Kathleen Connor is fast becoming the go-to party planner for A-Listers in Rancho Santa Fe. For a graduation party thrown by Wendy Walker for her New York University-bound daughter, Amaya, Connor wanted a “relaxed, youthful vibe.” In collaboration with Walker and Coast Catering, Connor filled the swimming pool with dozens of purple-and-white beach balls (NYU colors) for a playful touch, and offered a candy “bar” — glass jars filled with colorful confections, alongside photo cakes.
Flowers are Connor’s forte. While living in Japan, she studied Ikebana, the Japanese art of flower arrangement. Her artistry was in evidence at cocktail tables abloom with purple plants and flowers — kale, scabiosa, lisianthas, and butterfly bush. An added touch: tying purple pashminas on poolside chairs — welcome additions on a chilly summer night, as well as wonderful hostess gifts.
Connor named her company, Belles of Ireland, after daughters Niki and Kelly. Guests are still raving about the birthday party Jenny Craig and friends hosted at her beachfront home for Joy Bancroft. The spectacular centerpiece: orange-and-white blooms in a giant clam shell. (858.775.0539)
Party People: Photos by Boyd Harris