The Iconic Carolina Herrera on Exhibit at SCAD FASH

Last week, Steve and Jill visited the SCAD FASH Museum of Fashion + Film for their “Refined Irreverence” exhibition, celebrating fashion industry icon Carolina Herrera and the 35th anniversary of the House of Herrera.

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As we’ve shared before, Steve and Jill are both high fashion appreciators, and in the business of interior design, many times what’s currently working in the fashion world will translate into what will be trending in the world of interior design.

© 2012 David Downton
© 2012 David Downton

Needless to say, this exhibition was inspirational on so many levels!

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From SCAF FASH:

Presented by the SCAD FASH Museum of Fashion + Film and the SCAD Museum of Art, this exhibition marks the first museum showing of Herrera’s work. Featuring new and vintage designs from Herrera’s 1981 inaugural collection to the present, “Refined Irreverence” includes more than 75 garments showcasing the designer’s modern, dynamic classics.

Since launching her first collection in 1981 at the behest of legendary Vogue editor Diana Vreeland, Venezuelan-born Herrera has become synonymous with effortless elegance and modern refinement. “I have a responsibility to the woman of today — to make her feel confident, modern and above all else beautiful,” Herrera said. Curated by Rafael Gomes, SCAD director of fashion exhibitions, “Refined Irreverence” includes runway looks, day wear, and bridal and red-carpet gowns worn by Michelle Obama, Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga, Tina Fey, Renée Zellweger and Lucy Liu, as well as ensembles from Herrera’s personal collection.

“Refined Irreverence” is curated by Rafael Gomes, SCAD director of fashion exhibitions.

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While enjoying the exhibit, Steve and Jill noted a few standout items…

  • Herrera’s designs are classy, comfortable and certainly functional – her use of pockets is brilliant and it’s obvious that to her (and we agree) – white blouses rule!
  • She experiments with new materials – digitally printed fabrics, printing on squares of foam, connecting them to build an amazing, large floral bridal skirt. Her appreciation for unique materials and how they work to create new fashion is evident and makes us want to be even more forward thinking with our own textile and interior designs.

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“I have a responsibility to the woman of today – to make her feel confident, modern and above all else beautiful.”

~ Carolina Herrera

Isn’t this a lovely sentiment? And it’s obvious, based on this exhibit and her work over the years, she is achieving her goal.

Refined Irreverence” is running through September 25, 2016 and we urge you to make a trip to SCAD FASH and experience Herrera’s work for yourself in this outstanding exhibition.

Fashionably Fabulous: An Interview with Hampden Clothing’s Stacy Smallwood

As many of you know, what’s trending in fashion oftentimes predicts what will be hot in interior design… Take that fact, and Jill’s love for fine quality, unique clothing, and you have an idea where steve mckenzie’s appreciation for high end fashion comes from.

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Recently, we hosted a pop up shop for Hampden Clothing, undeniably one of the country’s top boutiques, whose brick-and-mortar location is located on Charleston’s historic King Street. Hampden Clothing owner, Stacy Smallwood, was along for the pop up, and we took the opportunity to pick her brain for all of you!

Spoiler alert – she’s fabulous and has a brilliant mind for fashion and business. We think she’s in the right line of work. 😉 Scroll down and be captivated by Stacy and all she has to share:

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Stacy Smallwood
  • Which words best describe your aesthetic/style?

Evolving, Experimental, Simple, Confident

  • Please share a little about your favorite ensemble with us…

I’m not really attached to outfits – it really depends on my mood. I’m so busy, it’s hard to remember! I travel so much, so I know my go-to pieces, pack them, and know they work.

Rag & Bone Fleet Blazer, available at Hampdon Clothing
Rag & Bone Fleet Blazer, available at Hampdon Clothing

Tip – Stacy’s favorite staple item is a good blazer. It nips in at the waist without being a belt.

  • What are the sources of your inspiration?

Travel! When traveling, you’re able to see what others are really wearing. In our day to day lives, we see the same people and same looks – this can be conforming.

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Hampden Clothing – interior
  • Who are three people, alive or dead, you would invite to your dream dinner party?

