Sunday, December 9, 2012

"What's Your Wrap" - Traditional Home Magazine, December 2012

Tradition Home Magazine, Dec 2012 Cover, "Perfect Packages"

The holiday issue of Traditional Home magazine did an 8-page spread of fabulous and festive gift-wrap from "wrap artist extraordinaire Alton DuLaney"! It was a fun project to be a part of and the finished product is a beautiful portfolio of exquisite wraps.

Tradition Home December 2012 "What's Your Wrap" with Alton DuLaney
"Put the present in presentation" has long been my motto when it comes to wrapping gifts for any occasion, as a proper wrap can turn any purchase into a thoughtful gift, by showing that you have taken the time to go the extra distance, and actually wrap it by hand. The paper, ribbon, bows, and embellishments, become paint on a canvas, materials to help execute a creative expression.

 For this story, Senior Style Editor Krissa Rossbund provided me with images of home decor pieces, and I was challenged with creating wraps that reflected the style and mood of the decor.

Apparently, my efforts were successful - "DuLaney exemplifies artistry with parcels that achieve sculpture-like status. From wild to trendy to glamorous, their frills, finery, and finishing touches sing with the joy of gift-giving."
Traditional wraps by Alton DuLaney, Traditional Home Dec 2012.
For the "Traditional" theme, an armed chair is placed in front of a damask wallpaper. The wraps reflected this rich tradition, with baroque patterns, pleated paper, and embellished with fabric trims and tassels, confirming "that tradition and good taste are forever in style."

Wild wraps by Alton DuLaney, Traditional Home Dec 2012.
The 'Wild' theme was particularly fun for me. Here I incorporated multiple layers of animal print, along with a zipper opening to reveal a second pattern below, and chains to embellish a ribbon and bow.

"Animal patterns - untamed in the wilds of fashion and furniture - provide the perfect skin for an unexpected gift."

Glamorous wraps by Alton DuLaney, Traditional Home Dec 2012.
Glamorous is such a gorgeous word, and something I strive for in both my personal and professional life. I also love a clean palette of black and white with a pop of ravishing red. A jewel encrusted mirror and sparkling wallpaper provided the perfect backdrop to explore the luxe life.

"Following fashion's lead, ebony-patterned papers flocked in luxurious velvet, printed in party dress patterns, and bejeweled with glittery crystals sparkle like stars on a midnight clear"

Colorful wraps by Alton DuLaney, Traditional Home Dec 2012
'Colorful' is perhaps easy to attain, but for this theme I also wanted to add a touch of elegance, which I did by adding layers of shimmery ribbons atop bold patterned papers, "making packages merrily au courant".
Trendy wraps by Alton DuLaney, Traditional Home Dec 2012.
For 'Trendy", I really wanted to have some fun, so I played with varying scales of hounds-tooth, a hand-cut silhouette in black on silver paper, and embellished a peacock printed paper in one of my favorite materials - feathers!

Traditional Home called it: A "riff on chic fads for your favorite fashionista."

Classic wraps by Alton DuLaney, Traditional Home Dec 2012.
Classic is a word that means different things to different people, but when it comes to fine china, classic defines the genre. For this theme I used the Blue Willow pattern as a leaping point and then wrapped various hat-boxes ready for hanging on the wall or admiring under a holiday tree.

"The beloved combination of blue and white is perennially in style."

Modern wraps by Alton DuLaney, Traditional Home Dec 2012.
The last theme, 'Modern' sounds the cleanest and simplest yet proved the greatest challenge to create stark elegance without being boring. I relied on the old art-school dictum and design dictate that less is sometimes more when observing pure line and form. Traditional Home agreed, "One of modernism's precepts is that even in its simplest form, a graphic element makes a statement", which my wraps clearly do in this image.

Overall, I wrapped nearly 50 gifts for this story, which the talented team at Traditional Home turned into an inspiring editorial of couture gift-wrap, with Rossbund heralding me as a "paper virtuoso".

Coming from a background in fine arts, and with a love of home decor, this was a rewarding collaboration, an amalgamation of beauty and design.

For the whole story, pick up a copy at your favorite news stand, or check out the Traditional Home website at:

Special thanks to my friends at The Feather Place, (in LA and NYC) for providing me with the finest peacock feathers. They carry the largest feather inventory in the US if not the world:

And in case you forgot, I teach an on-line gift wrap class that will help you put the present in presentation:

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