Thursday, January 31, 2008

John Robshaw: Textiles

Whether you are donning resort wear or throwing a shower or party, my recent getaway brought to mind the beautiful, exotic textile patterns from John Robshaw. His designs are narrative and "represent a drawing of an adventure in a far–off place–from Yogakarta to Rajasthan, Bolivia to Vietnam. Arriving at textiles from painting and printmaking, I am interested in the mistakes, overlapping prints and the miss-registrations of woodblocks that record the human hand." I love his organic search for the perfect pattern. From textiles he has created tablecloths, pillows, napkins and even kaftans for putting on a great party!

below: Oscar de la Renta resort '08, Manolo heels, Miu Miu satchel

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Le Sport Sac

Pardon for the delay in posting today (am on Hawaii time)!
I was headed for the beach when I followed a bunch of tourists into the local Le Sport Sac Boutique and found myself ogling over all of the fun patterns and prints. Such nostalgia...I haven't paid much attention to Le Sport Sac since I was a kid and just love all of the prints they offer, including a newly commissioned line by Tokidoki. My mind is on travel right now, so these vinyl bags which come in every shape and size possible are spill and stain proof and are perfect as gifts and getaways!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Vera Wang: the "Suite" life

Our design studio has been quite busy lately and we've been feeling a little burnt out! So I am currently in Oahu for a little rest and relaxation although my crew is probably wondering what the heck I'm doing writing and faxing and emailing in the middle in the night (I promise I am relaxing)! For one thing, I HAD to post about the Vera Wang Suite at the Halekulani Hotel. If you are a Vera devotee like I am, then this is THE place to stay for your honeymoon, anniversary and very special occasions. The suite is 2,000 square feet and designed by Ms. Vera herself.

Vera got engaged in Hawaii, so it's no surprise that she would choose the Waikiki locale for such an elegant and romantic suite. One can bask in all that is Vera--the designer's touches are everywhere: her favorite floral arrangements are found in each room, table settings are from her own line for Wedgwood are in the dining room and she even has a menu of her all-time favorite movies to watch. Combine this with a 24 hour butler, and a lanai with views of Oahu's legendary Diamond Head and sunset over the ocean and you have the biggest, baddest honeymoon suite in all of Waikiki. Oh, one more costs 4k a night, so no, I am not staying here but a girl can dream right?

Monday, January 28, 2008

It's Showtime!

I literally ran a 10k at the San Francisco Gift Show this weekend trying to accomplish ordering and making it back in time to open up the boutique! Luckily there were many ShopFriends there to make the trip all the worthwhile.

My first pit stop: ordering up lots of mod and whimsical pillows from Thomas Paul for the shop. His pillows always make me nauseous with indecision...I wanted them all!

Above: I absolutely loved meeting Erika and John from Delphine Press in person. Stunning journals, calling cards, notes and custom invitations--their woodland themes were so magical I had to order some for our Paper Studio. My favorites had to be their newest series of sea creatures printed on colorful hues of stock. Thank you both for being so sweet and madly talented...we look forward to seeing you guys in New York!

Towards the last bit of my little run I did a double take when I heard someone calling out my name. And I'm SO glad she did! C. Marie of C. Marie Fine Stationery has created the ultimate pairing...fine stationery with perfume that strives to "enhance the bond between writer and reader by fulling engaging the senses." She couldn't be nicer and her stationery reflects her taste for classic designs with a touch of whimsy. What beautiful gifts to give!

Friday, January 25, 2008

long and lean: Tracy Reese '08

One of the trends to watch for this Spring is: long & lean. I will have to sit out on the mile high trousers because if you are vertically challenged like I am, the only thing I can imagine is that they would probably come up to my chin! But nevertheless, I LOVE Tracy Reese for her playful silhouettes and her Spring '08 line which had plenty of gorgeous long & lean dresses to covet for your upcoming events.

I sketched one of her silk chiffon dresses that seemed to float dreamily down the runway.

