On Barneys New York + The Power of Maximalism

Barneys New York – beloved institution of all things ephemeral, elegant, and truly unique – has filed for bankruptcy and is closing its doors. As a writer with close ties to Barneys (let’s just say I lived in a tiny Brooklyn apartment and ended up with a hand-me-down velvet + caned loveseat from one of its Manhattan locations) — its closing struck a chord. 

The thing about Barneys is that it’s a symbol of so much more than clothes and beautiful items. It’s really a symbol of singularity, eccentricity, and imagination. And beyond all: maximalism. Patterns, colors, juxtaposition, surprise, beauty, and excess, but beautifully articulated, too much? just enough. 

At EC, maximalism is our *thing*. It’s a way of seeing, entertaining, and living. We champion Maximalism through different facets of our lives — entertaining, pop culture and media, travel, food, wine and lifestyle. This isn’t hedonism — it’s not about gluttony or vice, though we like vices in good measure. 

Maximalism is about sumptuous detail, eccentric personality, creating an ambiance, setting a mood. 

At Entertaining Company, we take inspiration from the world around us and are constantly finding ways to interpret these details into unique menu items, cocktails, props, florals, and details for our clients and their guests. Entertaining is a huge vehicle for self-expression and it’s always our delight to take a seedling of creative genius and blow it up into a larger-than-life tableau that a guest can step into.

Everything we like and curate has a touch of Maximalism stitched into its fabric, and we love finding new artists, curators, event designers, and personalities who are also focused on creating insanely dreamy, inventive, and unique products, places and spaces. 

People, Places & Spaces for Inspiration:

Planner Rebecca S Gardner, featured in Veranda Magazine and queen of opulence. Take a look at her Instagram.

Bronson Van Wyck — party boy, planner, and dream weaver. A few choice quotes below about imagination, and entertaining.

Aedes de Venustas Perfume — Latin for House of Wind, and a beautiful destination when you need to be swept away.

Schweitzer Linen — where EC Founder Wendy Pashman has found insane linens for private dinners throughout the years. Fox needlepoint pillows are also a must.

Erica Wilson — the “Julia Child” of needlepoint, who brought an arcane art form to the masses through a joyful approach and insatiable imagination. A vintage Youtube clip in her honor.

Iris Apfel — Queen Mother of layering, patterning, and living your best life. This woman is the bible on Maximalism. A look into her style here.

Eric Bompard cashmere – the sweaters are a must for a trip to Paris, never mind the art direction; the brand is a portal into another world where the champagne flows, and we can’ have enough 3D stitched camel sweaters.

T Magazine Interiors — a go-to resource for Maximalist interiors. Take a look at their profile on Eccentric English Design.

Missoni Family Mealtime — a multi-generational approach to layering and dining. Sign us up.

The Gem Palace, Jaipur — if the styling on the website isn’t enough, consider an afternoon chai surrounded by dusty pink walls in Jaipur, and combing through hundreds of the world’s most exquisite diamonds. Sound good?