text by Kathryn Brooks   photos by Darrylee Cohen

Above, top: Matthew Boland welcomes guests to IWL 2018. Bottom, left: Amy Lau, Patti Lau and Jacquie Dorrance. Bottom, right: Adrienne Schiffner, Billie Jo Herberger and Amada Cruz.

Celebrating its eighth year, the INDEPENDENT WOMAN LUNCHEON has become one of the most exclusive and exquisite philanthropic events in the Valley, distinguishing itself for its sheer panache, style and flawless execution. When it came to this year’s luncheon, event Chair Matthew Boland, Honorary Chair Amy Cohn, Designer Chair Kathryn Petsas and their planning committee, including Molly Dalton, Katie Drost, Lisa Andrew Portigal and Sarah Swartz Wessel, truly outdid themselves. The entire event can be summed up in one simple word: “outstanding.”

Above, left: Tablescape by IMI Design. Above, right: Tablescape designed by Relics.

The  event, held on January 30 at Phoenix Art Museum, was graciously underwritten by David E. Adler Fine Rugs, bulthaup Scottsdale, The Diane & Bruce Halle Foundation and Jacquie & Bennett Dorrance. The executive sponsors were Main Dish and Desert Star Construction. The supporting partners included Ardy’s Custom Workshop, Kravet, Inc., Luxe Interiors + Design and Fully Loaded Deliveries. The corporate sponsors were Cambria, 1stdibs and Emser Tile.

Above, left: Erin Gogolak. Above, right: Sharron Lewis. Bottom, left: Amy Cohn and Melani Walton. Bottom, middle: Ellen Katz and Matthew Boland. Bottom, right: Raquel Johnson and Lisa Andrews Portigal.

Each of the 59 tables filling Phoenix Art Museum’s Cummings Great Hall were adorned with stunning and diverse tablescapes, created and donated by some of the Valley’s most elite interior design firms, floral designers and design sources, including IMI Design, George Abrams, Flora Bella, TB Design, Relics, Studio V Interior Architecture & Design, Main Dish and Jaimee Rose Interiors. In recognition of the keynote speaker’s style, the event was themed Kaleidoscope: The Art of Contrast, allowing each participating table designer to personally interpret that concept.

Above: Attendees enjoy Amy Lau’s presentation. Bottom, left: Pat Petznick and Amy Videan. Bottom, middle: Tablescape. Bottom, right: Molly Dalton and Matthew Boland.

After a luncheon prepared by Santa Barbara Catering, the more than 600 guests were treated to a live presentation by interior designer extraordinaire Amy Lau. Known for creating warm and expressive interiors that are executed with impeccable attention to detail, Lau crafts personalized space enlivened with dynamic mixes of vintage and contemporary pieces and site-specific commissions. Many of her luxurious interiors have been featured in Architectural Digest, Elle Décor, House Beautiful, Martha Stewart Living and Luxe Interiors + Design.

Above, left: John Reyes. Above, right: Amy Lau signs her book for guests.

Born and raised in Paradise Valley, Lau shared the journey to establish her namesake New York-based design firm. With commentary and corresponding imagery on some of her notable projects, Lau revealed the inspiration and creative process that goes in to her designs. The proceeds from the Independent Woman Luncheon benefit art and education programming at Phoenix Art Museum where the luncheon is hosted each year. Visit