How to Throw a Lovely Ugly Sweater Party

Must I always wear a low-cut dress to be important?

An ugly sweater party can be fun for the holidays because it gives people a fun and easy way to connect with one another. I also love them as a theme for office parties because they are a natural equalizer. But, despite its name, an ugly sweater party can actually be quite lovely. It just takes a few well-thought-through details and a nice balance between kitsch and chic. Gather round as we sweat all the details for you.

Create an invitation that sets the mood.

Dress your wait staff in ugly vests worn over white shirts and bow ties. 

Decorate your tree with knitted ball ornaments. These were purchased on eBay.

Incorporate mini sweaters into your floral arrangements. These are from Michael’s.

Serve plenty of festive red and green foods.


Use cocktail napkins that feature a sweater pattern. These, from Zazzle, coordinated beautifully with our signature cocktail, a pomegranate martini.

Incorporate knitted items on your buffet table.

Items that look knitted are fun to add as well. These bowls are from Michael’s.

Of course, don’t forget to serve not-so-ugly and very delicious sweater cookies.

Print up voting cards and give prizes to those “who wore it worst.” 

Don’t forget to carry your theme into the powder room. Use guest towels in an argyle pattern. These are from 

Take a Polaroid of each guest as they enter. During the party, have a helper print them out and insert them into a snow globe. It’s the perfect party favor – guests can put them on their desks and giggle about the night all year long.  

Don’t forget to include your puppy in the fun. Ours even received a couple of votes in the ugliest sweater contest.

Introductory photo: Deanna Durbin
Introductory quote: Jean Harlow

RSVP: Sirio Maccioni

Slim Aarons

Photo of Sirio Maccioni at Le Cirque in 1981 by Slim Aarons

Grab your Smoky Conquistador and join us, darlin’. We were just about to sit down for a chat with our friend, famed restaurateur, Sirio Maccioni. Surely you’ve heard of his iconic New York restaurant, Le Cirque. Their divine crème brûlée is world renowned. Still debonair and charming at the age of 83, Sirio is one of the most skilled and gracious party hosts of all time. Over the last 40 years, he has hosted at the restaurant everyone from Frank Sinatra (“difficult but generous”), Frank Zappa (“revolutionary”) and Sophia Loren (“not easy”) to presidents and popes. He also helped launch the careers of many illustrious chefs including David Bouley, Daniel Boulud, Jacques Torres and Geoffrey Zakarian. Just in time for our holiday dinner parties, let’s get some thoughts on hosting from the (circus) master himself. Right this way, darling.

What is the key to being a skilled host?
Be normal and natural as a person and a host.

Jacqueline Onassis with Sirio at Le Cirque

What is your best tip for always making sure your guests feel welcome?
It is something you either have innately or you don’t.

What defines a great guest?
Somebody who knows more than you do without saying so.

Sirio with Pope John Paul II

You have hosted every VIP in the arts, politics, business and fashion. Who was your favorite guest?
Pope John Paul II. There are three people who I respect: my grandmother when she was alive, my wife and the Pope.

How do you deal with difficult guests?
Professionally and with as much courtesy as possible. Then we hope they don’t return.

Who would you most like to have dinner with?
Someone who doesn’t want to have dinner with me.

Sirio dressed and ready to host at Le Cirque

How has entertaining changed over the last four decades?
It is getting worse. Everything is different now. People’s objectives have changed a lot.

Who do you consider to be some of the best party hosts today?
It seems that people no longer know what it is to be a good host. Most have become well-known because they are vulgar.

How often do you entertain at home?
Not very often. About every other month.

What kind of entertaining do you like to do at home?
Mostly small dinner parties. I really enjoy having the family and grandchildren over when my wife [Egidiana, who runs Le Cirque’s sister restaurant, Osteria del Circo] cooks.

Sirio Maccioni

Sirio and former Le Cirque chef, Daniel Boulud

What has been your greatest joy during your career?
Being able to be successful and support my family.

What has been your greatest challenge?
Surviving in New York.

What has been your greatest triumph?
My wife and my family.

Le Cirque is located at 151 E 58th Street, New York, NY, 10022. For reservations, call 212.644.0202.

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The Sally Award: Kate Middleton


What can we say, darlin’? We were gobsmacked this week by Kate Middleton who looked absobloodylootely divine in a midnight blue Jenny Packham gown at a gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art for her alma mater, St. Andrews University. This week’s Sally Award winner for the best party look of the week, The Duchess accessorized the silk gown by the British designer with a jaw-dropping – and grazing – pair of diamond and emerald earrings and a regal and elegant low chignon. Empressive, we say!

MTI2NTc1NzA4MjU5NTg3MzQ2We also love that our gal chose to ignore the celebrity notion that you should only wear a gown once. You’ll recall that Kate has worn this chic number twice before: first at the 100 Women in Hedge Funds dinner in October 2013 and then at the National Portrait Gallery Gala earlier this year. It makes her so much more relatable, don’t you think? Her mum-in-law, the late Princess Diana, who was known as the People’s Princess, would have approved. Brilliant, doll.

The Duchess of Cambridge attends The Portrait Gala 2014

The Duchess at the 100 Women in Hedge Funds dinner in October 2013

What do you think about Kate’s look? Join the conversation on our Facebook,Twitter and Instagram pages.

Holiday 2014 Party Poll

Loretat young

Merry Christmas, movie house! Merry Christmas, Emporium! Merry Christmas, you wonderful old Building and Loan!

Just in time for your holiday soirées, we’ve conducted another of our popular Party Polls to reveal the answers to several age-old holiday questions. This time, we commissioned a leading independent research firm to query 1,076 men and women nationwide, ages 30-60, with incomes ranging from $50,000 to $150,000 or more, about their holiday entertaining proclivities. Grab your Glogg, sugar-plum, and listen in as we reveal the findings of our Holiday 2014 Party Poll:

  • No, most people (80 percent) do not like fruitcake.
  • No, most people (51 percent) do not like eggnog.
  • Yes, for most people (60 percent), the holidays are their favorite time of the year for hosting and attending parties: 63 percent will host a holiday party this year while 59 percent will attend between three and nine holiday gatherings.
  • Yes, most people (73 percent) re-gift during the holidays, that is they pass along to others gifts that were given to them. Bottles of wine, gift cards and candles are the most often re-gifted items. A surprising 38 percent of those surveyed said they know they have been on the receiving end of a re-gift because they found a card inside that was written to the gift giver – oopsies!
  • Yes, George Clooney is the man most women would like to kiss under the mistletoe, while most men would like to smooch Scarlett Johansson.


Speaking of snogging, there appears to be a surprising amount of it going on at office parties. Twenty percent of those queried – the vast majority of whom have college or advanced degrees – admit to kissing or having a sexual encounter of some kind with a boss or co-worker at an office party. Goodness gracious, darlin’, hold the Santa Punch, will you? Thirty-six percent admitted to flirting with their boss, coworker or a coworker’s significant other and, not surprisingly, 28 percent of those queried say they’ve gotten sloshed at an office party.

janet leight

As for New Year’s Eve, apparently, most people are a bit enervated by then. Most of those surveyed (62 percent) said they prefer to stay in on New Year’s Eve, although a randy five percent said they like to go out and whoop it up on New Year’s Eve simply because it’s a fun excuse to kiss people other than their significant other. Oh my.

Of the 1,076 people nationwide who answered the questions in our Holiday 2014 Party Poll, 518 were men and 558 were women. The survey has a margin of error of +/- five percent.

Introductory photo: Loretta Young
Introductory quote: It’s a Wonderful Life, 1946
Additional photos: Joseph Cotten and Ginger Rogers, Janet Leigh

What do you think about the results of the Holiday 2014 Party Poll? Let us know on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.

Holiday Party Makeup Must-Haves

Marilyn Monroe

For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others. For beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness.

Sweet cheeks, a party-perfect ensemble without flawless skin and eyelashes worth batting is like a Manhattan without the Maraschino. It’s just not complete. To look and feel truly fête fabulous this holiday season, you have to put your best face forward. That’s why we’re opening the doors to our top-secret cosmetic cache. On your maquillage, get set, go. It’s time to meet the Dollface Dozen, the 12 party makeup basics that every soirée-loving gal should have at her fingertips this holiday season.

Dior Pore Minimizer

 Dior Pore Minimizer Skin Refining Matte Primer

This weightless skin primer visibly reduces pores and smooths and refines the skin’s texture, creating a flawless base for your party makeup.

Giorgio Armani

Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation

This award-winning formula has become the holy grail of foundations. Weightless and buildable so you can achieve whatever level of coverage you prefer, this breakthrough foundation gives the skin a polished, satiny finish that stays put for hours.

Cle de Peau

 Clé de Peau Beauté Concealer

A perennial makeup artist favorite, this award-winning spot concealer provides smooth, seamless and complete coverage without caking or settling into fine lines.

Touche Eclat

YSL Touche Éclat Radiant Touch

Another cult classic among makeup artists and models, this light-reflecting highlighting pen can be used to erase the shadows in the tear troughs and nasolabial folds. Place a slender, well-blended line down the center of the nose to make it look slimmer.

Beauty Blender

The Original Beauty Blender

Blend, blend, blend. This revolutionary sponge applicator is perfect for blending your foundation, concealer and highlighter seamlessly to create a party-perfect complexion.

Collyre Bleu

Collyre Bleu Eye Drops

A long-time secret weapon of models and celebrities, this blue-tinted eye drop from France removes the yellow in the whites of the eyes leaving peepers looking brighter, cleaner and more youthful.

