Last week, I mused on the creative process and ensuing event at Saint Tropez’s iconic seaside restaurant, Les Salins, which I creative directed on behalf of my favorite resort wear brand, Zimmermann. The brand graciously reached out to collaborate with me to celebrate the opening of their beautiful boutique in the heart of Saint-Tropez. Today, I wanted to share some further insight into this undertaking and stunning images from the second celebratory event of this idyllic weekend.
To continue the celebrations, I created a lunch scene at Chateau Volterra, which was an absolute dream. The chateau is situated on a breathtaking vineyard that overlooks the sparkling Mediterranean from high up on a hill, sprinkled with olive and lemon trees. As we were surrounded by the beauty and bounty of Southern France, I naturally drew inspiration from the local blooms around me. Trusting my instinct, I decided that bougainvillea and lavender would have their due as the centerpiece for our tablescape. To shield our guests from the beaming Mediterranean sun, I designed a massive pergola, dripping with bougainvillea and delicately draped in linen that would effortlessly move with the wind. The shocking pink of the blooms and the delicate lavender with its wafting scent elevated the scene to an entirely new sensorial level.
When I arrived at the chateau to run through the event with Nicky and Simone, something was just a bit off to me — the initial location of the table just didn’t seem right. Nicky saw my face and asked, “Athena, what are you thinking?” Never wanting to ruffle the feathers I delicately treaded in recommending we change our course of action. And thankfully everyone was in agreement with me. It was a wonderful reminder to always speak up and trust your intuition.
Beyond the tablescape, I designed multiple lounge areas and the lower pool area — sourcing lounges and umbrellas, a lemonade stand, and even an ice cream cart. We brought in a beautiful vintage car and propped it with an abundance of olive branches clipped from the surrounding village. In between blooming Cyprus trees, we designed a station to string together sun hats for our guests alongside an expansive spread of local olives, cheeses, and charcuterie for guests to nibble on before the grand lunch. The entire setting was meant to engage the guests by having them explore every facet of the stunning seaside property. Lunch was comprised of local delights like a seafood bouillabaisse, salads, tarte tropézienne, and copious amounts of rosé straight from the vineyard.
Sporting the latest collection from Zimmermann, guests including international models and actresses, editors and influencers from New York, Los Angeles and Europe, lounged throughout the property, exploring the idyllic grounds until the sun set. American Vogue and InStyle graciously covered the weekend affairs. The sun-kissed weekend on the Cote d’Azur was summed up with a quote from model, Georgia Fowler in InStyle — ”Dreamed up by Athena Calderone (of EyeSwoon fame), the weekend was 100 percent a brand immersion. ‘[It] was the epitome of the brand,’ Georgia Fowler says. ‘Effortlessly chic, beautiful, and fun. All the details were impeccable.’”
Thank you again for this stellar opportunity, Zimmermann. It has truly been the most incredible creative journey of my career — and for that, I am grateful.