By Marjorie Magazine
Photos by Marisa & Tim Peterson
In a time like now, we dream of days far off to beautiful moments that we’ll celebrate with our loved ones close. And for when we’re all ready to gather for these precious moments to come, there’s no better joy than making the announcement with a beautiful memento like an invitation. We were lucky to discover the array of glamorous and classic stationery from Gilded Swan Paperie, based in Los Angeles and founded by Julie Fisher, a former graphic designer for Hollywood studios like Fox, Disney, and Warner Bros. 12 years into her career, she realized her true passions for vintage papery.
“I realized I never wanted to be a cog in the corporate wheel again,” Julie tells us, “so I merged my love for antique paper with graphic design and started my own studio. My passion for vintage calling cards and handwritten notes inspired me to set up my Gilded Swan shop on Etsy. I filled it with social stationery and business cards from the 1800s – 1950’s.” Fate would have it that one of her own friends was getting married during this time, and she rose to the occasion, giving her a suite that would go down in Gilded Swan’s history as The Godfrey design. “[Julie’s friend] said, ‘I don’t want pretty type on white paper. I want color and drama!'”
Creating and researching to build on her array of designs is only one pleasure of this business; the other half is reveling in the memories that fuel Julie’s creativity, such as those with her grandmother, from watching classic films together to her love of gold. “She painted everything in her home gold so it would look like a fancy house from an old Bette Davis movie,” she reminisces, revealing also that this gilding gives name to her shop, too. “Gold is such a lovely accent! Swans are so elegant and beautiful, and they stay together for life… something I hope my wedding clients will do.”
Her designs are a true sign of hope, evoking the past to remind recipients (or its senders) that beautiful things are meant to be, and meant to last forever. And so it seems fitting that such beautiful stationery should be used so widely for momentous occasions like a wedding, with not a second to waste in perfecting the final results. Julie references her ever-growing collection of vintage paper for inspiration, collected since she was little, or recently found at local markets on the weekend and ranging from old postcards to unique pieces like sheet music or flourish from an old candy box. As she creates, she prefers to have something classic on the TV, usually Turner Movie Classics, or on occasion a film more whimsical like Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel. She finds herself happily in a “vintage zone,” and in the face of 2020’s COVID-19 pandemic, time is a plenty for experimenting on new designs. “When you are stuck at home for weeks on end, you can rely on your creativity to get you through!” she muses. “I have also just launched a brand new line of photo albums and guest books based on my designs.”
“When you celebrate your Golden anniversary in 50 years, imagine pulling out your gorgeous invitations. The colors and tactile nature will remind you of that phenomenal day.”
Narrowing it down to her own particular favorites, Julie declares there’s simply not one color palette, nor era, that she can speak for. Instead, she adores the “in-between” eras, in history where the decades transitioned from one to another– while most think of decades as stuffed into a single aesthetic, such a jump from say, Art Nouveau to Art Deco to Mid-Century was not overnight. Stuffing these aesthetics into one look or interest is also uncommon for the eye of Julie’s clients, who might translate Art Nouveau well into their bohemian wedding or classic garden party. Celestial themes also remain a classic, with glittering stars and the glowing moon that Julie observes translates romantically “to just about every couple in some way.”
So as we start thinking towards the future soirees or festivities we’ll be hosting, the simplest act of making an announcement sets the bar for a much-needed time to gather, and what better than Gilded Swan stationery to assist? Creating a lovely first impression starts with the invitation, but for Julie, it truly is a lasting one, too.
“Do not go digital with invitations!” She insists. “Hands down, it is a regrettable decision you can never change. Think about your amazingly brilliant wedding day. You spent thousands of dollars on fragrant roses you will never smell again, on a scintillating dinner, you will never taste again, on a dress you may never wear again, and on furniture you will never sit on again.
“So what is left? Your darling spouse of course, wedding rings and your photos. Not much else- nothing tangible. And that is why you need a printed save the date and wedding invitation. Printing to me is so special- it’s such a beautiful form of communication, and your wedding day should never be something that ends up in a junk mail folder or thrown in the recycling because it looks like a xerox. When you celebrate your Golden anniversary in 50 years, imagine pulling out your gorgeous invitations. The colors and tactile nature will remind you of that phenomenal day.”
Some might think paper is delicate, easy to toss, but its fragility is quite fitting to remind us the best things in life are fleeting. They are also unique to your life alone, and especially your vision of a beautiful moment to come– Julie’s work aptly displays classic finery that in the end, is best for a happy time unlike any other part of your life. For a celebration of a lifetime, Gilded Swan is a testament to standing out in the 21st Century by taking the classic route, and making it your own.
Start planning for happier days ahead and visit Gilded Swan Paperie today!
All photos taken by Marisa & Tim Peterson, see more of their work on Instagram @peterson.design.photo, provided by Julie Fisher