My talented and beautiful friend, Laura Vinroot Poole, celebrated two favorite designers with a lovely lunch on the porch in their honor.

Laura, owner of three of my favorite stores in Charlotte (Capitol and The Poole Shop for women, and the new Tabor for men), is known for her innate ability to find the best designers and then choose the best pieces in their collections.

lela rose capitol

She is also known for her elegant and stylish, but never stuffy, parties. The lunch was delicious and the time with special friends was such fun. I am a huge fan of the honorees Lela Rose (pictured below) and Jane Scott Hodges, two extraordinary Southern young women whose designs are enjoyed and appreciated globally.

barbara mckay lela rose

                                                   Lela Rose and I

This is the perfect time of year to take a look at both of these multi-talented designers as we head into the holiday season.  They can dress you and your home for the holidays and they each have beautiful books that would make wonderful gifts.  To be fair to both creators of beautiful treasures, I will cover them separately, starting with Lela Rose. I’ve included some photos of items from her collection as well throughout this post!

lela rose design

Lela’s training as a painter and sculptor shine through in her beautiful clothing designs. The fabrics are luxurious, the colors are brilliant, and the handcrafted details add a touch of whimsical elegance. Her designs are sophisticated, while still being modern and fun. And even though she has been based in New York for many years, she has not lost her southern charm and hospitality from growing up in Dallas, Texas.

lela rose 2

Lela’s clothing also stands the test of time. I’m known for “in with the new, out with the old” philosophy when it comes to my clothes, but I have treasures from Lela’s designs that look as fresh, in style and beautiful now as they did many years ago when I purchased them. Her caring Southern nature was evident early on when I chose some beautiful pants she had designed and dared to ask her to change something for me. I always look for side-zip pants because they are so slenderizing. Lela agreed to have the pants I chose to be remade from a front zip to a side zip. I’m happy to report that is why I still look at her styles first because I can count on hers to be side zip and therefore, slimming. Besides dressing ordinary people like me, Lela’s designs are being worn by major celebrities, political figures, fashion models and royalty.

lela rose

In addition to designing beautiful clothes, Lela’s other passion is entertaining. She is known for her VERY fun, creative and elegant parties. We had a great time hearing how she comes up with her unusual ideas and the details she weaves into each event to make them memorable.


Lela has written a beautiful book detailing her fabulous, inspired parties and food. Prêt-a-Party is packed with fresh ideas, recipes, décor, designs and lovely family photos.

lela rose bookIt would make a wonderful Christmas gift. I love mine! You can buy one for yourself at Tabor or Capitol in Charlotte or  HERE on

Next time, I will share the wonderful world of home decor designs by Jane Scott Hodges!

Tell Me: What’s your #1 tip for throwing a great dinner party?