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To have and BHLDN: Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo and Juliet

And the final board is…a classic Shakespeare tragedy with a twist. Baz Luhrmann’s rendition of Romeo and Juliet has to be one of my favourite interpretations of the bard’s work as it was the most risky attempt at presenting 16th century literature in a modern setting and making it work.

There is a very strong theatre motif in this version of Romeo and Juliet, in large part due to Luhrmann’s history in the theatre { did you know that R&J is part of Luhrmann’s “Red Curtain Trilogy“? }, as such there is a distinct extravagance. However, this is nicely balanced against the almost fairytale youthful innocence of a young couple in love, despite family rivalry. With a setting of California, the scene is hot, colourful and a little gaudy.

baz luhrmanns romeo and juliet


The bridal elements

a. cascading goddess gown – $1600
b. feathered corsage bird veil – $300
c. pave marvel earrings – $188
d. clipped corolla heels – $200

The table setting

1. flights and fancy dinnerware – $12 – $16
2. high neck vase – $38
3. filigree spheres – $373-$973
4. helianthus goblet – $8
5. bronze age flatware – $36

see also: large frog bowl – $38, rippled champagne flute – $14 and dhalia tea towel– $24

Why it works

I picture this wedding in a massive tent, with walls of layers upon layers of flowy white fabric, much like the skirt of the cascading goddess gown. While this category could be deemed as an opportunity to be bold, the fact of the participants being a young, modern couple prevents the look from being excessive or gaudy. Instead elements of clashing metals – the filigree spheres all over the ceiling – and bright bronze slender flatware provide a ‘subtle gaudiness’ so to speak.

Bold colours in the plates, the glassware and the high neck vases make this a bright colourful yet youthful setting with a measure of 20th century elegance. The additional elements such as the frog bowl I imagine as an interesting supporting layer to a multi-tier wedding cake. The leaves on the bowl has a nice curvature that is a nod to Baroque style – a style that is reflected in the clipped corolla heels. This is a look that can be easily accented with plain white tableware to make it even more subdued or with bright colourful accents to be a little bit more audacious.

I hope you have enjoyed the To have and BHLDN series. Previous boards can be found here, here and here. I cannot wait til the BHLDN line launches it’s tablewares in May…you can be sure there will be a round up and commentary about it all here at craven maven!

all images via anthropologie, terrain and bhldn

To have and BHLDN: My Chemical Romance..

The third in this weeks series of wedding table settings inspired by the launch of bridal haven BHLDN is something that really appeals to MY heart: science.

Often misconstrued as being cold, emotionless and unfeeling, Science often get’s the short end of the stick. But don’t let those beakers and thermometers fool you – for a fire burns in the science lab that is hotter than any bunsen burner. Many know the name Marie Curie, the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, and the only woman to do so for two different fields – that of chemistry and physics. But what many might not realise is that Marie was married to Pierre Curie. The pair met when Marie moved from Poland to Paris to become a student of Science, Pierre, at that time director of the lab soon fell for the young Marie and a connection was formed that was only to be separated by death. As a couple, the Curies won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1903, and bore daughter who later went on to become a physicists herself.

my chemical romance


The bridal elements

a. origami pleated dress – $260
b. daguerreotype necklace – $520
c. simplicity flats – $120

The table setting

1. supper exhibit dinnerware – $68-$98
2. the new terrarium book – $25
3. bubble place card holder – $6
4. ribbon of light tumbler – $14
5. bendy flatware – $98

see also: weck juice jar set – $24 and printed jar set – $28

Why it works

There is a certain simplicity to the origami pleated dress that lends itself to function { a wedding dress } rather than the often more elaborate fashion adorned on such an occasion as do the simplicity flats. The only accessory? A Daguerreotype necklace, made with antique celluloid photographs in vintage brass. Daguerreotypes are a rarity nowadays – the first type of photo development they require a heady mix of alloy, silver and mercury to produce an image..truly an adventure in science.

The objects for the table setting all have one thing in common – creating curiosity. They feature spirals of colour in glass plates { which on closer inspection looks like a whirling solar system of sorts }, ribbons of light in drinking glasses, seemingly magically bent flatware and test tube glass reminiscent, bubble placeholders. The Terrarium Book is a point of reference for the couple to create home made terrariums {or mini-worlds } as centre pieces thus satisfying their interest to create. Overall the objects welcome further inspection and investigation – a quest for answers.

