Mix Bright Colors Into Your Next Bash

09/20/2013 at 04:38 PM ET

Kendra Scott
Courtesy Kendra Scott

Pantone just released the “it” colors for spring 2014, and it looks like bold is back.

A shade called “Dazzling Blue” topped the list, with vivid orange, yellow and purple right behind it. Which leaves us wondering: How do we throw a colorful dinner party without looking like a rainbow exploded on the dining table?

The trick is balancing the bright with softer shades, says Kendra Scott, a jewelry designer known for using playful colors in her pieces (spotted on Eva Longoria, Hilary Duff and Sofia Vergara). Also an expert entertainer, Scott shared photos of her last colorful tablescape and advice on how to pull off something similar. 

1. Start with a sand-colored or bamboo table runner as a base. The earth tone adds a warmth to the table, creating the right foundation to display brighter colors, Scott says. “It’s a great buy to use as a go-to for every party you host,” since you can pair it with so many different color schemes, she adds.

2. Pair crisp white plates with placemats in a softer color, like hemlock (a soft green).

3. Choose bright napkins with a whimsical print. “The great thing about napkins is that they are so inexpensive,” Scott says. “You can update your tablescape with new napkins in fun colors every season. And prints are really hot right now, from chevron to quatrefoil.”  Scott used yellow chevron napkins above, but thinks freesia (a light, bright purple) would look great, too.

4. Stick to simple glassware, but serve a bright drink! “Cocktails are another fabulous way to add a splash of color to your party, and I love the idea of using rock candy as a garnish,” Scott says.

5. Tall, bright flowers pop in candy-colored glass vases, but balance the look with clear glass or classic mercury candleholders.

“One of the best ways to set the mood and overall theme for a party is by using color,” Scott says. “I’ve had a Moroccan party, an Oscars party and even an African-themed party, and I always go all out!”


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The Latest Craze in Disco Styles Is See-Through Jeans—but Beware of Foggy Bottoms
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The Latest Craze in Disco Styles Is See-Through Jeans—but Beware of Foggy Bottoms

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On a clear day, you can see forever—or at least that’s the wicked thought behind L.A. designer Agi Berliner’s transparent idea: see-through jeans. Exhibitionists notwithstanding, most folks wear them over bathing suits or as attention-getting evening wear with halters, garter belts and body stockings. Created for the disco crowd, the $34 jeans are selling like, well, hot pants. In just six weeks, 25,000 pairs have already been sold in such major department store chains as Macy’s, Bonwit’s and Saks.

“What’s limiting American designers is that we’re afraid to do something different,” says Berliner, 32, a Hungarian émigré who fled with her family to the U.S. in 1956. Agi thought up the gimmick in London while marveling at the way plastics were being employed by designers of punk fashion. In her L.A. office, where she designs for La Parisienne junior sportswear, Agi spent five days on the phone and six weeks testing to come up with the right plastic.

Agi herself tried out the French-cut jeans with the zipper in front, and quickly found several problems: Some plastics tore away from stitching, others wouldn’t bend and all fogged with perspiration. The ideal material proved to be a vinyl supplied by a bookbinder. The steam was eliminated with a series of vents behind the knees and in the crotch. “They’re no hotter than polyester pants,” claims Agi, “and if you wear them with tights, they won’t stick to your legs.”

Whatever the discomfort and despite the problem of Saturday night feverishness, discomaniacs report one major advantage of the plastic pants: no laundry bills. To keep Berliner’s see-through jeans clear, all the wearer needs is a little Windex.

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