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Plating: The Beauty of Enkee Ceramics

Enkee Ceramics is dedicated to making handcrafted pottery that makes each and every meal feel like something magical.

A Rooftop Soirée

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A rooftop party is quintessentially New York. Gathering with friends overlooking the city’s view of skyscrapers, apartments sitting atop each other like pieces in a Tetris game, and public and street art as far as the eye can see, those moments on the roof are a celebration of all the city has to offer. We take you inside our rooftop party celebrating our squad of New York women who inspire.

Chelsea is known for art and the amazing architecture of the High Line. It’s also home to some of the most beautiful views of New York. Standing upon any rooftop and you can see the beauty of the city’s architecture all aglow in the evening light. It’s here where we decided to throw an intimate soirée with the women from our She’s So AphroChic campaign.

On a warm New York evening, the rooftop was decorated with a colorful array of AphroChic pieces. White sofas were filled with cushions in shades of fuchsia, deep blue, black and white. Baskets handmade in Rwanda became the perfect catchall for pieces like napkins and flatware. On the table, guests were treated to charcuterie, local fresh fruits and wine, and lots of good conversation. The smell of lavender wafted through the air, freshly planted on the rooftop deck.

As Beyonce’s Formation played in the background, guests talked about their creative paths, their little ones, and most importantly about the beauty of Black women gathering together. And how special it was to have a gathering of these women in particular, many who have broken the mold in their industry – a magazine editor, fashion designer, costume designer, model, floral designer, DIYer and author.

It was a night showcasing some serious Black Girl Magic. Just another evening surrounded by some of the most talented people you know in the city that never sleeps.

Guest List
Derica Cole Washington
Emily Howard Kudva
Maiysha
Krystle De Santos
Jessica Cumberbatch Anderson
Nana Yaa Asare-Boadu
Courtney Arrington Baldwin

Photographer Chinasa Cooper
Videographer Drew Wesley
Location Home of Genevieve Gorder that was generously opened to us.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

A Cultural Lens On Floral Design

Kathleen Hyppolite of Kat Flower and Emily Howard of Phileanor know floral design. The two women, who have recently partnered to form, The Floral Salon, are among Brooklyn’s top floral designers. Creating naturally whimsical arrangements, they are part of a new generation of floral designers informed by today’s cultural aesthetic. Never too fussy, their designs are inspired by the maker movement that can be seen throughout the borough, with a focus on the organic, the artisan and the handmade.”The work I do with flowers tends to be gestural, but not too wild, complex, but not busy, and feminine without being prissy,” says Emily. “My arrangements imbue their settings with a sophisticated, grown-up whimsy that I think a lot of clients are looking for these days.”

In a recent shoot that we produced for ELLEDECOR.com, the two shared their point of view on new floral design trends for 2016. Their arrangements nestled among beautiful tabletop displays with vintage china at You & Yours Fine Vintage in Greenpoint, the designers shared how today’s cultural aesthetics are resulting in more relaxed arrangements where the simple shapes and movement of the flowers shine. “I try to use the same approach with flowers as I would food,” remarks Kathleen. “Using fresh, seasonal elements to create a thoughtful and natural design that captures each bloom’s charm, grace, uniqueness and beauty. My style is textural, personal, with notes of romance and whimsy.”

From the bold tropical arrangement created by Kathleen, to the soft and disparate color palette that can be seen in Emily’s arrangement of antique peonies, the two share floral design trends that embrace color, texture and a new cultural aesthetic. For the full article visit ELLEDECOR.com.

Produced by AphroChic
Florals by Phileanor and Kat Flower
Styling by Angela Belt
Photography by Patrick Cline

Inside The AphroChic x Guildery Launch Event

In early October we gathered with friends at one of the hippest new spots in Brooklyn for a launch event to celebrate our company’s first licensed collection – The AphroChic Collection by Guildery. To make it even more fun, we decided why not do a photo shoot with one of our favorite home decor outlets, Elle Decor, to add to the festivities. The celebration, held at Ode to Babel, provided a way for guests to experience the AphroChic brand on a number of levels, from decor, to food and music. Gathering a diverse group friends representing fashion, art and design, it was truly a magical Brooklyn night.

Epitomizing our focus on global culture and style, we designed the evening with unique elements from several cultures within the African Diaspora in mind. The dining table was lined in one of our latest designs, Ndop. The pattern is based upon Ndop cloth, a traditional relief dying method used by the Bamileke of Cameroon. Napkins had a specifically African-American touch made with our Silhouette fabric featuring women with afros. Beneath the tables a collection of Moroccan rugs from Woven Accents were lined to create warmth, and add a sense of coziness to the intimate fall affair. The geometric prints of the Beni Ourain rugs were also a perfect complement to the textiles and origami dinnerware on the table. Behind the tables, to add texture, we created a Juju Hat wall installation with a collection of neutral and natural feather hats from Authentic Africa in Harlem. Stemless glassware from World Market added to the festive celebration. Metallic gold paint on the bottom of each glass added a glow to the table. And soft light was provided by ILLUME’s majestic glass, and demi and pillar mercury glass candles in a mix of gold and silver metallics on the table. The final element, gorgeous floral arrangements by Phileanor that added a sophisticated pop of color.

Taking a page from our book REMIX, where music playlists were featured for each house tour, we wanted guests to not only see what AphroChic is in terms of design and styling for the evening, but to hear it in the music as well. We invited our friend, Grammy-nominated progressive soul R&B recording artist, Maiysha, to perform songs that represented the AphroChic vibe. She serenaded guests, accompanied only by acoustic guitar, with songs from her first album including Alchemy and You Don’t Know, as well as covers of Peter Gabriel’s Sledgehammer. The Minneapolis native also included a nod to her hometown with an inspiring cover of Prince’s When You Were Mine.

