The Stars Come Out at Night

Richmond was a little brighter, more bubbly and better dressed last evening, reflecting in the light that shone from the celebrities in our midst.

My view.



I’m not crafty. And that may be the most surprising thing about my choice to see Eddie Ross and Jaithan Kochar at the Ballet of Richmond’s Home for the Holidays fundraiser. That’s homemade wrapping paper up there on the table (not the best angle, sorry.) I swore off trying to keep up with the Marthas of the world after she advised us to grow our own grass for the Easter basket. Which is why I’m shocked that after last evening, I am itching to get to a Ben Franklin or Michael’s and a fabric store.

I may not be a DIY’er (unless it’s unavoidable), but I do appreciate bespoke. Bespoke wrapping paper. Now that’s a conceit I can sign on to.

I grew up with stuff like this.


But a little simplification gave us something entirely different (no original photo, too blurry. Sorry.) Or as he put it: “more refined, less Cirque du Soleil. Less is more”

And the hits just kept on coming.
(Standard Dollar Store Bows, snipped and instantly more chic.)

You know when you’ve witnessed something different? That’s the impression with which I was left last evening. This is a brand ascendent. I don’t think that’s news to anybody. I might also draw parallels between Jaithan Kochar and Eddie Ross and a certain former couturier and his business partner. Because there is a great partnership in evidence here, that much was very clear.


It doesn’t hurt that both men are charming, upbeat, energetic. Both have an eye.


That table was set with things found at my local antiques mall. Which means that they found all of that on the same day as the presentation, after appearing on a local TV station.


He likes mints and candies at the table and why not? Thirty years ago, you would have had a small silver cup with a few cigarettes placed in front of you.


Another tip: cauterize the cut poinsettia branches and insert them into floral water tube “picks” then into the foam. Floral arranging? That’s surgery, and the results are beautiful and lasting.

I find it interesting that he would mix metals, using brass candlesticks and silverware. But as he said “that way it doesn’t look like you opened the dusty china closet and hauled out the wedding presents.” (Or words to that effect. Did I mention that there were wineries sampling sparkling wines?)

I learned a lot. It may have been the only Powerpoint presentation I’ve actually enjoyed.

Here’s the executive summary: “Just as long as you know the rules, you can break them.” Entertaining doesn’t have to be expensive. “You can always find $5 for an olive fork…” The thing about magazine photos is that they are not perfect. Clever cropping means that you don’t see the frayed edge of the newly made “runner” (read a piece of fabric that has been folded into thirds and ironed.)


Really all the tips boil down to this: have fun, mix and mingle and give everything a bit of thought. That and read his blog. He’s got a thousand of them.

(L-R: Your faithful correspondent, Ms. Cindy Taylor, Jaithan Kochar, Eddie Ross, Ms. Anne Taylor. Many thanks to Anne for the photo. I’m happy that I led she and her mother astray. It was a delightful walk around the building. More thanks to Mrs. PvE for the virtual introduction to Eddie and Jaithan.)

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