRP $50, www.truvino100.com, www.oakvalley.co.za/wines/groenlandberg sl

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THE PALM BEACHES

The enduring appeal of America's First Resort Destination Written by Bridget Williams

The last time I visited The Palm Beaches in Southeast Florida, I was excited to attend a cabaret show at The Colony Hotel in the Town of Palm Beach. While the show, a bastion of a bygone era, lived up to my expectations, it was clear from the sea of silver topping the heads of my fellow showgoers in the hotel's celebrated Royal Room that my affinity for the genre was an anomaly for my age. When we headed up to bed that evening humming tunes from the Great American Songbook, I couldn't help but notice that the nearly 75-year-old hotel was certainly showing its age. The former raucous realm of the 'Rat Pack' crowd felt more "Sleepytime Down South," à la The Greenbrier. My how things have changed. The brainchild of Henry Flager, who, in 1893, declared Palm Beach a "veritable paradise," built the largest hotel structure in 48 slmag.net

the world—The Royal Poinciana—in Palm Beach, enabled by his Florida East Coast Railway system. Since then, The Palm Beaches has grown to encompass 39 towns and cities, stretching from Jupiter/Tequesta to the north and Boca Raton to the south. Even though The Palm Beaches has been a renowned warmweather getaway for 125-years, you'd think the world had discovered a new playground based on all of the buzz of late in travel magazines. "For generations, The Palm Beaches has provided matchless service that complements its definitive reputation as a world-renowned vacation destination. As the world embarks on a new era of travel, The Palm Beaches has remained enduring and timeless," said Nick Parks, Vice President Marketing, Discover The Palm Beaches. While there's so much newness, there's still a discernable level of comforting familiarity to be found for repeat guests.


The world famous waters under the Blue Heron Bridge and oneof-the-kind the Underwater Snorkel Trail make a premier spot for experienced scuba divers and beginner snorkelers alike. Photo by Scott Eddy.

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The Colony Hotel

Interiors of the Aerin Lauder-designed Villa Jasmine at The Colony Hotel

Terrace of the Jasmine Villa at The Colony Hotel

In town for a long weekend to take in the Palm Beach International Boat Show (pbboatshow.com), The Colony once again served as our home base. Perfectly positioned to have a flipflop on the sand and a well-heeled toe on Worth Avenue, New York investment banker Andrew Wetenhall and his wife Sarah bought the 89-room property in 2016. They immediately set about transforming it into their vision of a family-friendly boutique luxury resort that nods to its legacy without leaning on it too heavily. A similar hint of nostalgia pervades The Palm Beaches during its current renaissance, due in part to affluent East Coasters, who, rather than WFH in the doldrums of winter, have decamped to a warmer and sunnier shore. At The Colony (rooms from $275/thecolonypalmbeach. com), a newly refreshed Living Room, designed in collaboration between Kemble Interiors and the venerable French firm de Gournay, is quintessentially Palm Beach and the most recent phase of a complete hotel restoration. Playfully popping up throughout the bespoke, hand-painted de Gournay wallpaper, the design of which is based on a mid-century mural that adorned the lobby when the hotel opened in 1947, is Johnny Brown, the hotel's mascot. The cheeky spider monkey pays homage to the island's most famous primate of the same name that was a fixture on the shoulder of famed architect Addison Mizner throughout the 1920s. "I discovered an old postcard image of the mural 50 slmag.net

titled 'The Early Days in Palm Beach,'" said Sarah Wetenhall. "We worked hand-in-hand with de Gournay to create this unique 'love letter' to The Colony and Palm Beach." With a host of small, inviting vignettes, each with head-turning furniture and accessories, the Living Room feels more like a private home than a lobby, a notion further supported by the steady stream of guests that choose to linger in the chic space. The Colony also recently unveiled 'AERIN Villa Jasmine,' a 2,100-square-foot guest villa that dates to 1929 and reimagined by Aerin Lauder using pieces from both her eponymous collection and woven rattan furniture by British brand Soane. If the Living Room is The Colony's heart, then Swifty's is its pulse. Launched this past December, the indoor/outdoor restaurant is a "pop-up" of a Manhattan institution beloved for decades until it closed in 2016. A hub of activity throughout the day, during dinner, the scene is the place to be seen, with the "who's who" of the area packed around the pool and under the tented hanging gardens. "Everyone is here," I heard one smartly dressed gentleman remark as he surveyed the room before sashaying into the crowd. Don't miss the crushed avocado appetizer, accompanied by addictive tortilla chips drizzled avocado honey and sprinkled with sea salt. The Colony's beach shuttle, topped by a paddleboard wrapped in the same whimsical sea grapes-leaf print found on its seats, is


Lionfish Delray. Photo by Eric George

"Angry" Lobster from Avalon Steak & Seafood

cute-as-a-button, but the beach setup provided to guests is even more so with pink-and-white striped beach chairs, fringed umbrella, a bubblegum pink Yetti cooler. History buffs will want to check out the nearby Henry Morrison Flagler Museum (flaglermuseum.us). Completed in 1902, this 75-room, 100,000-square-foot mansion truly embodies the opulence of the Gilded Age. For a more active pursuit, book a bike or walking tour with local Leslie Diver of Island Living Tours (561.309.5790), who provides a history behind the hedges experience, during which she imparts her palpable enthusiasm for the Town of Palm Beach's unique architecture. The Kennedys were among the area's most famous guests, and their enduring appeal is evidenced by a photo of a ski-masked Jackie in the window of many Worth Avenue boutiques reminding people to "mask up." The 35th President's "Winter White House" grabbed headlines when it sold in 2020 for $70 million. A lesserknown Kennedy connection lies across the water from the estate on Peanut Island in nearby Riviera Beach. Visit Palm Beach (visitpalmbeach.com) leads both kayak and boat tours of the eightyacre island near the Lake Worth inlet, which is also the site of a bunker built for President Kennedy. On nearby Singer Island, construction crews are busy working on the Amrit Ocean Resort and Residences (amritoceanresort.com), scheduled to open in late summer. Designed around mindful living

