Hosting Tips

A French-Nautical Soirée

By Camille Styles
French Nautical Summer Party | Camille Styles

A couple weeks ago, I had the pleasure of hosting a preview party for Mark and Graham’s 2013 Summer Collection. Thirty or so creative gal pals from Austin and beyond gathered at my place for champagne cocktails, seasonally-inspired tartines and shopping the brand’s nautical-inspired offerings. From the stripe-centric photobooth to the thunderstorm that sent us all running for cover, it was a totally unforgettable night…and of course I had to share all the details as captured by Wynn Myers. Click through for the highlights, including a peek at Mark and Graham’s newest offerings and a few ideas of throwing a “French Nautical”-themed fête of your own!

We welcomed guests at the door in a perfectly-French way with beautiful calligraphy by Mia Carameros. A few strands of rope, picked up at the hardware store and knotted, gave it a nautical vibe.

We displayed some of my favorite Mark and Graham items around the patio so guests could see the products up close and feel for themselves how luxe the materials are.

A tiered galvanized stand displayed ingredients for cocktails, and guests could take their pick from the menu: lavender lemonade, french 75 or summer crush. (so tough to choose! Though the summer crush was a smash hit.)

*stand from Pottery Barn. Calligraphy by Mia Carameros.

Champagne on ice pretty much screams summer party, and I love Mark and Graham’s hand-blown ice bucket. I had mine monogrammed with the word Chill.

*shown with Mark and Graham Grosgrain Border Dinner Napkins and Classic Tall Pitcher.

Since Mark and Graham is all about personalized gifting, each guest took home a monogrammed cosmetic bag, perfect for summer travels. We packed them up in kraft paper bags adorned with anchor key fobs.

Guests jumped on board the nautical theme… love Lisa’s striped wedges.

A café table set with Mark and Graham accessories to provide a little tabletop inspiration for summertime gatherings.

*typographer linen table runner, skinny mint juleps, elegant everyday sloped highballs.  

So many great totes – and I love the modern take on a classic monogram shown here.

Jenn carries a straw bag that’s so on-theme.

Word of Mouth whipped up these tartines (open-faced French sandwiches) in flavor combos straight out of my dreams:

  • roquefort, chambord figs, local honey, toasted walnuts
  • sweet pea hummus, grilled asparagus, lemon zest
  • seared tuna, tapenade, blanched haricot verts, watercress
  • shaved lamb, smashed white beans, mint pesto

It was such a great party menu – guests could grab a little slice and sample each one (no utensils required!)


Anchors away!

*Tiered stand by Pottery Barn set with Mark and Graham mint juleps.

“Liquid courage.”

*Mark and Graham pewter circle flask.

Guests were loving every bit of the summer catalog…

Shay did such a great job of getting guests to loosen up and have some fun in the photobooth. Erin and I were workin’ it.

Sally and Molly came in from Dallas to party with us!

The Mirror Mirror girls… always glam.

Jenn &  Lisa.