Christian DiorDior Backstage Eye Prime

A creamy eyelid foundation that neutralizes eyelid redness and provides a smooth, velvety and long-lasting base for eye shadow.


Kevyn Aucoin Precision Liquid Liner

This felt tip waterproof eyeliner delivers the blackest of black color onto your eyes without skipping or smudging, and the ultra-fine tip provides the ability to create every kind of look from natural to dramatic.



Lancome’s Hypnose Drama (top) and Definicils Mascaras

When it comes to mascara, we prefer a cocktail: one coat of Lancome’s Hypnose Drama for volume and one coat of Lancome’s Definicils for lengthening and to coat the little lashes in the corners.


Kevyn Aucoin Eyelash Curler

Sleek, slim and perfectly designed, this is the Ferrari of eyelash curlers. After applying your mascara, allow it to dry, clamp the curler on your lashes and apply a few short, gentle pumps from the base to the tip of the lashes to give them a dramatic curl.

Buxom lip gloss

Buxom Lip Polish in Dominique

This clear, high-shine lip gloss adds a festive sparkle when applied over lip color. Or use it on nude lips for a daytime look.

Secret Brightening Powder

Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder

This lighter-than-air setting powder is the perfect finishing touch for your makeup: a quick dusting across the forehead, on the nose and chin brightens, lightens and boosts luminosity.

Introductory photo: Marilyn Monroe 
Introductory quote: Audrey Hepburn

The Sally Award: Tilda Swinton

Tilda Swinton

Mornin’, love. Grab your cuppa. We’re about to anoint another Brit as the winner of the Sally Award for best party look of the week. And what a red carpet week it was. While there were so many fabulously frocked gals at the UNICEF Snowflake Ball who were Sally Award contenders, we had to give this week’s Award to British actress Tilda Swinton for her chic look at last weekend’s Gotham Independent Film Awards. Dressed in a blush-hued crepe and silk gown by Colombian designer, Haider Ackermann, Tilda looked effortlessly elegant as she walked the red carpet, continuing her reign as one of the great style icons of our time.

Tilda Swinton

Certainly, this dress is gorgeous, but it’s Tilda in the dress that makes it fashion perfection. Let’s face it: this gown suits Tilda to a T. The color, the cut and the artful mix of masculine and feminine details celebrate perfectly our gal’s trademark style and androgynous look. And, of course, Tilda’s finger-combed pompadour and signature natural makeup were fresh, flawless and très français. No wonder she has been named the new face of NARS Cosmetics for the makeup brand’s Spring 2015 campaign. Here’s to you, Tilda, for reminding us this week about the number one rule of successful party dressing: know who you are.

What do you think about Tilda’s look? Join the conversation on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.

Best Dressed Alert: UNICEF Snowflake Ball

Howdy, sugar. We are just beside ourselves with fashion glee today after seeing the red carpet images from last night’s 10th Annual UNICEF Snowflake Ball in New York. I mean really, doll. When is the last time you saw so many well-dressed guests at one party? Perhaps we should be giving an honorary Sally Award to the event itself for inspiring so many fabulous frocks. Slide in, darlin’, and let us show you what we mean. It may be true that no two snowflakes are alike, but these nine gals were similarly fabulous last night. Bravo to them, we say.

Not ready for the party to end, doll? Join us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and subscribe to The Salonniere for exclusive “party favors” like our eight-page party planning checklist. 

David Kurio Flowers at an Austin Birthday Party

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The Party:  A dinner to celebrate a milestone birthday for an Austin philanthropist

Where: The historic Driskill Hotel in Austin, Texas

Floral Designer: David Kurio of David Kurio Designs, Inc.

The Vision According to David:  Our goal was to create a very formal setting based on the formal, elegant style our client employs when entertaining in his home. We chose the colors of the flowers based on his preference – red and crimson are two of his favorite colors – and then built from there, adding magenta accents. The flower varieties we used – peonies, dendrobium and phalaenopsis orchids – are some of our client’s favorites, as are roses and hydrangea that were also appropriate for the design and season. 

Tête-à-Tête: Bronson van Wyck

Bronson van WyckMake yourself at ho ho home, doll. We’re just whipping up some Bloody Marys with Bronson van Wyck, event planner to the stars and chi-chi brands like Chanel and Christie’s. As you probably know, Bronson just finished art directing the fabulous fete celebrating director Baz Luhrmann’s holiday windows at Barneys New York. The night featured break dancing elves, a marching band, falling snow and stilt walkers pouring champers. Our kind of party, doll! If you’re not lucky enough to be one of Bronson’s clients, who include President Obama and Martha Stewart, don’t fret, doll. You’re with us. Our friend Bronson is taking a moment from hosting chic shoppers at his warm, whimsical and treasure-filled holiday pop-up shop at the St. Regis New York to dish with us about everything from which Christmas tree to buy to the best way to lux up old ornaments.

Tell us all about this year’s pop-up shop? I know it’s become quite the place for holiday shopping among the chic set. What’s new this year? 

We have turned Christmas on its head and given it a Surrealist theme. My shop features a tree made entirely of lobsters. Salvador Dali lived at the St. Regis for 10 years so I like to imagine that he would have cozied up to this tree for a drink or three. We hand glittered and jeweled over 500 lobsters and found an old reliquary bust of Queen Elizabeth for a topper, because why not? She looks awfully proud up there presiding over the lobsters.

As well she should. I must say your gift selection is dazzling, from Saint Louis crystal, vintage Rolexes, antique cocktail shakers and stocked bar carts, to vintage books, and sterling silver from Puiforcat. What’s your favorite hostess gift to give?

I love to give the host a Bloody Mary basket complete with everything you need to whip up a strong one the morning after. Don’t forget to include your favorite vodka and pickled garnishes with a bottle of your favorite mix. Mine is Arrowhead Farms Hellfire Bloody Mary, naturally. There is no better way to start Christmas morning.

And, thanks to you, we know that the Bloody Mary was invented 80 years ago at the St. Regis, another of your fabulously chic clients. So I can learn a trick or two, how do you go about creating a holiday design concept for a client? 

It’s important to understand what the holidays mean to the client. Is it all about the children? Is it important to incorporate an annual tradition? Should the tree blend with the home décor? After learning a bit more, I weave those memories or themes into something new for the client. Maybe a country home in the mountains demands a tree covered with woodland creatures, hand crafted birch balls and gilded pine cones.

BronsonWhat about those of us who are a bit more do-it-yourself? How can we create a fresh look rather than pulling out the same stuff every year?

Gold leaf can transform any object. It’s my favorite way to lux up something tired. Gilded objects make beautiful ornaments or table decorations. One of my favorite tricks for adding some chic seasonal sparkle to a room is gold-leaf sheets called Sepp Leaf, which can be found at most art stores.

How do you choose the right tree for a space? Do you have a favorite type?

Measure your ceiling and have your tree cut to fit just shy of the ceiling. The tree should truly fill your space. My favorite is a blue spruce. We walk through the tree farms early in the year to reserve the best ones. That might seem overkill but it’s worth it. Ask your nursery to call you as soon as the spruces arrive!

Bronson van WyckYou’ve said that tartans are the ultimate way to create a sense of warmth when it’s cold outside. What are some of your other favorite holiday signatures?

I love decorating with magnolia leaves. When it dries, it looks even better and lasts well through the season. The leaves are also particularly beautiful when you gild them.

Should someone take a different approach if they’re in a warm climate? Can we pull off red tartan in, say, Miami?

Of course! It warms up any space to give it a cocooning and cozy effect. Use tartan in napkins and table runners without feeling too heavy.

Let’s play favorites. What’s your favorite…

Holiday candle? Cire Trudon Nazareth
Holiday cocktail? Spiced brandy punch
Holiday flower? Red amaryllis
Holiday party snack? Candied bacon!

Thanks, Bronson. Now show us around the shop a bit, won’t you, darlin’?

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Bronson’s pop-up shop at the St. Regis New York, 2 East 55th Street, will be open through December 24. His products are also available through his website and by calling 212-980-0738. All pop-up shop images courtesy of Bronson van Wyck. Third image courtesy of Architectural Digest. 

Not ready for the party to end, doll? Join us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and subscribe to The Salonniere for exclusive “party favors” like our eight-page party planning checklist. 

The Sally Award: Jessie J

Jessie J

Come on in, love. We’re just sitting ’round having a cuppa and chin-wagging about how fabulous English singer and songwriter, Jessica Ellen Cornish – whom you probably know by her stage name, Jessie J – looked at the American Music Awards last Sunday. Dressed in a sleek, alabaster suit from Giorgio Armani’s Resort 2015 collection, Jessie hit an elegant and refreshing note in a medley of AMA party looks.

Jessie J

Our gal accessorized the dapper ensemble simply with a black Armani clutch, strappy stilettos and fashion-forward diamond rings from Jason of Beverly Hills. Jessie’s on-trend, center-parted dark locks added a striking contrast to the lightness of the look. That’s what we call white-hot, rock-star chic. Brill, doll.

Not ready for the party to end, doll? Join us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and subscribe to The Salonniere for exclusive “party favors” like our eight-page party planning checklist. 

The 10 Best Holiday Party Shoes

I just love finding new places to wear diamonds.

You know how it is, darlin’. Sometimes shoes are so downright fabulous that you just have to get dressed from the ground up. And, let’s face it. There’s no better time to build a party look around a pair of statement stilettos than the holidays when it’s all about kicking up your heels. So grab your gimlet and your little black holiday dress, doll. Just in time for the biggest shopping day of the year, we’ve got the holiday season’s 10 best party shoes.