Lionfish ceviche from Lionfish Delray. Photo by Mas Appetit

Elisabetta's Ristorante

and proactive wellness principles, the centerpiece of the two-tower development is a four-story, 100,000 square-foot cutting-edge spa with a plant-centric restaurant. The property is part of a hotel building boom that includes the recently opened 32-room White Elephant Palm Beach, and a trio of properties scheduled to open in late 2021 and early 2022: The Ray in Delray Beach, the Mandarin Oriental in Boca Raton, and Banyan Cay Resort & Golf in West Palm Beach. During our visit, we checked out several newly opened restaurants. At Elisabetta's Ristorante (elisabettas.com) in downtown West Palm Beach, crowds packed the multi-tiered patio overlooking the Intracoastal Waterway. The all-scratch kitchen includes a trio of pizza ovens imported from Italy, turning out pies that made this pizza lover very happy. Complementing the extensive menu is a 400-bottle wine list (with 70 wines available by the glass) and classic Italian cocktails. I loved the airy barrel-vaulted dining room at Lionfish Delray (lionfishdelray.com) on Atlantic Avenue. At this outpost of a San Diego sustainable hotspot (twice recognized as a James Beard Foundation Smart Catch Leader), the sea-to-table cuisine's quality mirrors the clever interior design. The restaurant's namesake is available to order in a multitude of ways, and we opted for a citrusinfused ceviche, as well as a deliciously spiced and perfectly grilled octopus. An inventive cocktail program includes house-made syrups and infusions.

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Historic Former Coast Guard Station museum on Peanut Island. Photo by Aaron Lurie/VMA Studios

Lucky Shuck The Goldener Hirsch Restaurant

Avalon

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Lucky Shuck


View of the Jupiter Lighthouse from Charlie & Joe's at Love Street

A few blocks away is Avalon Steak & Seafood (avalondelray. com), a concept from New York's veteran hospitality operators Host Restaurants. Sitting streetside on an elevated terrace bordered by a glass partition, we were rapt observing the dinner theatre in the restaurant as well as the constant parade of people from all walks of life making their way up and down the avenue. Their selection of premium wet- and dry-aged steaks are the centerpiece of the menu, and they arrive at the table with a perfectly seared crust. I particularly enjoyed the "Angry" lobster, enlivened by fermented house sriracha and ginger, and served with Pullman toast so as not to waste a drop of the delectable sauce. Decidedly more casual yet no less delicious is Lucky Shuck in Jupiter (luckyshuckjupiter.com), which opened this past February. Part of the Charlie & Joe's at Love Street (lovestreetjupiter.com) development founded by Charlie Modica and Joe Namath, this welcoming spot is located directly across the water from the Jupiter Lighthouse. Patrons benefit from an on-site boutique seafood

In the traditional manufacture of mezcal, a giant stone wheel is used to pulverize the cooked agave to create a pulp.

market that allows commercial fishers to directly sell their catch of the day to both Lucky Shuck and BEACON, which is the development's fine dining option. The Ahi tuna poke tacos were a highlight from Lucky Shuck's unique menu, a mashup of Southern and Far East influences. Evidently, we aren't the only ones who enjoy the tiny tacos as the restaurant serves as many as 4k each week. After a thoroughly enjoyable alfresco lunch, we conquered the 109-steps of the Jupiter Lighthouse (jupterlighthouse.org). Even with everything new and notable in The Palm Beaches, it's nice to know that some things remain the same. For me, no visit to the Town of Palm Beach is complete without a stroll through the exquisitely maintained botanical gardens at the Society of the Four Arts (fourarts.org). Founded in 1936, the 10-acre campus is home to hundreds of events each year. The mélange of visitors at any given time is a testament to the enduring appeal of "America's First Resort Destination." For more travel information and reservations in The Palm Beaches, visit thepalmbeaches.com. sl

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Of Note... Island Style

Compiled by Colin Dennis

This page, clockwise from top left: Slim Aarons “Palm Beach Idyll” photograph mounted on aluminum and faced with museum-quality Plexiglas from Jonathan Adler (from $750; jonathanadler.com). Riviera tuffet from Jonathan Adler ($695; jonathanadler.com). Coral chandelier from Serena & Lily ($2,998; serenaandlily.com). Canopy custom-printed wall mural from Tempaper ($15/square-foot; tempaper.com). A Tall Handsome brass-plated cast aluminum statue from Bold Monkey ($1190; boldmonkey.com). Bac A Oranger planter box from Authentic Provence available in custom colors and multiple sizes (authenticprovence.com). David Francis Chippendale headboard in Worn White (to the trade; davidfrancisfurniture.com). Double Decker in Cabana Pink Dot fabric, with scalloped valance and Rose brush fringe from Santa Barbara Designs (santabarbaradesigns.com)

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Orchid Edition Jungle BÔA sofa ($5,662; orchid-edition.com)

April pillows from Zuiver (zuiver.com)

Maria natural jute rug from Maria Sharapova + Rove Concepts (roveconcepts.com)

Samuel & Sons Treillage Lattice border (samuelandsons.com)

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THE ELECTRIC GRAN TURISMO The 2022 Audi e-tron GT and RS e-tron GT Written by Andre James / Photos courtesy of Audi

