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David Stark’s Art of the Summer Party

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With warmer weather and summer on our minds, we can’t help but get excited about upcoming parties, weddings, alfresco dinners and festivities. In honor of the new season and a new book, we asked David Stark, author and President & Creative Director of David Stark Design and Production, to share his favorite tips and party memories. Follow his guide below to having the perfect soiree and meet David Stark on Tuesday, May 14th.

Join us and host, Darcy Miller to celebrate Stark’s newest book The Art of the Party, and the premiere of Paper Tales, his one-of-a-kind collection of art pieces exclusively for Bergdorf Goodman.

1.   If the party is the feature film, the invitation is the movie trailer.  Like any good coming attraction, the invitation elicits that MUST NOT MISS effect on its recipient.  Don’t underestimate the power of a good invite by thinking of it as purely a functional document. Make it a piece of art that arrives by mail, one that makes you say, WOW.  The party STARTS the minute you open that invitation.

2.  Take the time to find the perfect seating plan for your guests.  A great host is a wonderful match maker.  Sometimes it is about love, but most of the time, it is about creating fabulous conversation and creating new friendships.  The Post-it note is the party planner’s best friend. Create a drawing of your table plan, write your guests names on the sticky notes and place them on the plan, moving them around until you find the perfect arrangement.

3.  Who needs tables during the summer?  Set up plush picnic blankets on the lawn replete with comfy pillows, bottles of wine,  glassware, and nibbles.  You can even bring your floral centerpiece to your blanket!  Invite your guests to kick off their shoes and enjoy!

4.  Strings of old fashioned bulbs provide instant romance and ambiance.  Whether you are dining on a small patio or terrace, cocktailing around the pool of a gorgeous home, in a grand tent on a field or dancing in a charming barn on a farm, the strings of bulbs are always right, are easily accessible and say, FUN.

5.  Table flowers don’t need to be formal arrangements.  We love a still-life of blooms casually plucked from the garden and displayed in collections of small vases and bottles running down the length of the table.

A Party Memory or Two:

1.  People always ask me if I have a favorite party, but I love so, so many of them for many reasons.  Planning and designing my sister’s wedding at Wave Hill will always remain closest to my heart, though.  Of course, we make wonderful friends through the process of collaborating with our clients, but creating for my sister was a special opportunity to really give of myself.  Wave Hill has the most stunning, personal gardens and a spectacular view of the Hudson River, but alas, a hurricane swept through the region on the wedding day, and we had no choice but to go with our indoor rain plan.  No worries — the ceremony and party were so lovely and meaningful, we could have been at the Elks Lodge for all that it mattered!

2.  Many, many years ago – the instant I moved to New York City after college, I was a cater waiter at a July 4th party at Madonna’s Upper West Side apartment.  She kept slipping into the kitchen during the party to sneak Rice Crispy treats, saying, “Don’t tell anyone!”  And I never did.  (wink!)


Meet Author David Stark
The Art of the Party

Tuesday, May 14th
6:30 – 8:00pm
Seventh Floor
212 872 2809