If you are in Manhattan, the Tracy Reese Boutique is a must visit for lots of goodies including her handbags and accessories.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

In Bloom

Peonies are one of my favorite flowers partly for their dramatic but poised blooms. I couldn't help but put together some coveted peony items to surround our custom invitation.
Above: Amy Draper peony ring. Cat Seto custom vintage chic invitation. Phillip Lim dress.
Peony pillow

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Shop Friend: Kokkari Restaurant

If you live in San Francisco, chances are you've dined on a saghanaki or two at Kokkari Restaurant. This is a beautiful restaurant that serves rustic mediterranean food in an elegant, romantic setting. When a table for my birthday dinner was not immediately available, the wonderful staff gave our party one of their private rooms that resembled an intimate wine cellar and it turned out to be such a memorable occasion for all of us. They also have a chef's table and a second private event room that would make perfect spaces for a rehearsal or engagement party.
For a special event at Kokkari: a fluid Paul & Joe tunic dress, your brightest gold clutch and a pair of deco sapphire earrings.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Destination Events

A customer of mine came in over the weekend looking for travel bags and clothes for an upcoming spring event (an intimate combination birthday and wedding) at the beautiful White Barn Inn in Kennebunkport, Maine. Granted it's still a ways off, but she was so excited that she wanted to get a big jump start. I couldn't think of a more wonderful compliment to the hosts for making their guests feel as excited about the event as they are!
Above: I'll have to live vicariously through my customer, but if I were off to Kennebunkport, I'd be sure to pack preppy flats and a versatile blouse from Jcrew for the day.

above: Coach tote bag and Fashionaire suitcase to make travel all the more efficient.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Look at What's Hatching

It was so much fun to post for our week of weddings! I thought I'd transition this week to celebrations that can be for any, showers, birthdays... Lately at the studio we have been getting lots of requests for both housewarming and engagement invitations in bright, joyful color palettes.

above: nests make the perfect symbol for a new home or engagement. Bakery Bar in Oregon created this sweet little bird cake. The flocked velvet shoes by Sugar and Ferragamo bird tie carry the motif but only if you squint really hard! Nest placecard holders are simple and whimsical.

Of course, who else could I sketch for a whimsical, joyful occasion but one of Nanette Lepore's beautiful Spring 08 dresses?

Friday, January 18, 2008

A Gown's Best Friend: Lynn Kiracofe

Anne of Perfect Bound had asked about the veil of the bride in our previous "Napa" post and I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to post some of Lynn Kiracofe's stunning veil work.
Above: My post contained a photo I clipped of Lynn's work many moons ago and kept in my stash of magazine articles.

Above: Each of her veils are designs that are restored or created by hand and make true heirloom pieces.

Above: If her veils aren't beautiful enough, just get a look at the tiaras that Lynn also offers. From art deco ivory rosettes!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

sketch: in the spirit of weddings

I think this photograph of the wedding between attorney Rajal Lele and entrepreneur Jordan Young is magical. It captures the height of romance and spirituality at their ceremony. Strung flower garlands and a canopy are all that is needed to frame this beautiful couple.

Above: the "good karmal" favor boxes bestow the simple luxury of good karma to guests and can be used for any type of wedding. Simple flower garlands, natural paper favor boxes and table linens can help give resonance to more ornate elements of wedding decor. Poring over beautiful Hindu weddings inspired me to sketch this bride.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Shop Friend: Teashi

Our extension of wedding week continues and I thought I'd introduce the perfect place to hold a private event like a bridal shower. As part of our holiday office party, I wanted to take the team out for a manicure. And what better place than Teashi, the cutest little salon just a couple of doors down?

Seeing that a manicure would be the antithesis of working with our hands all day, I knew that even though we would probably end up chipping them by the end of the day, the salon might offer a nice little getaway from our printing and production.

