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“I’Ve alWayS BeeN DRaWN TO ClOThINg aND INTeRIORS ThaT haRmONIZe DIFFeReNT SeNSIBIlITIeS.”

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PHOTOGRAPHY: WILLIAM BRINSON COPY: SAMANTHA MILLER EVENT DESIGN + STYLING: DAVID STARK DESIGN PROP STYLING: RAINA KATTELSON RECIPES + FOOD STYLING: REBECCA JURKEVICH STATIONERY DESIGN: CHEREE BERRY


TEA SEA BY THE

RENOWNED PARTY PLANNER

DAVID STARK

BRINGS A SLICE

OF THE MEDITERRANEAN HOME WITH AN AFTERNOON GATHERING.

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ew york-based design authority David stark is known for producing awe-inspiring events for an eclectic range of clientele—including vogue, saks fifth Avenue, zac Posen and oprah, to name a few. but fans may be surprised to learn that his impeccable taste and eye for design stem from his former life as an artist. “you know, I never intended to become an event planner or an event designer,” David says. “I didn’t even know that these were viable careers.” In fact, David stumbled into party planning by chance. After graduating from Rhode Island school of Design, he supported his painting career by creating sumptuous, one-of-a-kind floral arrangements for parties. “one day, I realized that flowers were not appropriate for every single occasion, and that if the world can be looked at as a tool box, then décor could be created out of anything!” soon enough, David stepped away from the easel to embrace a different kind of art.


CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE PAPER GOODS FROM STATIONER CHEREE BERRY!


Make the decor part of the fun! Gather a selection of olives AND conduct a tasting to educate and entertain.

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“My hiatus from painting never bothered me though, because the event design work that I do is absolutely the same art-making act as painting. It’s just that the medium, or the tools that are in my toolbox, have changed.” Inspired by the ambiance of an artist’s studio, David’s latest collaboration with west elm embodies his love of painting—not to mention his knack for transforming repurposed materials into whimsical home accessories. The collection boasts everything from hand-crafted flowers and sand-colored placemats, to canvas-wrapped bottles and dinnerware splashed with flecks of blue. “The utilitarian ‘stuff’ that fills an artist’s workplace has always been sexy to me,” he says. “All of these elements and more can be utilized for lovely small vignettes in a home or assembled en masse to create a fabulous party.” David even dusted off his paintbrush to create the backdrop for this Mediterranean-themed soirée. “Painting and working in the studio brought me back to my initial artistic roots,” he says. “It was great fun to use a brush again whether it be on canvas or on tableware!” Taking a cue from artists like Matisse, who captured the breathtaking light of Morocco in his paintings, David orchestrated the playful affair by fusing “the culinary treats of the region” with the sights and textures of a day spent lounging at sea.

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GOODIE BAG ALERT! SEND GUESTS HOME WITH A BATH PRODUCT THAT COMPLEMENTS THE DAY’S THEME. DAVID CHOSE THE BODY TONING SERUM FROM SUPER BY DR. NICHOLAS PERRICONE FOR ITS OLIVE POLYPHENOLS.

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DOWNLOAD THE RECIPES!

Despite the dazzling, often elaborate nature of his events, his design philosophy is deliciously simple: “It’s absolutely okay to break the rules as long as you do it brilliantly!” And David has some reassuring advice for party plannersin-training. “People get so stressed out when planning and hosting a party,” he says. “Remember to have fun—really, it’s just a party!” ADDITIONAL PROPS: On buffet: Small white fruit bowl, Davistudio. Linen napkin, Hammertown. Cake server and cheese spreader, Jonathan’s Spoons. Long wooden trays, Sawkille. Rustic wooden stands, Gray Works Design. On dining table: Drinking glasses, blue napkins, flat white platters, glass wine carafe, all by Canvas. Glass water jar, Michele Varian. All other props stylists own.

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Rue Magazine: Tea by the Sea  

Renowned party planner David Stark brings a slice of the Mediterranean home with an afternoon gathering.

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