Tell A Sister
Mario Buatta was ever-present in my youth. Arriving at my grandmother’s apartment for drinks, silk scarf flying and perfectly attired, he would spar with her. They loved playing mind games with each other and he told me she used to enjoy telling friends how expensive he was: she would say, “how can anyone afford him?” Sister was competitive and when he got into his sheet licensing deals, she was jealous. What she didn’t know was how hard he worked. He was tireless in showing up at the department stores selling his sheets – becoming the Prince of Chintz and much more went into that licensing. He never gave up and he soldiered on when a lot of people would have caved. He wanted to be remembered and have his name out there at all times.
Two favorite stories: Sister wasn’t feeling well and needed some cheering up. His anecdote was to bring over a heavy metal band record called “Twisted Sister,” which he played at full volume, much to her annoyance. He was also a trickster as everyone who encountered him knew. When my daughter Eliza introduced herself to him in a crowded elevator at the D and D, he said the last he had heard of me her mother, was in Rikers Island. So you had to be prepared to enter Mario’s orbit.
Thinking back on the exuberance of his style and his over the top homage to John Fowler and English country houses, I think his specialty was the bedroom. His bedrooms were the most romantic and the beds were so big they were like little rooms of their own-over the top and romantic and even the most hardened caption of industry client of his was won over by the extreme romance and luxury of them.
So cheers to Mario and may the memories of the Prince of Chintz be well remembered by all.