Jan 26, 2010

Livraria da Vila, in the Jardins district of São Paulo: beautiful architecture!


Isay Weinfeld: remember this name. He is the number one architect in Brazil, today. And very prolific: in recent years he's designed countless mansions, stores and restaurants. He's most famous for his work for the Fasano group (including the Fasano hotel), but I am particularly enamoured with his project of the bookstore Livraria da Vila, an outpost of the original flagship in Vila Madalena.

The newer Livraria da Vila, in the heart of the posh Jardins district, is nothing short of stunning.

Pivoting doors contain, in the interior, bookshelves. The solid, concrete rectangular box contains 3 levels, and oval and square cutouts reveal glimpses of the other floors as one stands on the ground floor.

Bookshelves are purposely assymetrical and heavily loaded, mimmicking a used book store. Comfy indigo-covered couches are a nice break from the formality of the architecture.

Nas duas laterais do longo retângulo, paredes repletas de estantes de livros, cuidadosamente desalinhadas. Aqui e ali, sofás revestidos de tecido jeans, e recortes inesperados, revelando geometrias de impacto.


Oh, and I guess I've got to tell you about the books! Fear not: there are thousands of great finds in English, French, you name it. It is quite possibly the best bookstore in town.

Livraria da Vila: Al. Lorena, 1731, tel. (55-11) 3062-1063

São Paulo Fashion Week: Gloria Coelho's runway show

Great show, at the Iguatemi shopping mall, with a very high celeb quotient. Here are a few pics I took...

Mariana Ximenes, a soap opera star


Gloria's looks

and one of my faves

Actress Bruna Lombardi (the blonde) congratulating Gloria, in the backstage.


Gloria Coelho and Bruna Lombardi

spfw_gloria_coelho7Vestido era Jetsons


More Gloria...

And here, a video of the whole show:

Gloria Coelho: Rua Bela Cintra, 2173, Jardins, São Paulo, tel. (55-11) 3085-6671
São Paulo's Fashion Week just ended, and on a very high note. Bigger and better each year, it was praised by the international media, including The New York Times's  T Magazine blog. They said:

"São Paulo fashion week is still coming into its own, but it certainly gives good show. From a slew of supermodels to unmarked after-parties, the cool quotient held its own against the more traditional fashion capitals. This season’s model check saw Lara Stone walking for Forum Tufi Duek, Brazil’s prodigal son Jesus Luz doing an awkward catwalk turn for Ellus, Alessandra Ambrosio filling in for Gisele at Colcci, Isabeli Fontana opening for Alexandre Herchcovitch and Chanel Iman at Rosa Cha.

Off the runway there was plenty of action as well. Jesus Luz D.J.’d at the week’s biggest bash, for Ellus, at São Paulo’s newest nightspot, Lion’s Club, and Alexander Herchcovitch had a post-show party at Bar Secreto, an unassuming two-story bungalow that houses all manner of decadence.


All in all, it’s not a stretch to imagine a near-future when São Paolo fashion week is as important a part of the fashion circuit as, say, London. Add one more fashion capital to your global itinerary!"

Jan 25, 2010

Hotel Fasano, in São Paulo: a video

by Karin Dauch, photos by Alexandra Forbes

I’m on the NY-SP shuttle quite often. A room away from home which is not only consecutively but consistently excellent, deserves to be called a second home.

It’s not always that I stay at my favorite, Fasano, but every time I do, I am always pleased to see the welcoming concierge, helpful staff, thoughtful waiters and automatic upgrades for repeat customers. And of course, you can’t beat the location, positioned in the heart of Jardins, the most charming neighborhood of this bustling metropolis. Restaurants (Dalva & Dito, Antiquarius, Arabia) are walking distance, not to mention the best stores lined up on nice to stroll streets (Louis Vuitton and Cartier are on the adjacent block.)

When I last visited less than a month ago, I made a little movie that captures the soul of this modern classic paulistano...

Jan 11, 2010

Best restaurants in Trancoso by Wilbert Das, owner of Uxua Casa Hotel

Wilbert Das, who retired on December 31 from his longtime position as Diesel's creative director, owns one of the hippest little hotels in Trancoso, Brazil's glammest beach destination: the Uxua Casa Hotel (pictured above).

He spends good part of the year in Trancoso and he wrote a great list of restaurant recommendations for the guests of his hotel, which I am now sharing here:

Trancoso dining by Uxua's Wilbert Das

As tiny as Trancoso appears to be, it offer a tremendous variety of food, running the gamut from salt-of-the-earth Bahian home cooking to the freshest sushi.

