A Christmas pop-up, New York style, at the St Regis

A wonderland of things to make holidays super-fun, quirky, entertaining… and a screaming blast

Hand-embellished velvet stockings, $265
Hand-embellished velvet stockings, $265

When John Jacob Astor IV opened the St Regis Hotel in New York City in 1904, he meant it as a place to house and entertain friends and family passing through town. So it makes sense that a holiday pop-up shop in this legendary establishment would have entertaining as its focus, and be the brainchild of Rebecca Gardner, an event designer who has created magical fêtes for a host of high-profile clients, including Margherita Missoni, Lauren Santo Domingo and Jason Wu.

Handmade crackers, $70 for six
Handmade crackers, $70 for six
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The Sugarplum pop-up, which debuts on Friday November 24, “is my childhood fantasy of the holidays”, Gardner admits. “It’s about things you can use to make your holidays super-fun, offbeat, quirky, entertaining, beautiful… and a screaming blast.” Gardner, who is based in Savannah, Georgia and New York City, spent a year scouring the globe for items to be sold in the shop, located in the hotel’s Cognac Room, just off the lobby (she plans to transform the clubby room into a festive wonderland by draping the entire space in pink silk).

Elizabethan dog collar, $270
Elizabethan dog collar, $270
Handmade party crowns, from $300
Handmade party crowns, from $300 | Image: Chia Chong

Some selections, like the holiday crackers, were specially commissioned. They’re wrapped in handmade marbleised paper, tied with silk ribbons customised to match, and are filled with both the expected (paper crowns) and the not (costume jewellery). A set of six costs $70 and is available online for those not able to make it to the shop. Venetian tumblers ($300 for two), handblown using the age-old “latticino” technique (which creates an effect that looks like ribbons of colour cascading down the glass), were also made specifically for the shop.

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Other favourites include hand-sewn Elizabethan collars for dogs ($270), which are embellished with vintage French ribbons and rhinestone buckles, and, not to be outdone, over-the-top, super-ornate, handcrafted party crowns (ostensibly for humans, from $300 each).

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