It started with a pillow. A needlepoint pillow owned by Doris Duke to be exact. "Wouldn't it be nice if we could have our own needlepoint pillow?" Town & Country's editor-in-chief Stellene Volandes asked. Yes, we decided, it would.
The history: The ancient embroidery technique of needlepoint became a popular way to decorate pillows in the 18th century, and it has enjoyed a spot in our homes ever since. The late decorator Mario Buatta is credited with making the cushions cheeky in the 1980s, when he emblazoned a bedroom pillow with “Tonight” on one side and “Not Tonight” on the other.
The fans: C.Z. Guest and Elsie de Wolfe collected needlepoint pillows, and Rough Point, Doris Duke’s home turned museum in Newport, is adorned with Duke’s favorites, including “My Decision Is Maybe and That’s Final,” a gift from her friend Martha Graham.
The news: Jessica Chaney, of needlepoint studio Lycette, created a custom #verytandc pillow to celebrate our 175th anniversary. With a flagship store in Palm Beach, Lycette creates bespoke kits for modern stitchers. “Needlepoint is a true heirloom. I still have pieces made by my great-grandmother, who Lycette is named after,” says Chaney, who believes real bragging rights among needlepoint enthusiasts come from making your own—but we won’t tell if you buy Lycette’s finished version instead.
Lycette is making five bespoke #VERYTANDC needlepoint and velvet pillows ($600) as well as a needlepoint kit ($132.50) to commemorate Town & Country’s 175th anniversary. SHOP NOW
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