Tie It with a Bow

Spring brings travel, special events and celebrations like spring break, Mother’s Day, bridal showers, and graduations to name a few. Being ever the thoughtful Southerner, you know not to show up empty-handed!

This past week at Americas Mart, Steve showed a group of dedicated retail buyers several new ways to put together “The Ultimate Hostess Gift”, including a Holiday Jingle cocktail!

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Holiday Jingle Crush Cocktail

As a bonus, our fellow Butler University classmate and Delta Gamma sorority sister, Jill Miner, joined us.  Be sure to check out her award-winning bookstore in picturesque Gaylord, Michigan, Saturn Booksellers.

Back to the hostess gift!  Let’s deconstruct it and learn some tips.

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Ingredients for a food lovers gift

Steve says to think about your host.  Do they have any hobbies?  This gracious host has discovered cooking and frequently entertains friends and family.

Next, let’s find an unusual container instead of the standard gift bag.  We love this vivid blue melamine (unbreakable!) salad bowl.  Then we filled it with delicious pesto, gourmet salt and a pizza kit from Atlanta-based Bella Cucina.  Tuck in a matching blue tea towel for some extra love.  Now, let’s look at it all put together.

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Food Lovers Basket

Twirl some cellophane around it and tie it with a bow.  Now you’re ready to say Thank You and enjoy your time together.  Shop the look here.

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Tie it with a bow!

We’re going to share these ideas throughout the spring, so stay tuned for more wonderful ideas to wow your host.  Of course, if you’re pressed for time, our team at steve mckenzie’s is ready to prepare your hostess gifts for you.

Missed this seminar?  Keep track of our whereabouts, classes and events by following our  Facebook page and Instagram.

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!

Steve’s Style Studies: Modern

To us here at steve mckenzie’s, Monderisim is represented by the architecture and furniture design following World War II. It began as a response to the rapid advances in technology and how we could live using these new materials and manufacturing techniques.

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Ville Savoye by Le Corbusier

Modernism was founded in Architects such as Le Corbusier, a French-Swiss architect who designed iconic buildings like Ville Savoye. Le Corbusier sought to create structures and furniture that responded to the crowding of urban cities. His lines are both graceful, yet paired down and facilitate a tranquil living amongst the chaos of the city.

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Corbu LC04 Chaise Lounge

Steve and Jill consider themselves lucky to live with the Corbu LC04 Chaise Lounge, in hide, by Le Corbusier – it’s a showstopper!

Another modernist who really inspires Steve is Alvar Alto. He was a true renaissance man with accomplishments in architecture, design, textiles and glassware. His lines are timeless and their function is unparalleled.

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Alvar Alto’s Savoy Vase

Alto’s Savoy Vase in White glass for iittala is a go to wedding present for us; it’s beautiful on any table with just about any floral arrangement. Steve and Jill’s favorite is gardenia floating in their grey glass Savoy Vase.

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Arne Jacobsen’s iconic Egg Chair

Arne Jacobsen one of the founders of the Danish modern movement; again, a man of many disciplines of design. His architecture and furniture have become the icons of the modern movement. Steve would put an egg chair in every interior if he could. To him, it is the icon of the modern movement. Steve and Jill also live with an egg chair in a black boucle; always a popular seat at cocktail parties!

Ray-and-Charles-Eames
Ray and Charles Eames

Ray and Charles Eames come to mind next. A duo of unparalleled creativity, they really shaped how the United States moved into the modern world. From logos and art experiences, to furniture, architecture, and textiles. They really defined what modern means to the US.

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Herman DCW Moulded Plywood Chair

 

If you have not seen it, watch the documentary on their lives, “Charles and Ray Eames: The Architect and Painter.” They were an amazing force of influence. Steve and Jill live with their Herman DCW Moulded Plywood Chair in Walnut for Herman Miller – can you tell we have a thing for classic chairs here?!?

These are but of few of the modernists that inspire Steve and our work here at steve mckenzie’s. For us, to create spaces with interest and comfort, it is important to have several styles and periods represented. One of the best ways to bring in that feel is the juxtaposition of a modern chair or sideboard with Louis IV side chairs, etc. We’ve shared our love for the Danish Modern Furniture movement before, and are continuously drawn to the clean lines, honest woods and timeless style that truly represents what Modern means to us.
If we can help you introduce a new, Modern style into your home, please contact the McKenzie Design Team today!

Steve’s Style Studies: Transitional

To many, the Transitional design style is thought of as an update on a classic, or classic with a contemporary twist. Typically, transitional is a blend of styles, whose design results in a classic, timeless, and clean look. No wonder it’s a style we hear a lot of people asking for…
At steve mckenzie’s, Transitional is a balance of modern and traditional – we like to think of it as if we have a foot in each camp, a happy medium. It’s a style we understand, and feel confident working in.
James Sofa
The James Sofa – available at steve mckenzie’s
Our James Sofa fits this criteria and is at home in a traditional setting or a more modern setting, with its curved back, rounded arms, clean lines.
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Isamu Noguchi coffee table
Another transitional piece we adore is the Isamu Noguchi coffee table.  Introduced in 1948, the balance of sculptural form and a solid wood base makes it a beautiful and functional addition to a room or office.
Consider a vignette in which these two pieces are brought together… Lovely, timeless, clean – it’s TRANSITIONAL. At least according to Steve’s Style Studies.