Spotlight on Caitlin McGauley

In celebration of our brand new collaboration, we sat down with Watercolor Artist and Illustrator Caitlin McGauley to learn more about her work and how she gets inspired. We first met McGauley through our friend Michelle Adams, founder of The Maryn. In fact, the artwork from our collection in partnership with The Maryn was also designed by McGauley!

We are excited to launch the whimsical Caitlin McGauley Animal Collection featuring the Cheetah and Fox motifs and envelope finishings customized by McGauley. We hope that you are as charmed by this collaboration as much as we are! #caitlinmcgauleyxdempsey

 

How did you get started with watercolor?

I was constantly drawing as a kid, so my parents signed me up for group watercolor lessons at 9 years old. I had a great teacher who was in her mid-eighties, and we would sit at card tables in her dining room and copy pictures of landscapes that she tore out of magazines. My next painting teacher was a friendly hippie who taught in a 70’s A frame cottage on a lake. I really loved watercolor and I never pursued any other medium.

 

What are some of your favorite projects that you’ve worked on recently?

Custom projects with interior designers are always fun and diverse, and it’s nice to collaborate with fellow artists. Currently, I am designing a wallpaper with repeating feathers for the ceiling of a restaurant, and I’m in the sketch phase for an animal-themed wallpaper mural that will span a massive playroom without repeating itself.

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What inspires you the most?

Spending time at book stores and antique/secondhand shops! My daughter and I like to go and ‘look for treasures,’ and I keep my eyes peeled for weird or beautiful objects and vases that can be incorporated into my paintings. If I have an hour or so to kill, I would probably spend it at Books of Wonder on 18th street looking at children’s books. I am a picture book fanatic and I always attend the Children’s Book show at the Society of Illustrators, where they show the original work from all of the best picture books from the previous year.

 

Your two young children must have so much fun when they get to visit you in the studio! Do they share your creativity?

Yes, they definitely have the art bug! My six-year-old daughter stays up later at night than I do I presume, since in the morning she has all kinds of new ideas and drawings in the sketchbook that she keeps on her bedside table. My son is a perfectionist and asks me to put white-out on any of his coloring pages where he’s gone outside of the lines.

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Are there any places that you’ve traveled that have had the most influence on your work?

I worked at a small textiles company in my 20’s and was lucky to travel to Asia several times to source fabrics and visit factories. India and China have such a rich textile history and I am so grateful that I got to soak it all up in person. I still reference fabrics and pictures from my trips for inspiration. Time to go back, I think!

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What inspired this collaboration? We’d love to hear a bit more about the colorful prints that are featured!

I love to paint animals, so I started with the pink cheetah and orange fox, and the prints evolved from there. The fox felt masculine and preppy so I looked at vintage ties on eBay, which resulted in stripes and an abstract collegiate-feeling crest print in primary colors. For the cheetah, I drew from animal prints and foliage, but I used colors not necessarily found in nature.

 

Where is your ideal place to sit down and write a letter?

In the peace and quiet of my studio. I always send a hand-written note with paintings– it shows a kind of appreciation that cannot be conveyed over email!

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Where else can people find your work (aside from our stationery, of course!)?

I have a collection of wallpapers available through the showrooms Studio Four in New York, James in Austin and Dallas Texas, and Nicky Rising in Los Angeles. I also have a shop on my website which I consistently update with original paintings, mostly florals and animals.

Shop the Caitlin McGauley x Dempsey & Carroll on our site here!

 

A Look Back at Our 2017 Partnerships

As we look back at 2017, our partners highlight some of the year’s greatest accomplishments. We were thrilled to work with a number of incredible teams in the past year – some for the second or third time, and some for the first. Each project with our partners has been a wonderful extension of the Dempsey & Carroll brand into new and exciting sectors and we are thrilled to have had the privilege of working alongside these incredible brands. 

 

FORM Design Studio

In our latest collaboration with our friends Josh and Rafi from FORM, we looked back at our first collection as well as some new, fresh designs from Josh and Rafi’s archives to introduce new styles to the line. We’re always thrilled when we see an email in our inboxes from Josh or Rafi, or better yet, when they come into town and stop by our offices. Working with them on this latest collaboration was, as always, truly fantastic.

Shop the collection here.

 

 

The Maryn 

As longtime fans of Michelle Adams, we were delighted when she reached out about her new venture, The Maryn, and the opportunity to create a line of stationery for the store. This seaside-inspired collection featuring work by Caitlin McGauley was a great way for us to explore translating watercolor designs to our medium.

Shop the collection here.

 

 

India Hicks

We have been following India Hicks for years now, and when we heard we would be able to join her and her team in creating a stationery line for her Curated Collections we almost couldn’t contain our excitement. The island and England inspired line was truly incredible – a sea of gorgeous assets, perfect for an exquisite line of stationery!