Rene Brown – Obsessed with her right now! Creativity, and vulnerability. We see so much vulnerability in the dressing room; it gets really raw when women look at themselves in the mirror.

Gwyneth Paltrow – Lifestyle and food.

Chelsea Handler – Have fun!

Miuccia Prada
Miuccia Prada
  • Favorite quote?

“What you wear is how you present yourself to the world, especially today, when human contacts are so quick. Fashion is instant language.” ~ Miuccia Prada, famed Italian fashion designer (Miu,
Miu, Prada)

  • What are some pieces in your wardrobe you can’t live without?

A good bag and good shoes – finish the look!

  • Are there any rules you follow when pulling a look together?

It’s all about proportion. If you wear a flowy top, choose a skinny bottom and vice versa.

Don’t limit yourself by age, but be appropriate. Take your cues from your peers and peer media, not your teenagers. If you’re limiting yourself with your wardrobe, where else may you be limiting yourself?!?

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  • What trends are you seeing?

For fall, underlying Bohemian style. Velvet, burgundy. Cold shoulder and off the shoulder continues. 90’s rocker girl – chokers, plaid, monochromatic. Red. Turtlenecks – in the south find a tissue weight short sleeve option to pair under a sleeveless summer dress and bring it into fall!

  • If stranded on a desert island, what’s the one thing you couldn’t live without?

Iced lattes!

  • What’s a piece of advice you’d share with someone looking to break into the fashion indistry?

You don’t need a fashion degree – get a business degree! Find a good mentor and polish up your math skills.

THANK YOU to Stacy and Hampden Clothing for gracing our showroom with your pop up shop and for this fun interview – it was such a treat hosting them all here and learning more about Stacy!!

Harpers Bazaar April 2016_The Insiders

Sidenote – Stacy and Hampden Clothing are part of a select board, which Harper’s Bazaar works with to determine what may be featured in the magazine. Pretty awesome, right?!?

We hope Stacy and her thoughts on fashion have inspired you to reconsider your wardrobe a bit and how it works for you!

Have a Fantastic Father’s Day!

Here’s to all of the dads in our lives – it’s your day, enjoy it!!

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Sidenote… How great are these vintage Gibson advertisements we’ve been finding lately?!?

And don’t forget to wish all the dads, grandpas, uncles, and father figures a very happy day today!

Five Fantastic Finds for Father’s Day…

It’s only a few days away – have you found something for your father?!? Fear not, your tardiness will not impact your thoughtfulness… Let us take care of a fantastic gift for dear ‘ol dad! In fact, we have five finds we think your father will love:

Leather Wrapped Igloo Cooler

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Is there anything cooler (pun intended) right now than a totally rad cooler?!? Forget those basic models and go for the Rolls Royce of coolers for pops – a leather wrapped igloo cooler! The ultimate in form and function, this drool-worthy cooler will be the crown jewel at any tailgate or outdoor function. Heck, dad may just keep it indoors for his cold brews, and, thanks to the beautiful leather wrapping, mom won’t have a problem with that!

Duke Messenger Bag in Waxed Canvas

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He’s over the briefcase, but still needs something to tote to and from the office? Enter the Duke messenger bag. Pictured here in Dark Oak, this rugged bag featured a magnet closure, interior zippered pocket and three outside pockets for east access. The cross body style leaves your hands free.

Biscotti Tote Bag

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This green waxed canvas tote bag is the epitome of handsome. Leather handles, a fully lined interior and both inside and outside pockets make this the ultimate, low profile tote. It’s spacious enough for the essentials, but won’t leave the wearer weighed down. Our Biscotti tote bag is ready for anything and only looks better with age!

Cast Iron Mermaid Bottle Opener

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Add some personality to dad’s next poker night… As soon as the mermaid appears, so will the fun! A definite conversation starter, this bottle opener is a serious piece of equipment. Crafted from super sturdy cast iron, this babe will open even the toughest of caps. Watch a smile appear on dad’s face when he unwraps this gift on Father’s Day!