Casadei rhinestone-encrusted black suede pump

Christian Louboutin

Christian Louboutin gold snakeskin pump with bow

Oscar de la Renta

Oscar de la Renta magenta suede evening mule

Rene Caovilla sandal with colored stones

Jimmy Choo

 Jimmy Choo sandal in printed leather with crystals and organza

Giuseppi Zanotti

Giuseppe Zanotti cage sandal in gold glitter

 Christian Louboutin

Christian Louboutin sandal with satin flower encrusted with crystals

Saint Laurent

Saint Laurent Classic Paris Pump covered in gold glitter

Giuseppi Zanotti

Giuseppe Zanotti sandal with crystal ankle cuff

Giuseppi Zanotti

Giuseppe Zanotti in black suede with gold metal filigree leaves and crystals 

Introductory photo: Anne Francis
Introductory quote: Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, 1953

Not ready for the party to end, doll? Join us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Best Dressed of the Week: Kate Bosworth

Hugo Boss Prize 2014

Happy Sunday, doll. Come on in and join us. We were just sitting around nibbling on a brunch of buttermilk waffles with strawberries in honor of Kate Bosworth, the winner of this week’s Sally Award for the best party look of the week. What do waffles with strawberries have to do with Kate Bosworth in a chic black and white Hugo Boss dress, you might ask?  Sure, we may have waffled a teensy-weensy bit about bestowing this week’s prize upon Kate rather than Jennifer Lawrence whose Dior party dress had everyone talking, but it’s much more cardinal than that. What the 31-year-old actress proved as she walked the red carpet on Friday at the Hugo Boss Prize party in New York City is that, sometimes, a pop of strawberry-red color is all you need to transform something delicious into something downright delectable.

Kate’s bright red pout added the perfect pop of color to this understated and elegant look from Hugo Boss’s Spring 2015 collection. What a well-timed reminder of the power of a classic red lip as we head into the holiday party season. Inspired, doll? Just be sure to choose the most flattering shade of red for you: a blue-red lipstick like Inglot’s 230 Creme works best for cool skin tones and an orange-red color like Flame by Tom Ford complements warm tones. Mwah, darlin’. Well done.

Not ready for the party to end, doll? Join us for more party talk on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

The Perfect Thanksgiving Playlist

Lauren Bacall

Play it, Sam. Play “As Time Goes By.”

Happy Thursday, doll. It’s a week until turkey day. If you’re hosting a Thanksgiving shindig, and have been using our Party Planning Checklist as a guide, you know that, this week, you’ll need to carve out some time to think about those other drumsticks, the tunes that will comprise your party day playlist. Looking for inspiration? Feast your eyes on what we call our Turkey Top 40, the 40 best songs for Thanksgiving entertaining. Like the banquet you’ll be serving, this musical cornucopia has a little something for everyone.

  1. Flying Home – Lionel Hampton
  2. Isn’t It a Lovely Day – Jane Monheit
  3. Thanksgiving – George Winston
  4. Thank You – Dido
  5. Glad Tidings – Van Morrison
  6. Carvin’ The Bird – Charlie Parker
  7. Roots and Herbs – Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers
  8. Count Your Blessings – Diana Krall
  9. My Way Back Home – Dawes
  10. Thank You For Being A Friend – Andrew Gold
  11. Autumn Leaves – Nat King Cole
  12. Our House – Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young
  13. Autumn in New York – Ella Fitzgerald
  14. Key Lime Pie – Kenny Chesney
  15. Baby, It’s Cold Outside – Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Jourdan
  16. Thanks For The Memory – Bing Crosby
  17. Cornbread Pudding – Cyrus Chestnut
  18. Harvest Moon – Neil Young
  19. Everybody Eats When They Come – Cab Calloway
  20. All That Meat and No Potatoes – Louis Armstrong
  21. What a Wonderful World – Louis Armstrong
  22. La Vie En Rose – Edith Piaf
  23. Pass The Peas – The J.B.s
  24. Bring It On Home To Me – Sam Cooke
  25. Stuffy Turkey – Thelonious Monk
  26. At Last – Beyonce
  27. Holiday – Madonna
  28. Sweet Potato Pie – James Taylor
  29. Lovely Day – Bill Withers
  30. Thank You – Bonnie Raitt
  31. Homeward Bound – Simon and Garfunkel
  32. Apples, Peaches, Pumpkin Pie – Jay and The Techniques
  33. Gratitude – Earth, Wind and Fire
  34. I Want To Thank You – Otis Redding
  35. Simple Gifts – Jewel
  36. I Thank You – Sam and Dave
  37. Grateful – John Bucchino and Michael Feinstein
  38. Harvest For The World – The Isley Brothers
  39. Thank You For The Music – ABBA
  40. Washing Dishes – Jack Johnson

Find it on our Spotify page at Turkey Top 40.

To receive our eight-page, tip-filled Party Planning Checklist, simply join our subscriber list at the top right side of this page. Subscribers receive immediate access to our stories and complimentary “party favors,” like the Checklist. And it’s all absotootly free.

Introductory photo: Lauren Bacall, Young Man with a Horn, 1950
Introductory quote: Casablanca, 1942

Not ready for the party to end, doll? Join us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Tête-à-Tête: Suze Yalof Schwartz

Suze Yalof Schwartz

Make yourself at om, doll, and let me introduce you to a model of mindfulness and style. You may know Suze Yalof Schwartz already from The Today Show, Good Morning America and The View, where she used to represent Glamour and Vogue magazines, giving helpful style advice. Today, this telegenic tastemaker is a spiritual entrepreneur, the founder of a chic meditation center in Los Angeles called Unplug Meditation that’s breathing new life into the age-old practice. A SoulCycle for serenity, if you will. Our gal discovered meditation in 2012 as a way to manage her busy life as a fashion editor and mother of three, and now she’s devoted herself full-time to taking it mainstream. We were just about to pick Suze’s tranquil brain about how to deal with the inevitable stress that comes with hosting a Thanksgiving or holiday fete for family or friends. Take a deep breath, darlin’. Hostess nirvana awaits…

The hour before a party starts can be so stressful as you put the finishing touches on things, deal with last-minute issues and anticipate the arrivals. What’s the best way to manage pre-party jitters? 

Know your mantra. Mine is, “If I have fun, so will everyone else.” Know that no one cares about the details as much as you do. So, one hour before, crank your favorite music. Take 15 minutes to look good so you feel good. And, the second the first doorbell rings, just let go and connect with people. Look them in the eyeballs and be present.

Is there a specific relaxation technique you recommend that can be done easily right before your guests arrive, even when you’re all dressed up? 

The good news is that, wIth meditation, you never have to worry about breaking a sweat, so you can even use the techniques while your first guest is walking to the door. Just deepening your breath will calm you down. At Unplug, we use a technique called the Breath of Five. Inhale for a count of five, hold for five, exhale for five. This is great to do right before an event. It will put you at ease and make you feel calm.

What if something goes terribly wrong during the party – like I drop the turkey? What’s your best tip for regaining one’s composure? 

When things go wrong, take three long and deep breaths. Then laugh it off or do your best to fix it. If the food comes out raw, just order pizza. I will never forget going to the editor-in-chief’s apartment for the launch of Domino. She served cold pizza and champagne. No one cared and everyone had the best time. It is never about the food and always about the vibe.

Hotel Costes

Hotel Costes, Volume 11

What’s the best way to ensure that guests feel relaxed and at ease?

You have to set the tone from within. Then look to music – Hotel Costes on Pandora is always a good go-to – and candles. My favorite candle of all time is Ralph Lauren Pied-a-Terre. It’s a blend of French tuberose, jasmine, geranium and orange flower. And never make them take their shoes off – that’s a party killer.

What are the signs that your guests are feeling at ease?

They’re smiling, laughing, drinking and not clinging to you.

Why is it so important to utilize tools for relaxation? 

We’re so hyper-connected to technology today that people can’t even look each other in the eye any more. Everyone is so busy running around that they’re missing out on life as it’s happening. I honestly feel that everyone needs to give themselves a time out for their health and well-being. And all you need to do to get into the present moment is access your breath. Experiencing your breath helps to anchor you to the present. You don’t even need to go into a studio to do that. It’s great when you do come here though, because we can help guide you, and it’s fun and inspiring. But, if you’re not close by, you can meditate with the masters online. Sharon Salzberg is incredible and has a ton of YouTube videos. I love Andy Puddicombe from Headspace and Deepak Chopra. Meditation is so accessible.

How did you get started in meditation?

I was feeling stressed out and my mother-in-law suggested that I focus on my breathing and learn to meditate. I felt so much better after I did a breathing exercise that I also wanted to meditate, and I realized that there was no place to just pop in and do it. Every place said you have to do the intro course or the eight-week program or pay $1,400. I was like, why is there no SoulCycle for meditation? I want to build it. I’ll do this. My husband said, “You might want to learn how to meditate first.”

Unplug Meditation
Good point. So how did you go about learning?

I took every single class I could. I did the 21-day meditation series with Deepak Chopra. I took the UCLA mindfulness course. I did Vedic meditation with a private teacher. I hired private teachers. I listened to every podcast and watched howcasts all over the internet. I read all the books and watched all the videos. Then I started dropping into all the meditation studios. That’s when I realized what was effective for me, what I liked and who I found inspirational.

What changes did you notice In yourself?