Chiseled like a supermodel's cheekbones, the head-turning architecture of the 2022 Audi e-tron GT and RS e-Tron GT looks every bit like a concept car brought to reality. "The most beautiful car I have ever drawn," said Marc Lichte, Head of Audi Design, who chose these words in the fall of 2018, when the brand presented the Audi e-tron GT concept at a show car in Los Angeles. The Audi RS e-tron GT and RS e-tron GT are the first EVs from Audi Sport to be sold in the United States. They represent the third and fourth all-electric additions to Audi's US portfolio and contribute toward its goal of achieving a 30% electrified model portfolio by 2025. "The Audi RS e-tron GT is a milestone in the development of electrified high-performance models," said Lucas di Grassi, Formula E driver and entrepreneur, at the world premiere of the vehicle this past February. The e-tron's enviable aesthetics have all arisen from attention to efficiencies. A lightweight, high-strength, five-layer carbon fiber reinforced plastic roof —a first for an Audi vehicle and a segmentexclusive feature—comes standard. Permanently excited magnets are an exhilarating performance element that the Audi e-tron GT 56 slmag.net

shares with the world's most thrilling roller coasters. Found in both the front and rear axles of the e-tron GT and RS e-tron GT, permanently excited synchronous motors (PSM) produce 235 horsepower at its front motor and 429 horsepower at its rear. A net combined output of 469 horsepower (up to 522 horsepower for 2.5 seconds with overboost launch control) allows the e-tron GT to repeatedly accelerate from 0-60 mph in 3.9 seconds on its way to a top track speed of 152 mph. In the RS, a more robust rear motor enables a net 590 horsepower and up to 637 with overboost, which shaves .8 seconds off of the 0-60 mph sprint. These acceleration figures place the RS e-tron GT on par with the V10-powered Audi R8 supercar. Standard in the RS model is the e-tron sport sound, a high-quality and progressive sound that the driver can activate and modulate its amplitude via the Audi drive select system. Audi drive select, the driving dynamics system with four modes and controlled damping, comes as standard in every e-tron GT. Standard three-chamber air suspension in the Audi e-tron GT enables a wide variation in spring rates to provide cushioned comfort for daily driving or a more reflexive tightness for track workouts. A


standard rear differential lock with fixed locking values assists during various thrust and traction scenarios. "As a fully electric gran turismo, the e-tron GT reinterprets this balancing act by not reducing performance to the sheer output but by attributing a special creative importance to efficiency as well," said Lichte. Thanks to its lightning-fast control operations, the electric all-wheel drive provides the e-tron GT with maximum dynamism, stability, and traction in any driving situation. When the driver releases the right-hand pedal, the gran turismo usually switches to coasting mode. While braking, the electric motors perform decelerations alone in the vast majority of all everyday driving situations. All Audi e-tron GT models in the US boast a 93.4 kWh lithium-ion battery pack with a unique integrated cooling structure underneath the battery pack. The 800-volt electrical architecture comes standard with the ability to charge at an industry-benchmark 270 kW using DC fast-chargers, allowing the battery to replenish from 5-80% in just 22.5 minutes, which is among the quickest charging rates currently available of any EV. An e-tron route planner calculates the charging stops such that the

driver reaches their destination as quickly as possible. Preliminary manufacturer's estimated ranges based on approximation of EPA test cycles for a full charge are 238 miles for the e-tron GT and 232 miles for the RS e-tron GT. Inside, the cabin is spacious and outfitted with recycled materials like Alcantara and Dinamica automotive suede in lieu of leather as standard (although Nappa leather is available). The instrument panel is based on Audi's "monoposto" design that angles the 12.3-inch Audi virtual cockpit and 10.1-inch MMI touch response displays toward the driver. An Alacanara-wrapped full-circumference and flat-bottom steering wheel is standard, with capacitive hands-on detection available. The rear luggage compartment has a volume of 14.3 cubic feet, with another 2.9 cubic-feet available beneath the hood. Those looking for the ultimate in personalized can look to the Audi exclusive range from Audi Sport GmbH. The 2022 Audi e-tron GT and RS e-tron GT will arrive in the US this summer. MSRP for the e-tron GT quattro Premium Plus is $99,900; $107,100 for the e-tron GT quattro Prestige; and $139,900 for the RS e-tron GT. sl

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FEARLESS

Statement-making looks from both up-and-coming and established designers

FASHION

Written by Chloe Gellar

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Ziad Nakad

By the time he was a teenager, Lebanese-born Ziad Nakad knew that he wanted to work in fashion. Fascinated by eccentric fabrics, intricate beading and the mystery of sheer embroideries, he incorporated these into early designs he sketched for family members. With the encouragement of his family, Nakad pursued formal education in dressmaking while apprenticing with masters of couture, and in 1997 his dreams took flight when he was invited to show in the Beirut International Fashion Show. Nakad's dreamy couture confections, cut to flatter and embellished to perfection, quickly garnered global attention, and women around the world can now sport his sophisticated styles. For his SS21 collection, Nakad sought refuge from news of the explosion in Beirut, from the pandemic, and from the inability to travel by crafting a collection ripe with color and symbolism. He calls the pieces "slightly frivolous" in an attempt to recall the carefree life pre-COVID. All hand-embroidered in the designer's atelier, the collection's pièce de résistance, an opulent wedding gown, required three full months of work, or, from Nakad's perspective, "three months of escape." ziadnakad.com, Photography Greg Alexander, courtesy of Méphistophélès Productions

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A contemporary womenswear brand founded by Kanyinsola Onalaja following her graduation from Istituto Marangoni in 2014, the label aims to bridge the gap between Kanyinsola's Nigerian heritage and f lair for artisan crafts with Italian design aesthetics against the formality of British fashion. Recognized early as a person to watch in the industry, in 2009, she was named the FDA Young Designer of the Year. An underlying concept within all Onalaja collections always remains "Our Heritage Re-Imagined – The Africa We Don't See." The use of traditional fabrics such as Aso-oke fabric (from the indigenous Yoruba Tribe), the Tinko hand embroidery technique from the Hausa Tribe of Northern Nigeria, and other traditional basket weaving techniques play a key role within each of her collections and are juxtaposed with modern techniques and materials. Abstraction, often found within African art, is prominent in the designer's choice of patterns and embellishment. Onalaja and her mother are responsible for creating hand-painted details. onalaja.com, Photography courtesy of Onalaja

