The U.S Postal Service honors Oscar de la Renta

Fashion meets mail with the beautiful new stamps honoring fashion icon Oscar de la Renta. The official Dedication Ceremony on February 16th, 2017 was a momentous occasion that brought together people from all different industries in honoring the late designer. We were thrilled to attend the event, which featured remarks by Oscar de La Renta CEO Alexander Bolen, Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Artistic Director of Conde Nast and Editor-in-Chief of Vogue Anna Wintour, and Secretary Hillary Clinton.

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Photo: U.S Postal Service

Janice D. Walker, Vice President of Corporate Communications for USPS, led the official stamp dedication and lauded de la Renta’s innovative designs and leadership in the fashion industry.

“Like Oscar de la Renta, handwritten letters never go out of style,” remarked Walker. The timelessness of handwritten letters rings true as we head into our 139th year as a proud New York company.

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(l-r) Alexander Bolen, Michael Bloomberg, Anna Wintour, Hillary Clinton, Janice Walker, Anderson Cooper (photo: Getty Images)

Following the ceremony, we had a chance to learn more about the stamp design process from Xavier C. Hernandez, a Communications Specialist and spokesperson for the USPS.

Can you tell us a bit more about who decides on the new stamps that are released?

 The stamp development team vets the ideas and does the design work, but the Postmaster General ultimately decides the next catalog of stamps for the year.

 During Anna Wintour’s speech, she exclaimed that de la Renta wasn’t a big letter writer, but how does the USPS see the connection between writing and fashion?

 The greater picture is that the Postal Service likes to honor American icons and their influence on American culture, especially for our commemorative stamp series.

 We’ve found that there is definitely a younger generation celebrating the art of letter writing in the age of emails and text messages. How does the USPS work to keep people interested in sending mail?

 There are so many great stamps out right now because we want to encourage people to write as many letters as possible. We have a JFK stamp coming out on President’s day and we just released new stamps for the Chinese New Year. We like to incorporate all different facets of American culture to be as inclusive as possible.

 It was incredible to see the turnout for this dedication event with people from all different industries!

 It’s wonderful to see a turnout like this for the official release of these commemorative stamp because our goal to bring everyone together. We are lucky that this wound up happening during Fashion Week so it has some relevance to timeliness.

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Thank you to the U.S Postal Service for the beautiful new stamps honoring Mr. de la Renta. We look forward to adding a fashionable touch to our envelopes!

Spotlight on Marcardin Calligraphy

We sat down with Heather Brock of Marcardin Calligraphy to talk about her beginnings as a calligrapher and how she became inspired to start her own company. 

Q: “Marcardin” is such a unique name. Can you please tell us the significance of why you chose that name for your company?

HB: The name Marcardin is very dear to me because it is the name of an old family estate located in Shelbyville, Kentucky that belonged to us for over 150 years. Much like other homes and farms of that era, the estate was named by its builder, Mark Hardin. Fast forward to the early 1990s and my family was faced with the tough decision to sell it [Marcardin Farms] once my Great Aunt passed away. Most of the family memorabilia was kept in the attic; old letters and notes penned by ancestors, including those from my great uncle Mark Hardin, dated back to around 1856. All of the letters feature beautiful pen and ink calligraphy, and as an adult, the penmanship is my favorite thing to exist from that attic. I’m very fortunate to have such richly documented family history to reflect on. Marcardin, which was once known as Marcardin Farms, is now calligraphy for me.

Q: When did you first learn calligraphy and how did you know that you wanted to do it as a career?

HB: I was probably 10 or 11 when I picked up any sort of calligraphy pen for the very first time. I remember mastering (or so I thought I did) any instructional books I could get my hands on, but I moved on with other art mediums as I grew up. In my 20s I decided to pick up a pen again to learn the refined skill of pointed pen calligraphy in hopes to address my own wedding envelopes some day. When I realized how therapeutic it was to put pen to paper, I knew it was something I wanted to pursue for a long time to come.

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An envelope addressed to Marcardin Estate 

Q: How long have you been based in Kentucky? Do you have a wide client base in your area, or does most of your clientele hail from elsewhere? 

HB: I was born and raised (and still reside) in Louisville, Kentucky, so I’ve always stayed put. I am very fortunate to work with some of the absolute best wedding planners and designers in the city and state, so I do get a lot of referrals through them. I also serve nationwide, working with some stationers out of New York City and Los Angeles.

Q: We see that you offer a variety of calligraphy styles for your services. Do you think that there is an even split between interest in more traditional styles versus a more modern look? img_5198

HB: I would say nine times out of ten, my clients choose my Signature style. It’s definitely more modern, but it still gives that flourished feel that can be found in some traditional styles. I’m definitely more of a modern calligrapher; traditional calligraphy, such as Spencerian and Copperplate, can take decades to master. I certainly envy my calligraphy colleagues across the world who have the patience and skill set to achieve those writing principles.

Q: You have done beautiful work on everything from outer and inner envelopes, to escort cards and menus. How do you ensure that your pieces reflect overall aesthetic of the event?
img_0083HB: I love when I’m able to help design an entire invitation suite, so it can be printed or pressed in every which way. I like to start with my bride’s ideas of what she is thinking by getting inspiration photos from her. I’ll go through my series of questions which can turn into a few different pencil sketches before I put ink to paper. I then send my work to my go-to designer to do all the digitizing for me. From there, we meet to make sure everything is set perfectly for print.

 

 

Q: We were thrilled to work with you on pieces for a Dempsey & Carroll wedding recently. How did you first hear about Dempsey & Carroll? 

