Tuesday, September 16, 2008

English Country In The City - A New York Story

Once upon a time I was a full time working girl in New York City. No, not that kind of working girl! I thought I'd start sharing some of my work from my portfolio just for the fun of it, and also because I am doing projects again.
Don't call the number on this card. I did several of these post card size business cards, and changed the image seasonally. This is one of the Autumn images. I did all the hands on work for these images. The photographer for this card was Adam Anik (hello Adam where ever you are!).
The first thing I'm sharing are some tear sheets from a styling job I did for interior designer Mary Meehan. We also did a couple of Kips Bay Decorator Showhouses together. We were both starting out in business, just having three or four years under out belt. She's still going strong, one of Architectural Digest's Top 100 Legends.

Back then, Mary was a young actress with fancy friends like the Nivens and Valerie Perrine and William Goldsmith, who all encouraged her to start her business (and who she passed along to me as clients: Shhhhh - I held an Oscar or two when I did weekly floral arrangements in some of their homes). Mary grew up in Dallas where her mother had an art and antiques shop in which she worked and learned the trade. She spent a year in Paris with her mother who was on a buying trip there. Marriage led her to California where she started her acting career.
After five years in California, she and her husband Michael moved to New York. She renovated and decorated their Southampton beach house, and it became a spectacular showcase for her.
These photos appeared in Architectural Digest, and are of Mary's New York apartment. I did the photo styling and flowers.
English Style was all the rage. Mario Buatta was crowned the Prince of Chintz. My English friends got a chuckle from the American interpretation, pronouncing it too new and over the top for any English Country house in reality.
Still it was beautiful, and Mary was excellent with this style. She knew how to pile it on. What's amazing is that this is how young people were decorating then. Newly rich and young Wall Street types wanted to emulate old money, and to them this is what it looked like.
I loved doing flowers for these interiors, because I got to do English style bouquets, filled with tip to tip colorful flowers. I am self taught, treating flower arranging like the making of 3-D flower paintings, so I had no fear because I am art school trained and design school finished. Styling these English interiors was such fun! I got to pick out tons of great things from all the best shops.
My business was very successful, and it allowed me to do something else with my life. Things come full circle, so here I am back in the design world, doing projects again, and looking for more.


Topsy Turvy said...

Wow, what a resume you have! And your flower arrangements look straight out of an old world painting. Best of luck with your new venture!


Pamela Terry and Edward said...

I remember Mary Meehan's English period very well and no doubt saw this magazine. Beautiful floral work! It's wonderful you are taking this up again. You're quite talented!

Visual Vamp said...

Thanks for looking in!
I am so excited to be working again, not just doing florals and event work, but also doing interiors and lifestyle coaching, store styling, personal shopping, photo styling, and of course writing style articles and books.
If you live long enough you have so many great chances to re-invent yourself.
I feel hopeful again, but without all the crazy, if you know what I mean.
Your vote of confidence is duly noted and much appreciated!