Honorable mentions of the weck jars and printed jar sets are for gifts for the guests made by the bride and groom themselves – pickled peppers? Jam cooked up in the lab using unique ingredients? The possibilities are unlimited.

Only one more BHLDN inspired moodboard left…what will it be? Tune in tomorrow to find out!

all images via anthropologie, terrain and bhldn

To have and BHLDN: From India, with love

As a continuation to yesterdays punk inspired wedding borne from the launch of the new bridal one stop haven, BHLDN, today I give you part two of the series: From India, with love.

It is the love story of Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal, married as teens in 1612, whose love surpassed the confines of death and whose story has evaded the obsolescence of time. After the death of Mumtaz, a forlorn and grieving Shah erected one of the world’s most wonderful works of architechture, the Taj Mahal, as a monument and mausoleum for his beloved wife. To this day it’s curvaceous lines and outstanding beauty continues to wow the world and has made it one of the most recognised buildings of all time.

From india with love


The bridal elements

a. greenbow lace gown – $600
b. baguette halo – $140
c. brocade d’orsay heels – $350

The table settings

1. zinnia thicket plates – $12
2. nifty napkins – $32 for six
3. opalescent tumbler { in green } -$12
4. whizbang bowl – $32
5. platinum petals coupe – $14
6. rediscovered flatware – $36

see also : glass bottle and basket – $238 and bell finial cloche – $28

Why it works

This beautiful crochet dress has a keyhole in the back, a most elegant ‘cooling system’ for a wedding in a hot location. The baguette halo as headpiece and brocade d’orsay heels add an element of exoticism and sun capturing glintz.

Translated to table setting this concept brings a mixture of brightly coloured elements and patterns that are gently restrained by the shapes and facets that give a somewhat colonial feel. The zinnia plates and whizbang bowls scream with their highly saturated hues and bold pattern. They made me think of the unabashed joviality of sari colours and patterns.

By way of contrast the rediscovered flatware, inspired by vintage flatware, coupled with the platinum petals coupe contributes a regal air that feels decidedly English and formal. The honorable mentions of the bottle and basket and finial cloche { via terrain } add an old world feel to the table and make it seem like the table scape is a collection of inherited items that have traveled from back home that have mashed-up with styles newly acquired in ones new more exotic home.

all images via anthropologie and bhldn

People will always need plates

1930s modenist villas1930’s modernist seaside villas

When in London, my sister turned me on to an amazing ceramic company, to a few in fact, but this one really stood out above the crowd. Why? The bold colours, simple lines and neat aesthetic.

People will always need plates create an amazing selection of plates, mugs and other wares that features British architecture as their subject matter. The lines are very clean and simple with subtle shading – like the start of an illustration just waiting to be filled in with colour and additional detail. The boldness in the design is provided by a single yet vivid colour. These plates are almost TOO GOOD to eat off.

British industry is NOT deadBritish Industry is dead, long live British industry

Their new line, British Industry is dead, long live British industry is created to defy the misconception that ‘Britain no longer makes anything’. The pottery industry is seeing a resurgence, while many old bastions of society such as ship building are on the decline – a statement of the times we live in.

trellick towerTrellick Tower

I find it rather reassuring and heart warming to see a collection of plates with landmarks that are current and familiar to me. Instead of some non-descript floral design or some such. Check out the wonderful work of People will always need Plates here.

images by people will always need plates

Taking the outdoors in for the Autumn

Indoor garden party

It’s getting yucky out there dear readers. Everyone I’ve spoken to in every country this week has said one thing. “It’s raining.” The WORLD is raining right now. What gives?? I can’t believe it’s almost time to take the outdoors in, no more garden parties, no more picnics and back to warm snuggly comfort food.

While I don’t have room for a dinner party..if I did, I would love it to look something like the above…

1. Wood & Glass terrarium from Terrain, $188. A bit elaborate for a bread basket..but oh so fun. 2. Ash wood cutting board at Terrain, $32. This would make a super cool, rustic place mat.. 3. Olive branch serving trivet from Terrain, $18. Perfect for holding a medly of condiments or some such. 4. Corkstop Cloche from Terrain (no longer available). Since my trip abroad I’ve been addicted to sparkling water and cordials..(they served them as ‘Soda’ at Elephant & Castle)..this cloche would be perfect for a big mix of soda for the table. 5. Vintage flatware from POSH (prices vary).