One, I became a nicer mom. I was able to press my inner pause button before reacting to things. So there is now space between when things happen and how I respond. I’m more focused. I’m nicer. And little things don’t bother me anymore. That’s what it does for me. But there are people with anxiety who say it makes them feel less anxious. And people who are depressed who say it makes them feel happier. I didn’t know half the stuff that meditation could do before I opened Unplug. I’m learning as I go along.

Not ready for the party to end, doll? Join us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Unplug Meditation Photos: Marc Leibowitz

Best Dressed of the Week: Julianne Moore

Julianne Moore

Morning, luv. We were just enjoying a brunch of savory scones and tea and talking about how fabulous Julianne Moore looked earlier this week at the world premiere of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 at London’s Leicester Square. Yep, she’s our Sally Award winner for the best party look of the week. Can you blame us, doll?

Julianne MooreOur gal looked fabulous in a fitted black sheath with sheer ruched panels from Balenciaga’s Spring/Summer 2015 collection. We particularly loved the intricately woven and beaded detail at the shoulders that created the illusion of a knitted capelet over an off-the-shoulder dress. That’s what we call fashion mirage at its finest.

Julianne Moore

Julianne completed the look with strappy black sandals, also from Balenciaga, Jessica McCormack jewelry and the most perfect ponytail we’ve seen on the red carpet in a long time. Well done, doll.

Not ready for the party to end, doll? Join us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Madame Geoffrin

84750467_132885177977 (1)

Madame Geoffrin

Join us, doll, as we reminisce about the grande dame of Paris salon society, Marie Thérèse Rodet Geoffrin.

This trailblazing gal was so influential during her lifetime that she is considered to be one of the leading figures in the French Enlightenment, that little intellectual movement in 18th century France that had everyone questioning just about everything. How did she do it? Our gal was the first to elevate the Parisian salon from a noble, leisure activity to a real working space. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves.

Marie Thérèse was born in June of 1699 in Paris, the first child of Pierre Rodet, a valet de chambre, and Angelique Thérèse Chemineau, the daughter of a Parisian banker. Tragedy struck when Marie Thérèse’s mother died giving birth to her second child, a son. Soon after, Marie Thérèse and her brother were taken to live with their grandmother on the rue Saint-Honoré.


A young Marie Thérèse

As if she hadn’t already experienced enough tragédie, when Marie Thérèse was 13, an arrangement was made for her to marry a 49-year-old widower named Francois Geoffrin. Monsieur Geoffrin was a colonel in the National Guard, a prominent director in the Saint-Gobain Venetian mirror company and rather financially endowed. Apparently, he married quite well on his first matrimonial go-round. Anyway, as you can imagine, there was very little rapport between the two, but they did manage to have two children together.

It was not until Marie Thérèse was in her thirties – after years spent attending Madame de Tencin’s salon – that our brainy and intellectually curious gal was inspired to create a salon of her own. She did so with the full support of her mentor, Madame de Tencin, but decided to change things up a bit. Marie Thérèse decided to cater her salon to a more philosophical “in” crowd and hold two salons per week – one on Mondays for artists like François Boucher, Maurice-Quentin de La Tour, and Jean-Baptiste Greuze, and one on Wednesdays, for writers like Voltaire, Diderot, and Montesquieu. She also opted to serve dinner at one o’clock in the afternoon so the full day could be dedicated to discussion. Clearly, our gal meant business.


A painting depicting The Republic of Letters

Madame Geoffrin’s salon grew quickly and became the basis for the Republic of Letters, a community of scholars and literary figures that stretched across national boundaries. While she was revered by most in Paris and beyond – no foreign minister or person of note arriving in Paris failed to call on her in the hope of receiving an invitation to her salon – she had her foes. Enter the aristocratic and educated Marquise du Deffand who considered Marie Thérèse a rival and took every occasion to snub her gal and remind others of her ignoble upbringing.

Undaunted, Marie Thérèse went about the serious business of encouraging the French Enlightenment and even found the time to mentor the best up-and-coming salonnieres, notably Julie de Lespinasse and Suzanne Necker. Madame Geoffrin died at the ripe old age of 78, but not without elevating the salonnieres in 18th century Paris from ladies of leisure to agents of change. Bravo, Madame.

Not ready for the party to end, doll? Join us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

The 10 Best Thanksgiving Wines

 Joan Crawford

Bread, that this house may never know hunger. Salt, that life may always have flavor. And wine, that joy and prosperity may reign forever.

Howdy, sugar. Today’s Tuesday so you know what that means. It’s time to get tipsy! Today’s tips come from 10 of our favorite Master Sommeliers – the swankiest distinction a professional can get in fine wine service – and they’re telling us which wine they’ll be serving this year at Thanksgiving dinner. Way to go to the experts for a little party guidance, right, doll? Here we go. Ladies first…

Krug Rose Champagne

Andrea Robinson: Master Sommelier, James Beard Award winner, author and television host

I’ll be serving Krug Rosé, Champagne NV. It’s a major splurge, but this is my favorite meal of the year and, since I only have to share it with my husband John, one precious bottle will do the trick. And talk about romancing the bird – a dry-brined and smoked one, in our case – rose Champagne has red wine complexity with white wine refreshment plus scrubbing bubbles that make a great counter-foil to the lusty richness of the turkey. It’s among the most food-versatile wines out there.


Alpana Singh, Master Sommelier, restaurateur and Food Network television host

I believe in serving an all-American wine on a revered American holiday so I’ll be serving a 2013 Neyers Zinfandel, Sierra Foothills, California. Intense concentrated notes of blackberries and jam make for a bold wine that will stand up to a diverse array of dishes.


Pascaline Lepeltier, Master Sommelier and Beverage Director at Rouge Tomate in New York City

I’ll be bringing a magnum of Fetembulles 2013 made by Jean-Pierre Robinot from Domaine de L’Ange Vin. It is a 100% chenin blanc made with the méthode traditionnelle in the northeastern part of the Loire Valley. It’s a rich, very aromatic sparkling wine with a slight impression of sweetness, which is what you want for Thanksgiving. A chenin gives you a touch of tannic structure, which matches well with poultry but also with root vegetables like Brussels sprouts.

la dilettante

Brian McClintic, Master Sommelier featured in the documentary SOMM and co-founder of Les Marchands Wine Bar in Santa Barbara

I’ll be serving Breton Vouvray ‘La Dilettante’ Brut NV – biodynamic bubbles from one of the Loire Valley’s finest artisan families. It’s an all-purpose pairing on any Thanksgiving table.


Carlton McCoy, Master Sommelier and Wine Director at The Little Nell in Aspen

My Thanksgiving wine will be the 2005 Jean Foillard Morgon Côte du Py, Beaujolais, France. This is a medium-bodied red burgundy made with the gamay grape from the southernmost part of Burgundy. The landscape there tends to be more like the Rhone Valley, which lends itself to a more rustic style. It’s perfect with roasted chicken or turkey but can also stand up to any red meat. It also pairs well with the sweeter flavors on the table like cranberry.


Devon Broglie, Master Sommelier and Associate Global Beverage Buyer at Whole Foods

I see Thanksgiving as the start of the holidays, and there is no better way to begin a celebration than with Champagne!  I am enamored with Grower Champagnes. These are small production bubblies that are artisan-grown and produced in small quantities from the Champagne region of France. My fave for larger gatherings is the Gaston-Chiquet Brut Tradition Green Label. It is full and rich with all of the apple, peach, ginger and toasty notes of more well-known, mass-produced and more expensive champagnes, yet it has a real sense of place and purpose and goes with everything on a holiday table.


Matt Stamp: Master Sommelier, wine instructor at the International Culinary Center and education director at the Guild of Sommeliers

I’m looking forward to Alsatian white wines this Thanksgiving—rich, spicy, fall-weather whites with great texture, ripeness and body. Super-aromatic Gewürztraminer and honeyed Pinot Gris with a little residual sugar work well at a table covered in so many different sweet and savory Thanksgiving classics. And golden, oily, dry Alsatian Riesling has the acidity to cut through an intense meal but the density to stand up to it as well. Domaine Bechtold is a personal favorite especially the estate’s Pinot Gris and Gewürztraminer from the Silberberg vineyard. For a splurge, Bechtold’s dry Grand Cru Engelberg Riesling is amazing.


Tim Gaiser, Master Sommelier and wine educator, speaker, writer and researcher

My Thanksgiving white is the 2007 Robert Weil Riesling Spätlese from the Kiedricher Gräfenberg vineyard from the Rheingau in Germany. Riesling is arguably the best Thanksgiving white of all.  Many of the elements of Thanksgiving have a touch of sweetness and this wine, in particular, is slightly sweet in style and has low alcohol, very high acidity and no oak. It’s versatile, flexible with food and delicious.


Fernando Beteta: Master Sommelier and Co-Founder of Tenzing Wine & Spirits in Chicago

I’ll be serving Dashe Cellars, Les Enfants Terribles Zinfandel, Heart Arrow Ranch, Mendocino, California. This is a domestic wine, which I like to highlight on an American holiday. It’s ideal for hearty dishes but does not have all the oak or tannin to overpower turkey. It’s as close to Beaujolais as you can get, with a touch of ripe fruits, spices and decent acid.


Greg Tresner, Master Sommelier at the Phoenician Resort in Scottsdale

I’ll be serving Domaine Drouhin, Pinot Noir, Dundee, Willamette Valley, Oregon, 2012. It has elegant fragrances of strawberry, black cherry, tea, and red flowers. It is also not too dry with enough bright acidity to complement and support all the fruit, savory and garden vegetable flavors of Thanksgiving dinner. .

