Cult Fashion Designer Gaby Basora Loves Red Wine and Drinking at Lunch

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“Eff the menu: It’s about red wine.”

That’s Tucker clothing designer Gaby Basora’s go-to drink—and possibly her way of telling you that white wine will not be served at her many dinner parties. “I like a heartier drink.”

After a July 2011 fire destroyed Tucker’s New York City showroom and headquarters, the label is finally back in action, with a new space in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood. The cultish brand’s website now features famous fans such as actress Maggie Gyllenhaal and illustrator Leanne Shapton.

“A couple weeks ago, I saw a picture of Taraji P. Henson wearing a Tucker dress from 2009 to a film festival,” said Basora, smiling wide to reveal her Lauren Hutton–chic gap. “The fact that there’s a piece that she bought almost six years ago when there are so many other of-the-moment pieces she could have bought shows that women can count on Tucker.”

Her own style is a bit Penny Lane and a bit Ali MacGraw, and she’s less interested in fashion, per se, than “in clothes, and getting dressed, and feeling good, and looking good. It’s about colors and fabric and movement. It’s about memories.” She’s not interested in the fashion set’s diets either. “If I can’t eat butter and drink red wine, what’s the point?”

BASORA’S QUICK TAKES:

On the Bottle She’s Currently Obsessed With: “I’m doing this MBA program at Institute of Fashion in Paris, and while there I learned about this Gabriel Boudier Pêches de Vigne. It’s a very sweet liqueur that tastes like plum wine—you almost need a sushi roll to accompany it—and the bottle is so beautiful. At the end of dinner, I like to pour it into a little shot glass and sip it.”

On Tradition: “There’s a real, beautiful culture around drinking that, when done responsibly, is such an important, beautiful tradition. I love taking the time to toast something at the start of a meal, or end a meal with an aperitif. It brings rhythm to an evening.”

On Drinking During Lunch: “I love having wine with lunch. I love having a rosé in lieu of lunch in the summer. Rosé should be in the food pyramid. I also love moscato d’Asti. Maybe I’m in search of the wine coolers of my youth.”

On Vodka: “Of hard liquid, I like vodka. I worked as a cocktail waitress for Keith McNally at Pravda when it first opened. That turned me onto it.”

On the Water-Obsessed Masses: “Every week, my dad meets grandmother for a meal, and he calls it a two-martini date: ‘She needs one and I need one,’ he says. And she’s perplexed by girls carrying around water in their purses. She says, ‘Why is everybody so goddamn thirsty these days? In my day, we had a glass of water in the morning and a glass of water at night, out of a cup at the sink. Now, if it was a bottle of wine, I could understand.’ She was a total eccentric: She can recite Wordsworth, but she’ll do it in a zebra-print bikini, holding a screwdriver cocktail.”

On Anti-Snobbery and Park Drinking: “I am so not a snob in any way shape or form. I went to a spin class once—this was before SoulCycle became a thing, it was just a regular spin class at the gym—and realized I had forgotten my gym bag. The instructor said, ‘You’re going to to do this in heels?’ I said, ‘I’m here. Strap me in.’ So while I love cloth napkins, I also love to drink red wine out of a Mason jar. And I’m not above drinking Margaritas in a Styrofoam takeout cup at the park with my girlfriends. That feels like a luxury, even. What’s luxurious to me is that it’s all enjoyable.”

On the Power of Togetherness: “To me, drinking is about talking about the world. And listening to other people talk about the world. Just being tranquil. Of course, drinking can be about being a bit funny and loosening up a bit, but I don’t drink to be loose. I’m completely courageous without a drink.”

Series & Type: PeopleModel Drinker

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