6. Mushroom salt and pepper shakers, $48 from Terrain. 7. Flowers from Saipua. 8. Napkins from POSH, 4 for $20. 9. Teacup and saucer from Anthropologie. 10. Cement Planter $298, from Terrain – a great vessel to house the saipua flowers! 11. Dinner plates from Areaware, $130 for 4.

It’s kind of appropriate that most of my choices come from outdoor specialists Terrain. Who says that the outdoors has to stay there?!

images from terrain at stylers, saipua, POSH chicago and areaware.

More than just a plate

Silence Came Plate by Lisa Grue
Silence Came Plate by Lisa Grue

I love when something is done differently and done well, when something walks the line between art and function. I am a firm believer in using ‘special things’ in the day to day. Why have that China for ‘special occasions’ when every day can be a celebration? I used to have the reputation for going to work in clothes that some might reserve for a special night out – suitably dressed down of course, it made me and others feel good and made every day just that bit more special.

Yesterday I came across these fantastically creative plates by Lisa Grue. From a project she titled, ‘Owls have more fun’. They are classic Royal Copenhagen plates, adorned with Lisa’s illustration, woven with wool and adorned with pompoms.

Lisa Grue Plates
Hell Yes and Wake Up plates by Lisa Grue

They are such a step up from the ‘typical’ illustrated plate most artists of this medium go for. The addition of wool woven around the edges and intermittent pompoms leaves you wondering just what to do with this piece. It defy’s function, or so you would think..I would have no issue with serving a canape or two on these…they are sure to be a talking point of any dinner party. The ‘fun’ of them makes me smile. Pom Poms immediately draw me back to childhood, wearing ankle socks with pompoms at the heels as well as making pom poms with my sisters. The illustrations are almost childlike and in comparison to the bright whimsy of the wools selected, are a little dark and foreboding, a nice contrast thats a little unsettling – making you question Lisa’s choices, motivation and message she is trying to portray.

Clear water plate by Lisa Grue
Clear water plate by Lisa Grue

Whether a person decides to decorate with these or use them in their day-to-day, there is no doubt that these plates are special and as such would make the day to day much more interesting and entertaining.

Plates retail from $100-$300 and can be found in the gallery hanahou shop. All images from gallery hananhou.

Guest Post: the Renaissance Chocolate Chip Cookie

renaissance cookie

This post is by my dear friend Liz – a brilliant photographer, adventurous cook and newly converted football fan..

– – – – –

This is the Renaissance Chocolate Chip Cookie.

It is named after a tiny, now-defunct coffee shop where I worked as a teenager, during my brief sojourn in a small southern town. Its creator was a trained and talented chef (though he really didn’t like to work for a living), who imparted the recipe to me after deciding that I would likely use the powers of this deceptively simple cookie for mischief rather than good.

Though my friends, my hometown, and my experiences have all changed several times throughout the course of the decade that followed, one of the few things that have come with me everywhere is the greasy sheet of paper containing this recipe. Mind you, the cookie has changed too. It has undergone rebirth after rebirth, evolving into something new but familiar with each ingredient variance.

renaissance cookie

I can remember the time I first used liquor instead of vanilla extract (all I had in my first NYC apartment). Or the time I turned them a hue more than slightly past golden brown, being too busy talking to a young man to check on them (much to his amusement and my own chagrin). There was the time I ground the oats into flour by hand (during one of the near-daily power outages I experienced while living in the Dominican Republic). And of course, the joy of watching them wolfed down by cookie-loving friends and family. There are moments and memories tied up in this recipe far too numerous to mention.

Now I’m baking up a batch to take to a friend’s house, this time using agave sweetener in place of brown sugar. With every alteration, every baking sheet I pull from the oven teaches me how something can change with time, circumstance, even mood.

And the Renaissance Cookie is born again.

all images by liz

note: Thanks Liz! And thanks to all of this weeks guest posters. I will be back next week to tell you about my craven adventures while on holiday! cm