Acrylic Tumbler

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Whether your dad is a discerning beverage connoisseur, or tends to be a bit clumsy, this is the glassware for him! Combining the look of cut crystal with the durability of acrylic, this tumbler will become his go-to glass… The cobalt blue color is beautifully versatile, which mom will appreciate. As an added bonus, it comfortably holds 16 fluid ounces!

So – what’ll be your pick this Father’s Day?!? Remember, even if you don’t see just the right gift on this list, contact our team today and we’ll be sure to help you select something perfect for your father. Plus, we always offer the option to ship anything and will include gift wrapping!

What’re you waiting on. Take care of that Father’s Day gift right away!

Tastemaker Tuesday – Annette Joseph

Sounds the trumpets – we’re absolutely thrilled to be featuring our friend, and acclaimed stylist and entertaining expert, Annette Joseph as our latest Tastemaker here on the blog for steve mckenzie’s!!

If you’re a part of the home design and luxury lifestyle industry, you already know who Annette is. But, for those of you who may not be familiar, we recently shared a bit about her and her upcoming photography workshop, taking place this fall in Berlin, where Steve will be joining in as the branding and social media expert, along with Christina Wedge, an amazing lifestyle and interiors photographer.


In addition to her photography and style workshops, Annette has also authored a fantastic book, “Picture Perfect Parties,” which we urge you to check out!

If you can’t tell already, we’re so excited to have this opportunity to share all about Annette with you – so, without further ado, we give you the newest member of our Tastemaker family:

Annette Joseph
Annette Joseph

Annette Joseph is an expert on entertaining, cooking, and styling. She regularly appears on The Today Show and Martha Stewart Sirius Radio. Her recipes and party ideas have been featured in Better Homes and Gardens, Epicurious, DesignSponge, MSN, The Huffington Post, Southern Living, and Woman’s Worldamong others. Annette now enjoys sharing the many ideas, tips and tricks she has gained as a nationally recognized photo stylist/producer specializing in lifestyle editorial images for magazines. With over 20 years experience, her expertise includes photo styling for interiors, food propping and special production projects. Annette currently lives in Atlanta, Georgia with her husband and 2 children.

1. Three words that describe your aesthetic?

Utilitarian, Masculine, Italian

picture perfect parties - Annette Joseph

2. Would you please share a little about your favorite space/project to date?

Oh gosh, there are so many. But I think shooting my own cookbook, Picture Perfect Parties, was probably the most exciting. Having total control of the aesthetic is a dream come true for a photo stylist and producer. My team was amazing we used my home, the home of Bill Peace and Innerpieces Antique Warehouse as locations. We pretty much had a blast everyday!


3. What’s the source(s) of your inspiration?

I live in Italy part of the year it’s a huge part of my life and my style inspiration.

4. Name three people (alive or dead) you’d invite to your dream dinner party…

Only three? Okay… Wes Anderson, Pablo Picasso, Julia Child

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5. A piece of/type of furniture you couldn’t live without?

I love chairs, I own lots of them. I actually have to stop myself from buying chairs.

6. Do you follow a particular set of rules when mixing textures, finishes, etc. – how do they work for you?

I am pretty much from the gut. I have a natural ability to mix textures and colors in a design composition. Having said this, I hate color themes, so I tend to design with textures in mind not color. Italians are not about color themes at all when they decorate, they are more about textures and color composition and quality, which is completely different than designing with just color in mind, it may be why I love Italian design so much. I feel like getting away from strict color themes is something American designers need to work on.

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7. Trending… What is something you are currently “into” and something you are “over?”

Right now I am designing our new home in Italy. Although it’s over 500 years old, so it’s not exactly new, but I am into external wiring and vintage light switches. Over? I am over Jonathan Adler, he needs to update his home furnishings collection. I dislike whimsy in interior design.

8. How does artwork fit into your designs?

We collect photography so that’s a must in every home. My father was an oil painter so only original artwork has a place on our walls.

9. What would be the one thing you would have if you were stranded on a deserted island?

Olive oil, that way everything would be tasty and it’s a great moisturizer as well.

