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Art of Style: Carolina Alvarez-Mathies Is ‘Utilitarian Chic’

Museum Exec Carolina Alvarez-Mathies has to be ready for boardrooms, galleries, and cocktail parties.
By D CEO |
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Courtesy of Carolina Alvarez-Mathies

Carolina Alvarez-Mathies took over as the deputy director for Dallas Contemporary just months before the pandemic struck. Her tenure has been unorthodox, but her impact has been significant. Her role, she says, “gives her the chance to enact change by grappling with current issues and enabling artists’ voices to be agents of change.” Here, she talks about her personal style and the role it plays in her work.

What I do: “I am deputy director at Dallas Contemporary. It’s a non-collecting arts institution that presents some of the most pressing art of our time, in a variety of mediums, with free admission, and accompanied by learning programs for all ages. I oversee all development and communications initiatives. Prior to joining the museum two years ago, I held roles at the New York-based public arts nonprofit Creative Time and El Museo del Barrio, New York’s leading Latin American cultural institution.”

Style Icon: “I’ve always admired Emmanuelle Alt, editor-in-chief of Vogue Paris, and the actress Tilda Swinton. They are unapologetically true to themselves in how they dress.”

On the Job: “My work takes me anywhere from artist studios to the boardroom and cocktail parties all in one day, so for me, it’s all about versatility.”

Inspiration: “Art, design, and fashion are some of my passions—I am naturally drawn to their extremes in expression. It’s either clean lines and neutrals or bold use of color and more organic forms. I often joke that it’s a result of my German and Latin roots.”

Alvarez-Mathies jokes that her love of both colors and neutrals is a result of her German and Latin roots.

Style Defined: “Utilitarian chic”

Fashion Essentials: “I never leave home without my cell phone and lipstick.”

Go-To Look: “Double-breasted blazers and denim”

Accessories: “I love earrings, and they usually never match; more often than not, I am wearing four different earrings at a time.”

Weekend Look: “My downtime look really doesn’t change much.”

Favorite Stores: “Saks Fifth Avenue has a great selection, and it’s my go-to for online shopping. In Dallas, some of my favorite shops are The Conservatory and V.O.D.”

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