Orchids and photography

The Botanical Gardens is one of New York’s prized possessions and Tuesday night’s Orchid Dinner was really magical. What made it extra special was the fact that it was held at the Rainbow Room, which holds so many memories for me like attending the premier of Twyla Tharp’s Sinatra pieces more than 25 years ago. The dinner was a really wonderful and glamorous event and my neighbors at the dinner table were editor-in-chief of Veranda, Lisa Newsom, with whom I had great discussions about design and everything else, and Jane Pauley, who is always interesting to speak with. I grow orchids myself that bloom – which in New York is quite a rarity  - mainly due to my housekeeper who sprays them with water  all the time.

What a great evening!

My table top design for the orchid dinner.

Yesterday I had an all-day shoot with Veranda Magazine, photographing one of my jobs with the Editor-at-Large, Carolyn Englefield. It’s so nice to step out of my designer mode into the photography one, putting that side of my brain to work. It’s wonderful to look through the camera and see how the light hit the arm of the chair at that moment and be able to capture it. For somebody with dyslexia to fully understand the mechanics of taking a photograph, which, trust me, took a long time to sink in, is a great experience.

I’m waiting for the film to come in and I always keep my fingers crossed that it’ll come out the way I saw it on the shoot.

Travel with me!

After many months of planning I am so proud to be launching my new initiative today – www.vicentewolftravel.com

This comes from wanting to share what I’ve loved so much over many years with like-minded people and I look forward to taking ten guests with me to Thailand this Fall to explore the markets of Bangkok and Chiang Mai. As part of the ‘package’ I offer guests an optional in-home consultation before we leave where we’ll analyze the space and ascertain what opportunities can be found in the travels. We then will meet in Thailand and I will teach my fellow travelers how I look at objects, focusing on the core elements in my book, Crossing Boundaries
Composition • Scale • Color • Contrast • Light 

Of course we’ll be staying at my favorite hotels and there will also be time to visit my best hidden haunts, including antique shops, accessory and furniture stores, flower markets and the tailor where I have many of my clothes made. All the travel arrangements will be handled by my favorite agent, Cathy Whitworth – she handles all my trips around the globe and is amazing. Once we get back from the trip, I’ll assist my co-travelers when they install their purchases into their homes, ensuring that they bring a piece of the world into their daily lives.

Busy week!

I’ve been asked to be an advisor for the Parsons student group involved in this year’s Diffa Dining by Design event. I went to their concept presentation today where we discussed three ideas that they had come up with. It’s wonderful to work with students and see how they view design. Of course the hardest part for me is forcing myself to keep my big mouth shut and not tell them how to do things, rather allowing them to experience the creative process, figuring it out as they go along. My only advice was to push the envelope, to think of the fact that we’re working for a charity – spend less so more money ends up in the pockets of the charity – and to think of our times…what is going to make the strongest impact? I will see on March 6th how my advice was taken and will keep you posted.

Another charity initiative I was involved with had me sold for the price of a dinner with three lovely ladies and a husband from Houston, TX. We had a lively political discussion, a homecooked meal, many, many bottles of wine and champagne and I took them with me today to hear the presentation at Parsons. Renea is an interior designer in Houston and they had a great time browsing in VW Home. They’ve also asked me to sign them on to come to Thailand with me in September (more about this on Monday!) – it must have been the wine!

Yesterday I presented photographs of Jerome Abel Seguin’s beautiful home in Bali that I photographed for Interior Design. It’s so satisfying to see my work laid out in front of an established editor-in-chief, discussing it from a professional point of view and feeling satisfied that what I presented was up to par with the magazine’s standards. I’ll be sure to share some images with you here once it’s been published.

Next week Tuesday I’ll be attending the Orchid Dinner at The Rainbow Room. I was asked by Veranda magazine to design a table top to benefit the New York Botanical Garden. While I was in Hong Kong I felt really inspired about this project and visited a store that sold lanterns and celebratory things for the Chinese New Year. For ten bucks I was able to buy paper baskets, lanterns, fake money and tons of other paper decorations to use in the table setting. The staff and I put their heads together this afternoon, used some masking tape and a broom handle and created the basic setting, which will be spruced up with my favorite flower (orchids, naturally) on Tuesday in time for the cocktail at 7pm.

The word on everyone’s lips today is Sunday’s Oscars! I was invited to attend a party hosted by Cindy Allen, honoring David Rockwell. It’s going to be fun to enjoy the Awards with 50 like-minded folk, all drinking good wine and enjoying popcorn in a great Rockwell-designed setting. For best wardrobe I’m rooting for The Duchess, which was produced by a friend of mine. Who’s on your ballot form! Let me know.

I know you’re wondering if I ever work for a living, or is it all about travel and special events! Trust me, these are the things that bring a sense of creativity and spontaneity into the office, which to me are very important. It’s great to deal with some fantasy while one deals with the harsh realities of life.

Copyright © 2013. All Rights Reserved.Vicente Wolf Associates, Inc.