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Setting the table with...

Mrs. John L Strong

The team behind Mrs. John L. Strong is throwing a formal and ultra-chic Christmas dinner party. As is expected from the grand dame of stationers, invitations in their “vanilla Strong” card stock bearing calligraphy script have been sent out. The invites feature a hand engraved snowflake, a motif, which makes its way into the other paper products needed for the dinner. Among them, menu cards and place card holders all with handwritten flourish–a genteel gesture that transports one to the high society of Edith Wharton novels.

Left: Kim Seybert gold Amulet place card holders and Mrs. John L Strong place cards. Right: Dinner invitations with snowflake motif by Mrs. John L Strong.

Mrs. John L. Strong, in fact has its roots from Wharton’s New York. Founded in 1929 by Flora Strong, the company quickly became the go-to stationer for society brides and debutantes. They would go on to make personal stationery and note cards for Mrs. Astor’s 400 list as well as royalty and boldfaced names across Europe. Among Mrs. John L. Strong’s devotees were the Rockefellers, the Vanderbilts, Barbara Hutton, Jackie Kennedy and the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. The company would change owners decades later and in 2009 it was acquired by its current owner J.P. Kotts & Co. Current fans of the brand include Anna Wintour, Oprah Winfrey, Katie Holmes and Mary McDonald.

Evergreens, eucalyptus and Queen Anne’s Lace form the floral focal point of the table assembled around a wintry theme.

A well-appointed room in the manner of grand Upper East Side co-ops is the setting for the dinner. Walls washed in the color of café au lait and windows dressed in silk jacquard provide the backdrop. The snowflake on the invites and menus dictate the table scheme, a wintry mix of greens, frosted accents and metallic surfaces. Louis XVI-style chairs upholstered in a bold cranberry colored fabric provide a jolt of color.

Each place setting features Kim Seybert’s Filament placemats, Amulet place card holders, Nomad napkins in White, Gold & Silver, Posh napkin rings in champagne &
gold, Paillette goblets in frost, all paired with Mottahedeh’s Apple Green Lace Dessert Plate.

Perspex placemats with webbings of gold thread are layered with gold-edged dinner plates and pistachio-shade salad plates. Gold flatware and gilded multi-faceted place card holders echo the gold engraving on the stationery.

Mrs. John L Strong Bird scene wrapping paper adorn gifts placed on top of Kim Seybert’s Fireworks Tree Skirt.

After a dinner of turbot and beef tenderloin and a dessert of bûche de Noël, a gift giving tradition will commence with presents wrapped in chinoiserie-style paper with blue jays and cardinals perched on winter branches against a celadon-colored background.

A very Merry Christmas it will be indeed!

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