For this month’s In The Style Of edition, we sat down with writer, designer, and mother, Punch Hutton, as she gets ready to launch her new stationery collection.
What does style mean to you?
Style is the unique way in which you express and present yourself - from how you live and dress to how you move and communicate.
What's on your coffee table?
A collection of sea shells from Sanibel Island, a sterling silver sandwich box from the 1930s that has an engraved “H” on it (a wedding present from friends), an orchid - always, a sea urchin shaped bowl, a glass hurricane which we fill with seasonal objects, a Feu de Bois scented candle from Diptyque, and some favorite coffee table books including Diana Vreeland, The Modern Woman, edited by Alexander Vreeland, Holiday by Pamela Fiori, Woman in the Mirror by Richard Avedon, Vanity Fair 100 Years, edited by Graydon Carter, and Family Matters by Gigi Laub.
What's hanging on your wall?
When I was little, my mom and I used to go to two restaurants, Hal’s and 72 Market Street, in Venice, where the paintings of local artists hung on the walls. This is when I first saw John Baldessari’s work. It was a hybrid of photography, paint and text, and as I studied it, I felt the tingle of excitement race through my body.
In our NYC living room, my husband, John, and I have a limited-edition print of Baldessari’s Paradise, which we first fell in love with when we saw it at Shutters, in Santa Monica, in 2000. I feel lucky and proud to own a piece of work by my favorite California artist.
In addition to the portrait of my children and me by artist Peter Schaumann, which was a gift from my in-laws, and a super chic painting of my family by Donald Robertson, in which John and I look better than we do in real life - thank you @drawbertson - we have several black and white photographs that take pride of place in our apartment.
James Bond creator, Ian Fleming, at his “Goldeneye” estate in Jamaica, 1964 by Harry Benson
Paul Newman and Robert Redford playing ping pong with director George Roy Hill during a break in the filming of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, in Durango, Mexico, 1968 by Lawrence Schiller
Original Saturday Night Live cast members Chevy Chase, Dan Ackroyd, and John Belushi, with the show’s creator and producer, Lorne Michaels, in the kitchen at Elaine's, 1975, in NYC. Jonathan Becker took this photograph the year the show premiered.
What can't you live without?
Inner strength. And my family.
What could you do without?
Bad manners and tricky people, for starters.
What was the last book you read?
The Magnificent Lives of Marjorie Post: A Novel by Allison Pataki
It’s a historical fiction novel about the Post cereal heiress’s life which was rich with history, glamor, business, and philanthropy. I loved it so much.
What's the last song you listened to?
For real? “Bette Davis Eyes” by Kim Carnes and before that “The Gambler” by Kenny Rogers, and before that “Learning to Fly” by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. I’d be happy to share my Spotify list with you.
What's the last interesting thing you've seen?
I just finished watching The First Lady on Showtime. It’s a 10-episode series about three different presidential administrations and what it was like being the first lady during each tenure. When you watch Gillian Anderson’s portrayal of the inimitable Eleanor Roosevelt the lines between acting and reality blur. She’s that good. Michelle Pfeiffer is also incredible as Betty Ford - a woman who I’ve come to deeply admire. And powerhouse Viola Davis who plays Michelle Obama does double-duty as one of the series’ producers. Given what our country is going through right N.O.W., it feels relevant and contemporary.
It’s a tie between cacio e pepe and the Sea Urchin pasta that Beatrice Tosti makes at Il Posto Accanto, the restaurant she and her husband, Julio, own on the Lower East side.
Walking my dogs, Salty and Henrietta, in Central Park in the fall.
Favorite wardrobe piece?
Too hard to identify just one. But I have some go-to pieces which include a red Frances Valentine caftan, a navy Chanel cardigan, grey Rag and Bone t-shirts, La Double J swing dress, wide-legged jeans by The Great, La Ligne tennis sweater, everything by Rebecca de Ravenel and my Tretorns.
What brings you joy?
How much time do we have? I find joy in so many things. My children’s accomplishments and happiness, my mother’s laugh, Chanel, cocktail hour with my husband, the smell of the Pacific Ocean, mailing a hand-written note, the Smartless podcast which makes me laugh out loud, one-on-one dinners with dear friends, creating things that people can use and enjoy, good butter, my dogs, and sometimes I find great joy in spending time by myself.
Favorite spot in NYC?
Bemelmans, at the Carlyle, during the holiday season.
What's in your bag?
A clear pouch with green piping I bought at a Japanese store in Nolita that I’ve fashioned into a wallet, iPhone, Vetiver scented hand cream from Byredo, and a receipt from my latest shopping trip to People People, my sister-in-law’s wonderfully edited clothing boutique in Stone Harbor, NJ.
What are you working on now?
I just finished writing a book (non-fiction), and this month I will debut the children’s stationery line I created with illustrator Jane Black who helped bring my vision to life. I want to help teach young children how to write a thank you note, how to express gratitude, the proper way to apologize, and also how to tell someone they are missed. My target age is 6-12 years-old. Feeling uncertain about what or how to write can impede the process so I’ve created a simple note structure with three to four sentences. That’s all it takes. My hope is that once children use and memorize the templates I’ve designed, they will feel confident in their letter writing abilities. Plus, it’s fun to send letters when you like your stationery. It’s a reflection of your personal style. My goal is to encourage thoughtful correspondence, simple courtesies, and good manners. Etiquette matters and it can help set a new generation up for success - personally and professionally. @thepunchcollection; www.thepunchcollection.com