Shop the collection here.

 

 

The Met

Just a few blocks up from us, with one of the most unbelievable library of assets we’ve ever had the pleasure of working with – it was a dream come true for us to introduce our first stationery collection in partnership with The Met. Five gorgeous SKUs, featuring a range of works from the museum translated to Dempsey & Carroll paper. It doesn’t get much better than this!

Shop the collection here.

 

 

J. McLaughlin

In our second collaboration with our good friends at J. McLaughlin, we were drawn to their resort patterns and prints. How could we resist?! When they brought their designs adorned with gorgeous corals, beautiful, bright aquamarines, with a touch of wicker we knew we had to put them on paper. This print-forward collection has us smiling each time we go to write a note, or jot down a quick to-do.

Shop the collection here.

 

 

Hill House Home

If you’ve ever met Nell and Katherine from the Hill House Home team, you’ll know as well as we do, a good night’s sleep is their passion. Their product speaks for itself, and the wealth of information the two of them have gathered about the science and art of a perfect night’s sleep is beyond impressive. But more impressive than the quotes from authors from Oscar Wilde to Hemingway on sleep that they’ve collected in their studies, is how devoted they are to helping their clients create a dream bed and bedroom. With that in mind, we were thrilled to help them continue to make the bedroom a sanctuary with our collaboration on bedside tablets and coasters.

Shop the collection here.

 

 

J. McLaughlin x Dempsey & Carroll

We absolutely adore when we get to partner with other brands to produce a stationery collaboration. A sprinkle of this, a dash of that, and suddenly you have something amazing that truly speaks to both parties involved. We were tickled pink when the team at J. McLaughlin got together with us earlier this year to begin designing our newest collaboration with them. 

With a J. McLaughin just 2 blocks away from our office, we are constantly watching what new and exciting prints and patterns they’re introducing You can imagine how difficult it was for us to narrow down the collection to only a handful of our favorites. After a few snacks from our neighbor William Poll it was decision-making time and we landed on a resort theme. 

Pops of aquamarine, coral, a flash of wicker and we were ready to go to production. With the weather in New York dropping more and more each day, our warm, breezy, balmy J. McLaughlin stationery has us dreaming of island getaways that are only a few weeks away. 

Spotlight on: Christos Dovas

Celebrated designer Christos Dovas is your first stop for a celebration in unforgettable style. Dempsey & Carroll’s Austin Ackles sat down with him to discuss how Greek origins formed a great New York talent.

 

QUESTION: You’ve been involved in garment design and construction since an early age. Can you tell us about those beginnings?

CHRISTOS DOVAS: I believe I was born artistic – The fact that I grew up with a father who was a shoe designer was a coincidence of destiny. I first learned to design from picking up the leather scraps from the floor, and making small wearable pieces. As a child, I watched my father buy raw materials and deal with market professionals – This taught me about business. watching my father work at the bench itself taught me how to pull the grow and straighten the fabric. I would say I was most fortunate to see my dad working original designs from the 50’s 60’s 70’s in leather skins, fabric and laces.

QUESTION: When we think of your work, what images would you like first to pop into our heads?  Light? Air? The sea? How has your Greek heritage informed you design?

CHRISTOS DOVAS:  I am a dreamer. I want my designs to conjure up the imagery of books, sculpture and paintings– secret stories all through the medium of my pencils and threads. It sounds funny but I get inspired while in New York; blending my past work experience and the city’s active lifestyle results in contemporary, artful pieces. My creations are influenced by pure poetry, clarity and symbolism. I love to design, create, and ultimately make women feel beautiful.

QUESTION: What thrills you most about Greece? And what do you find most exciting about New York?

CHRISTOS DOVAS: In Greece, it is exciting to be surrounded by time. History and Art have left marks with the Ancient Greek artifacts that inspire me daily. In contrast, New York’s contemporary presence is alive with a melting pot of different cultures.

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QUESTION: You’re an amazing colorist! When you use color, it feels at once bold and yet gently nuanced. Are there colors have you not been using that you are becoming more and more interested in?

CHRISTOS DOVAS: Since childhood, I have loved to draw with my pencils in black and white, along with watercolor and wax. I love gentle, smooth, soft pastels in combination with strong, dark, powerful hues. There are many different ways that color and fabric can be combined to create unique creation. The personality of someone is definitely the most important factor to consider when applying color onto fabric.

 

QUESTION: What’s it like to work with you and your studio? Can you tell us a little about the experience of commissioning your work?

CHRISTOS DOVAS: I am an old fashioned designer, which means that I like to show personal interest in the commission of a dress. Once we agree on the design, I begin to drape the fabric and bring to the drawings to life. Lots of hand-stitching is involved in the execution, and many fittings will happen to perfect a bespoke design.