The final element of the evening was the food which endeavored to allow guests to literally taste what the AphroChic brand is about. Chef Rashad Frazier of Pulled Together, created a savory soul food menu for the evening, reflecting the brand’s soulful aesthetic. Dishes included: braised pork shoulder atop cornbread, a sweet potato puree and apple ginger chutney, and for dessert, a warm apple cobbler with vanilla bean ice cream that excited all our tastebuds.

The evening was not only special because we launched a new collection, but because of those we shared it with. It was absolutely one of our favorite evenings – a celebration of diversity and culture that we don’t see reflected too often. It was truly an AphroChic night. Read more about the evening on Elle Decor.

Photographer: Patrick Cline

Satya Twena’s Paris Rocker Chic Hat Party

Working in New York is cool. It’s not just because this is by far one of the greatest cities in the world, but because it’s a place where literally anything you dream up can become reality. That’s what happened with the hat party we produced for Lonny Magazine this spring. The event was held at our friend Satya Twena’s millinery here in Manhattan. On what was a dark and stormy day, we had the fun of bringing our concept to light, producing a chic hat party with a little bit of a rocker edge.

From the beginning, the vision for this event was a sophisticated hat party with edge, and the guest list was just right. Satya’s group of creative friends included eyewear designers Coco & Breezy, photographer Nick Onken, actress Maggie Grace, director Matthew Cooke, fashion guru F.E. Castleberry, Loren Brill of Sweet Loren’s and fashion designer Carrie Hammer. The group was an eclectic one, and for many of them this first time getting together was a fun gathering of unique and creative minds. Photographer Anna Moller captured the party beautifully. With an eye for capturing the details and people, you can tell from the photos that everyone had a blast!

We worked on a stunning tabletop for the party that Satya had dubbed, “Paris rocker chic”. Floral designer, Emily Howard Kudva of Phileanor brought in the darkest flowers that literally popped in the light-filled space. Her lush arrangements of deep purple, hot pink, and almost black flowers set a dark and romantic vibe in the space, perfect for a cool party. To keep the eclectic look going, we styled the table with a mix of Seletti’s Juxtapose china from our favorite Soho store – Michele Varian. For a little bit of shine, brass trays and utensils from Japan added a metallic mix. Decadence came in the form of a heavenly cheesecake and delectable sweets from Mah Ze Dahr Bakery. Some of our favorite pieces, like the alabaster grapes and porcelain apple boxes, became the finishing touch on the lush table. And of course, we couldn’t forget candles. We used our favorite white grapefruit candles from Murchison-Hume. The event literally looked and smelled delicious.

Our styling extended into the bar, where we worked with mixologist, Issac Flores from Dick & Jane’s Bar in Brooklyn, an unmarked speakeasy in Fort Greene. A white table became the bar for the event, topped with a stunning array of purple dogwood branches. We wanted Flores to sport a laidback look, in jeans, a tie and suspenders. He was topped off with a hat from Satya Twena to finish the look. And the drinks were delicious. A secret recipe from the bar itself.

Parties are perfect, especially when you can express a unique point of view, and this one certainly did. The only thing we regret, that we were producing this shoot and not a part of it! Maybe next time.

For more images from this event and the perfect mint julep recipe, read the whole article on Lonny.

Images furnished by Anna Moller Photography

Lonny Magazine Modern Kentucky Derby Party

Producing an editorial shoot is about having all of the right pieces in place. In this Kentucky Derby hat party that we produced for Lonny, we fell absolutely in love with every detail as we created this luxurious entertaining story. In celebration of Derby season, the table was styled with a beautiful assortment of china, alabaster grapes, ceramic apples, horseshoes and dark goblets. Lush, purple florals arranged in trophy cups continued the Derby aesthetic while decadent desserts and cocktails were brought in to to complete the party atmosphere. For a bit of edge, guests were asked to attend in “Paris, rocker, chic” attire that completed the look of this modern Manhattan Derby party. View the full feature on Lonny.

Photography by: Anna Moller

Warm Up With A Moroccan Tea Party

With such a chill in the air here in New York, it’s nice to think of ways to get warm and cozy. Beyond adding extra layers, at these times when so many of us are spending time indoors, why not warm up your interior with a sophisticated tea party? This Moroccan-inspired tea ceremony should provide the perfect inspiration. Tea tables, poufs, and throw pillows all in neutral shades, are accompanied by metal trays filled with Moroccan glassware and a stunning teapot. Even if you don’t have all of the accoutrements, we invite you to set up your very own tea ceremony to warm up inside.

Source: Visit Eye Swoon for more images from this beautiful tea ceremony and the perfect tea recipe for a cold day.

10 Tips For An Intimate Valentine’s Day Breakfast

Valentine’s Day has become a showy and sometimes impersonal celebration of love. We all love a fancy dinner, jewelry or two-dozen roses, but sometimes it’s nice to celebrate in a simpler fashion. So instead, invite the one you love to a romantic breakfast at home. Waking up to the wonderful scent of fresh coffee, quiche or pastries is a wonderful way to show your love. You can prep the breakfast the day before with a simple trip to the grocery store. No running around the mall, scavenging for a gift with all the hectic shoppers. Click through the slideshow for a few tips on planning an intimate Valentine’s Day breakfast.

Planning Pretty
This post is part of a new Guest Contributor series. Visit Camille Simmons at her beautiful lifestyle blog, Planning Pretty.