HB: I was so excited to finally get my chance to calligraph the beautiful paper from Dempsey & Carroll. I’ve seen it [Dempsey & Carroll’s paper] in many areas of the wedding industry, and have always heard great reviews from other calligraphers. The paper is exquisite and I am in love with everything from the texture to the watermark logo– It’s hands down my favorite to write on.

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Heather’s work for a recent Dempsey & Carroll wedding 

New Schumacher: Lansdale vs. Zanzibar

July has been an exciting month at Dempsey & Carroll as we debuted the latest lines from our collaboration with F.Schumacher & Co. We are thrilled to introduce the Lansdale and Zanzibar collections of boxed correspondence cards, drink coasters, and journals. The Lansdale collection features vibrant hues of pink, green, and orange, while the Zanzibar Collection features chic gray tones of florals.

Now we pose a question: are you Team Lansdale or Team Zanzibar? Head over to our website to see for yourself! Here are thoughts from some of the Dempsey & Carroll team on their preferences so far:

LansdaleBouquet-JournalAriel:  “I prefer Lansdale because I love the splash of color. The print tells a summer story and definitely has a fun personality. The colors remind me of a lakeside sunset in the summer.”

Megan:  “I’m Team Lansdale and the journal is my favorite.”

DSC04707_web Alyssa: “I love how colorful and fun the Lansdale journals are while still remaining timeless”

 

Austin:  “This is tough because I love color, and I love the color in the Lansdale pieces, but I get totally lost in the Zanzibar collection. My very dry gimlet would sit perfectly on one of those Zanzibar coasters (though not for too long)!”zanz coasters blog

Emma: “I am Team Zanzibar because of how the pattern makes an impression while being subtle at the same time. The coasters are a must-have for my bar cart!”

Carolyn:  “I’m Team Zanzibar. I love the journal! It’s perfect for meetings, notes on the go, or a quick sketch. I love the neutral palette – it’s great for people who shy away from color, but still has a playful tone through the pattern.”

Leo: “Zanzibar for me. I’m thinking 5 or 6 of the notebooks will find their way to my gift shelf– easy chic for any lady.”

Evon: “Although both are great, the color tones throughout the Zanzibar lends to more versatility and potential outside pairings, if desired.”MMI-072516_Schumacher-web

A Spotlight on Isaac Mizrahi

Dempsey & Carroll curator, Madeleine Garone, chatted with Isaac Mizrahi to hear about his inspiration and favorite things. 

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MG: You are an icon in the fashion industry. Where do you find your inspiration when you begin a new design?

 

IM: I am inspired by so many things. I love music, dance, art, film, my dogs, New York City! I find great inspiration in juxtaposition in this city – a gorgeous luxury building being built next to one that’s completely run down or condemned, or a completely manicured garden next to a lot that’s overgrown and unmaintained. There’s so much of that in New York. Also COLOR. Colors that I see in my everyday world and in nature.

 

MG: Do you think the artistic process for designing fashion differs from paper?

 

IM: Designing fashion and designing paper have a lot more in common than you would think. Because it’s about being inspired and creating something you love and can really stand behind – something that expresses your personal style no matter the product.

 

MG: Writing notes is as timeless as a crisp white blouse or a little black dress. If you could write to any person in history, who would it be?

I would love to write to Sergi Diaghilev or Elsa Schiaparelli.

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MG: Colors play such a significant role in style. What’s your advice to those seeking to create or reinvent their own personal style?

 

IM: I think taking risks is really important. Especially in dressing oneself, taking a risk is FUN! Try a bold new color, or a long skirt if you like short skirts, a flat shoe if you love a big heel!

 

MG: As someone who loves to entertain, I have to ask – do you have a signature dish when company comes over?

 

IM: ICE CREAM! It’s so much fun to make and who doesn’t love ice cream?

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MG: Throughout your career, you’ve managed to cross into several other outlets, including television and publishing. What is next for you?

 

IM: I’m presenting a mid-career survey at the Jewish Museum in New York City opening in March 2016, which I’m thrilled about! It will encompass my work in fashion, film, television, and the performing arts. It has been an incredibly fun process thus far, and I can’t wait to see it all come together.

 

MG: Every collection always has its own unique story. What inspired the prints in your Spring 2015 collection?

IM: I have always loved florals, stripes, and gingham- they’re classic, iconic prints that have been my signature to collection since the beginning. In these bright colors, they’re perfect for Spring, Summer, and beyond!

 

MG: Handwritten notes hold such a special place to each of us. Do you have a signature way to sign off the notes you send?

IM: I always sign “xIsaac” or “xxIsaac” and usually add a few hearts, too!

In Honor of New Princess Charlotte

We love this article about the replies schoolchildren receive from the Queen and Princess Kate. Here are some of our favorites…

“The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have asked me to thank you for the lovely postcard you recently sent in which you wrote so enthusiastically about your holiday to Italy.”

“It really was most thoughtful of you and their Royal Highnesses have asked me to send their warmest thanks and best wishes.”

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Writing Notes

Repost from our friends at The Bouker:

I spend a good portion of my day sitting down to write notes to people. I believe the time taken to handwrite a personal note to someone means a whole lot more then firing off an email. Also, I hold those who take the time to write me a note in higher regard.

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This is why I find this Edward Jones ad so powerful:

60 Years From Now

Will a friend, lover, colleague be able to look back upon your words with fondness and appreciation – feeling the worn texture of the paper, drinking in old sentiments now faded, catching a scent of years gone by? Today is a great day to write a letter.

We had to call out the recent clip in the December, 1 2014 issue of People Magazine.

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“I will come again to the kitchen, pretending you are not there and discover you again. And as you stand there cooking breakfast, I will kiss your neck… .”