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.


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,


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.


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.



A Love of Many Colors: Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera

Imagine a love fueled by both intense devotion and tumultuous passion. This was the reality for artists Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. During the span of their 27 year relationship, artists Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera exchanged numerous letters that reflect the spectrum of their love, encompassing their joy, anguish, and desire.

In 1922, Frida Kahlo met painter Diego Rivera, whose work she admired deeply. After not being in contact for several years, the artists reconnected in 1928 and Rivera began to act as Kahlo’s artistic mentor. Their relationship eventually became intimate, yielding one of art history’s most fascinating romances. The artists inspired one another, Kahlo and Rivera urging one another to explore their passion deeper in their art. Diego is cited as stating, “I did not know it then, but Frida had already become the most important fact in my life. And would continue to be up to the moment she died, 27 years later.” (Source: Despite their immense love for one another, Kahlo and Rivera had multiple affairs throughout their marriage. Yet, Kahlo and Rivera remained devoted to one another because of a resilient passion that withstood even their relationship’s darkest moments.

Transcribed translation:

Truth is, so great, that I wouldn’t like to speak, or sleep, or love.
To feel myself trapped, with no fear of blood, outside time and magic, within your own fear, and your anguish, and within the very beating of your heart.
All this madness if I asked it of you, I know, in your silence, there would be only confusion.
I ask you for violence, in the nonsense, and you, you give me grace, your light and your warmth.
I’d like to paint you, but there are no colors [sic], because there are so many, in my confusion, the tangible form of my great love.


Madeleine Garone,

Madeleine Garone signature

Illuminate Your Signature: The Story and Etiquette of Monograms

Monograms are more than just initials. It is a name stripped to its essence. A monogram tells a tale of our identity, who we are and who we want to be. The first monograms were seen on coins as early as 350 B.C. in Ancient Greece. The monograms on the coins were the first two letters of the Greek cities, which indicated where the coins came from. At the height of the Middle Ages, artisans began to use monograms as a signature to their work. A monogram became a way for an artist to take ownership of her work. The painter Rembrandt’s signed initials, RL, are iconic and ultimately allowed his work to become instantly identifiable during the peak of the Dutch Golden Age. The Victorian era propelled the use of monograms to symbolize aristocracy. Monograms were the perfect way to adorn their linens, but they were soon etched onto personal treasures, such as lockets. JF-Monogram

While monograms come in an array of typestyles and shapes, they always contain a person’s or couple’s initials. The most popular monogram for a man or a woman consists of the initials of the first and middle and that of the surname, which is always located in the center of the monogram.

  1. A 3-letter monogram captures the individual’s entire name. The first name is represented by the letter on the left and the middle name is represented by the letter on the right. The surname is always the initial located in the center.
  2. An individual can also create a 1-letter monogram, which can represent the first or last name.

Couples can get in on the fun, too. A monogram is the perfect way to capture your commitment and also create your own symbol as a couple. Today’s modern couples can choose from many variations on monograms to accommodate name changes, including a hyphenated last name, a bride keeping her family name, and brides and grooms keeping their family names.

  1. The most common monogram for a couple with a sole last name is to position the wife’s initial on the left, the husband’s initial to the right, and their last name in the middle. Same sex couples can choose the arrangement of their initials based on the aesthetic of the letter arrangement.
  2. For couples who decide to keep their given surnames, a 2-letter or 4-letter interlocking monogram is the perfect solution. Interlocking monograms are a beautiful way to capture the symmetry of the letters visually, and, more profoundly, the balance and harmony of a couple’s dedication and love.

DandC monogram

Although there is an etiquette to monogramming, monograms are an expression of one’s identity. They represent elements of your personality all while highlighting the most significant parts of your name. The monogram is a timeless expression, one that is subject to the intricacies of your personality, making it truly yours.

Madeleine Garone,

Madeleine Garone signature