Onalaja

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ME369

Who is the woman that chooses to wear ME369? The creative minds behind the playful brand, ripe with cheerful slogans, definitively respond that she is ageless, with a strong personality and life experience. She is flexible. She leads a diverse life, understands that everything is dynamic, and she “goes with the flow.” She is impeccable but never gives up on comfort. She loves vacations, restaurants, sports – the good life! She is not spoilt. She is full of contradictions, has many sides, and lives in peace with each one of them. Her colorfulness, courage, and her abilities shine on others. She is not arrogant, “she talks the talk.” She is a spirit with a unique point of view. She knows how to focus on what is important with a holistic mindset. She is full of passion, loving, bold, a true optimist, and has no boundaries. She is a winning combination of modesty, power, beauty, humanity, and ambition. me369fashion.com, Photography by Greg Alexander, courtesy of Méphistophélès Productions

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Since 2013, Dallas-based Lindsey McClain and Jamie Coulter have been churning out a curated selection of feminine kaftans and kimono-inspired dresses designed to take you seamlessly from day-to-night. The statement investment pieces feature retro florals achieved through various mediums, including print and macramé, which bring a creative look to its staple silhouettes. laviestylehouse.com, Photography courtesy of La Vie Style House

La Vie Style House

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Farhad Re

During the darkest hours of the COVID lockdown in Europe, Paris-based designer Farhad Re holed up in his atelier to transform no less than 500 yards of milky-colored silk organza into a 15 piece collection that revisits the myth of Pygmalion, the eternal story of an artist who falls in love with his creation. Trained as an architect at the University of Rome, Farhad applies a sculptural approach to his couture creations. He works almost exclusively with silk organza, a material he favors for its ability to be sculpted while still maintaining an ethereal feeling. For his SS21 collection, Farhad concentrated on creating a light and architectural silhouette. The bespoke pieces boast hand-formed geometric shapes and represent his notions of purity of renewal and freedom. Farhad says he is attached to the very essence of freedom through his personal history as his Persian mother fled her country to regain the privilege to think and dress as she saw fit. farhadre.fr/, Photography by Iris Brosch, courtesy of Méphistophélès Productions

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This UK-based womenswear brand is owned by award-winning British/Nigerian journalist Didi Akinyelure. She says her inspiration stems from growing up watching the avant-garde fashion choices made by her grandmother and her mother, who owns a corporate tailoring business. Didi's love for edgy fashion pieces began in her teens, leading her to launch a fashion blog in 2011 and the April & Alex brand in 2018. Didi says April & Alex's mission is to create high-quality, contemporary womenswear that emphasizes boldness and shines a light on women's empowerment. The SS21 collection is named 'Audaz,' a Latin word meaning "bold." "The 'Audax' woman is willing to take risks while not being afraid of the unconventional," said Didi. "She is heroic, fearless, unflinching, courageous, and is not afraid to deviate from what is usual or proper." aprilandalex. co.uk, Photography by TY Bello & Luis Monteiro

April and Alex

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Mark Witzling, Executive Director, Craft Alliance

THROWN FROM THE LOOP Written by Rob Levy / Photos by Joe Martinez

The former Gunther Electronics building at 5080 Delmar Boulevard is once again pulsating with energy thanks to its new occupant, Craft Alliance. Located in the Delmar Maker District, the renovated digs have consolidated the Craft Alliance offices, studios, gift shop and art space onto one floor, enabling the organization to provide more programming and broader educational outreach. While leaving the five decades of history and tradition of their former headquarters in the University City Loop was difficult, this expansion continues Craft Alliance’s mission of revealing the power of craft’s unique qualities, its evolving role in society and its full potential for innovation. The vibrant new space is designed to enhance interaction among artists, teachers, students and surrounding communities. Executive Director Mark Witzling commented on the obstacles Craft Alliance faced as it relocated to a new site that was much larger in size from their old home. “The biggest thing was figuring out how to coordinate a complete relocation and a complete redevelopment of a building while still serving the community with arts programming,” he said. “We continued our classes and exhibitions that were already in place, so a lot of it came down to timing.” Witzling, who took over in 2018, explains that Craft Alliance’s journey to last October’s opening in their new neighborhood was the culmination of a long process. “In the summer of 2019, we had decided to consolidate our Grand Center location into our space in the Loop. We did that knowing that we 66 slmag.net

would eventually need to find a new location. The building in the Delmar Loop served us well but we were outgrowing it, and ultimately, we knew that we needed to have a single location in a place that made sense for Craft Alliance strategically.” The Delmar Maker District, with a mission to create a destination for locals and tourists to create, learn, shop and socialize, offered the perfect opportunity. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit founded by Jim McKelvey and Doug Auer, the Delmar Maker District supports local artists, veterans and community members to facilitate engagement in the arts. It was McKelvey’s and Auer’s shared love of glassblowing that inspired them to start Third Degree Glass Factory in the 5200 block of Delmar in 2002. They’re now building on the success of that venture to tackle a much larger project together: the revitalization of the surrounding blocks of Delmar. According to Witzling, the notion of moving to the blossoming Maker District gained momentum following a series of conversations with colleagues already in the District. As talks intensified, one thing led to another, which eventually moved into deep discussions about repositioning the entire organization. As plans to move were set in motion, he became even more excited. “We are excited to be a part of the Delmar Maker District. The collaboration between all of the organizations down here -- The Magic House, MADE Makerspace and Third Degree Glass Factory -- has all of us constantly working together as we look for ways to bring the community together. We want all of the artists here and at the other organizations to interact with one another. That is part of the vision.”


