Monday, February 15, 2010

QNY Recall - Come home, Reinaldo Alvarez

By Father Tony

When we first met Reinaldo, his crisp black and white outfit set him apart from the wilted tangerine and lime tones of Charlotte Amalie, the port town of St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands. Reinaldo was working in a tourist trap called Tropicana selling Chanel cosmetics to ladies off the cruise ships. We became instant friends and were his houseguests on subsequent trips to that island. We learned that he had lived in New York City where he had studied at Parson's and F.I.T. and where he had worked for Oscar de la Renta. During one visit, the three of us arranged an excursion on a friend's boat. I have video in which I ask the baad lamb if he remembered to take his dramamine. He responds "No. I don't need it." Fifteen minutes later, while holding his ankles as he hung over the side of the boat, I also got seasick. We begged Reinaldo to get us onto dry land, and he put us into a row boat and dropped us off on a small island where we prayed for death. We were wretched for hours. On a subsequent visit, the toilet in Reinaldo's apartment stopped working and had to be assisted with buckets of water. The three of us had little money in those days but we always had huge amounts of fun, and from Reinaldo I learned to say some extremely vile but useful things in Spanish.

There was a summer many years ago when Reinaldo was our houseguest in Montreal. Then he met a man from Paris who took him away and after a postcard or two, we lost track of him and the years of wondering whatever became of him piled up.

You can imagine my delight when I discovered a lavish fashion magazine spread  detailing the latest couture collection from his Paris atelier!

More and photos after the jump).

The fact that he has opened a second shop in Paris must be a sign of success in a city in which fashion is certainly an extremely competitive and demanding venture.

I roared with laughter when I saw that he even has his own Reinaldo Alvarez perfume! If the shop girls at Tropicana could see him now!

In St. Thomas, one of the few pieces of furniture he owned was a gargantuan multi-spooled sewing machine. We never saw him use it so we had no way of knowing that his vision and sense of proportion place him in the mode of the "New Look" of Dior. I love a story with a happy ending. Wonder what became of the boyfriend.

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