With Christmas less than a week away, last-minute shoppers have two choices: spend a fortune on overnight delivery, or purchase something generic and emotionally hollow out of a sense of obligation. Hope is not lost if you’re in Manhattan, where event designer Rebecca Gardner’s Sugarplum Pop-Up shop at The St. Regis New York is still on, offering the kind of unexpected and charming design goods that make you look thoughtful.
Gardner, whose client list includes fashion insiders Laura Santo Domingo and Derek Blasberg, knows how to dress a space. Her vision for the hotel’s stately Cognac room, just off the famed lobby, feels more madcap Southern hostess than buttoned-up seven-course dinner. The selections are elevated beyond typical pop-up wares. There is a mix of gourmand fare like cheese straws, spiced pecans, and delectable candy houses along with traditional holiday ornaments, illustrations from artist Happy Menocal, and a punchy assortment of tabletop from haute brands Saint-Louis and Richard Ginori. Luxury stationer Mrs. John L. Strong is well-represented with new peppermint-motif gift enclosures, hand-engraved nutcracker gift tags, coasters, and fill-in place cards. Gardner’s choices include table linens, books, and even artist Ashlee Young’s handmade ruffled dog collars for the demanding and dressy pet.
“Our curious gifts and tabletop decorations were collected especially for the Sugarplum Pop-Up,” says Gardner. “I hope that these thoughtful, playful, and magnificently wrapped treasures bring joy back to gifting.”
While it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, her pop-up environment is very much the riotous Christmas parlor Auntie Mame would have adored: cheetah-print carpet, fringed lampshades, tiers of candy, and colorful layers of color. It’s holiday in high def, which may well be the point. “There is no better venue to sprinkle fairy dust than the opulent St. Regis New York, where it has been rumored that the chambermaids once carried room keys on strings of pearls,” says Gardner. That irreverent-with-a-pedigree vibe should inspire even the most harried of shoppers . . . which is all of us right now.
The Sugarplum Pop-Up shop will go on until December 24.