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Now a fixture in the burgeoning Maker District, Craft Alliance features studios for metalworking, fiber, ceramics, glass, wood, 2D and digital as a complement for a contemporary exhibition gallery, artist-in-residence space and a retail shop that features a large selection of handcrafted items. Vicki Sauter, chair of the board of Craft Alliance, outlines some of the limitations of the old facility. “We could not address the needs of folks with accessibility issues, for example. Now, we can bring everyone to the table to learn crafts for joy or for a career. Also, there wasn’t a lot of synergy between Craft Alliance and other makers further east on Delmar. Now we have various types of artists working together. There is lots of energy.” Witzling also hopes the new building will foster a renewed sense of creativity and community among artists. “Our expanded studio space is more efficient in creating the interaction we wanted. For instance, there are windows between the individual studios as well as garage doors that come out from them so that you can see through them and see what other people are doing. The entire facility is brighter and airier. We also added skylights to bring in additional natural light. Overall, we moved into a much more beautiful space.” Witzling also spoke about how Craft Alliance is embracing new technologies and techniques to amplify artistic connectivity with those they serve. “Technology can serve everything but you have to stay on top of it. In craft there are both traditional techniques as well as new techniques, which are constantly developing. Technology helps us stay in tune with the industry 68 slmag.net

as a whole because we know what is happening nationally in the craft community and are deeply engaged in understanding how we can bring those trends to our table. At the end of the day we want students to be able to take advantage of and learn about both traditional and new techniques. But ultimately it is about giving them the vehicle to express themselves.” When asked how the new building supports the long term future for the organization, Witzling responded, “I think it reinforces how well positioned Craft Alliance is to serve as an important artistic resource for the community because it allows us to broaden our efforts to engage artists and students.” David Charak, a nationally renowned collector of crafts from St. Louis, seconds Craft Alliance’s significance in this arena. “I have supported them deeply and dearly. People I know from collecting crafts around the country are aware of the crafts community in St. Louis. Craft Alliance can bring to the community meaningful programs and exhibits -- and educate those who want to be educated. Certainly, having a facility that promotes crafts the way they do enhances that possibility.” Witzling champions our city as an environment for crafts. “Craft Alliance is the only arts organization dedicated solely to craft arts and education in St. Louis. Overall, craft in both the Midwest and in our city are strong. As a result, Craft Alliance and its outstanding reputation are involved in a national community that is always talking to each other and innovating.” For more information on Craft Alliance programming, classes, camps and outreach, visit https://craftalliance.org. sl


Photo by Carmen Troesser

ART AS COOL AS THE ARTIST By Craig Kaminer

Rarely do you meet someone who reminds you of a modernday Leonardo da Vinci -- with the talent of a painter, a sculptor and an architect -- and the physique of Michelangelo’s David. Originally a high school art teacher, 39-year-old Zack Smithey’s multiple artistic intelligences are just the beginning of his story. I first saw Zack’s work in a neighbor’s home and then checked him out online. At the time what caught my eye was a series of Mark Twain portraits, but his work has expanded considerably from interpretations of Abraham Lincoln and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a range of abstract concepts from waves to stripes and infinitely customized homes he builds himself out of reclaimed shipping containers. Recently, 4 Hands Brewing Company released City Wide American Pale Ales with his Twain and Lincoln images on the can, and AB InBev is releasing limited edition coolers featuring local artists from around the country with Zack representing St. Louis. While nothing has been announced yet, Zack told me one side of the cooler will have

a sports theme featuring the Cardinals and Blues and the other side St. Louis’ notable historic landmarks. “Our team has collaborated with Zack Smithey on a number of custom commissions over the years and we have enjoyed every moment of working with him,” says Ashley Mendez, partner at TOC Artwork in St. Louis. “One of Zack’s true talents is that he knows how to dream bigger. He often challenges our design team to think outside of the box which brings value to our projects. Most importantly, I trust Zack and know with full confidence that he will execute and deliver his work on time and above expectations.” When I stopped by Zack’s studio in St. Charles recently, he was working out. By the size of the dumbbells and his muscles, he must do this daily. Before we discussed his career as an artist, we discussed his diet, intermittent fasting and workouts. Zack’s imagination, unique abilities and visual boldness have attracted almost 15,000 social media followers.

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Photo by Gussie Barnidge-Spicewood Photography

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Photo by Gussie Barnidge-Spicewood Photography

Zack’s work stands out because of its striking abstract images and colors, the large size of the paintings and Zack’s personality which marries his quiet intensity, his bold and playful images and perseverance. His mind and brush keep moving, so it’s no wonder that he has caught the eye of many collectors with more than 3,000 paintings sold to date. “I was an art teacher for seven years and painted whenever I could, and became a full-time artist in 2013. I am proud to say that every year since doing this full time has been better than the last. In addition to being known for my art, my work ethic is second to none, and that has served me well. I still work every day except Christmas.” Nicole Lewis, head of projects and design at Rise to the Location, said, “I love Zack. He is so amazing to work with from the start of the creation to the completion. He has a vision and you can say just two words and he will create exactly what you are thinking. He’s a fantastic artist and a great person. He is so kind, patient and just genuine. In my line of business -- it’s great to have relationships and to work with people that you honestly can’t get enough of.” “Working with Zack was a breeze!” says April Jensen, founder of ADJ Interiors. “He listened and created multiple options in the genre we commissioned to fulfill our needs -- one was better than the next! I love his color and energy. All of his work is so unique and exciting. I have been following him for many years, becoming obsessed with his work when I saw him do a live painting of Mark Twain. I was hooked.” In addition to art, Zack designs shipping container homes (St. Charles in 2016) and Old North neighborhood (STL in

2019), one of which he currently lives in. Each is unique to the owner, but Zack’s is like a world unto itself. Bright colors, flowing lines, optical illusions and whimsey make it uniquely Smithey. The homes reflect Zack’s sense of activism to reuse discarded materials and turn them into precious objects. While homeowner’s associations may have something to say about the designs not fitting into their rigid requirements, no one can argue that Zack’s container homes are the coolest residences on the block. Smithey has had more than 100 solo and group shows in New York City, St. Louis, Palm Beach, Palm Springs, Laguna Beach and La Jolla to mention a few. He has produced art/film work for Lincoln Center in New York (YouTube - A Short Film for the End of Time) and created a series of art videos for worldrenowned pianist Inon Barnatan (YouTube - Darknesse Visible). Boeing commissioned him to create two steel sculptures for their St. Louis headquarters. The Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center of the La Jolla Music Society commissioned a performance piece. He received a commission to create album art for The Smother Party, the fifth release of the Brooklyn-based band, The Eyesores. Smithey is the creator of the Easter Art Hunt in St. Louis. He has been published or featured in the New Yorker, CURBED (a part of New York Magazine), the St. Louis PostDispatch, St. Louis At Home Magazine, All The Art: The Visual Art Quarterly of St. Louis, INSIDER, St. Louis Magazine, StreetScapes Magazine, St. Louis Homes & Lifestyles, Uptown Magazine, Community News, Lindenwood Connection and St. Charles Magazine. He has been covered/interviewed on Netflix, NBC, Fox, CBS and in USA Today. sl

