It wasn’t only thoroughbred horses competing for ribbons at the 2021 Hampton Classic Grand Prix held in Bridgehampton, New York. So too were table setting designs, created with flair and ingenuity each year by sponsors and equestrian enthusiasts who hire great florists and event planners to dazzle the crowds and showcase trends.
“We have to be creative every year,” says Jim Osburn who, with partner Michael Grimm, owns the popular Bridgehampton Florist that conjures up award-winning floral creations for over 36 years. This year the dynamic duo oversaw six tablescapes all with different flowers and themes.
Among the people enjoying the races and socializing were Brooke Shields, Christy Turlington, Donna Karan and former presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg, whose daughter Georgina is an avid equestrian.
We will share FlowerPowerDaily’s choices in a moment but first, let’s view some trends.
1) Tablecloths Enhance Decor
Never underestimate how the layering of printed cloth can add dimension and style. It’s all part of the symmetry. Some preferred classic designs while others weaved in more modern.
LoveShackFancy was a winner with every detail. The custom-made dusty pink tablecloth fits perfectly into the happy feminine vintage vibe that Rebecca Hessel Cohen started with her fashions.
Batik was also a theme for two tables we enjoyed that used a similar color scheme as a launching pad.
The variety made such visual candy, it’s hard to choose a favorite. How clever was this western theme which had a special boot to match the colors of the tablecloth?
2) Cool Vases Catch the Eye and Make Fashion Statements
Sometimes very simple tables can be jazzed up by unique urns or interesting vases. Vases take center stage or they subtly enhance. Here are some favorites, including a puppy vase by Jeff Koons that acts as a reminder to always invest in fun vases.
3) Use Napkin Rings and Plates to Create Themes
We loved how the plates and napkin rings had so many equestrian themes. In fact, Angela Currey, one of the great sponsors of the show over the years, passed and her daughter Stephanie Currey Ingram shared her mother’s embroidered napkins with the Bridgehampton Florist team which sparked their creation.
4) Country Chic and Naturally Pretty Charms
Who doesn’t love wild and wonderful? Two of our favorites were created by the talented floral designer Arthur Golabek who was hired by event planner Jane Gelb. Last year, he shared how he loved cupcake cosmos with a local grower. Sure enough, the local grower grew these beauties and he personally gathered them for this beautiful fresh floral design that also used Queen’s Anne’s lace. “I even handmade the leather napkin rings,” he shared.
Golabek also miraculously found a sea of panda anemones that he imported to decorate the table for the brand Compass which has a black and white theme. “I was so nervous getting them from the airport because they are so fragile,” he admits. It was indeed a risk because these flowers are so delicate that they could easily wilt. But the end result was worth it since the look was sensational.
Checked tablecloths never go out of style. We also liked the table of News 12 which had a brown checked tablecloth that screams country as well as a variety of flowers that authentically felt were just picked from a garden. “It was like a rustic picnic,” says one of our judges, photographer Barbara Lassen, of Barbara Lynne Photography.
However, both Barbara and I were a bit surprised that the blush-colored linen napkins at the David Yurman table were so wrinkled. Perhaps a bit too rustic?
5) Mix Fruits and Veggies for FALLbulous Touches
Whether it’s apples, lemons or even veggies, nature doesn’t disappoint. Even a more formal purple-themed table was softened with the addition of blackberries and plums.
We liked the efforts of Alex Hamer and fragrance executive Hannah Horvath who created a floral veggie table for the Buxton Pond table. In fact, after the show, the duo donated their beautiful bounty to a local food bank.
I always use fruits and vegetables on my tablescapes. This way you also can eat some of the decorations after the event.
6) Blue and White Popular for Classic Statements
Some colors are just classic. It is always a joy to see the many interpretations of this color scheme. Dennis Suskind even went for the darker blue-grey that has become so popular in home design – especially kitchens.
7). Bright Colored Blooms Attract Smiles and Attention
Too much of a good thing can be wonderful – especially when it comes to flowers. Think orange and you will be happy.
SIX WINNING TABLES
Here are the six winners for FlowerPowerDaily’s BEST tables at the 2021 Hampton Classic Grand Prix:
MOST ROMANTIC – LoveShackFancy
MOST CLASSICALLY ELEGANT – Bridgehampton Florist’s design for Sotheby’s International
MOST WILD AND FUN – Bikoff Equestrian
BEST COUNTRY CHIC – Arthur Golabek
MOST NATURAL – Buxton Pond Farm
MOST CHEERFUL – Health Rover
Photography by Barbara Lassen.
A version of this story originally appeared on FlowerPowerDaily.com.
Jill Brooke is a former CNN correspondent, Post columnist and editor-in-chief of Avenue and Travel Savvy magazine. She is an author and the editorial director of FPD, and a contributing digital editor of aspire design and home magazine.
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