ORCHID MANIA: NYBG'S ORCHID DINNER

by Marisa Marcantonio

Every winter, exotic orchids provide the tablesetting magic for The New York Botanical Garden's Orchid Dinner. The glorious event, generously underwritten by Veranda, BNY Mellon and Tiffany and Co, is a way to celebrate and support one of New York's best loved horticultural treasures, The New York Botanical Garden. “We were thrilled to sponsor the Orchid Dinner for our 5th consecutive year,” said Veranda editor in chief Dara Caponigro. “The evening supports the New York Botanical Garden’s vital work in conservation and education and we are pleased to have helped the Garden attract so much creative talent in support of its mission. This event is always a showcase for some of the most extraordinary design.” If you have not been to the gardens, go! The stunning Orchid Show that opens March 3rd draws quite a crowd from far and wide, as does their beautifully-edited gift shop.
For the table designs, interior and floral designers start with the delicate looking blooms, and build their design story around the flower-- sometimes using masses upon masses of them. This year, the tables were as divine as ever, with orchid arrangements created out of every possible variety and hue soaring heavenward. Here is a sampling of several tablescapes, with more to follow tomorrow.
You may get orchid fever, watch out:

Stephen Elrod for Brunschwig & Fils created a global fantasy land using the newest bold Brunschwig prints. Notice the giraffe centerpiece holding a lantern in its mouth. Stephen always outdoes himself.


Reds yellows and pinks step up to the splendid giraffe.

David Easton created a low lying arrangement with Maidenhair ferns and tall Phaelenopsis.


Laura Vinroot Poole with John Lupton, Andrew Thomas and Leontine Linens had a blast of brights and a giant red urn filled with chartreuse and red orchids.



Connie of Plaza Flowers had a true piece de resistance, pairing a large spray of deep red orchids with brushed metals.


Philip Gorrivan for Lalique went for white and clear.

Flower School New York's Felipe Sastre created a palm tree out of Phaelenopsis.


LMD Lewis Miller Design combined clear glass, a metallic table skirt and crisp white orchids.


Bowman Dahl Floral & Event Design worked with gray and mercury glass to go along with the fanciful puff of orchids atop a long stemmed vase.


Baccarat by Rafael de Cardenas/Architecture at Large used intricately intertwined orchids in vibrant tones for a rain forest effect.


Michael Walter for Lexington Gardens created a gorgeous towering waterfall of garden tools and potted orchids that was spectacular.


Robert Marinelli, RMID Enterprises, Inc. mixed a matte burlap cloth with hits of fuchsia and a glittery low centerpiece of a log with orchids sprouting from it, pure woodlands fantasy.


Campion Platt rang in the Chinese New Year with low orchids and a fanciful multi-hued paper dragon.



MagnaFlora Design | Events had a showstopping low centerpiece of just purple orchids.



Guests got to take home a mini orchid.

Roric Tobin for Geoffrey Bradfield Inc. went on safari.




GO ON A STYLISH HOLIDAY SHOPPING SPREE IN NYC

by Marisa Marcantonio

As the Christmas shopping deadline nears, why not hit Lex and allay your fears? With shopping list in hand, and deadline to meet, buy all your gifts and find something neat. Here is your roadmap for a stroll of Upper East Side stores where you are sure to come up with creative and special gifts for everyone on your list.

Begin your day getting a blowout at the Varin Salon at 762 Madison Avenue.

Yann Varin will give you a glam updo for the big holiday shindig or polished coif for shopping Madison.

Your chair awaits.

For serious big deal antiques, visit Louis Bofferding and hear him tell great tales of each piece and its provenance.

Swing by to see Connie at Plaza Flowers at 944 Lexington Avenue and order a red and green arrangement to be delivered.

Choose from festive red berry branches...

Adorable miniature trees are great for apartment living.

Flats of Paperwhites on their way out the door.

How can you not think of the warm days of summer when looking at this arrangement?

Stroll down the block to Mecox Gardens
at 962 Lexington Avenue where the windows don their best swags of greenery.
The shop is filled with well-edited home accessories including candles, lamps and books that would all make nice presents.

Up the street at 1011, Lexington Gardens does it up-- from ornaments to arrangements to garden statuary-- their holiday mood is infectious.

A white winter wonderland scene.

Treillage, the Bunny Williams home emporium for tabletop, decorative accessories and entertaining elements, usually sets the table near the window to enthrall passersby. The table is always beautifully arranged, it is as if guests were about to be seated.

Golden wire wreathes hang above a marble-topped console.

Another round table is filled with goodies-- Bunny's new book, Scrapbook for Living, a Spitzmiller Gourd Centerpiece and trees with tiny glass beads that look even nicer by candlelight.

A pair of gold trees flank a classical sculpture and Bee Line Lamps.

A small, shimmering decorative accent tree sits next to a great new book, Private Gardens of Connecticut.

Sit down for a ladies lunch at Swifty's. With a peach decorating scheme, the soft palette is ever-flattering and designed by a ladies who lunch favorite, Mario Buatta. Their curried chicken salad is always good.

Archivia Books at 993 Lexington Avenue, is Cynthia Conigliaro's top notch bookshop is filled to the brim with design and fashion books. You just want it all!

The counter at Archivia in a rare lull. The walls are lined with every title you covet- from rare Billy Baldwin tomes to Monacelli Press's latest intro in the home, garden, art and fashion arena.

A long table anchors the layout. Well lit with reading lamps, the tables are filled with titles you can peruse.

Pretty architectural notecards from Bernd Dams and Andrew Zega, the authors of Chinoiseries. Love these.

The window of Cove Landing, right next to Archivia, is great for peeking inside-- a clear view of some the best edited pieces in the city.

Angus Wilkie and Len Morgan have hung a beautiful cluster of silver ornaments in the window that catch the sunlight beautifully.

Make your way downtown to Ankasa's flagship store at 135 E 65th Street. Known for their elaborate Indian embroidery, the shop is arranged in vignettes by color, and the stage is set in winter white. Filled with decorative throw pillows, their upholstery collection, cashmere throws and gifty items, the assortment is lush and cozy.

Photo courtesy of Via Quadronno
End the day with a seriously good cappuccino at Via Quadronno at 25 East 73rd, where Milano meets New York.