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QUESTION: Can you give us a tip? What design elements should be avoided for practicality reasons?

CHRISTOS DOVAS: My philosophy revolves around beauty and timeless elegance. I would rather stay with simplicity instead of opting for a design with lots of lines and shapes.

 

QUESTION: When you’re seeking inspiration and renewal, where do you head?

CHRISTOS DOVAS: I often seek inspiration through books, art history, paintings, and sculptures. I always like to head to the Metropolitan Museum of Art here in New York and I love reading biographies of artists and designers.

 

QUESTION: Before we go, will you please share a sweet story about one of your favorite clients?

CHRISTOS DOVAS:  Every moment is a special occasion, though weddings take the cake. When designing a wedding dress, the mother is always the biggest advisor to the bride.  When it comes to details, there are usually different ideas and opinions to be had, especially when choose sleeve embellishments. A bride-to-be chose one ribbon with embroidery as the finish detail, and the mother chose another ribbon with bugles and crystals. There were a lot of hard decisions to make on their end in terms of which ones to choose. The final creation was beautifully stitched with attention to detail to make both the bride and mother happy with the design!

Learn more about Christos Dovas at http://www.ChristosDovas.com 
Credits:
Photography: Manuel Vasquez and Stephen Shadrach
Model: Jackie Swerz
Make Up artist: Alison Cornely,
Hair: Abby Ballin
Portrait credits: Francois Legagneur

 

 

 

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!

Our 2016 John Derian Collections

We have ushered in autumn with the exciting launch of our second collaboration with Designer John Derian. Our five new collections pair classic Dempsey & Carroll motifs with decoupage prints from Derian’s extensive archives. Some of our Dempsey & Carroll team members have offered insight into which lines are their favorites, though it is difficult to choose just one. We invite you to explore our 2016 John Derian collections so that you can discover your favorites as well!

Carolyn: “My favorite is the Fly Fisher. I love the color story, but most of all, I love how it can resonate with a consumer. For me, it reminds me of going fly fishing with my family inhp4-091216-derian-web Colorado and I’m sure it rings true for many other people all over the world!”

 

 

 

Lauren: “My favorite is Earth & Sky.  I love the colors and the round globe motif paired with the round map of the sky. There is a lovely balance between the latitude and longitude lines in the engraved globe and the colorful envelope liner– I love it! I am planning to order a set of 50 personalized.”

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Leo: “Earth & Sky is my pick. The celestial map envelope liner reminds me of a group of vintage prints that I have been collecting for years.  Astronomical maps seem to transcend time; at once modern and vintage.  The globe engraving is wonderfully detailed, a Dempsey & Carroll classic from the archive, and the gray engraving on white paper sets off a fresh mix and match with the envelope liner.”

Megan: “My favorite collection from the new John Derian collaboration is definitely Earth & Sky.  The stunning starry night liner coupled with the beautifully detailed engraved globe motif is a stellar combination to be used for any occasion.  I am already planning on having some on hand while I am traveling this Fall!”

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Evon: “I am most attracted to the John Derian Grand Tour Collection. The liner prints all display an excellent use of typography and color. Additionally, the crops of the liners are dynamic, providing just enough insight into these historic hotels, but yet still leaving much to the imagination.”

 

Ariel: “I really love all of the new John Derian products, but my personal favorite is Blue Coral. I have always loved spending time in Florida at the hp1-090116-derian-webbeach, and the stunning coral artwork brings back amazing memories from my family vacations”

 

 

 

Emma:” It is difficult to choose a favorite, but I am definitely favoring Tea Salon at the moment. I love how it pairs our classic tea cup motif with John Derian’s vintage Frehp1-091216-derian-webnch architecture-inspired patterns for the envelope lining. This collection brings back memories of living abroad in France, where afternoons were often spent studying in baroque-style salons de thé.”

 

 

 

 

The 2016 Museum Mile Festival

We had the opportunity to enjoy this year’s Museum Mile Festival on Tuesday evening, a cultural celebration hosted by the storied institutions of Fifth Avenue.

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The festivities spanned Fifth Avenue, from the Metropolitan Museum of Art at 82nd Street, to The Museum of the City of New York and El Museo del Barrio at 104th Street.  It was a rare opportunity to stroll down the middle of Fifth Avenue, with musicians and artists sharing their talents on a beautiful summer’s evening. Many of the museums offered free admission and kept their doors open later than usual to promote their most recent exhibitions.

 

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Jazz Musicians playing outside of The Neue Galerie 

 

Here are a few of the exhibitions highlighted during the festival:

  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art:

Transitional Object (PyschoBarn), Cornelia Parker

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The Metropolitan Museum of Art

  • Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

Future Present, László Moholy-Nagy

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The rotunda of The Guggenheim 

  • Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

The Beauty-Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial 

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The Cooper Hewitt 

 

A Spotlight on Inslee by Design

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Senior Event Curator, Remo, sat down with watercolor artist, Inslee, to discuss her artwork and inspirations. Inslee will be joining Dempsey & Carroll in their showroom for an event on December 2nd.

