Flower Magazine

JUL-AUG 2018

Browse "flower" to learn techniques from established and up-and-coming designers, be inspired by the floral decor of weddings, galas, and flower and garden shows, and infuse your lifestyle with chic floral fashion and home decor.

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W "At this point, I think most people just expect to receive an invitation from me that's outlandish. Maybe next time, I should consider sending out a normal invitation. That would be a real surprise!" –CATHY GRAHAM ABOVE: For a birthday party invitation, Graham pasted a photo of the honoree's face atop a vintage paper doll body and designed a multidimensional costume from tulle, rhinestones, and feathers. OPPOSITE, CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: The sunlit studio at Graham's Upper East Side town house • She uses German paints purchased from a supply store in Harlem. • Hand-painted candle shades add to the bespoke feel of Graham's tablescapes. • A fashion illustration inspired by a couture show WHEN LIFE GIVES YOU lemons, you make lemonade. Or, if you're Cathy Graham, you toss them in a hand- painted bowl; throw in some glossy, green leaves; and create a stunningly simple centerpiece. After 30 years of marriage, the 60-something artist, fashion illustrator, and consummate entertainer found herself single and starting anew. "When my husband left, I thought that the world as I knew it was over," says Graham candidly. "But I quickly realized that I was too old to be bitter or resentful and that I had to move forward. Filling my home with flowers and friends became a form of therapy for me. Despite the pain, I reconnected with the woman I was before marriage and rediscovered my passion for art, entertain- ing, and creating." At the urging of interior designer and dear friend Howard Slatkin, Graham is doing just that—creating. Last year, she published her first book, Second Bloom: Cathy Graham's Art of the Table (Vendome) and has since designed a line of paper products including note cards, notebooks, and wrapping paper. She has also launched a signature candle with Nest Fragrances, a line of pajamas and textiles with Charmajesty, and a line of decoupage home accents with Scott Potter. In essence, she is experiencing her own second bloom. Graham claims to have inherited the creative gene from her mother, Rema Stone, a painter, and her father, notable Chicago architect Richard Barancik, who introduced her to the art world when she was a child. On the weekends, father and daughter would visit the city's world-class museums and galleries, including the Thorne Miniature Rooms at the Art Institute of Chicago, where Graham developed her passion for all things small. "I once read an article that referred to miniature enthusiasts as 'mini-acs,' so clearly I'm not alone in this!" she says. "Back in grade school, I would feign stomach - aches so that I could stay home and play with my tiny toys. I spent countless hours coordinating outfits for my little dolls and compiling mini tablescapes with my plates and tea sets. You could say I was gaining good practice." Practice clearly paid off. After earning her Bachelor of Fine Arts in painting from the Rhode Island School of Design and studying fashion illustra- tion at Parsons in New York, Graham landed freelance fashion illustration work with prestigious publications such as The New York Times, New York Magazine, and Rolling Stone, and has been commis- sioned by Bergdorf Goodman, Estée Lauder, CBS Records, and HBO. She was living an artist's life in late-1970s Soho when she met and married her former husband. As newlyweds, the couple hosted frequent dinners and cocktail parties, allowing Graham to cultivate J U LY/A U G U S T 2 0 1 8 | 73

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