Southern Style

Life of the Party

In honor of our tenth anniversary, we bring you the ultimate guide to celebrating in style, from a seersucker tux that beats the heat to a cake for the memory books

April/May 2017

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Top Tier

Maggie Austin of Maggie Austin Cake elevates desserts to high art. In her Maryland studio, she turns sugar, butter, and flour into edible sculptures, like this Confederate jasmine–wreathed and  magnolia-crowned confection she dreamed up exclusively for G&G. Austin welcomes custom commissions; past clients include everyone from politicos to royals.

photo: Raymond Hom

A Different Stripe

Tuxedos are always dapper, but in the heat that lingers from May to September, wearing a wool one is akin to wearing a hair shirt. That’s where the seersucker tuxedo by Haspel comes in. The company’s take on the tux features seersucker in formal navy and black. Pair it with a classic tuxedo shirt, a hand-tied bow tie, and a white silk pocket square by Brooks Brothers, and you’re ready for anything.

photo: Raymond Hom

Eighteen-karat-gold intricately woven knot cuff links by Tiffany & Co. are a fail-safe addition to a gentleman’s black-tie ensemble—and a great gift any time of year.

photo: Raymond Hom

Don’t get caught in a downpour without an umbrella fit for a dressy night out, like this sharp paisley and stripe design from Georgia’s Bel Tempo Umbrella.

photo: Raymond Hom

Patent leather lace-ups get a youthful makeover with designer David Hart’s version for Johnston & Murphy. The material is classic; the sleek shape is firmly 2017.

photo: Raymond Hom

This exquisitely rendered gardenia boutonniere wasn’t plucked from the garden. It was crafted from vintage crepe paper by New Orleans artisan Suzonne Stirling.

photo: Raymond Hom

Parties are a competitive sport in the South, and so is dressing for one. The winning cocktail dresses and gowns by Elizabeth Kennedy blend a sense of bygone glamour with distinctly modern lines. This gown from Kennedy’s current collection combines the waist-nipping architecture of a silk satin peplum and bustier with a powder-blue tulle skirt that makes a grand entrance—but isn’t afraid to get down on the dance floor. bergdorfgoodman.com

photo: Raymond Hom

These delicate mother-of-pearl and diamond earrings suspended on eighteen-karat-gold chains by Cartier sway and shimmy with the slightest movement.

photo: Raymond Hom

Leica’s foray into the instant camera world, the Sofort, allows you to capture the best moments of the night with old-school black- and-white or color prints.

photo: Raymond Hom

A smattering of pearls set in glamorous brass render these embellished suede heels by Stuart Weitzman stylish from every possible angle.

photo: Raymond Hom

Flecked with subtle bits of gold, L’Afshar’s marbled resin box clutch conceals lipstick, cards, and cash in beautiful fashion—minimalism done right. plandevillenyc.com

photo: Raymond Hom

Why dole out the fun drink by drink when you can serve a whole batch of libations premixed to perfection? That’s most likely what Southerners from the 1700s were thinking when they created such classic recipes as Savannah’s Chatham Artillery Punch and Charleston, South Carolina’s Light Dragoon Punch. It’s also why a quintessential crystal punch bowl set easily earns its keep in any host’s cupboard. This heirloom-worthy one by Waterford is a reissue of the 1956 Alana set and includes a bowl, six cups, and a ladle.

photo: Raymond Hom

Start a conversation with these wittily embroidered cocktail napkins—including the new “Just a Swallow” set—by Austin, Texas–based August Morgan.

photo: Raymond Hom

Give yourself a good reason to collect even more vintage vinyl: Shinola’s white oak turntable, with a belt-driven pulley and built-in preamplifier. Bonus: It’s a hit at parties.

photo: Raymond Hom

Keep this porcelain and leather tray by Ralph Lauren Home piled high with cocktail-sized ham biscuits, and your guests are sure to thank you—more than once.

photo: Raymond Hom

These days, even some reputable champagnes (and not just the champagnes of beer) are topped with bottle caps, so this brass bottle opener by Aerin comes in handy.

photo: Raymond Hom

Making people laugh with a clever favor at the end of a festive get-together is a tradition in the South. Pull-apart party crackers yield a torrent of tiny prizes, jokes, and paper crowns; surprise balls made of crepe paper unfurl to reveal treats, too. The favors created by Hobnob Entertaining exclusively for G&G contain gifts with a Southern spin, from vintage guitar picks to mini bottles of Tabasco. ggmercantileco.com

photo: Raymond Hom

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