The decor is so charming and chic. You can stare dreamily at the cherry blossom wallpaper while sipping their complimentary citrus teas. And the best thing about Teashi is their standard on hygeine. They have an on-site autoclave for their utensils and specially designed their stations so that the bowls can be lifted and washed between services.

below: it took a while to unwind but once we did it was hard to peel us off those chairs! Any bride couldn't help but feel charmed and pampered here.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Cat Seto custom: Napa Wedding Suite

Our Cat Seto "Napa" Wedding Suite is another design that hails from our Town & Country wedding book. Yellow and pewter tones are one of my favorite combinations and a perfect way to combine a cheerful outdoor setting with elegance and a hint of glamour.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Gown Recap: Four Seasons Wedding Fair

Hope you enjoyed wedding week at ShopFriends as much as I enjoyed posting and sketching for it. I still have some posts that I'd love to put up so I've decided to continue it for a little longer this week!

Starting off with our Sunday show at the Four Seasons "A Five Star Afternoon" Wedding Fair: it was sooo much fun to meet brides, current customers, our fellow exhibitors and colleagues (and in such a posh setting)! We can't thank you enough for coming to see our invitations and designs at the Paper Studio! The event was truly five star with fashion shows, talented vendors and a drool-worthy GOURMET presentation of edibles, including a chocolate dessert bar on the veranda. Cadenza captured some of the models that paraded around in San Francisco designer, Jin Wang's gorgeous wedding gowns.

I love the fur shawl and the lines on this gown give off a modern vibe to old world glamour.

So classic and the photographs don't do the beading justice!

My favorite. Her bodice is lace and that skirt is beyond ethereal.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Convertible Wedding Satchels

Hibaya-Kadan has over 170 floral boutiques in Japan and in their edition of "Petale" they showcased trends and the latest in bouquets which resembled elegant purse satchels. I am particularly drawn to the top two because a bridal customer of mine had shared with me details about her own wedding bouquet which doubled as a "convertible wedding satchel." The beauty of this bouquet was that it was a traditional bouquet with a stem handle by day but was converted into a chic and playful bouquet satchel at night.

While I wouldn't take this on by yourself unless you plan to make your own bouquet from scratch, I would however, find a florist who was open to creating one for you.
My bridal customer gave some good tips:
--make sure you request a very round bouquet, preferably with tight blooms.
--you will need to ask your florist if they are willing to fashion a stem/handle that can be detachable vs. one which has a built-in wire and foam ball.

-- Next, select vintage necklaces, crystal chains or a pretty ribbon to be fastened to your bouquet. I prefer satchels with the chains attached apart rather than in one loop.
--Ask your florist to take the chain or ribbon and criss cross or weave it around your handle.
--When night arrives, simply remove the pins, detach your handle and you've got yourself a satchel that you can sling over your shoulder when you take to the dance floor.

Shhh...a surprise!

There is something about the light in Napa and Wine Country that softly touches any wedding and its guests with a golden light. It is no surprise that this is a top destination for weddings where the big day can be held before rolling vineyards.
I wanted to share some of the photos from my sister's beautiful Napa wedding this past summer at the Andretti Winery.

As her sister and maid of honor, it was truly touching be a part of her special day...I was so sentimental through it and teary-eyed through most of my toast!

My little sis glowed and I think her photographer, Joseph Hong of John & Joseph Photography, truly captured not only the beauty of their locale, but their essence as a couple.

Below: Ok, so here's the surprise part...a little gift for them which I've been meaning to present for some time now: the photo above where they are standing before a wall of ivy inspired this sketch (and a portion of my toast). It needs to be finished out, but I hope you like it guys!

Giveaway and Wedding Fair

We're continuing with our Wedding Week!
Just some reminders:
This Sunday, January 13: Our invitations and Paper Studio will be a part of the Four Seasons Wedding Fair "A Five Star Afternoon." If you are in the San Francisco area, please attend and come visit us!

above: from our vintage chic collection. enter to win!