With that, I’d like to propose a toast to all you. Friendship is the wine of life. Let’s drink of it and to it. Thanks, dolls, for coming by.

Introductory photo: Joan Crawford
Introductory quote: It’s a Wonderful Life, 1946

Not ready for the party to end, doll? Join us for more jollity on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

The Sally Award: Charlotte Casiraghi

2014 LACMA Art + Film Gala Honoring Quentin Tarantino And Barbara Kruger

You’re just in time for brunch, doll. We just popped our crespéou into the oven and now we’re chitchatting about all the fabulous party frocks we saw around town last week. Jennifer Lopez, Amy Adams and past Sally Award winners, Kate Hudson and Camilla Belle, looked lovely on the party circuit, but the dame who took our breath away was Charlotte Casiraghi in Gucci at the LACMA Art + Film Gala. Talk about art and film. This blue and green color-blocked gown with floral accents and contrast beading was fashion artistry at its show-stopping best.

Charlotte Casiraghi


Grace Kelly

With her hair pulled back in an elegant chignon, the 28-year-old daughter of Princess Caroline of Monaco channeled the classic elegance and sophistication of her movie star grandmother, the late Grace Kelly.


Charlotte added several on-trend touches to her look including a fun thumb ring and smoky teal eye shadow that matched her dress. Yep, doll. Matching shadow to your habiliment is back, and our gal showed us how to do it in a fresh and modern way. It’s no wonder Charlotte’s been signed as the face of Gucci’s new cosmetics line. This royal beauty is grace personified.

Don’t forget to join our email list at the top right of this page. Subscribers receive an exclusive party favor – our six-page, tip-filled Party Planning Checklist. It’s the most comprehensive party hosting checklist you’ll find anywhere and it’s absotootly free. 

Dinner Party for Neil Patrick Harris


Neil Patrick Harris with chef Lulu Powers (right)

The Party:  A dinner party for 20 with actor Neil Patrick Harris as the guest of honor

When and Where: November 2015 in Los Angeles

Caterer and Chef: Lulu Powers

The Details According to Lulu Powers: We made it elegant and simple by using copper ice buckets, trays, pitchers and bowls (yes, I’m obsessed with copper at the moment) down the bar along with our “barscape” of rustic cutting boards, cheeses, meats, gourds, pumpkins, grapes, figs, Persimmons and strawberries from Harry’s Berries at the The Santa Monica Farmers market, What a great way to make the bar come to life and look fun!

We used sprigs of rosemary from the hostess’s garden at each place setting. For dinner, we made roasted root vegetables, grilled miso cilantro Japanese eggplants, citrus chicken, Burrata adorned with golden cherry tomatoes and roasted beets, and roasted butternut squash with crumbled amaretti cookies, fried sage, malton salt and ground pepper. We also had a kale, spinach and mint salad with cashew cheese and fresh pomegranate seeds and skirt steak marinated in my Coco Lopez soy and fresh ginger marinade, which got rave reviews.


The marinade is a recipe I had forgotten about until a month ago when my cousin Terry called me to say he was a hit in the Hamptons with his skirt steak.  I asked him how he prepared it and he told me that he was cleaning out his kitchen drawer and found the recipe, which I had given him. I made it up back in 2005 with my good friend and fellow chef, Lisa Kurtzman.  Lisa and I always have fun creating in the kitchen especially after a few sneekys.

lulu powers

Neil’s partner, Jeff, tended bar and made zillions of spicy margaritas. We went through about 40 limes.

Lisa & Lulu’s Luscious Skirt Steak Recipe

Equal amount of Coco Lopez to soy (3/4th cup)

1/2 cup lime juice

1 tablespoon sesame oil

A squeeze of a medium size lemon

2 heaping tablespoons of fresh minced ginger

2 tablespoons of fresh minced garlic

Mix ingredients together, marinate skirt steak for 4 hours, the longer the better.


RSVP: Lana Ogilvie

Lana Ogilvie

Hey, doll, come on in and pull up a chair, eh? We’re just sitting here drinking a glass of champansky with our stunning Canadian-born friend, Lana Ogilvie. Surely you know – or at least have seen – the lovely Lana, darlin’. She’s one of the world’s top supermodels. In fact, she was the first black model ever to earn a major contract with Cover Girl. Way to break ground, doll. Cheers. Anyway, our gal has graced the covers or pages of magazines including Sports Illustrated, Elle, Vogue, Glamour, Mademoiselle, Essence, More and Harper’s Bazaar. As if that weren’t enough, Lana is also a talented jewelry designer and gem of a party hostess. Grab a glass and a serviette, doll, and let’s check out Lana’s portfolio of party tips, shall we?

Your entertaining style?
Both casual and formal but always comfortable – mi casa su casa

Signature party detail?
An eclectic, curated playlist that takes you through the evening. It always starts with soft, jazzy soul then moves into more funky upbeat tunes as the evening progresses and everyone is feeling more comfortable with one another.

Lana Ogilvie

Lana prepares the table for a recent dinner party 

Last party you hosted?
I’ve been traveling a lot this year so my New Year’s Eve party was the last big one I hosted. It was a last-minute thing for whoever was around, yet it lasted until 4:30 am. There were an incredible number of empty bottles to clean up the next day!

Last party you attended?
I went to an amazing dinner party recently at a friend’s apartment. They did a four-hour tasting menu themed around white truffles with exquisite wine pairings and lots of caviar.

Lana Ogilvie and Joan Smalls

Lana and fellow model, Joan Smalls Rodriguez, at a party honoring Bethann Hardison, a supermodel of the 70s and fashion activist

Most comfortable shoes for dancing the night away?
The last time I really boogied was at a party a few months ago that Iman, Naomi and Tyson Beckford threw for Bethann Hardison. I wore a pair of four-inch Jill Sander heels and danced for three hours. If you have enough cocktails, every pair of shoes is comfortable.

Best or most memorable party you ever attended?
Ron Perelman’s Apollo in the Hamptons fundraiser. Watching Colin Powell boogie onstage with Pharrell, Jamie Foxx and Lenny Kravitz was probably one of the most memorable things I will ever see.

Most fascinating person you met at a party?
Chuck Berry. We talked over cocktails on a flight from Mexico to New York. To me, that’s a party! Imagine, there would be no rock and roll without him!

Dream dinner partner?
Sean Connery in his prime – as 007!

Lana Ogilvie

A chef plates a course at one of Lana’s dinner parties

Trait you admire most in a guest?
The ability to make witty conversation

Getting ready ritual?
Rushing around with the contents of my closet on the floor

Best party make up trick?
An eye line à la Sophia Loren or Audrey Hepburn but in electric blue or violet and loads of mascara

What’s always in your evening bag?
Lip gloss, mascara, Altoids and band-aids

Lana Ogilvie

Lana Ogilvie

Let’s play favorites:

Cocktail :: vodka gimlet
Champagne :: Taittinger Comtes de Champagne Rose
Canape :: blinis and caviar
Color :: Deep violet
Flower :: Calla lilly
Party lip color :: Nars Stolen Kisses
Party nail shade :: Revlon Grape
Party dress designer :: I love Zero + Maria Cornejo and Sophie Theallet although, if I still had my 25-year-old figure, I would wear Azzedine Alaïa ALL THE TIME.

Lana Ogilvie

Lana wearing one of the handmade cuffs from her new jewelry line

Accessories :: my Sabre jewelry collection
Flatware :: Christofle Chinon
Tableware :: Tsé & Tsé associées – the bowls are beautiful with gold leaf on the inside
Glassware :: Riedel
Party resource :: Le Dû’s Wines on Washington Street

Three party pet-peeves?
Music that’s too loud for conversation, tepid food and people on their smart phones at the table

Three party must-haves?
Good wine, good music and good conversation

Thanks, Lana. You’re a doll for stopping by. 

Not ready for the party to end? Join us for a nightcap on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Photos: Lana Ogilvie

The Sally Award: Camilla Belle

Camilla Belle

Come on, in, darlin’. We were just mixing up some King Snake Flips for brunch – a girl’s gotta have her eggs, doll – and chatting about the best party look of the week.

While there were a number of gals who looked fête-chic this week (Jessica Chastain in Saint Laurent comes to mind), we’re giving our Sally Award for the best party look of the week to actress, Camilla Belle, at the 2014 amfAR Gala on October 29th in Los Angeles. .


Our gal was beguiling in this begonia pink piqué number from Carolina Herrera’s Spring 2015 collection. We especially love the raw-edged detailing, exposed back and clear plastic belt. Our belle of the ball accessorized the ladylike look with swingy Chopard diamond earrings.

While we love Chopard jewels as much as the next doll, we have this crazy desire to “psst” our gal and suggest she switch her earrings out for these Verdura rock crystal babies. They would play so nicely with the transparency of the belt and the ‘weightiness’ of the bodice seaming. But we’re splitting hairs here, doll.

Speaking of hairs, Camilla’s was sheer perfection. Pulled back in a chic and sleek chignon, Camilla looked positively regal. Her soft and neutral makeup ensured that we could enjoy the pretty shade of the dress without any competing hues. Très belle, doll.

What do you think of Camilla’s look? Grab your flip and join the party conversation on our Facebook and Twitter pages, won’t you?

Photos of Camilla: Getty

Marchesa Luisa Casati


I am…Dracula. I bid you welcome.

