WHEN YOU WORK IN EVENT DESIGN it is your responsibility to transform a client's vision into reality, but so seldom do you take the time to design for yourself. At the start of fall I had a desire to create leather napkin rings but had no one to design them for. I thought I could create them for my personal dining room table, but then I would want to host a dinner party for the napkin rings to have a "purpose." If I was going to host a dinner party, I would want to design a tablescape. As my "if you give a mouse a cookie syndrome" started spiraling out of control and I felt the weight of my ideas crumbling in on me, (too many cookie references for one sentence?), I realized how silly it was that I never took the time to create for myself. If I was feeling this overwhelmed by the thought of creating a napkin ring, I figured that there must be other creatives who want to take a moment to enjoy the fruits of their own labor. With encouragement from Jessica of J.Lee Photos, I decided to host a collaborative dinner party.
As I casually started asking around the idea seemed really exciting. Admittedly, I wasn't exactly sure what I was expecting from the evening, and I really didn't know what was going to happen until the moment the party started. The one thing I did know was that I wanted this event to be a creative and enjoyable expression for all involved. I created a mood board based around the definition of the Fall Equinox and sent it out to a few friendors to see if the palette resonated and the date was free.
The results were unreal.
Victoria of Upton Gray Floral took my basic idea and elevated it beyond belief. In addition to the stunning centerpiece she also copper leafed artichokes and figs.
Holly of Events by Holly Gray used her culinary background and made a delicious harvest salad with Brussels sprouts, walnuts, goat cheese, and chicken.
Jessica of J.Lee Photos captured the details perfectly.
I set the table with Casa de Perrin plates and coups and tied together the napkins with the all-inspiring leather napkin rings. To add in more natural elements I created stone "place mats" by adding cork padding to organically shaped blue slate tiles. I also wanted a leather tag for each guest. Because I was unsure of who would be attending I made a simple "thank you" that I attached to our cocktail glasses. For another event I would love to make these as escort or place cards!
The evening turned out perfectly and extended from a collaborative experiment to a night rich with conversation and laughter. As a designer, it was so refreshing to enjoy the talents of this creative community in a non-traditional way. In future seasons this is something I hope to host again.