Whimsical entertaining duo Laila and Nadia Gohar on what it takes to set your summer tablescape apart from the rest.
Summer means a lot of things—breezy outfits, 8 p.m. sunsets, and outdoor dining, to name a few. But most importantly, it means an opportunity to host your friends and family, preferably in the great outdoors. Hosting, however, can be tough. From setting a table to preparing a menu, the moving parts required to come together for an effortless evening is a bit daunting. And if not done right, it can often throw off an entire evening.
That's where Gohar World—a self-proclaimed tableware "universe" that brings together craft, time, and tradition (and, of course, a bit of humor) to create meaningful tablescapes and, by proxy, experiences—comes in. We checked in with the brand founders, sisters Laila and Nadia Gohar, on how to translate a little bit of their magic touch into our own summer dinner parties and events. “I hate when people say that entertaining should be effortless. I don’t agree at all,” says Laila. “I think a lot of effort should be put into entertaining and that all elements should be considered. Not just your menu, but the decor of the room, the lighting, the music. There’s nothing more beautiful than putting in an effort to show your friends and family that you love them." While your next summer dinner party may not include a tower of cherries or a baguette the length of your entire dinner table, a little bit of effort can go a long way.
An edible tower from a recent project in front of Saint Patrick's Cathedral in New York City.
Photo: Courtesy of Laila Gohar
An image from Gohar World's launch.
Photo: Roe Ethridge
Photo: Courtesy of Laila Gohar
If you think there's only one *right* way to set a table, think again. "When setting a table I find that people often think they need to follow the formula of a charger, a dinner plate, placing a napkin on a certain side, flowers in the center, etc. But I don’t really think of the table in that way. I think of the table more as a plane—a field that you can populate in the way that you want," says Laila. She takes the "traditional" table setting and deconstructs it, mixing in her own traditions in the process. There’s nothing that makes a dinner or event special quite like adding a personal touch, and preserving family and cultural traditions is one of the best ways to do so. For Gohar World, tradition lies at the forefront of any successful event.
“No object or piece of furniture has been as meaningful to family and community as the dining table, where simple acts of hospitality—laying out a tablecloth, opening a bottle of wine, cutting a cake—become rituals.” In bringing some of your own traditions to the table, you’re adding a personal touch that’s hard to replicate and makes an event that much more special. Whether it’s calling your mom for that special family recipe, playing a certain table game, or even something simple like arranging a bouquet of your favorite flowers, the more personal you make an event the better.
Gohar World x Gucci Vault wine glass bracelets used around the stem of each glass.
Photos: Courtesy of Gucci Vault
Gohar World x Gucci Vault doilies.
If you’re feeling stuck on the tradition front, Gohar World’s products can help fill gaps in a table setting that are both unique and thoughtful. “We work directly with various family ateliers around the world who still produce hand-crafted wares and employ traditional practices like lace work, glass blowing, and hand dipping candles," says Laila. "I worry a lot of these crafts are disappearing so it's really important to us to help keep them alive.” And better yet, the brand just released a new capsule collection with Gucci Vault, including (but not limited to) aprons—the perfect way to wear a bit of Gucci in the kitchen without worrying about grease stains.
An edible presentation from a project by Laila Gohar.
Photos: Courtesy of Laila Gohar
Roman butter sculptures.
Sausage cakes and edible swans from a recent project by Laila Gohar.
While bringing a bit of tradition to your table will set it apart from the rest, time is a key ingredient in a successful summer event. The idea of throwing together a quick dinner for friends is appealing to most, but the Gohar sisters place the bulk of successful entertaining in the hands of time. Their philosophy breaks down the importance of time rather effortlessly:
The time it takes to invite guests.
The time it takes to shop for food.
The time it takes to cook.
The time it takes to set the table.
The time it takes to arrange the flowers.
The time it takes to select the music.
And finally, the time to sit and enjoy those we love.
It’s unsurprising that quality time is the key ingredient to the brand’s bountiful success, and, in their opinion, the success of any event. The more time you spend thinking about what might make an event special for your guests, the more likely it is to be so.
The table setting from Gohar World's campaign launch.
Photo: Roe Ethridge
Our main takeaways for recreating a bit of this entertainment dream-world for our own friends and family? Make use of the crafts and creations that surround you, whether it’s something simple like a bouquet from the local bodega or something special like the glassware you bought in Italy. Dedicate the time and effort needed to create a thoughtful experience. Embrace traditions (even if it means calling your mother for that recipe). And don’t forget to have a bit of fun while you’re at it.
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