Happy Halloween, doll. There’s nothing like this bewitching day to put us in the mood for something a little, shall we say, hédoniste.

And they don’t come more so than La Casati.

Marchesa Luisa Casati

The toast of Venice long before the bellini was invented, Marchesa Luisa Casati (1881-1957) was painted by Boldini, photographed by Man Ray and Cecil Beaton, revered by Jean Cocteau and dressed by Poiret, Fortuny and Erté. Out of all these bold-faced names, no one, but no one, created more art with the Marchesa as muse than the Marchesa herself.

Nearly six-feet tall with brilliant red hair, Kabuki-white skin and enormous emerald eyes that she kept dilated with poisonous belladonna extract, the Marchesa held court at her various residences (including the Palazzo dei Leoni on the Grand Canal, now home to The Peggy Guggenheim Collection, and the Palais Rose, a red marble mansion outside of Paris) surrounded by a menagerie of lovers, artists and exotic animals like leopards and snakes of every stripe.

A painting of the flame-haired Marchesa by Augustus John

The deaths of her parents (her father was a cotton baron) when she was just a teen left the Marchesa and her sister the wealthiest heiresses in Italy. A marriage at age 19 to the Marchese Casati was loveless, but blended her immense wealth with his aristocratic credentials: a useful cocktail if you seek to be one of the most notable society hosts of all time.

A typical Marchesa party would… oh, well, there was no such thing as a typical Marchesa party. At one, there were servants, in powdered wigs and waistcoats, feeding the fireplace a steady stream of copper filings to keep the flames burning a vivid green. At others, she might paint herself in gold leaf, crowned with a headdress of stuffed snakes or gilded ram’s horns.

phot man ray 1924

A 1924 Man Ray photo of La Casati

She was nothing if not committed. She once showed up to the Paris Opéra in a white sheath, topped with the feathers of an entire white peacock and, just before coming in, she had her chauffeur streak her arm with the blood of a freshly slaughtered chicken. It was not uncommon to catch her swanning around the streets of Venice at night, wearing nothing but one of her signature headdresses and flanked by two cheetahs on jeweled leashes.

Sometimes, she’d sit stock still and silent next to a perfect wax replica of herself (yes, a doll, doll), leaving her guests to wonder which Casati was their actual hostess. She once locked a hapless guest in a powder room for daring to come to one of her costume balls in a similar get up to her own.

MarchesaGeorgina Chapman named her fashion company, Marchesa, for the avant-garde style icon. (photo of Georgina Chapman: Harper’s Bazaar)

If you get the sense that the Marchesa wasn’t the most gracious of hosts, you are probably right. Her fêtes were more about performance art than having a few friends ‘round to break bread. But that doesn’t make them, or her style, any less legendary. She is the namesake of one of the ultimate prêt-à-partay fashion collections, Marchesa, and continues to inspire designers, artists and, of course, hosts with her mad, bad ways. Rumor has it our gal even inspired Cartier’s famed Panther design.

boldini 1908

Portrait of the eccentric Marchesa Casati by Giovanni Boldini,1908

As so often happens when one makes a habit of throwing copper on fires, the Marchesa eventually burned through her money and spent her last years penniless in London. A dévotée of the occult, she died of a cerebral hemorrhage following a spiritual session, and was buried with custom-made, enormously long false eyelashes and a black and leopard funereal costume, with one of her beloved deceased Pekinese (taxidermied, of course) buried at her feet.

We doubt that resting in peace was exactly her style, so we will mix up a Chrysanthemum in her honor and hope that she’s at least resting in sybaritic splendor.

The Chrysanthemum

2 oz. dry vermouth
1 oz. Bénédictine
3 dashes absinthe
Stir ingredients with ice in a mixing glass untill well chilled. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with an orange twist.

Music to Channel Your Inner Marchesa

Season of the Witch – Karen Elision
Voodoo Lady – Ween
I Put a Spell on You – Screaming Jay Hawkins
People Are Strange – The Doors
Witchcraft – Frank Sinatra
Werewolves of London – Warren Zevon
Spooky – Dusty Springfield
Kooks – David Bowie
Jump in the Line – Harry Belafonte
Heart of Glass – Blondie

Click here for more information about the Marchesa.

Introductory photo: House of Dracula, 1945
Introductory quote: Dracula, 1931

RSVP: Cornelia Guest

Cornelia Guest

Doll, come on in. We’re dishing with party royalty – entertaining guru, entrepreneur and animal rights advocate, Cornelia Guest. It’s no surprise that the compassionate and comely Cornelia is known as one of the world’s great party hosts. Her mother was fashion icon, C. Z Guest, who was one of Truman Capote’s original swans along with Babe Paley and Slim Keith. Her father, Winston, an heir to the Phipps steel fortune, was a dashing polo champion who also happened to be Winston Churchill’s cousin and one of Ernest Hemingway’s best pals. Cornelia’s godparents were the Duke and Duchess of Windsor and the fabulous aesthete, Baron Alexis de Redé, who was once named “the best party host in Europe.” Stateside, a teenage Cornelia learned the velvet party ropes by joining family friends like Halston, Andy Warhol and Franceso Scavullo at New York hot spots Studio 54, Régine’s and Xenon. Today, Cornelia, the author of two books, runs a cruelty-free style empire that includes an event company with clients like Donna Karan, Bulgari and Estée Lauder, a vegan cookie collection and line of animal-free handbags. As if that weren’t enough, she and Project Gravitas, the socially-conscious fashion brand, have just launched a collection of party-ready, cruelty-free leather jackets that are as chic as they are kind. We’ve just popped the cork on a bottle of Perrier-Jouët Blason Brut Rosé – our gal’s favorite party drink – so grab a glass and listen in as we welcome one of our favorite guests, Cornelia. She’s even sharing her famous Shepherd’s Pie recipe.

Your entertaining style?
Classic with a twist.

Last party you hosted?
Sunday lunch at home for a few friends.

Last party you attended?
A friend’s dinner for our pal, Hamish Bowles.

Cornelia Guest

Cornelia prepares for a Halloween dinner party

How will you celebrate Thanksgiving?
In Rome with some great friends.

Most memorable party you attended?
Valentino’s anniversary party in Rome a few years ago.

Most fascinating person you met at a party?
Chuck Yeager

Dream dinner partners?
Winston Churchill and Michael Jordan

Party you wish you could go back in time to attend?
Truman Capote’s Black & White ball and any party in Paris thrown by my godfather, Baron Alexis de Redé

Cornelia Guest

Cornelia with her beloved dog, Cash

Best conversation piece in your home?
My donkey, Madonna, and dogs.

Most treasured thank you note?
From my father thanking me for a water-color I made for him…so sweet.

C.Z. Guest

One of Cornelia’s favorite photographs of her mother, C.Z. Guest

What did you learn from your mother about entertaining?
Have fun!

Winston Guest

Cornelia sitting at her desk beneath a portrait of her father

And your father?

Most treasured entertaining piece given to you by your mother?
Old plates.

Your go-to fall dinner party dish?
Shepherd’s Pie (see Cornelia’s recipe below)

Cornelia Guest Party

Cornelia designed the flowers and catered the party launching the book, Fashionably Selby 

You know you’re at a Cornelia Guest Events party when…
The food is delicious and the staff is gorgeous!

Greatest Cornelia Guest Events triumph?
A dinner for 300 at the New York Armory

Let’s play favorites:

Favorite color? White and silver

Favorite flower? Gardenia

Favorite cocktail? Rosé champagne

Favorite champagne? Perrier-Jouët Blason Brut Rosé

Favorite food? Raw chocolate

C.E. Corey

These Portugese made, ceramic plates from C.E. Corey speak to Cornelia’s love of animals

Favorite dishware? C.E. Corey

Favorite glassware? Old ones

Favorite linens? My grandmother’s old napkins


Dr. Bronner Hand Soaps

Cornelia keeps a colorful bottle of Dr. Bronner’s cruelty-free soap in her powder room

Favorite guest room hand soap? Bronner and Kiehl’s

Favorite party dress designer? Oscar de La Renta

Favorite source for party items? Thrift stores

Your three biggest party pet-peeves?
Late guests, people who move place cards and people who get up from the table to smoke. I always have ashtrays and cigarettes on the table.

Vanity Fair Oscar Party

Cornelia, left, at a Vanity Fair Oscar Party with Olivia Wilde, Maria Bello and Vanessa Getty 

Your three most important party must-haves?
Great food, wine and friends!

You have a birthday coming up next month. What will you wish for when you blow out your birthday candles?
That The Cruelty Free World of Cornelia Guest becomes a global success and people become educated about the plight of animals and make changes in their lives to help animals all over the world.

Cornelia Guest’s Shepherd’s Pie

Serves 4
Total time: 2 hours

2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes
1 large onion
2 large carrots
2 celery stalks
1 pound favorite mushrooms
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 leeks cut into 1-inch pieces
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup canned or fresh vegetable stock
2 pounds cubed seitan
2 (14.5 ounce) cans diced tomatoes
1 (10 ounce) box frozen peas or 1-1/2 cups of fresh peas, cooked

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees
  • Peel potatoes and cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook until ready for mashing, approximately 30 minutes.
  • Coarsely dice onion, carrots and celery separately.
  • Remove stems from mushrooms
  • If you are making your own stock, take the onion, carrot and celery trimmings and mushroom stems, add a quart of water, bring to a boil and simmer down to a cup, approx. 45 minutes. Stain before using.
  • Lay mushrooms and carrots on a baking sheet, sprinkle with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast for 45 minutes
  • Lay onion, celery and leeks on another baking sheet and sprinkle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast for 20 to 30 minutes or when they are fork-tender.
  • Reserve a cup of the water the spuds were cooked in.
  • Mash the potatoes and add ¼ cup olive oil, a teaspoon of salt and pepper and the reserved water.
  • Combine the stock, seitan and diced tomatoes in a 4-quart saucepot and let simmer for 45 minutes.
  • Add the cooked peas and roasted vegetables during the last 5 minutes.
  • Transfer to a 10 x 14 inch casserole dish and cover with a 1-1/2 inch layer of mashed potatoes.
  • Roast in the top rack of the over for 20 to 25 minutes.
  • Put the casserole under the broiler for a few minutes to brown.

