Planning A Modern Day Parisian Salon

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This week has been a good one for down time - a little r&r, wine and a lot of reflecting. It was nice to be home a bit before taking off for my next trip (bonjour! I just arrived back in New Orleans!), and in my time at home I pored over my photos from Paris to relive all of my favorite moments.

On that list: catching the sunrise over the Eiffel Tour, leisurely mornings at the most glamorous museums exploring the art of the masters, hangs along the Canals listening in on the philosophers and poets swapping stories - and all of that stuff was incredible! But truly - my most favorite moments were the nightly catch ups over wine and cheese with the girls.

My girlfriends are each uniquely special, and I absolutely love a good wine night with them to share stories about love, career, ambition and dreams... there doesn't have to be a special occasion.

For the holiday season I've committed to planning more gatherings at home and in honor of my time in Paris I've decided to plan a Gertrude Stein style ladies only "salon." 

Classic salons are making a comeback (remember when Dan and Blair tried to make it happen on GG, oh my) and besides, there's no better time than now for ladies to come together and share their voices, exchange ideas and cheer each other on.

If you're not familiar with Gertrude Stein's salon nights here's the backstory:

Stein was an original bohemian. On Saturday evenings she'd host intimate gatherings for a wide range of guests. She was a collector - she collected peculiar people, experimental art, progressive ideas and spirited conversations. She'd show off new artists she was interested in (Picasso and Matisse had pieces on her walls before they were famous and Hemingway, Joyce and Fitzgerald were some of the first storytellers to become regulars in her living room). She'd evoke conversations on a variety of deeply engaging topics. Her intention was always to promote the brilliance in those that would later be the stars of their generation.

And! She was a woman. Before woman were doing these sorts of things!

In honor of progressive women from then to now here's how to plan your own salon style party:

The Topics:

Before everyone arrives send a list of discussion topics. Due to the current political climate I'm intending to avoid diving too far into that and to focus on uplifting and positive topic ideas - things that are a little funny or odd even. To have the salon be successful the more idiosyncratic the topic ideas the better I think! If it helps to get the crowd going you could choose articles, literature or poetry to send out in advance. It may help to steer the conversation!

The Participants:

Invite a wide range of guests. While I love spending time with my bff's I'm intending to have this gathering bring people together that otherwise wouldn't necessarily meet. Plus I'm still new in Nashville. I follow so many photographers, designers and stylist on instagram, several of which live near me, I'm also in a few Facebook groups so I'll look for locals there also. I'm planning to invite these ladies to my event in hopes that they're as interested in experiencing new faces and conversations.

The Supplies:

The original salons (the first ones date back to 16th century Italy btw) often included a meal or wine. Outside of that not much is required.

For my event I've decided on wine and cheese and theirs, a tribute to the California Central Coast, (another place I adore) are lovely - easy to drink with beautiful aromas and fresh flavors. There's several varietals - two whites and a red, and I intend to stock a few of each. Callie's a wine made for moments that stop time and I've got a feeling the conversations will go late.

Be sure to encourage your guests to ride share or plan for a DD if you'll be including wine too!

The Attire:

Lastly! Be sure to specify the dress code! For my event I'm thinking of asking the guests to dress in their best Hemingway-era inspired ensembles, it's always fun to dress up a little even when you're not going out on the town.

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I'd love to see how your own salon parties go if you decide to host one yourself! I'll be sharing mine on instastories and would love for you all to follow along.

By the way, I'll have lots of time to catch up with a few more of my best girls in my New Orleans home this week. Stay tuned for posts from the French Quarter, I'm so glad to be back.

Wanderfully yours,

Andi