Of course, local chefs are always available for preparing catered meals in each UXUA casa.


This inviting dining room (which resembles a living room) features Laila’s tasty home cooking – and a passel of guest chefs over the course of the year.

A Trancoso hot spot offers informal pizzas, risottos and anything else that is easy to eat, plus a well-regarded wine list.

Take Bahia, add a dash of contemporary sophistication, and you get this intimate dinner spot, set in a garden beside the historic Quadrado.

One of the first restaurants you’ll find when you enter the Quadrado, Sabor Da Bahia serves a mouthwatering Brazilian ‘Picanha’ with toasted vegetables, pineapple and french fries. Owned by a native family, the restaurant also serves traditional Bahian food and it opens for breakfast, serving home-made yoghurt at its open air tables.

This mix of trendy with traditional is among the oldest in town and has a creative menu signed by well-known chef Sandra Marques.

Believe it or not, Japanese raw fish has long been popular in this remote fishing village – and here it’s served a mere 1-minute walk from the Quadrado.

Fusion Asian cuisine, here? Why, of course, at this popular spot in the heart of Trancoso’s nightlife and only a two-minute walk from the Quadrado.

Traditional Bahian cuisine rules at this open-air restaurant facing the church. Remember to leave room for the desserts, which are renowned throughout the village.


Set on the people-watching-conducive Quadrado, this restaurant features homestyle cooking a la Silvana, privy to the “original secrets” of Bahian cuisine.

This culinary stunner is set on a cliff facing the ocean and is perfect for proposals, romance and anything else in need of a dose of drama. Includes a sushi bar and is sister restaurant of two well-regarded spots in the Bario Alto of Lisbon.

A mélange of European and Asian cuisine, thanks to the Dutch chef who has set up shop here in a bid to explore life in rural Brazil.

This Italian trattoria-slash-antiques shop has ocean views and a convenient location on the right side of the Quadrado.

2 minutes walk from the Quadrado, this bar and restaurant is owned by an Italian Rasta who has been living in Bahia for nearly twenty years. Serving great pizzas and general Italian food, there is also a snooker table on the top floor. And on Tuesday and Saturday, live music make it the meeting point of the town.

Every beach village in the world has a famous sandwich place. In Trancoso it is LA NO DOM. Dom is the name of the guy who prepares tasteful pita-bread sandwiches with his famous eggplant sauce for over 15 years.


Life is not food alone. The beaches are dotted with places at which to enjoy the perfect sundowner.

UXUA’s own beach bar boasts a picturesque setting between the Trancoso River and Atlantic Ocean, is the only bar on Praia da Barra, and wears its green heart on its sleeve (it’s made partly from rebuilt fishing boats found on the property).

The brainchild of Andrea, an Italian native who came to Brazil in 1999, this bar is a true hybrid. Set on Coqueiros beach and marked by a Sardinian flag on the top, it also serves up deliciously authentic pizzas and fresh local fish.


Located on Rio Verde beach, this bar is frequented by the young and beautiful and is only 1.7 km from the Quadrado.

Where would a beach town, even a remote one, be without a local nighttime hotspot? This club fits that description, with its dance music, special summer parties and visits from world-famous DJs.

Here, an amazing slideshow of photos by Fernando Lombardi of the Uxua Casa Hotel.

And more Trancoso on this blog:

  1. Uxua, the newest luxury boutique hotel in Trancoso
  2. Uxua's Casa Seu João: see photos
  3. 2010 Pirelli calendar is photographed by Terry Richardson at the Uxua
  4. Jacaré do Brasil: my favourite Trancoso pousada
  5. A complete listing of hotels and pousadas that I recommend
  6. Terravista: one of the world's most beautiful golf courses
  7. Trancoso: all the best restaurants
  8. Trancoso and Espelho: top 5 things to do
  9. A slideshow of my favourite Trancoso photos
  10. Tauana hotel, in Corumbau, South of Trancoso

Varejão, Cildo Meirelles, Ernesto Neto and other artists tell their lives in new book

The just-launched book "Arquivo contemporâneo" (310 pages) by Felipe Scovino contains several interviews with many of Brazil's most important contemporary artists: Adriana Varejão, Anna Bella Geiger, Antonio Dias, Artur Barrio, Cao Guimarães, Carlos Vergara, Chelpa Ferro (art collective composed by Barrão, Sérgio Meckler and Luiz Zerbini), Cildo Meireles, Ernesto Neto, Raul Mourão, Ricardo Basbaum, Tunga and Waltercio Caldas.