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Photo by Gregg Goldman

PAINTING WHAT YOU LOVE Written by Craig Kaminer

You never know someone’s story until you ask, and after chasing Ted Collier with texts, emails and voicemail messages, this highly successful St. Louis-based artist opened up in a truly authentic and inspiring way. His checkered past -- as he calls it -- includes getting thrown out of quite a few of the 12 schools he attended, sobriety issues and losing everything he owned in his name in 2008 during the big recession. With nothing left to lose, he set out to do what he always loved -painting -- and recalls his childhood years always checking out the art supplies in each new school he attended. His wife, the now celebrated chef/restaurateur/entrepreneur Katie Collier of Katie’s Pizza & Pasta Osteria fame, had similar struggles despite her enormous talents, and together she and Ted pointed their compasses in the direction of their hearts. That winning formula, which is a similar refrain of some of the most successful creatives and chefs, led them to this place of feature stories, rave reviews and large followings on social media. The first work of art Ted ever sold was to Phyllis and Ken Langsdorff for $75, which led to pop-up shows, new tools and techniques, and ultimately landed on his signature shape -- series of 72 slmag.net

circles. “I always felt boxed in by right angles, but was attracted to the oval shape of eyes and Littlest Pet Shop toys and things that have made me happy since I was a kid.” With the courage he earned from selling a handful of pieces to serious collectors, he rented a small loft space from Artmart owner Keith Baizer, first painting on a small scale but soon growing the works in size. The bigger the images got, the faster they sold. Sales quickly doubled, then tripled and people started reselling his work for a profit. “I feared raising my prices, but eventually I did, and today most of the work sells for $10,000 - $20,000 or more in places like Atlanta, Miami, Bogota and Milan to private collectors and corporations. Former St. Louisan Ramsey Maune, who opened his eponymous gallery in Atlanta with his wife Heidi, represents Ted amidst both blue-chip and emerging artists. Heidi said, ”When I received a Ted Collier work from my now husband, Ramsey, for my birthday, I was hooked. His art has the capability of both energizing and grounding a space. Several years later, I thought I was opening another birthday present but


was shocked and surprised to find that it was another Ted Collier work and a marriage proposal! Ted had painted about two hundred sentences which said ‘Will you marry me?’ Of course, I said yes!” And William Shearburn, a top gallerist in St. Louis, said, “I love Ted. Although I don’t represent him, we have enjoyed a long-standing dialogue/conversation about art, business and life. I admire what Ted has accomplished through a lot of hard work. He has taken a simple, basic shape -- the circle -- that has been manifested for centuries in art and architecture and somehow made it his own. Ted is also a master of social media. He has an innate ability to connect with people, which comes through genuinely on his social media platforms. An all-around good guy.” Ironically, Ted responds to the daily inundation of faux realism by reducing his environments to their essential forms and colors, in spite of his and Katie’s over 40,000 Instagram followers and almost as many Facebook friends. “We’re constantly bombarded with faux realism and direct marketing through social media and contemporary means of advertising. My work aims to provide the viewer with an

escape or a sense of solitude by reducing one’s environment to its most essential geometries -- producing a universal language of shapes and hues that at their very core are organic forms embedded within the fabric of the world around us.” “As early as I can remember I felt at home drawing, painting and making sculptures out of found objects. I wish I would’ve followed and pursued my passion for art before I was given this second chance. Now looking back, I’m grateful that it happened because it was the beginning of my new life. There is always time to pursue a dream or an idea you fully believe in and are passionate about. Where you are now will become a memory when you get to where you want to be.” Despite Ted’s busy schedule, enjoying his family and mentoring others just starting out are his top priorities. He said, “The reason I didn’t call you back earlier was that I was secretly hoping you would write about someone else, someone who needs the visibility more than me.” At Sophisticated Living, we’re glad we finally connected. sl

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WORKS EXPRESS ARTIST’S COMMITMENT TO HUMAN RIGHTS Written by Lou Ann Wilcox / Photos courtesy of Michelle Pred

Thought provoking. Polarizing. Clever. Outrageous. Passionate. These are all adjectives that describe the artwork of Michele Pred, a Swedish-American conceptual artist whose works uncover the cultural and political meaning behind everyday objects, with a focus on themes like equal pay, reproductive rights and personal security. Her St. Louis exhibit, Freedom is for Everybody, functions as a representation of her commitment to human rights issues and a continuation of her larger project to drive these topics into public spaces. The exhibition presents a call to action in the form of art. Pred’s work implores us, now more than ever, to raise our voices to protect the freedom of all bodies, especially those historically disempowered. Pred was born in San Francisco and grew up in the Bay Area and in Stockholm. She currently resides in Oakland and Stockholm with her husband and daughter. She has exhibited nationally and internationally at the Neuberger Museum, White Plains NY; Bildmuseet and Kulturhuset in Sweden; University of Westminster, London; Museum of Craft and Folk Art, San Francisco; University of Technology, Sydney, Australia; Omi International Art Center, 74 slmag.net

Ghent, NY; ASU Museum, Tempe, AZ; the Honolulu Museum of Art, HI; Museum of Design Atlanta, amongst others. Her work is part of the permanent collection at the Berkeley Art Museum, the 21st C Museum, the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, and the 9/11 Memorial Museum in New York. Freedom is for Everybody runs through August 7, 2021, at projects+gallery, 4733 McPherson Ave. The exhibit is presented by Barrett Barrera Projects, a cross-disciplinary group of originators who redefine art experiences and push boundaries to explore the continuously expanding spectrum of art forms, Says Pred, “I have been working with projects+gallery since 2016 when they featured one of my pro-choice artworks on a billboard. I love their programming and really appreciate their focus on social justice. I look forward to visiting St.Louis for the first time in May for the opening of the exhibition!” In support of the institutions that fight for and provide necessary services to women, five percent of the proceeds from all sales of her altered purses in the exhibition will also be donated to Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri. sl


