Last week, I had the honor and privilege to participate in the annual Orchid Dinner, hosted by the New York Botanical Gardens at the Plaza Hotel. It may sound weird, but setting elaborate tablescapes and entertaining guests is one of my favorite things to do in life. Perhaps, this is a trait that I inherited from my late grandmother, Honey Rackman, whose home I grew up in. Her tables were always donned with extravagant China and crystals, and she entertained all with the most gracious smile. Being invited to design one the NYBG’s esteemed tables alongside some of the countries most prestigious designers, including Jeff Leatham, Bennett Leifer, Brittany Bromley, Brynn Olson, and many other, was an honor and a dream come true. This is my third experience being involved in or honored at The Plaza Hotel and I truly felt like Eloise.
I finally had the opportunity to collaborate at the annual Orchid Dinner with a dear friend of mine, the uber talented event designer and producer, Josh Spiegel, of Birch Event Designs. Together we created a bespoke, modern, and truly unique tablescape that was one for the books. Our tablescape featured my ‘Arc Linear’ tile in black & white as chargers, my newly launched ESC trademark butterfly napkin rings, and my wallpaper pattern ‘Pura Vida with Butterflies’ in black and pink, printed as the tablecloth. I complimented my designs with some of my favorite tablescape accoutrement from my own home – ‘Eliza Stripe’ Lenox by Melli Mello, Moser Lavender Glass, CB2 Gold Cutlery. By far, the most impressive aspect of the table was the jaw-dropping, over-the-top, magnificent orchid centerpiece that was put together by Josh’s team in under three hours.
The best part of the evening was wining and dining with the incredible guests. Most particularly, the unbelievable women seated at my table. I had the editors from Town and Country, Guest of a Guest, Du Jour Magazine, and Avenue all seated by my side. In my industry, working with press is typically very systematic and procedural. However, having the opportunity to get to know these incredible and ambitious women on a more personal note, in a more relaxed and friendly environment, was truly an incredible and one-of-a-kind experience. Very often, we’re so engulfed by our work that we forget personal elements of life. The best part of it all is, I woke up the next morning to find my table and photograph headlining the Guest of a Guest recap of the dinner. PINCH ME!!! Followed by a mention in Avenue, WhitewallArt, Du Jour and THE NY TIMES SUNDAY STYLES. But actually, a beautiful picture of Rea and I dancing right on the page with Hillary Clinton, Diane Von Furstenburg, Karlie Kloss, Gillian Hearst, Carrie Barratt, and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand – does this officially mean Elizabeth Sutton Collection has made it???
Meeting Jeff Leatham at the annual Orchid Dinner, perhaps the world’s most renowned floral designer, and hearing his speech about being inspired by his father and mother was truly touching. Being approached by the chairman of the NYBG to tell me that I was the best dressed guest in the room almost made me cry (huge shoutout to Gracy Accad). Being given a $100 bill on the street by the producer of Superman and Pamela Anderson’s ex-husband for being the best dressed person in NYC – definitely a first, but I’ll take it. Sharing in this occasion with my business partner, Rea and my friends who attended was really a dream come true.
I need to give a humongous thank you to a number of people. First and foremost to my dear friend, Ahuva Levy from Battalion PR for recommending me to participate. I am forever grateful for this opportunity. To to my unbelievable glam squad who made me look and feel beautiful even though I was sick as could be. Thanks to the uber talented Lisa Mitchell who did my hair and Dorit Gross for the amazing makeup. To the incredible Gracy Accad, who is the designer of mine and Rea’s magnificent dresses. Thank you to IV Drips who came to give me an IV infusion to rejuvenate me. Shoutout to Sanjay Kasliwal for the the magnificent emerald and diamond necklace that I never wanted to take off, and last but not least, a huge thank you to my favorite photographer Peter Koloff for capturing it all.
The night was magical. It was a dream come true. I look forward to many more opportunities such as the annual Orchid Dinner. Can’t wait to go check out Jeff Leatham’s Orchid Show at the NYBG, open now, and to the Kusama exhibition opening this summer.