Good tequila, matching oven mitts and plenty of pink and gold decor — all the essentials to a good party, according to Lela Rose. The designer, infamous for the much-loved dinner parties thrown in her TriBeCa home, released her entertaining how-to book, “Pret-A-Party,” on Sept. 29, and since then has been celebrating with — what else? — many a fabulous party. After a recent bash in Chicago she took the party to New York Wednesday night inside her newly opened shops-in-shop at Bergdorf Goodman, hosting a dinner for friends including Linda Fargo and Gillian Miniter.
“This has honestly always been a love of mine — I love to entertain, I love to do kooky things like match your drink to your dress and your dress to your table and coordinate everything,” the designer said in her Texan drawl. “The way I entertain I feel is very much like putting on a fashion show, it comes from a spark of inspiration and that inspiration turns into everything that you do, from the food that you serve to the drinks that you do.”
Rose welcomed guests with trays of her favorite drink, a margarita, before everyone sat down to a meal of gypsy salad, olive oil halibut and rose and pistachio poached pear, prepared by Camille Becerra, Navy Soho’s chef de cuisine.
“It’s a whole mix of whimsy of high and low in the book of entertaining, and we don’t do high and low in the collection,” she said of the book. “But in terms of that whimsical twist, it’s similar to what we do in the collection.”
“Pret-A-Party” highlights nine different events, with each chapter dedicated to a separate party Rose has thrown. “There was a couples cook-off where I had oven mitts that matched my outfit. Actually, now we make oven mitts that we sell on our Web site and they match all the pieces in the collection, which is hilarious,” she said.
The book also features a rooftop pig roast, a Christmas party and a wedding shower she threw for one of her employees. Her top party essential? “A specialty cocktail. I’ve never had a party without one,” she said. “When you greet someone at the door with a specialty cocktail they kind of instantly know that you’ve thought about it, it’s going to be special and they’re in for something fun.”