SOPHISTICATED SOCIETY

As the weather makes the outdoors a more desirable venue for galas, we’ll see both a variety of hybrid society events as well as full on in-person fundraisers. While virtual galas and trivia events are still on the books for many fall events, the idea of the pre-COVID philanthropic get togethers we used to enjoy seems closer than ever. The St. Louis Symphony Orchestra has welcomed back guests (with limited capacity) to Powell Hall to enjoy live music, and the Fabulous Fox announced shows returning in November, making St. Louisans hopeful for a once again jam-packed social calendar! Share your celebrations with us by tagging your pictures with @sophisticatedlivingmag. And let us know which charity you want to see featured among our society pages. The calendar of events may still be thin, but the list of organizations needing support remains endless. – SL

MAY

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Breast Trivia Night Ever, gthstl.org Sweet Serenades, slso.org Nubia: Treasures of Ancient Africa, slam.org GiveSTL Day, givestlday.org Peter and the Wolf, slso.org Beethoven 7, slso.org Live from The Sheldon: Kurt Elling, thesheldon.org MWOY St. Louis, LLS.org/gateway Table for Four at Busch Stadium, bgcstl.org A Ballet is Born, stlouisballet.org 2021 Outdoor Festival Season, opera-stl.org

King Lear, stlshakes.org St. Patrick Center Irish Open Gala and Golf Tournament, stpatrickcenter.org St. Louis Jewish Film Festival, jccstl.com Virtual Trivia Night, camstl.org Peg Can Help Golf Tournament, lydiashouse.org Jim Butler Charity Golf Classic at Norwood Hills Country Club, bgcstl.org Maks & Val Live, stifeltheatre.com

STREAMING

JazzSTL.org

Photos and stories compiled by Carrie Edelstein. To submit your event for consideration, please email carrie@slmag.net.

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TAKING IT TO THE STREETS: COCACABANA Written by Carrie Edelstein

It is typically one of the main philanthropic events in St. Louis that in previous years has been a sign that summer and VIP parties are around the corner. COCAcabana usually coincides with Variety Week, the largest fundraising time for Variety the Children’s Charity; Table Tops, the luncheon which supports St. Louis Children’s Hospital; and in some years, Opera Theatre of St. Louis’ spring gala. To have an in-person/hybrid event in 2021 like “Taking it to the Streets” gives hope that not only is life getting back to normal for nonprofits, but also that nonprofits have found ways to stay afloat and grow stronger throughout the pandemic. Virginia Howell has been planning the COCAcabana events for more than a decade. Last year, when the event was forced to go virtual, she says more than 1,700 viewers tuned in, nearly tripling attendance from previous years. She calls “Taking it to the Streets” essentially “three simultaneous events: the live party, the theater party and the live stream for guests who prefer the at-home option offered.” So despite a reduced in-person capacity, Howell was planning to reach more guests and potential donors than ever. “We need to stay flexible and adaptable and continue to have strong relationships with not only donors but our auction committee and sponsors. Of our previous 42 sponsors, 38 renewed. It’s an amazing testament to our city and the fact that people care about what we’re trying to do to make St. Louis a creative and inclusive space. Art gives people hope,” Howell adds. “At Anheuser-Busch, we have a long and rich legacy in the St. Louis region and we are proud to partner with local community organizations like COCA who share our passion for giving back to this incredible community. We extend our congratulations to the 76 slmag.net

team at COCA for their forward-thinking pivots to host a fun, safe and successful COCAcabana hybrid celebration,” said Julio Suárez, Senior Director, Community Affairs at Anheuser-Busch. Chair and board member Kristin Johnson of Edward Jones said, “We are so excited for this year’s ‘Taking it to the Streets,’ which helps provide necessary scholarship support for greater access to arts education across the community in St. Louis. We have seen the power of the arts in the last year during the pandemic that underscores the fact that creative expression is an innate need for humans. We want as much of our community to have access to the arts as possible.” “Taking it to the Streets” offered about 250 on-site guest spots with a mix of patrons inside in the theater and then some outside in a tent, all with access to live entertainment including mural paintings, music and student performances. The at-home version offered packages ranging from a $200 swag and dinner bundle from Butler’s Pantry to a $1,000 VIP option with details like monogrammed items and yard decorations included. Access to auction items like gold earrings from Elleard Heffern, golf at Oakmont, an in-home dinner party from Gerard Craft and a dinner with special guests Joe and Michelle Buck was made available to all guests both in-person and virtual. In lieu of Variety Week, Variety’s “Every Day PossAbilities” campaign runs through May 17, featuring a mix of videos, print pieces and digital collateral. The goal is to raise $1.6 million dollars over a four-week initiative. For more information, head to sophisticatedstlouis.com, or read about how you can help in Sophisticated Giving. sl


Photos By Zach Dalin

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SOPHISTICATED WEDDINGS

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Congratulations to St. Louis’s newest batch of nuptials! Pictured here are Laura and Mark, celebrating under a sea of confetti. Abbi and Josh are seen sharing an isolated moment in bliss on a bridge all to themselves. And Curstan and Woody bring glamour and style to the Fabulous Fox as they appear on stage for their newlywed photoshoot.

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1) Abbi Marks-Mazur and Josh Mazur 2) Laura Hettiger and Dr. Mark Gdowski 3) Curstan Dye and Leonard Woodson 4) Abbi Marks-Mazur and Josh Mazur 5) Elena and David Bui 6) Abbi Marks-Mazur and Josh Mazur

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FABULOUS FEUD LIVE

The J Associates held a virtual/live fundraiser called Fabulous Feud Live to benefit critical programs at the J that support the community. The event was co-chaired by Carol B. Blinder and Wendy Gellman with assistance from J Associates President, Debbie Lefton and Vice President of Development, Amy Bennett. In the same spirit as the popular television game show “Family Feud,” Fabulous Feud Live featured local families squaring off against each other. Teams included were The Rosenkatters, The Fab Five, The Wallis Collective, The Word Warriors, The Little Creek Gang and The Mama and the Papas. The event raised $214,000.