Giveaway: If you haven't already, check out our giveaway on Weddingbee. We are giving away 50 custom invitations from our Vintage Chic collection that would be perfect for showers, rehearsal dinner and save the dates. The contest ends tonight at 8pm est so you still have time to enter! **And if you don't happen to win, we will be holding another drawing for invites/thankyous at the Wedding Fair. If you'd like to be added to that drawing please add your name to the comments window below!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Paper Studio Designer: Cheree Berry

If this design looks familiar, say in a Kate Spade'ish sort of manner, then you're on the right path. This is Cheree Berry, and she was the graphic designer behind Kate Spade's custom wedding line. We are so lucky to have Cheree at the Paper Studio not only because of her truly outstanding, beautiful invitations but also because she is superb to work with. I hear actual "cooing" noises whenever a bride looks at her work!

The green in Cheree's invite and her play on a striped envelope liner inspired this all out modern, city wedding theme.
Below clockwise: If you want a posh, intimate wedding, hold it at The Soho Hotel in London in one of their private event rooms. The tea length hem of Ulla-Maija's lace gown is perfect for traipsing down the city streets and stealing a kiss before rejoining your guests. Leave it to Jill Sanders for a modern, minimalist dress for your bridesmaids.


So most of us probably can't make it to London (let alone fly out 75 friends and family). But that doesn't mean you can't create a reception that reflects something truly modern and unique for less. For this theme, I would recommend sticking to 3-4 colors...Cheree's invite evokes emerald, black and a deep, chestnut brown. Her liner inspires playing with fun prints and to keep them from spilling over, I'd refrain to just black and white for the prints and experiment with toile, damask or polka dots.

Below: 1. Wall hangings at your reception (especially behind you at the head table) can instantly inform the theme of your space. This modern palette is especially stunning if your reception space has walnut or deep oak walls! The green geometric print seen at The Soho Hotel is simple enough to recreate a version by hand or on the computer. Black and white photographs are also easy ways to modernize any setting. 2. I've seen this done many times, and it really LOOKS luxe even when the framed print is matte gift wrap. This one is by Snow and Graham. 3 & 4. Stick with simple, clean frames and white or black candlestick holders if you want to go modern. 5. Black and white toile and striped tablecloths.
6. I found these fun paisley bandanas for $3 that could serve as napkins or settings beneath the centerpieces.

The Timeless Bride

What makes a bride and her wedding timeless & classic?
There are the weddings that have withstood the test of time and they possess within them a certain kind of aura. My all time favorite has got to be Grace Kelly's wedding. I could go on and on about the dress (the lace...that voluptuous skirt!). Lavish yes, and marrying a prince...well that's just plain iconic. But it wasn't the over the top details that struck me most about her. Hands down it was her presence. Her face was perfectly framed in her veil. And her perfect posture conveyed a sense of elegance and formality to the day. In all of her pictures it looked as if she was floating.

50 years +

Jackie Kennedy's wedding is another memorable one for me. Can you believe half a century later, we are still looking at the black and white photos and seeing the joy in her face as she and JFK sit before their gloriously set wedding table?

10 years +

Town & Country showcased the Napa wedding of New Yorker Lillian Wang in 1997 and I still have this copy stashed away in a box in my closet. A decade later I am still swooning. She wore the simplest white dress with only silk fabric flowers woven into her hair and held a small lily of the valley bouquet. Everything about this wedding and the way she blended cultures was mesmerizing. Just look at that color palette! Not to mention, her wedding cake is considered by many to be the first to cause a spark in the whole cupcake wedding cake craze. I've seen many renditions of it since but I still think hers remains the most lush and delectable ever.

5 years +
This bride had a destination wedding with Audrey Hepburn (goes tropical) in mind. You would think this wedding happened just yesterday! Instead of overwhelming her wedding with over-the-top details that could end up competing with one another, T&C Fashion Director, Gretchen Gunlocke, used a time old equation: simple details + fresh layers = an overall vision of stunning.

Reader poll:
Whether it's five, ten or fifty years from now, I'd love to hear what all of you think makes a timeless bride and her wedding. What classic details will you be including (or included) in your wedding? What have been the weddings you've attended that will remain timeless in your memory? Please share!

Stay tuned later today when I post a completely "modern" wedding and designer from our Paper Studio!