Photo credits: Harper’s Bazaar, Town & Country, Vogue, Matchbook Magazine, Vanity Fair

Not ready for the party to end, doll? Join us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

The Sally Award: Lily Collins

Lily Collins

Hi, doll. It’s Sunday and you know what that means. We’re serving up some Croques Madames and dishing about the best party looks of the week. This week, we loved Jessica Chastain in Givenchy couture and Kate Hudson in Jenny Packham at the American Cinematheque Awards, but the salliest party gal of all was English-American actress Lily Collins at the Rome Film Festival for the premiere of her new film, Love, Rosie.

Talk about love. What wasn’t to love about Lily in this black and violet Elie Saab number from the designer’s Spring 2014 Haute Couture collection? Now if this dress looks a bit familiar to you, doll, it’s because it’s the very frock that we suggested Sandra Bullock wear to the Oscars last year. Maybe Lily was eavesdropping.

Lily Collins

Anyway, Lily looked smashing in this strapless chiffon gown, which featured a belted black bustier, ombre chiffon skirt and elegant Watteau train. She added platform heels by Brian Atwood, diamond stud earrings by Norman Silverman and a fun mix of rings by Melissa Kaye Jewelry, Vita Fede and EF Collection.

Lily Collins

As if that weren’t enough to win this week’s Sally Award, Lily topped off the look with a side-parted, retro-glam bob styled by Ken O’Rourke. Collins’ makeup artist, Polly Osmond, gave Lily a pretty berry lip with Lancome’s L’Absolu Velours gloss in Violine, the perfect balance for her strong, signature brows. Well done, doll.

The Return of the Nightcap

Going so soon? I wouldn’t hear of it. Why, my little party’s just beginning.

“In Spain, it’s called ‘la ultima,’ and it’s for when you don’t want to let go of the night,” says Maria Trabocchi, co-owner, with husband, Fabio, of celebrated Washington, D.C. restaurants, Fiola, Casa Luca and Fiola Mare. “It is a way of extending the evening before you get back into your Uber or taxi and immerse yourself in looking at your phone.”

Arnaud Dissais of Daniel in New York

Arnaud Dissais, head bartender at Daniel, agrees, “Everyone is always working so hard all the time. To enjoy a nice meal and afterwards go to a place for a drink is an important moment. It gives you an excuse to change the environment and get into another conversation.”

We’re talking, of course, about the nightcap, that most seductive of moments when the crowd departs and it is just you and a close friend or two setting the world to rights. It’s back and in a big way.

Once upon a time, this little evening delight was strictly reserved for chic hotel bars and groovy Mad Men-era pieds-a-terre, but lately it feels more accessible: fresh and cool rather than just retro chic.

We asked Jeremy Buck, who bartends at the aptly named and recently opened Nitecap, a Lower East Side cocktail bar with the requisite seductive low lighting and squeeze-in red banquettes, if it’s another case of everything old being new again. “It never really went away,” he said.” It’s just that there’s more of a focus on it now.”

Gentleman's Table Guide

Jeremy Buck sent along this fabulous photo from The Gentleman’s Table Guide by E. Ricket and C. Thomas for historical reference.

Trabocchi and Dissais say that they often see diners from earlier in the evening return to their restaurants for the last drink. And Buck compares the bar Nitecap to a friend’s basement. The venue is less important than the vibe. “It’s a matter of striking the right balance between having some energy and being relaxing. No one wants it to be too stuffy,” he says.


 Nitecap captures the intimacy of the chic-all-over-again nightcap 

In fact, the at-home nightcap can be the most intimate of all. It doesn’t matter what you’ve got stocked in the bar. From a classic B&B to a Mexican beer with a shot of whiskey. Whatever your poison, darlin’, the contents of the glass are secondary to what’s all around it: the music, the conversation, the lighting. In fact, that goes double for lighting.


Amanda McCrossin of Rotisserie Georgette

“Everyone needs a real life Instagram filter,” says Amanda McCrossin, sommelier at Rotisserie Georgette and host of the web series UnWined with Amanda, who likes to end her night with a moody drink, like Amaro, in a moody room. “Dark lighting, with a flicker of candlelight is the perfect way to achieve that slightly haphazard ambience that proclaims, ‘I don’t know why I’m still here, but I’m surely not leaving before last call.’”

Santé, doll we’ll be right there with you. Read on for our three favorite fall nightcaps and a playlist that will ensure your soirée ends on the perfect note.

The Salonniere’s Favorite Nightcaps for Fall


1 ounce of your favorite brandy
1 ounce Benedictine

Pour the liquors into a brandy snifter and stir. Twist a lemon peel over the drink to release its oils then discard the peel.

Brandy Alexander

The Brandy Alexander

2 ounces cognac or other fine aged brandy
1 ounce dark crème de cacao
1 ounce cream

Add the ingredients to a cocktail shaker and fill with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with freshly grated nutmeg.

The Night Cap

The Night Cap

2 ounces white rum
4 ounces warm milk
1 dash cinnamon
1 teaspoon of sugar

Mix the rum, milk and sugar in a mug. Sprinkle cinnamon on top.


Billie Holiday

The Salonniere’s Nightcap Playlist

In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning – Frank Sinatra
Ev’ry Time We Say Goodbye – Lady Gaga
Cognac Blues – Dizzy Gillespie
It’s a Pity to Say Goodnight – Ella Fitzgerald
Night Cap – Charlie Parker
One for My Baby – Billie Holiday (photo above)
Au Revoir – One Republic
Straight, No Chaser – Thelonious Monk
Closing Time – Tom Waits
I’ll Be Seeing You – Tony Bennett

Introductory photo: Conrad Veidt and Vivien Leigh in Dark Journey, 1937
Introductory quote: The Wizard of Oz, 1939

Photo credits: Daniel, Jeremu Buck, Nitecap, Amanda McCrossin, The Hawthorne, Getty

Not ready for the party to end, doll? Join us for a nightcap on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

The Sally Award: Elizabeth Banks


Mornin’, sugar. What a week of parties and fabulously-frocked party hoppers. But this week’s soirée standout – and the winner of the Sally Award for best party look of the week – goes to actress Elizabeth Banks in a chic and ladylike Bottega Veneta dress at the Hammer Museum’s Gala in the Garden in Los Angeles.  Part of Bottega Veneta’s Fall/Winter 2014/15 collection, this gorgeous knotted crepe dress in green – which Elizabeth paired with Bottega Veneta suede pumps – gave a gracious nod to the event’s garden theme and its primary sponsor. Thoughtful, doll.


A finger-combed up-do by Christian Wood and soft and pretty make up by Georgie Eisdell – with perfect eyebrows, we might add – further define Elizabeth’s effortlessly chic and ladylike party look. Pitch Perfect, doll.

The tables at the Gala in the Garden 2014
Gala in the Garden 2014

Photos: Getty Images and Hammer Museum

RSVP: Danielle Rollins

Danielle Rollins

Hey there, sugar. You’re just in time to meet our glamorous and gracious gal pal, Danielle Rollins. Let me tell you, doll, this Dallas-born and Atlanta-based beauty epitomizes Southern hospitality. Her chic and thoughtful style of entertaining – this lady thinks of everything! – has even landed her a spot as the best-selling author of Soirée: Entertaining with Style, a must-have tome full splendid party pictures, including a dinner she hosted for Oscar de la Renta that launched her career. We can see why, darlin’. Anyway, when Danielle isn’t hobnobbing with designers like Mr. de la Renta and Lela Rose, who you met before at one of our parties, she’s serving as a contributing editor to Veranda. We were just about to pour Danielle a bit of bourbon so, come on in, y’all, and grab a glass and a seat. Let’s listen to the divine Danielle dish.

Your entertaining style?
Thoughtful, appropriate, relaxed and well planned

The definition of a good host?
One who is thoughtful and places a guest’s needs and comfort first and foremost

10402792_964650013560860_677437740483083951_nDanielle with celebrity chef, author and entrepreneur, Alex Hitz

Last party you hosted?
A cozy intimate birthday dinner for chef, Alex Hitz

Last party you attended?
Designer Lela Rose’s Tea & Tequila party to celebrate her new entertaining tome – it was held on Celerie Kemble’s gorgeous Central Park South rooftop terrace

Most memorable party you attended?
A good friend’s surprise 50th birthday party at Villa Ephrussi in Saint-Jean-Cap- Ferrat, France, overlooking the Mediterranean Sea

Most fascinating person you met at a party?
Henry Kissinger


After Danielle’s dinner party for Oscar de la Renta, he encouraged her to write a book

Party you’re most proud of?
The Oscar de la Renta dinner featured in my book because it was that dinner that launched my career

Party you’d like to go back in time to attend?
Elsie de Wolfe’s circus-themed party at Villa Trianon – I just know we would have been BFFs

How do you stay party ready? What’s always in your fridge and pantry?
Champagne, wine, good cheese, great bread, pastas, cream, butter, milk and bacon

Best tip for getting your house party ready?
Walk through your house as though you’re a guest experiencing the party from the time of arrival to departure. Then think like a server. That’s the best way you can tell what you need from both perspectives. For instance, is the bathroom clean and inviting with plenty of hand towels and fresh soap? Are extra supplies easily found? Will the server be able to walk between the tables and serve properly? Playing out all the possible scenarios is the best way to prevent a disaster.


