Sally Schneider

When Ellen Silverman was over photographing Prunes in Armagnac for our holiday food gift post, we were hunting through our collection of tablecloths to use as a background. Nothing seemed right. It was the end of the day and the light was waning. In desperation, she threw a big linen apron of Sally’s onto the table and set the jar of prunes on it. Perfect!

Ellen Silverman

You’d never know it (if you never knew it), from looking at the photo…

It reminds us of our friend Tom Ashcraft saying “the moment provides”.

Related post: tom ashcraft’s sign: cures arise, remedies appear

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2 replies on “linen apron as improvised table cloth

  1. What is it with the trend to never iron table linens – I’m talking especially for a photo shoot! Obviously in today’s mad mad mad mad world, ironing for the home has gone the way of the dodo – as it should.

    But even lazybones can muster up enough energy to iron a pretty linen cloth for the Holidays. So what is the message today’s food stylists are trying to send? For instance, your Holiday shoot above: yes, the color and the texture of the apron are perfect, but the subliminal message to me is: “Hey, I made these prunes for you with the same exactitude I used to set this wrinkled tablecloth, and you can take that any way you want – either eat these at your own risk and have some Bromo ready, or … I really don’t like you, which is why I thought this pruney presentation was the perfect Holiday expression of my best wishes for you and yours.”

    Stylists, we know it’s trendy to look like you don’t care, but what we really think when see a lack of attention to details, is that you really don’t care!

  2. HI Trixia, Thank you for your comment, and sharing a view I haven’t heard before.

    I think the trend with unironed linen is simply because it has a unique beauty all its own that has gone largely unnoticed due, I think, to the traditional “standard” of crisp, ironed linens. It is not about being uncaring or lazy.

    Another piece of it for me is this: if not having ironed a tablecloth (for whatever reason) is going to stop you from putting it on the table OR from having people over at all, then by all means use the unironed one, which will have a more casual, homespun feel. A beautiful and welcoming table can be easily made with that as a backdrop.

    Ironed or not ironed can show great beauty and attention to visuals.

    Your Comment speaks volumes about the many languages of tableclothes, and they different ways people can perceive them.

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