10. Please share a piece of advice you’d offer to someone looking to break into the interior design industry.

The same advice I offer photo stylists, apprentice or assist someone you admire for at least 2 years. Travel as much as you can. Put in your time, work hard, read a lot, listen, and pay attention to details. Be humble, and kind and professional. Everything takes time, so be patient. In this day and age everything is so immediate but learning an artistic craft and feeling confident takes time. Enjoy the process, life is a journey, not a competition.

As much as we appreciated Annette before this little q&a session, we love her even more now – and have realized more similarities than we initially thought… Her love for chairs being one of those areas. Steve is addicted too!

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After reading this post, you’re probably as taken with Annette as we are – and for good reason! Meet and learn from her in person, along with Steve and Christina, at her Berlin photographic workshop. It promises to be an unforgettable experience!!

Thank you so much to Annette for her participation in this series and for her friendship and inspiring work!

Plan an Atlanta staycation!

WalletHub recently shared a listing of 2016’s best and worst cities for staycations… And Atlanta came in as the 6th best city for a staycation!

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Now, we know Atlanta is pretty fabulous – there’s lots to do, a deep sense of history, fantastic restaurants and shopping – the list could go on and on. Obviously, the folks at WalletHub agree. Their number crunchers compared the 150 largest cities across 28 key metrics. WalletHub’s data set includes such metrics as movie and bowling costs, golf courses, frozen-yogurt shops and spas per capita. Pretty neat Atlanta earned the spot as the 6th best staycation city on the list!

And we couldn’t agree more… Here are our thoughts of the top places to stay and things to do as you plan your in-town staycation:

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The Mandarin Oriental Atlanta promises luxurious, fabulous accommodations and is currently in the #1 spot on TripAdvisor’s top Atlanta hotels list. The rooms are sumptuous and the attention to detail is stellar.

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Now, if you’re searching for a cozier place to stay, look no further than the Stonehurst Place bed and breakfast. This hidden gem is located in Midtown and it will truly serve as your home away from home. The rooms there feature stunning furnishings and museum-worthy original works of art! Bonus – you don’t have to make the bed.

Atlanta Westside illustration by Nik Neves
Atlanta Westside illustration by Nik Neves

In addition to shopping at steve mckenzie’s and exploring all Atlanta’s Westside neighborhood has to offer, there are tons of amazing tourist attractions our team recommends…

GA Aquarium
Georgia Aquarium
Atlanta Botanical Gardens
Atlanta Botanical Gardens
Oakland Cemetary
Oakland Cemetary
High Museum of Art
High Museum of Art
Ponce City Market
Ponce City Market

And there you have it, a quick rundown of where we’d stay and what we’d do on our Atlanta staycation! Thanks to WalletHub’s listing of best/worst staycation cities for inspiring this post… We hope we’ve inspired some of our local readers to become tourists in our own city – or if you’re from out of town, we hope to have sparked some interest in planning a visit to Atlanta. Remember to stop by steve mckenzie’s while enjoying Atlanta. We promise the tea here is cool, as is our current selection of unique, authentic souvenir options!

Tastemaker Tuesday – Zoe Gowen

We’re back with another fun Tastemaker feature, and this time around, we’re featuring a shelter publication and design industry maven – Zoë Gowen! She’s a true gem of a person, and someone Steve has known since his Larson-Juhl days. We appreciate her love of art and strong Southern vernacular. We think you’ll enjoy getting to know Zoë and her take on interior design…

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Zoë Gowen

As Southern Living’s Senior Homes Editor, Zoë Gowen canvases the South looking for the best in decorating and inspiration for the magazine’s 16 million readers. She has helped to launch the careers of designers, stylists, architects, and other rising creative talents in the world of design and architecture. Before joining Southern Living, she worked at an art gallery in Washington, D.C., specializing in museum-quality, nineteenth- and twentieth-century art. A graduate of Sewanee: University of the South, she majored in American Studies with a focus in Southern Culture and Art History.

