Atlanta designer Abbey Glass hosts a fun and fancy affair at the Swan House

No surprise: The party was planned around the clothes

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Abbey Glass Swan House

Photograph by Wedig & Laxton

Maybe it’s no surprise that when local fashion designer Abbey Glass entertains, she plans the party around the clothes. “I like to get dressed up for any reason at all,” says Glass, an Atlanta native who designs custom gowns and a ready-to-wear line packed with party dresses and fun tops. “Let’s face it—it’s not every day you can wear a custom dress again, so why not give it another whirl at a holiday soiree?”

Abbey launched her line in 2015 after studying at the Rhode Island School of Design and summers spent working in New York. This year, she opened a new store at the Shops Buckhead Atlanta. She loves to entertain, which she says she inherited from her mother.

Abbey Glass Swan House

Photograph by Wedig & Laxton

Abbey Glass Swan House
Most of the gowns pictured here were custom-designed and made-to-measure for the clients, who include doctors, artists, and a CFO.

Photograph by Wedig & Laxton

Abbey Glass Swan House

Photograph by Wedig & Laxton

So, it was no surprise when Abbey told me she likes to gather clients and friends to celebrate the holidays in grand style, giving them a chance to break out their custom Abbey Glass gowns once more. In keeping with the opulent vibe, Abbey hosted the small group of clients this year at the Atlanta History Center’s Swan House, which the Inman family built during the Jazz Age with entertaining in mind. Originally designed by Philip Trammel Schutze and decorated by Ruby Ross Wood, it has the perfect atmosphere for mingling—swirling dresses in the classic black-and-white marble foyer, gliding down the spiral staircase, or chatting on the Baroque-inspired lawns.

Abbey Glass Swan House
An easy party with bubbles and pick-up nibbles at a grand location gave guests an excuse to dress up and mingle.

Photograph by Wedig & Laxton

Abbey Glass Swan House

Photograph by Wedig & Laxton

Abbey Glass Swan House

Photograph by Wedig & Laxton

The music suits the scene. “Music is really important for setting the mood,” says Abbey, “I like to queue up Spotify with Etta James, Franc Moody, Amy Winehouse, Billie Holiday, and the Black Keys.” Abbey says she likes to keep the menu to bubbles and small bites. “I want everyone to be able to eat while moving around and socializing,” she says. “It’s more fun than a seated dinner, and you can see what everyone is wearing!”

Abbey Glass Swan House
Atlanta fashion designer Abbey Glass hosts her clients and friends for a cocktail at the historic Swan House. She releases ready-to-wear collections twice a year, which can be shopped at her boutique at the Shops Buckhead Atlanta or at abbey-glass.com.

Photograph by Wedig & Laxton

Guest list
From left to right, above: Shereen Timani, Sally Mitchell, Emily Sistrunk, Lee Williams, Kara Moody, Abbey Glass, Susie Viguerie, Sara Rouhi, Alice Park (Hair and makeup by Hope Ferguson)

Photograph by Kate Blohm

THE MENU

  • Pink champagne with raspberries
  • Baby red potatoes with sour cream and caviar
  • Chilled shrimp with lemon aioli
  • Canapes
  • Macaroons and tiny layer cakes from Alon’s

1Baby red potatoes with sour cream and caviar

Serves 8

12 ounces (about 16–18) small red potatoes
1 teaspoon salt, divided
½ cup light sour cream
½ teaspoon fresh lemon juice
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1–2 ounces caviar

Add potatoes and ¾ teaspoon salt to medium saucepan; cover with cold water by 1 inch. Bring to boil, and reduce heat; simmer 8 minutes or until just tender but not falling apart.

Transfer potatoes to baking sheet lined with paper towels. Cool about 20 minutes or until room temperature. Once cooled, cut in half and, with a melon baller, scoop out a small indentation.

Meanwhile, whisk together sour cream, lemon juice, remaining ¼ teaspoon salt, and pepper. Let chill. Arrange potatoes in even layer on large serving platter. Spoon ½ rounded teaspoon of the sour cream mixture onto each potato half; top with ¼ teaspoon caviar.

2Chilled shrimp with lemon aioli

Serves 8

1 lb shrimp
Spicy Aioli
1 cup low-fat mayonnaise
3 cloves minced garlic
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 lemon, juice

Peel and blanch shrimp until pink, about 3 to 5 minutes, then drain and place in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Combine all of the ingredients for the spicy aioli in a small mixing bowl with a wire whisk. Mix well, and chill before serving. You may make this sauce up to three days before serving to save time the day of your gathering. To serve: Surround a bowl of aioli with delicate pink shrimp and allow guests to serve themselves.

3Canapes

Serves 8

12 pre-made 2-inch tart shells
12 2-inch puff pastry shells
8 ounces cream cheese
Pre-made pesto, like Bella Cucina brand
Sun-dried tomatoes in oil
Canned Italian tuna in oil

Toppings:
Hardboiled quail eggs, quartered
Canned anchovies, drained
Baby tomatoes, quartered
Chives
Parsley leaves
Cooked and drained pieces of pancetta
1½ tablespoons of salt

Divide the cream cheese into 3 parts. Place cream cheese into 3 bowls.

Add 1 tablespoon pesto to first bowl of cream cheese. Add 1 tablespoon pureed sun-dried tomato into second bowl of cream cheese. Add 2 tablespoons tuna to cream cheese in the third bowl. Add ½ teaspoon of salt to each mixture. With a whisk, whip all three mixtures in their bowls until mixtures are smooth.

Place the mixtures into three separate piping bags. Pipe the mixtures into individual shells. Top with rolled anchovy and parsley, pancetta and quartered quail egg, or tomato. Serve immediately.

Food images shot at Inner Pieces, innerpiecesonline.com

This article appears in our Winter 2019 issue of Atlanta Magazine’s HOME.