If you follow the the divas of the design world, - Charlotte Moss sits right at the top. As I told you in yesterday's post, I wasn't leaving New York last May without seeing the famous designer's retail store. Situated in a 3 story townhouse in the Upper East Side, each room on each floor was designed like a fabulously-decorated, well-appointed home. Picture walking into the most gracious home for a lovely visit. For years, this retail concept worked for Ralph Lauren, and it sure worked for Moss, we meandered from floor to floor for almost 3 hours, leaving no time to see Trelliage, the famous gardening store a few blocks over. We were well-primed before we got there, Charlotte Moss is the leading designer in the annual Kip's Bay Designer Showhouse we had just seen, by that point anything she had or did, we wanted (though I think we showed remarkable restraint). I bought a signed copy of her new book A Flair for Living, 2 stacks of her famous Quote Pads (a great gift), and I would never tell you what my friend bought, she would kill me for sure. The doorman (yes it's that type of store) sent us a few steps over for lunch at Nello's on Madison where a huge, lit floral arrangement had me so enraptured that I failed to look at the prices when ordering. Though apparently it's the be-seen-in-your-Prada kind of Manhattan place, it's also known for being ridiculously overpriced. Too late, the goat cheese and beet salad was gone and so was my dismay, it had been a great day so far and I was still on a Charlotte Moss high. That lady has some serious style and taste. Unfortunately, just hours after I posted, I received a comment from Texas design blogger Cote De Texas who informed me that the Charlotte Moss Townhouse store closed last fall, so I'm sorry I maybe got you adding this to your NY travel list. She does have those great quote pads on her website but now they only come with a bamboo pen which is lovely but makes the gift at 65.00 US (for us Canadians that's about 90.00!). Nevertheless, it was a slice of retail bliss and I still would have shared her story. Her book A Flair for Living is listed on my blog sidebar and makes for a gorgeous gift. I've been officially handed the bad blogger award today (self-awarded) for missing this huge detail and really, really glad I spent 3 hours there last spring.
Though you don't see many unstudied photos of Charlotte Moss, here's one taken by the New York Social Diary blog that I prefer for it's candid angle, she looks like she's thinking "if I let you take this photo, will you be leaving?" She writes in her book that when asked what she wanted for Christmas one year, she replied "A week in my study with food left by the door, a good supply of red wine, and my dogs." I also like that her desk isn't Martha Stewart perfect, it makes me think my desk clutter might have a useful purpose. It seems to work for her.
One the opposite wall in Charlotte Moss's blue toned study is her "wall of women". She has filled the wall with drawings and photographs of women who she finds inspiring whether it be design, fashion, or friendship. The touches of red are such a designer touch, the stacks of books too. I'm not nearly done telling you about Charlotte Moss, I''ll share some of her gift talent........my favorite product of the year. She may have closed her store, but she hasn't stopped creating. Just need the weekend to double-check my facts! And she is listed as one of the designers in the 2009 Kip's Bay Designer Showhouse.