1. Three words that describe your aesthetic?

Bright, relaxed, classic

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Design by Janet Gregg

2. Would you please share a little about your favorite space?

Growing up, you’d always find me sprawled out reading in the living room. It sat in the front of the house with a lot of windows on one side and had two big arched openings to the dining room and the hallway on two  other sides, but not many people would go in there. It was the perfect place to be close to the action, but not overwhelmed by it (there were always a lot of people and a lot of activity in my house). Thinking about it now and picturing my current house, you can easily see bits my old favorite room’s cantaloupe colored walls and the chintz covered sofa.

Design by Richard Norris courtesy of HouseBeautiful
Design by Richard Norris courtesy of HouseBeautiful

3. What’s the source(s) of your inspiration?

I’d honestly say that I get a lot of interiors inspiration from reading magazines both new ones and the one-zillion that I own. My friends and co-workers are an interactive source of inspiration. They never fail to encourage (or sometimes discourage) me from executing whatever crazy idea I’m pondering. Lastly, I can’t understate how many ideas I get just from people watching. I actually look forward to airport layovers. There are so many people from all walks of life to observe!

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4. Name three people (alive or dead) you’d invite to your dream dinner party…

Oh wow! This is a fun question. I could take this in a lot of different directions. First off, apologies to all of my deceased family members who are reading this! You know I’d prefer to catch up with you all. For mass reader appeal though, I’ll limit my dream dinner party guests to famous dead Southerners since I work for Southern Living.

Thomas Jefferson – I’m a big history and architecture nerd, so I’d really like to ask him about his design decisions in the 18th century. Without him, would our government buildings all look like Colonial Williamsburg?

Flannery O’Connor – Is there anyone with a drier sense of humor? She could also give me some writing tips.

Elvis – He’d have to wear his white Vegas jumpsuit. I’m from Memphis and a big fan of his and Graceland. Ideally, this dinner party would take place in the clouds inside the Lisa Marie, but we wouldn’t eat peanut butter and banana sandwiches (yick). Instead, we’d have my favorite foods: chicken salad, shrimp remoulade, watermelon, and chocolate chip cookies.

Design by Celerie Kemble; Photo by Laurey W. Glenn courtesy of SouthernLiving.com
Design by Celerie Kemble; Photo by Laurey W. Glenn courtesy of SouthernLiving.com

5. A piece of/type of furniture you couldn’t live without?

A sofa. It really is where I spend the most time when I’m home. I believe whole-heartedly that a sofa should be both comfortable and pretty. Yes — it’s possible! I just got back from High Point Market and I’m finally going to pull the trigger on a very chic sectional. I’m debating between a floral pattern, a stripe, or a solid coral with trim. Please advise on your thoughts in the comments below.

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Design by Ada Saul; Photo by Laurey W. Glenn courtesy of SouthernLiving.com

6. Do you recommend people follow a particular set of rules when mixing textures, finishes, etc.?

I think the only “real rule” is balance: offset pattern with some whitespace to prevent visual chaos, mix in modern pieces with a trove of antiques to keep your house from feeling like a museum, and so on.

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Design by Ruthie Sommers

7. Trending… What is something you are currently “into” and something you are “over?”

I hate to preach, but decorating is too expensive to follow trends. You should really figure out what you love and buy from there. Of course, I do fall into trend traps though. Right now, I’m obsessing over daybeds and painted faux-finishes like stries and tortoise. Bold geometric patterns and bright lacquers are on my back burner.

Courtesy of Barton Perrira
Courtesy of Barton Perrira

8. What would be the one thing you would have if you were stranded on a deserted island?

My eyeglasses. I wouldn’t be able to see anything without them and they could also help me start a fire.

Design by Richard Norris courtesy of HouseBeautiful
Design by Richard Norris courtesy of HouseBeautiful

9. Please share a piece of advice you’d offer to someone looking to break into the interior design industry.

Keep your eyes and ears open to everything. The more you see the better for you to develop your eye. When it comes to getting a job, approach the best people. Once you’re there, make yourself indispensable to ensure you stay there.

That last tidbit is smart – become indispensable. Right on! Oh, and we love Zoë’s dream dinner party foods… Bring on the shrimp remoulade and watermelon!

Thank you, thank you to Zoë for allowing this glimpse into her design-centric mind from the perspective of a magazine editor. And a very happy Tastemaker Tuesday to all!