March 10, 2016

Michael Devine Ltd. strives to create beautiful products that are unique and always handmade. Using the best artisans in both the USA and France, every yard of fabric or piece of china is carefully crafted and made to order.

A Tribute to Reagan Style

Nancy Reagan with guests Diana Vreeland and Price Charles and Betsy Bloomingdale in the background. 
As a teen in the heady Reagan era I remember reading about Mrs. Reagan's style and elegance which seemed to always be in the headlines. Things have changed drastically from what now seems like a lifetime ago, but that is a topic for another post. Today I want to highlight one of the most stylish first ladies of the twentieth century with a glimpse of this Queens, New York native indomitable classic style. 
The Reagan red dinnerware plate made by Lenox China.
Mrs. Reagan made a splash arriving at the White House in 1981. She discovered that the china collection was in a woeful state and needed replenishment. Voila, the first major scandal of her era. The service she choose caused an outrage in the press. It was made by Lenox China in Trenton, NJ. She ordered 220 place settings at a cost of $210,399.00 which at the time was a lot of money for china, since the country was in deep recession. 
The State Dining Room.
The State Dining Room was the setting for fifty five State Dinners during Reagan's 8 years in the White House and they always made the news. One of the most notable dinners was for the Prince and Princess of Wales which included that dance with Princess Diana and John Travolta that was headline news the next day. The Reagan's also unofficially marked the end of the cold war with a state dinner for Mikhail Gorbachev. Mrs. Reagan clearly enjoyed being the country's leading hostess and took the role seriously.
A center piece of Lilies for the Gorbachev Dinner.
Mrs. Reagan on entertaining.
We knew that for many of our guests, that night would be one of the most memorable in their lives. We wanted to get it right every time. 
Cherry blossoms for the state dinner for the Prime Minister of Canada.
Getting it right every time I believe is the goal of everyone who hosts one to a hundred and is often easier said than done. Taking the extra effort can often make a evening magical and memorable whether its a family picnic or a formal business dinner. It always boils down to the details. Mrs. Reagan got it right every time with great elan.
R.I.P. Mrs. Reagan