Lela Rose is not only an expert when it comes to creating a runway-ready look, but it turns out she gives a super stylish dinner party, too. When we caught up with the New York-based designer to discuss her new entertaining book, Pret-a-Party ($40; rizzolibookstore.com), for InStyle’s October issue, she explained that designing a dress and setting a table have more in common than you might expect. “Entertaining is very similar to how I do my collection,” said Rose. “Both activities start with having one idea for a theme, and then that detail runs throughout everything." Scroll down to read her three tips for incorporating style into all types of parties, from kids’ birthday celebrations to seasonal sit-downs.
1. Suggest a fun dress code—even for kids!
For the designer's daughter Rosey's birthday party—appropriately called Everything’s Coming Up Rosey—she asked all of the girls to wear pink on the invitation. “For me, the attire is always a part of the invitation,” said Rose. “I love when people give me an idea of what to wear other than just cocktail or black tie. It doesn’t mean your whole outfit has to be pink. Rather, it gives your guests the license to do something creative and fun and gets them more excited.”
2. Use extra fabric as décor.
When it comes to decorations, head to the fabric store. For her daughter's pink-themed birthday bash, Rose found lace fabric at her local store and used them to add a pretty finishing touch to take-home treats. “We tied up peppermint pink bark with little pieces of rose-colored lace,” said Rose. "It's easy to find in stores or something vintage online." She doubled its duty too by cutting little circles out of the fabric and using them as coasters.
3. Turn everyday objects into centerpieces.
Rose has a knack for working simple objects into her pretty place settings. For example, she converted oversize spools of thread into chic vases by placing flowers through the center opening. “I’m always thinking about how I can take something that I have and turn it into something amazing,” said Rose. But some decorations are easier to come across than others, such as Rose’s go-to: Tree branches. “They’re so spindly and beautiful—you can wrap them with gold thread or you can spray them with glitter spray to make them more fun," she said.
The bonus is that they come at no cost: "You can find them out on the street or in a park,” said Rose. “Sometimes I don’t even bother shaking them off!”