Summer Soiree

Summer Soirée

We New Englanders deserve our lovely, breezy summers – they’re our gift for enduring the cold months.  At Images & Details we think that you can’t celebrate the season enough.  To that end, our “Commander-in-Chief” Beth Dempsey hosted a soirée at her home during the last weekend in June, and guests congregated on the veranda, with yummy appetizers, frozen lime cocktails and plenty of rosé wine.  We asked some party-goers for their thoughts on summer: tips, favorites & inspirations.  Here’s what they said:

Harriet Mays, Susan Harrington & Clare Basius caught up on the front porch at Beth Dempsey’s home.

Harriet Mays, Susan Harrington & Clare Basius caught up on the front porch at Beth Dempsey’s home.

Carolyn Sollis Favorite Summer Vacation Spot: Fenwick CT, where the CT River meets Long Island Sound – I have spent summers there my entire life. Signature Summer Dish: Blueberry Kir Sauce Great Beach Read: This summer I plan to read Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald and All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr.

Nantucket is the favorite summer vacation spot of Quintessence blogger Stacey Bewkes.

Nantucket is the favorite summer vacation spot of Quintessence blogger Stacey Bewkes.

Stacey Bewkes Favorite Summer Vacation Spot: No surprise there – Nantucket! Signature Summer Dish: We eat very simply in the summer – whatever is fresh and hopefully local. So while on Nantucket that means grilled, just-caught swordfish, steamed local lobster, fresh Nantucket corn and lots of easy green salads in my big seasoned wooden bowl. Great Beach Read: I am currently reading Elizabeth Gilbert’s The Signature of All Things which was recommended by Susanna Salk and Laura Slatkin (the cover inspired her new NEST fragrance, Verde. Favorite Summer Cocktail: Like everyone else, I am drinking a lot of rosé this summer (I just did a post about good rosés!)

Is a lovely bottle of rosé wine your drink of the summer?

Is a lovely bottle of rosé wine your drink of the summer?

KC Williams Favorite Summer Vacation Spot: Little Compton, RI (where else?) Great Beach Read: Leaving Before the Rains Comeby Alexandra Fuller. I’ve read all of her previous books about her childhood growing up in Zimbabwe, and they portray a life that’s quite foreign to our world. Favorite Summer Cocktail: I have many but I especially like Dark & Stormy’s.

Carey Karlan, Stacey Bewkes and KC Williams enjoyed the summer afternoon with Images & Details.

Carey Karlan, Stacey Bewkes and KC Williams enjoyed the summer afternoon with Images & Details.

Melissa Feldman Favorite Summer Vacation Spot: Sailing around the Turkish Mediterranean was the best vacation I’ve ever had! Great Beach Read: I love, love, love Jonathan Franzen, so I’m waiting his next novel, Purity, to come out later this summer. Also The Last Love Song a new biography on writer Joan Didion. Favorite Summer Cocktail: Naturally a negroni, but only made with dry vermouth.

Sailing is a big part of the New England summer.

Sailing is a big part of the New England summer.

Carey Karlan Favorite Summer Vacation Spot: I’m happy to stay-cation right here in Darien in the summer! You could travel a long way and not find a more beautiful spot than the terrace overlooking the sound at the beach club at twilight. Spending unhurried time with friends and family in that familiar and beautiful spot is my bliss for summer. Favorite Summer Meal: I love to set up a fancy picnic complete with flowers, cold salmon with tasty salads and a fresh peach cobbler! Favorite Summer Cocktail: A nice bottle of Sancerre.

Summer reading lists included a Pulitzer Prize winner and a new biography of Joan Didion.

Summer reading lists included a Pulitzer Prize winner and a new biography of Joan Didion.

Paris to Palm Beach: Past Meets Present

freyFrom Paris to Palm Beach, the past and present collide, bringing inspiration from the 1960s to design aficionados on both sides of the pond.  On a recent trip to Paris Deco Off this was apparent in showrooms, salons and galleries. Pierre Frey opened its archives for the first time, to celebrate a collection of archival inspired prints by designer Vincent Darré, (shown above) and it was like being a kid in a very groovy candy store.
From there, a visit to the Cartier Exhibition at the Grand Palais  proved a feast for the eyes. I was amazed at how many American Beauties, from Elizabeth Taylor and Grace Kelly to Lee Merriweather Post, were fans. And yes, that proverbial cat, the panther, came to life on brooches, bracelets and necklaces .
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The ’60s seemed to be a common thread throughout the journey – from fabrics to jewelry to fashion. At a dinner at the Alcazar in St.Germain my circa late sixties vintage Mondrian-style dress fit right in with a groovy and eclectic assortment of editors and style makers from Avery Boardman President and man-about-town Dennis Scully to new Oscar de la Renta Home Creative Director Carolina Irving.
Dinner Alcazar
French Artist extraordinaire Philippe Berry was also at dinner. His art (such as the famous Trois Beaux Ballons sculpture, below) and furniture-as-art (such as the Giaccometti-inspired bronze cocktail tables as seen grouped dramatically in ELLE Décor, below) exude a lot of sixties-ish influences:
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Sixties style made an appearance again at the opening of the Palm Beach Jewelry, Art and Antique Show. The show was definitely a step back in time with more than 100 exhibitors. One of our favorites, estate jewelry icon Camilla Dietz Bergeron had truly great pieces from the 60s from David Webb:
David Webb Palm Beach Show
Of course I can never have enough vintage jewelry inspiration, so we popped over to one of my favorite museums The Norton Museum of Art which is nearby the show. It is small and manageable with consistently great special exhibitions. This time there was David Webb: Society’s Jeweler featuring his masterful jewelry (all made in America) worn by so many stylish women in the 60’s. These pieces graced the swanlike necks and slender wrists of legends including Jacqueline Kennedy, Doris Duke and Diana Vreeland.  I’d forgotten how much editorial space magazines gave to jewelry in the 1960s. Here’s a taste of what we saw. I imagined others who saw this exhibit running over to Camilla’s spot at the show to scoop up some great pieces.

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Back at the Show, at Cavalier Galleries, Ron Cavalier had so much coolness from the era, including one of the last copies of Taschen’s beautiful Beatles limited edition boxed sets of “those” photos by the extraordinary Harry Benson. There were even 1965 Rolls Royce parts reconfigured to be coffee tables and wall art – the ultimate in recycling.

Taschen_Beatles_HarryBenson

Bringing things full circle things full circle, back at the Norton, we adored To Jane, Love Andy: Warhol’s First Superstar where that icon of the ’60s, Jane Holzer the muse/fashionista turned up everywhere from magazines to movies, and yes, she still lives in Palm Beach!
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Fittingly, we finished the day of with a piano performance piece by John Cage called 4’33” where you sit silently for 4-plus minutes and the audience
ambiance creates the piece.

If that isn’t something from the 1960s, nothing is. Hope you enjoyed. – Beth
Photos in this post: Taschen.com, CBSnews.com, interior design.net, architectural digest.com,  Beth Dempsey, Camilla Dietz Bergeron, ELLE Decor, Philippe Berry.