RN: It’s been such a pleasure working with you on your paper collection! Could you tell our readers about yourself and what your passions are?

IHF: My name is Inslee Haynes Fariss and I am the founder of Inslee By Design. I am passionate about fashion illustration, beautiful paper, and correspondence in the time-honored tradition of the handwritten note.

RN: When did you understand that illustrations were your professional life? Your job?

IHF: Fashion illustration has always been a part of who I am. My earliest memory is of drawing as a child. I realized I could create illustrations as a profession when I was a sophomore in college—that I could create the art I loved not just for myself, but for other people. I began accepting commissions and was delighted by the experience of creating something that could brighten someone else’s life and help them celebrate their accomplishments and happy memories.

RN: It seems that you have a strong relationship with your community in New York City and online. How did you develop this community andinslee how do you continue to nurture its growth?

IHF: I’ll admit it—I love New York City! My husband even jokes that I see this city as if perpetually wearing rose colored glasses. I think that a place reveals its most charming self to you when you embrace it. I’ve met some of the most inspiring people here. I found some of the most inspiring places I’ve ever known in this wonderful city.

I’m always looking for ways to connect. As a small, independent business, I know I am only as strong as the network I build. The same can be said for online networks. I adore the strong, supportive group I’ve fostered through my website and social media. I feel so connected to so many people around the world who share my love for art and beauty. We live in an exciting and important time for sharing and collaborative creativity.

RN: What is the dream?

IHF: As Elsie de Wolfe said, “I am going to make everything around me beautiful – that will be my life.” Isn’t that the dream? To make everything beautiful. To help others see beauty, and celebrate beauty in every small nuance of life. Every day I strive to live up to that sentiment through my work.

The Beauty of Experience: “At the Emperor’s Table”

At the Emperor’s Table, the last book published by Assouline for Valentino, is not just a book about beautiful mise-en-place, dream homes, or excellent food.

Valentino’s book proves to be a voyage for the sense. It showcases his personal style of living defined by proportions, emotions, and surprise, which, in Valentino’s own words, define elegance.

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Each page is a treat for the eye: a collection of fine china, crystals, and unique treasures that playfully awaken the senses.

It was a pleasure to receive his book last evening at the new Valentino store on New York’s Fifth Avenue. I experienced first-hand how the finest elements of life dance in his presence: beauty, passion and the surprise of a genuine smile when he heard me whispering “Grazie Maestro”.

Remo Nuzzolese,

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A spotlight on Lauren Sozmen

Dempsey & Carroll event curator Austin Ackles sat down with Lauren Sozmen of Loli Events to discuss her events between New York & Paris.

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AA: We just worked together on a wedding that had mountains of paper and everything went so smoothly! What was your secret weapon for keeping those clients so perfectly on schedule?

LS: I believe it was a mix of using the excellent timeline that you gave me at the beginning, and then sending gentle yet firm reminders to the client for each deadline throughout the process. Don’t give the client a whole list of due dates, this will overwhelm them. Tackle each project and tell them exactly when you need answers and decisions by.

AA: You’re working a lot in France. What’s the biggest difference you find when working abroad as opposed to NYC?

LS: We started Loli Events in France about two years ago.  One of the biggest differences is the pace.  Here in NYC we expect today’s answers yesterday, its go go go everyday.  In France, vendors know how to slow down a bit more and will get the work done but not in a NY minute.

AA: What’s easier in New York City? What’s easier in Paris?

LS: In New York City there’s a huge resource of vendors. You can literally find a great service or product for anything & everything. Working in Paris, you have so much built in decor and beauty everywhere that even if you were on a random little street, photos would be exquisite and transporting.

AA: You have a fine arts background. What’s your favorite museum in New York? Your favorite in Paris?

LS: In New York, The Frick Collection!  It is a magical place in the most beautiful part of the city.  The nineteenth-century paintings are my favorite. In Paris, my favorite is Le Musee de l’Orangerie. It is located in the Tuileries Gardens (also a favorite part of town) and I could spend hours just staring at Claude Monet’s Water Lilies.

AA: Has Loli’s mascot, Truffle, strolled along the Seine?

LS: Alas no…. Truffle has never even been on a plane.  When Loli is in Paris… Truffle usually stays in Brooklyn with his dad. That being said, I am sure he would love Les Rue de Paris.

AA: Finally, is there a particular piece of wedding paper that you really love, but most of your clients don’t usually include for their wedding dapacecardy?

LS: I wish everyone did place cards not just escort cards… think it is such a personal touch to any great event no matter how big or small.