From California minimalism to 1950s opulence, Jonathan Parkey styles three high-fashion scenes inspired by some of fashion's biggest names.
Thom Browne, Rosetta Getty and Proenza Schouler. They're three of the world's powerhouse fashion houses, and they all happen to be on local event stylist Jonathan Parkey's resume.
After nearly a decade in the New York fashion industry and launching a successful business in Little Rock, Parkey dipped into his past to inspire the three high-fashion scenes seen below.
"I wanted to be careful not to mimic or set the table on behalf of the designers," Parkey says, "but instead utilize the function of a party table setting to reflect the garments, story and mood I've chosen from each designer, proving that well-executed, creative design manifests in many forms."
Thom Browne is a tailoring mastermind, combining a 1950s uptight aesthetic with an ease and whimsy that keeps gray tones from ever feeling too serious. There is both a humorous and theatrical quality that is undeniably thread throughout the brand's genes, perhaps most evident through Thom's legendary fashion shows. The shows are the perfect combination of luxurious couturier techniques, full-on fashion and storytelling. Without saying a word, Thom is able to somehow transport you to a time or place or dreamworld that you didn't know you needed to experience. His genius is being able to tell an entire story only through gray shades of herringbone, pinstripe and Prince of Wales check.
Working with Thom was certainly a highlight in my career, he has always been one of my fashion idols. When you work for him, you are required to wear the Thom Browne uniform, which is provided to you as though you are joining the Boy Scouts. It’s Thom Browne from head to toe: seasonal grey suit, white shirt, grey tie. When you step into the Thom Browne office, it is like looking at a fashion army of sharply dressed men and women behind stainless steel desks in a carrera marble and terrazzo cavern.
For this table, I wanted to combine the brand's most identifiable DNA — the red, white and blue grosgrain — with the finest details of a table set for two. This is Olivia's surprise birthday party, where the table and chairs seem to be floating away. The juxtaposition of the classical silver, full china and crystal place settings against the whimsical floating table give the scene a touch of humor that is always incorporated into Thom's work.
In choosing an outfit, I felt compelled to keep it classic Thom Browne, dressing Jalen in an old uniform suit as though he is coming home directly from the office for the party.
Clothing and bag by THOM BROWNE. Dinner plates by ROSENTHAL. Crystal glassware by WATERFORD, chargers by HEREND from THE EVERYDAY CHEF.
Rosetta Getty is classic Los Angeles. Born and raised a California girl, she leans into her deep-seated West Coast roots to create an aesthetic that is as functional as it is elegantly minimalist. As a mother of four children, she strives each season to create a collection that she can wear as effortlessly from the school pickup line to a movie premiere or art opening.
Working with Rosetta was like being a part of her family. One of my favorite parts was getting to hear all the stories of her life in LA. She and her husband Balthazar used to throw dinner parties at the top of Chateau Marmont, bringing in vintage rugs and pillows to create a Moroccan feast. She modeled for Bruce Weber and Azzedine Alaia, and happens to be best childhood friends with Patricia Arquette.
Rosetta Getty is the epitome of understated Los Angeles glamour. The scene and party I wanted to create is for an art collector, someone who doesn't skimp on details, but also appreciates the beauty in the industrious and natural state of elements not typically found at a dinner party in the Hollywood Hills.
Our model, Jeanne, is wearing a custom Rosetta creation. While the construction is simple — a standard shirt dress — Rosetta mixes it up with a beautiful tie detail that wraps our model to create the perfect shape and silhouette. The mules feature a slight kitten heel for comfort and ease. This is understated elegance and timeless beauty at its best, and ready to host a fabulous party.
Dress and shoes by ROSETTA GETTY. Jewelry from ROBERSON’S FINE JEWELRY. Centerpiece and florals by J. PARKEY. Dinnerware by ROYAL CROWN DERBY, silverware by VERA WANG, drinkware by MICHAEL WAINWRIGHT and SCHOTT ZWIESEL from THE EVERYDAY CHEF.
My career began at Proenza Schouler, the five-time Council of Fashion Designers of America award-winning fashion house. The young designers behind the label, Lazaro Hernandez and Jack McCollough, are most notably known for their innovative and technical textiles, taking inspiration from surf culture, West Coast attitudes and industrial, everyday materials to create some of the most incredible, luxurious fabrics that have swathed the hippest celebrities of our time. Whether dressing Kristen Stewart, Liv Tyler or Kim Kardashian, the brand stays relevant with its downtown, cool girl attitude, making luxury fashion something ever-aspirational but never too serious.
I wanted to create a party for our downtown “it girl” Charlotte, dressing her in one of my favorite vintage dresses from the spring 2010 fashion show featuring a frayed silk skirt that seemingly flutters away. This girl knows a good party and isn’t afraid to throw classical party planning on its head.
I wanted this scene to feel as though she has found the perfect dilapidated building or private parking garage in which to entertain her friends. The technicolored details of the dress are highlighted by the hot pink linens and hard-edged place settings. I wanted to pull out the aquatic details of this particular collection and add a sense of humor to the luxury leather goods by sinking a few of the brand’s iconic PS1 handbags into the four aquariums on the table. It’s almost as if her last text of the evening should be, "Xoxo, Gossip Girl."
Dress and handbags by PROENZA SCHOULER. Shoes by STUART WEITZMAN, jewelry from BARBARA/JEAN. Table covering by LA TAVOLA LINENS. Silverware by VERA WANG from THE EVERYDAY CHEF.