Felipe Scovino é teaches at the post-graduate course in Visual Arts at the UFRJ (Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro), and has curated shows about Lygia Clark (Dan Galeria, São Paulo, 2004), and Brazilian design no Brasil (Caixa Cultural, Rio de Janeiro, 2008; Caixa Cultural, São Paulo, 2009).

The book is in Portuguese only and can be purchased for 48 reais following this link.

Jan 4, 2010

Rothschild count builds house in Trancoso, Bahia, near countess Georgina Brandolini's

Just a little bit of Trancoso gossip...The newest fab house owned by an international jet-setter is Philippe de Nicolay's, right near the Estrela d'Agua hotel. São Paulo a-listers have been talking about the house for months, because the Rothschild heir (son of  Marie-Hèlene van Zuylen van Nyevelt-de Rohtschild and count François de Nicolay) had serious problems getting it built, since Trancoso regulations are very tough and no new structures are allowed on the beach. He got around the problem by buying a second piece of land behind his seafront paradise, which had been a pousada for years. Where the pousada once stood he built his personal Xanadu, helped by interior designer (and personal friend) Jorge Elias and architect David Bastos. Those who've seen the finished work say it's nothing short of amazing.

de Nicolay is only one of many wealthy aristos who have fallen in love with Trancoso.Countess Sabine Lovatelli built hers, with hubby Carlo, in the Terravista gated community a few years back, for instance. It sits facing the beautiful Terravista golf course, right beside the house of her friend Sig Bergamin, arguably Brazil's most celebrated interior designer (who, of course, did the work on Sabine's house as well as his own).

But the pioneer among the blue bloods was countess Georgina Brandolini (who was for many years Valentino's muse and also directed the Balmain couture house). Her rustic chic Trancoso house was even featured in the July 09 edition of W magazine.

The story managed to get it spot on: the description of Trancoso says it all. An excerpt:

"During the past few years, Trancoso has made its name as one of the so-called hippie-chic hot spots, those 21st-century answers to Goa or Bali that are luring in-the-know jetsetters. Many such places never manage to get either the “hippie” or the “chic” part quite right, but Trancoso scores high on both counts. Founded in 1586 by Portuguese missionaries, who built a quaint Catholic church and then moved on, the town remained contentedly off the grid until about 1970, when a small group of young counterculture types fleeing Brazil’s urban jungles for the real thing—showed up. Settling into the empty fishermen’s houses around the grass-covered Quadrado, a five-acre town square that overlooks the ocean, the biribandos mixed with local families in a barter-based collective, living off the land and the ocean. It was only in 1982 that electricity arrived, and not until almost two decades later that the latest wave of outsiders—fashionable São Paulo weekenders—rolled into town. Although the influx seemed likely to swallow the village whole, Trancoso has so far retained its unique brand of mellow charm, striking an ideal balance between the scruffy and the superfabulous."

Click here to read the full feature and to see a slideshow of Georgina Brandolini's Trancoso house. 

And more Trancoso on this blog:
  1. Uxua, a new luxury boutique hotel in Trancoso
  2. Uxua's Casa Seu João: see photos
  3. Jacaré do Brasil: my favourite Trancoso pousada
  4. Jacaré do Brasil hosts hottest New Year's party
  5. A complete listing of hotels and pousadas that I recommend
  6. Terravista: one of the world's most beautiful golf courses
  7. Trancoso: all the best restaurants
  8. Trancoso and Espelho: top 5 things to do
  9. A slideshow of my favourite Trancoso photos
  10. Tauana hotel, in Corumbau, South of Trancoso

Jan 2, 2010

New Year's Eve in Trancoso, Bahia: Jacaré hosts one of hottest parties

It´s no secret to the readers of this blog that I love Trancoso and that one of my favourite pousadas at the hype beach spot is the Jacaré do Brasil Casas, a tiny and exclusive little inn run by my friends Fernando Droghetti (a.k.a. Jacaré) and Stela Batochio (pictured below).

This year the couple hosted one of Trancoso's best New Year's parties, duly documented by paparazzi such as the one from the Glamurama web portal. In attendance, cultural maven Sabine Lovatelli, stylist Isabella Giobbi, jeweler Jack Vartanian, interior designer Toninho Noronha and many more A-listers from São Paulo. Landscape designer Marcelo Faisal, ever the party king, spun the tunes. Guests mingled around the pool which overlooks the sea, all in de rigueur white. See all photos clicking here.

Jacaré do Brasil Casas: Quadrado, Trancoso, tel. (55-73) 3668-1470, reservas@jacaredobrasil.com.br

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