Flowers by Danielle Rollins

Least expensive but most effective way to create an instant party ambiance?
Flowers! Using something seasonal and inexpensive but in abundance fluffs things up nicely.

Best way to make shy guests feel more comfortable?
Compliment them, genuinely, or ask them about themselves. That works for everyone!

Favorite hostess gift to give?
Flowers sent to arrive before the party, cocktail mixers and hard-to-find liquors with personally created recipes, and interesting olive oils, vinegars, honeys, spices or baking mixes.

Most memorable hostess gift given to you?
Personalized cocktail napkins embroidered with a cornucopia that were given to me by a friend visiting for Thanksgiving

Most treasured thank you note?
A handwritten note from Oscar de la Renta

Danielle Rollins

Let’s play favorites, doll…

Color: The turquoise of my book

Flower: Peonies

Cocktail: An Old Fashioned – I’m a bourbon girl!

 Champagne: Veuve Clicquot Rosé

Food: Caviar, crème fraiche and blinis, Dover sole and champagne


Sharyn Blond linens

Linens: That’s a tough one! Some people buy lipstick when they’re down. I buy linens! My favorite brands are Leontine, Julia B., Walker Valentine, Matouk, Porthault and Sharyn Blond.

Dishes: I haven’t met a piece of china I didn’t like but my favorites are Mottahedeh, Alberto Pinto and vintage pieces.

Glassware: William Yeoward, Dior and, for casual pieces, World Market


The Rooster motif from The Printery in Oyster Bay, New York

Party resources: World Market, Jamali, Williams Sonoma, Pottery Barn, Mark & Graham, Matouk, Ralph Lauren Home, Cut Flowers Wholesale, The Printery and Ginna Dunlap Emmet Calligraphy

Party shoe: Gianavito Rossi and Christian Louboutin

Party dress: Ralph Lauren, Oscar de la Renta, Lela Rose, Vito Emanuele or something vintage

Three party pet-peeves?
Bad manners, bad moods and bad attire

Three party must-haves?
Good food, music that fits the mood and a good attitude!

There’s certainly nothing old-fashioned about that, doll. Now, where were we? Oh, yes. Danielle was showing us photos of some of her fabulous parties…

Photos: Danielle Rollins, Sharyn Blond, The Printery

Jeanne Quinault


Portrait of Jeanne Quinault by Eugène Louis Pirodon 

Hi doll, come on in. We’re raising a glass in remembrance of a great dame who was born on this day back in 1699. Her name was Jeanne Quinault and she was a heckuva scribe and actress who advised Voltaire and Pierre-Claude Nivelle de la Chaussée on writing some of their hit plays. She also hosted a marvelous creative salon in Paris. She was something, darlin’. Let me tell you more about her.


The Comédie-Française

Born into a famous French acting family, Jeanne made her acting debut at the age of eighteen at the Comédie-Française, the only state theater in France to have its own troupe of actors. In December of 1718, shortly after her first bow, she was formally accepted into the company, becoming the sixth member of the Quinault family to be admitted.

Our coy Jeanne become known as quite the saucy soubrette. She befriended many of the most dashing playwrights of the day. Voltaire, who often wrote to Jeanne for advice, sang our gal’s praises to his friend Françoise de Graffigny in a letter saying that she “was constantly imagining subjects for comedies and tragedies and offered them to authors, urging them to work on them.”


Anne Claude de Caylus

In the 1730s, Jeanne became friendly with a gentleman by the name of Anne Claude de Tubières-Grimoard de Pestels de Lévis, comte de Caylus, marquis d’Esternay, baron de Bransac. Yes, gals, that really was his name, but whaddya say we call him Caylus for the sake of ease. Anyway, Caylus, a man of letters, and Jeanne soon became co-hosts of a laid back salon called the Bout-du-Banc, which translated means “end of the bench.” Always held on Mondays, the fare was simple but good and they entertained themselves by singing, acting in skits, reading works in progress and collaborating on anthologies of facéties, parodies of popular genres. Sounds like they had a grand ol’ time!


Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Salon regulars included the poet Moncrif, the novelist Claude Crébillon, the novelist and historian Charles Pinot Duclos, and the financier philosopher Claude Adrien Helvétius. Even philosopher rock star, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, attended a dinner once on rue Sainte Anne.

While our darling Jeanne hobnobbed with all kinds of dashing men, and even did some successful matchmaking, Jeanne herself never married. She did, however, become the guardian of her eldest brother’s orphaned children after his death in 1745. In 1758, she moved from her Paris apartment to the more rural Saint-Germain-en-Laye where she lived quietly and corresponded with friends until her failing health led her to return to the city in 1778. This chic and independent trailblazer died in Paris on January 18, 1788 at the ripe old age of 89. Here’s to our gal, Jeanne Quinault, for a life well – and artfully – lived.

The Sally Award: Emma Roberts

Emma Roberts

If you saw what I saw, doll, you know there were so many fabulously-frocked party girls this week, including actress Lily Collins in a lipstick-red gown from Solace London at the Love, Rosie premiere. But the soireé sally who took the party cake this week was actress and singer Emma Roberts at the Hollywood premiere of FX’s American Horror Story: Freak Show.


In this stunning and strappy floor-length Saint Laurent number, it’s hard to believe that our gal, Emma, ever starred in anything called Unfabulous.  With its daring thigh-high slit that showed off plenty of gam, this sexy frock is what you call stand-out style…literally.


Emma accessorized the winning look with a chic Edie Parker acrylic clutch, Casadei black suede kicks and subtle Derek Lam for Jame Wolfe earrings. Her soft side-swept bun, smokey eyes and dark nail color added just the right touch of casual elegance. In true Madison Montgomery style, you moved us, doll. Well done.

Images: Getty, Harper’s Bazaar and Tom and Lorenzo

Tipsy Tuesday: Host and Hostess Gifts


“Licorice, mmmm. If there’s anything I’m a sucker for, it’s licorice.”

Hey doll, it’s Tuesday, our favorite day of the week, the day we like to get…tipsy! Today, we’re offering up tips on choosing a memorable hostess gift – you can’t throw every party, doll – by letting 10 of the country’s chicest party givers spill the beans about the most memorable host or hostess gift they have ever received. Many a trinket has been bestowed upon these stylish social butterflies over the years, so you can bet that there’s a lesson to be learned from the goodies that stand out. Gather ’round, darlin’. Their answers prove that an inspired host or hostess gift doesn’t always have to cost a pretty penny. It really is the thought that counts.

Cornelia Guest, philanthropist, entrepreneur, author and animal rights advocate: Without a doubt, a treat for my dogs. And of course anything rosé!!!!


Cornelia Guest

Christopher Spitzmiller, designer and maker of hand-thrown ceramic lamps: Sinners & Saints cookies from Studmuffin Desserts are my favorite.

Christopher Spitzmiller

Christopher Spitzmiller

Carmen Dell’Orefice, supermodel: A six-pack of Fiji water. I am, above all things, practical and it was something I could actually use.


Carmen Dell’Orefice

Jaqui Lividini, philanthropist, luxury branding guru and entrepreneur: One dozen fresh eggs in a basket. They were gorgeous, exotic colors just laid that morning – so chic!

Lana Ogilvie, fashion model: A beautiful little drawing of the food we served the night before. It was really the most wonderful and original gift. I have it framed and hanging on our wall.


Lana Ogilvie

Lana Ogilvie

Lana received this lovely piece of art from a guest after hosting a 15-course dinner party

Natasha Bergreen, interior and floral designer: Friends from Maine gave me a hostess gift that was beyond…a beautiful willow basket filled with the most amazing collection of hand foraged chanterelle mushrooms and delicately wrapped soft shell lobsters presented on a bed of glistening seaweed.

Lauren Ezersky, fashion icon, philanthropist and television producer and host: A fabulous pair of sandals with 14 karat gold decorations. I occasionally use them as table decor!

Tata Harper, founder and creator of Tata Harper luxury skin care: For one of my dinner parties, a friend brought a delicious pie in a gorgeous pottery pie dish. When we finished dessert, she said I could keep the dish! I thought that was such a special thing to do.


Tata Harper

Gavin Phipps, owner and designer, Phipps Jewelry: Tickets to watch Sampras defeat Becker at center court at Wimbledon.

Carla McDonald, founder of The Salonniere: A basket of homemade breakfast treats for the morning. When you’re planning a big party, the last thing you’re thinking about is what you’ll have for breakfast the next day. I found it so thoughtful!

Introductory photo: Auntie Mame, 1958
Introductory quote: Adam’s Rib, 1949

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© 2014 The Salonniere, Ltd. All rights reserved. The Salonniere™, I Feel a Party Coming On™, The Sally Award™, Party Poll™ and Tipsy Tuesday™ are among the trademarks of The Salonniere, 3801 North Capital of Texas Highway, Suite E240-185, Austin, Texas, 78746.