Tuesday, August 18, 2009

When I worked at Vogue Entertaining Guide

Often when I set my table I remember the wonderful years I spent working at Vogue Entertaining Guide magazine styling table settings. My job as Editorial Associate then was to source wonderful items and style the photographs for the pages in the magazines. I quite often styled the boardroom table settings for all the Vogue functions.

I styled stories in many private homes and gardens, table settings in ski lodges, outback and on country farms and in restaurants and well known hotels with famous chefs. It was fabulous fun and the young foodies and chefs of Australia were just coming out when I was there in the 80's.

Firstly, always find a wonderful backdrop to set up the table, a garden, a beautiful veranda, a corner of a courtyard filled with flowering plants or a fabulous view.

Must use wonderful china with good design with lovely shapes and interesting items on the table

and always work with beautiful lighting

Although I do all of my own photography now, I didn't take the photographs for Vogue back then, we hired many different photographers for each different job and I my job was as the director and stylist at each photo shoot. Always looking through the camera lens and checking the angles and positions, I worked closely with some of the most amazing food photographers in Australia and overseas. We did have lots of fun together and I also learnt many skills from these great guys over the years.

I also had the fun job to create the "Entertaining Ideas" pages in each issue, ideas for entertaining and food and I would spend weeks searching through gorgeous shops, wholesalers and antique stores for interesting items to feature in my stories. (I really did have a good job back then). Our office was always filled with new products, food items and table setting items. I was also the Christmas shopping buyer for the Editor in Chief and many of the girls at Vogue. We had so many fantastic products in our office that it almost looked like a department store on some days.


The debutante ball that I am working on at the moment is for over 600 guests, many of the details and 'how to' come from my days from Vogue and years of working on large events. Many mothers ask why I bother to go to such much detail. Well, I love it and it's the only way I know how to do it. I really admire people that create beautiful settings on their tables and produce beautifully styled food. My mother in law always had the most beautiful settings for our family dinners and she would set her table days before the dinner.

She's gone now and I do miss those dinners.

Welcome to all from Susan's Tablescape Thursday Party. You must visit Susan's blog at Between Naps on the Porch, she is celebrating her 1st anniversary this week.


  1. Coty -

    This post is just awesome.....and I'm going to come back here often to remind myself of what you have so wisely just explained to me for entertaining........your photography is fantastic - and your lighting - if only I could be as good....
    thank you for the advice.....I truly appreciate it all.

  2. Thanks for the tips, I need all the help I can get! It's pathetic really. Maybe one day I'll get there.

    Your mosaics are outstanding! Beautiful photographs! Wonderful blog!
    All the best,

  3. WOW! Really beautiful and inspiring! It's thrilling to read all of your accomplishments! What fun! You are gifted!

  4. I was just thinking of you today and your stunning photography -- as always your posts are a beautiful escape! Lovely.

  5. What beautiful pictures -- so clever -- you obviously learned a lot at Vogue.

  6. Coty, beautiful photos and collages!!!

  7. Your tables is truly a piece of art. Great job and thanks for sharing your "work"! I can tell you really do enjoy your tables and now so do I!

  8. Very nice job on all of your tables on your blog. I can tell you really enjoy your "work" and now so do I! Thanks for sharing!!

  9. I'm envious of your job at Vogue. Your photos are awesome! It was a real treat to visit today.

    Happy Tablescape Thursday and hope to see you at my place to toast Susan on her anniversary.

  10. Hi my name is Millie & I confess that I've still got all my old Vogue Entertaining Guide mags from the 80's tucked away in boxes under the stairs. I just can't chuck them out, they are just too gorgeous. What should I do dear Coty?

  11. No wonder you have such a good eye for detail. I can't imagine having such a fun (and demanding) job! I always enjoy your photography. Like your MIL, I set my table for special family gatherings days in advance with sticky notes for the sideboard food layout--:) Thanks for stopping by!

  12. Coty, that does sound like a dream job, but I know it must have been demanding, too. Your grace and style show in every picture you post and word you write.

    I love setting pretty tables, and I always have mine set days in advance.

  13. so, so beautiful...as always! what a lucky and talented gal to have worked for Vogue!! your images are stunning...i love that shade of green on the dishes...also love the shot of the allee of flowering trees and the shadows on the path! all the best,

  14. First of all, what a fabulous job you must have had! Did you get to keep any of the beautiful things you used on the table? These pictures are beautiful and I love all you've put it all together. Lovely lovely lovely.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia :)

  15. Those are so beautiful! I feel as though I have learned so much from looking at your wonderful photography. Thank you for the inspiration.

  16. I love love love these beuatiful Pictures!! Just perfect!! hugs, from your twinsister in the Netherlands, sylvia

  17. Hi Coty,
    Thank you for sharing these gorgeous, inspiring images. You obviously developed the skills as a photographer to complement the great eye and refined tastes that served you well as a director/stylist.

    I'm completely in awe of your skills and talent!
    So glad you participated in Tablescape Thursday!
    Hope your weekend goes well.


  18. Simply gorgeous! Every single photos is absolutely gorgeous.

  19. As always, your pics are delightful, so refreshing, charming, romantic with a spring spirit.

  20. What a fascinating and beautiful post. Your photos are always so beautiful, it is hard to imagine there was time when someone would hire a photographer while you did the styling. They obviously didn't know they had one amazing person who could do all of it! That photo of the lane with trees blooming on either side just took my breath. laurie

  21. Thank you everyone for all these wonderful comments, I am so glad you came to visit me.

    x Coty

  22. As always, Coty, your photos were awesome. I think you've had/got the most awesome jobs in the world! Thanks for coming by my blog. I'm doing fine, just been crazy busy. The baby comes in 10 days, so I'm on the countdown.


Your comments and emails truly make my day a very special one. Thank you for dropping by and visiting me at home in Australia, I read every single comment and I treasure each and every one. xxx Coty