#ChicEats: Talking Bubbly, Go-To Restaurants, and Rosé with Opening Ceremony’s Carol Lim

Kristen Bateman
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Chandon/STYLECASTER

Earlier this spring, Chandon released its first-ever collaborative bottle design with Opening Ceremony cofounder, co–creative director of Kenzo, and queen of downtown cool, Carol Lim. It’s not far out of the realm—Opening Ceremony’s own fashion line has been inspired by food (both literally and figuratively). For the brand’s Fall 2014 collection, the designer duo staged a runway backdrop in the form of a chocolate waterfall and custom-made chocolate scent, which drifted throughout the venue. For the Spring 2016 show, a real-life vegetable garden was centered within the runway and later donated to the Edible Schoolyard Project.

Likewise, the rosé bottle designed by Lim is equal parts fashion and food, with a print taken directly from one of Opening Ceremony’s collections—in a bright-pink hue, no less. In celebration of the chic new partnership, we talked to Lim about the best restaurants in New York and Paris, taking the subway, and the parallels between fashion and food.

StyleCaster: What inspired the print of your new rosé bottle for Chandon?
Carol Lim: I thought about my point of view with rosé and also what Chandon was trying to capture through the spirit of the rosé and the idea of how would I ideally spend my time and who I drink it with. For me, what’s interesting is that rosé is a year-round drink. When we started thinking about prints, I remembered there was something we had worked on, and I loved the idea of our “Girl Talk” print. It’s the idea of coming together, celebrating, and living in the moment and creating a memory. It felt like all the attributes we were trying to connect with the bottle and their campaign, and who Chandon was talking to as well.

Where else do you find inspiration for prints?
Everywhere. Even though fashion is the industry we’re in, I think for myself and Humberto [Opening Ceremony’s cofounder and co–creative director of Kenzo], we’re inspired by culture in general. Whether it’s an art exhibition we go to, or a concert, food we’ve had, travel is a really big source of inspiration for us. Opening Ceremony and Kenzo—a lot of the codes of both brands—start with this idea of travel and discovery.

Have you traveled anywhere recently that’s been especially inspiring?
I feel like I’m always traveling. I go to Europe quite a bit. Even in my own neighborhood. I just moved to Brooklyn about a year ago, and I think just looking at places in my neighborhood is inspiring. Even this weekend, I went to visit a farm with my kids in Queens, which is only half an hour away. There’s so much close by. Even taking the subway—the everyday provides that inspiration.

 

What’s your favorite rosé or bubbly memory?
For me, when we work on our collections and the few days before the show, when we get ready—we always have a night where we celebrate with our team. It’s generally like 11 p.m. After a long day of fittings and castings, we take a moment to have champagne together. That’s kind of a tradition and a moment we remember together. It’s always a fun time: When people are like, “Is it that time? Should we get the bubbly out?” It’s a good pause from being super crazy and stressed.

Do you have a favorite food to pair with rosé?
There’s so much that goes with it. When we go out, I love it just around shared plates. Especially in the summer, just meeting up with friends for a full meal, toward the end of an evening, having things you can just grab with your hands. We’re a fan in my household of drinking it at all times, even without food.

Opening Ceremony is the ultimate downtown shop in New York. What are some restaurants that have the same vibe?
Places we love to go where the food is amazing and the vibe kind of makes you want to come back over and over again are Mission Chinese—they’re friends of ours, Danny and Angela, and the food is amazing. The menu varies, so each time you go, you can have a different experience. We love Dimes; we love their seasonal cooking and how everything is really, really fresh and flavorful. Another place that’s been around for 20 years, that’s simple and I love going to is Basta Pasta—a Japanese Italian restaurant. Those are the ones that are our main go-tos recently.

 

You must also spend lots of time in Paris because of Kenzo. What are your favorite restaurants there?
There’s a an amazing steak house there called Robert et Louise. It’s actually my favorite place in the world. There is an amazing Japanese restaurant called Guilo Guilo—in a really great neighborhood in Paris. You wouldn’t really expect it. I think there are a lot of classic places; Bistrot Paul Bert is a traditional brasserie and the food is great. All the food in Paris is amazing though—all kinds, not even just French. The produce there is really, really amazing. Everything tastes even that much better.

If you could eat only one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
I’d have to say, my mom makes this soup—a Korean soup with oxtail soup with winter melon. I grew up with it, and I could eat it every single day.

 

What connections do you think there are between food and fashion?
Eating food is the one time people actually get together and enjoy each other, and I’d say more often than not, you choose to have food with people that you’re close to—your friends, family. It’s the one thing you have control over, and I think what you choose to eat and who you choose to eat it with is such a telling part of someone’s personality. In this time when you’re working, busy, looking at the past, there are very few activities like that. Probably exercise are the two things that ground you in the present. I think it’s important to do that and remind yourself.

I think the industries [food and fashion] are often inspired by one another, even on a practical level when people celebrate. What you do at a fashion event and also what people do who go to certain restaurants, there’s a definite connection. The food transcends a lot of different cultural mediums—music, art, there’s a lot that it touches upon. It’s the one thing that, in any event that you go to, more often than not, having a drink together is part of that experience. Like fashion, it’s very practical. People have to eat.

The Chandon Limited Edition Rosé by Carol Lim will be available at select retailers and at Chandon.com with an SRP of $24.00

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