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MARYGROVE’S BLOOM

Marygrove held its annual BLOOM event in March, raising more than $465,000 with support from a virtual audience. The Roaring ‘20s Maskerade Gala was a livestream event to raise funds for the nearly 1,000 children, adolescents and young adults who receive love, support and a safe home at Marygrove. Rita Diekemper and Anthony and Jean Soukenik chaired the event.

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Let’s Connect! SOPHISTICATED LIVING | SOPHISTICATED MARKETING

Let us put your brand in front of 25,000+ of the most affluent St. Louisans Full-page only print/on-line advertising Influencer Events Fundraising Partnerships Social Media Engagement Email Campaigns Search Engine Marketing

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Do you want to see a particular story featured? I’d love to hear your thoughts! Send me an email or tag us on social media.

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KIDS ROCK CANCER

A bourbon and wine tasting was held online to raise money for Kids Rock Cancer, a free program that helps children cope with the emotional challenges that accompany a cancer or blood disorder diagnosis. Through the healing power of music therapy, Kids Rock Cancer helps children combat feelings of anxiety, depression, uncertainty and helplessness. Tasting packages for the event were made available through Grapevine Wines.

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1) T-Beats Studio feat Nico Hendrix (performance) 2) Tracie Sandheinrich (L) and Jaime Kennington (R) 3) Randy Campbell (advisory council chair) 4) Grapevine Wine and Spirits

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“The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely upon advertisements. Past results afford no guarantee of future results and every case is different and must be judged on its own merits.”


Photos By Dave Moore

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SLSO CONCERT

After several months without concerts, the sound of music returned to Powell Hall in Midtown St. Louis. Live concerts began again with Music Director Stéphane Denève and the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra the last weekend of March and will continue through May 15. Assistant Conductor Stephanie Childress made her SLSO performance debut in concert March 26-28 as violin soloist on J.S. Bach’s Double Violin Concerto with SLSO Associate Principal Second Violinist Kristin Ahlstrom; Denève also led the first SLSO performances of Ester Mägi’s Vesper, Arvo Pärt’s Cantus in memoriam Benjamin Britten and Dmitri Shostakovich’s Chamber Symphony. The mood was enthusiastic, and the audience and musicians were thrilled to be back. Capacity is limited to 300 for all shows with modifications implemented like socially distant seating arrangements, masks required, contactless ticketing, no food/beverage service, an hourlong program without intermission, and specifically-designed ingress/egress routes for patrons.

1) Music Director Stéphane Denève. 2) SLSO Associate Principal Second Violinist Kristin Ahlstrom Solos on the Bach Double. Assistant Conductor Stephanie Childress made her SLSO performance debut as violin soloist on the Bach Double.

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Photos By Strauss Peyton

FAMILY PORTRAITS

There’s always a reason to celebrate family and mark the time passing with a forever portrait by Strauss Peyton. Here are just a few of Colin’s latest masterpieces that show the beauty of togetherness.

1) The Kim and Gary Bussard Family enjoy the beach near Marco Island, Florida. 2) Rob and Shannon Dolrenry and family are captured at Alqonquin Golf Club. 3) Angela and Michael Horwitz celebrate family at their home in St. Louis. 4) Rebecca and Dan Leary and the family enjoy the Strauss Peyton studio gardens. 5) The Drs. Matthew and Kathy Linsenbardt pose with family at their St. Louis home. 6) Tom and Sarah Reed gather at with family at their home in St. Louis. 7) Steve and Bettina Strauss pose with family at their St. Louis home. 8) Dr. and Mrs. Victor and Shauna Williams gather with their family at Strauss Peyton’s studio.

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Travis Noble Jr. has had a decades-long and illustrious career as a criminal defense attorney, representing those among us -- as well as professional athletes, captains of industry and celebrities -- who needed his legal acumen in an extenuating circumstance. Noble has developed a national reputation in the legal and local communities for being a strong advocate for his clients. He also has another reputation to maintain…that of a man who earned and appreciates quality and a set of curated preferences. The things he enjoys reflect another side of him -the one with flair and strong statements. He shared with us his unique outlook on what’s fun. GETTING AROUND Growing up, my parents did not have a lot of money. I was driven around in beat-up junkers. That’s what motivated me to work hard so I could have cars in which I am proud to drive my kids. My Rolls Royce, Ferrari and Mercedes G-Class wagon are some of my most prized possessions. When I get in my car at the end of a long day, it always reminds me of how far I’ve come. MY STYLE When I wake up in the morning, one of the things I look forward to most is picking out what I am going to wear that day. On days when I am in court for long periods of time, my go-to is a Tom Ford jacket. The quality and style keeps me comfortable and keeps the compliments rolling in. MY PRIDE AND JOY(S) Above all, my daughters mean the most to me. I most enjoy watching my 11- and 16-year old play their favorite sports -- field hockey and lacrosse -- because it makes them happy which makes me happy. I love spending time with my daughters because they remind me a lot of myself...always wanting to stay active, go to the beach and occasionally pick up a drink from Starbucks. 88 slmag.net

ON MY WALLS I started collecting Ted Collier’s artwork after seeing it at he and his wife’s restaurant, Katie’s Pizza & Pasta Osteria. The shapes, the colors are so distinctive. It has been fun watching Ted’s reputation grow and spread worldwide. Feels good to support someone like him who is so talented. HOME AWAY FROM HOME If you would have asked me 20 years ago if I would be flying to Vegas just to buy a pair of shoes, I would have laughed. Now, one of my favorite things to do is book myself a weekend trip to Las Vegas, check into the Bellagio and hit the shops. I have been going to the Bellagio for 20 years now and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. sl