Last week, some of LA’s top editors and influencers gathered at Lombardi House for a very exciting occasion — a beautiful lunch to debut the new Target Threshold collection as well as celebrate the addition of their new Entertaining Expert, Camille Styles. We sipped fresh lemonade, DIYd our own yogurt parfaits, and fawned over the new collection. Before we sat down to lunch, we took a few minutes to chat with the influential women of the hour: Julie Guggemos, the SVP Product Design and Development, Emily Henderson, Target’s Home Style Expert, and of course, Camille Styles, the new Entertaining Expert herself.

When speaking with Julie, we couldn’t help but ask: what does the Target creative process looks like? “It always starts at a collection perspective,” Julie said. “And so we literally shop the world and consult with many trend services. As we [identify] what trends are going to be most important, we start to think, what is going to have the biggest appeal for our guests?” The Target Threshold line is more transitional, slightly modern, and unique artisan techniques are key. The entire process of designing a collection is about 10 months, and includes travel, touring factories, and developing every detail from the shape to the materials to the color options. We were also fascinated to hear about the design team’s daily communication with Target guests. Julie explained, “We have an app which allows two-way conversation between our designers and engineers with the guests, real time.” The constant integration with the guests helps ensure products are not only style-focused, but also functional for daily life.

For this specific spring collection, Target’s design team was inspired by exotic locales like Bali and the Philippines. “[The team] looked for inspiration from that environment. We knew that global was growing from a trend perspective, and we wanted to bring it to life in a really original way, and in a way that would integrate in somebody’s home if they were modern or traditional,” Julie told us.

Okay, so now that we had a bit of behind-the-scenes intel, we had to chat with Emily Henderson, Target’s Home Style Expert, about her favorites from the collection. The lidded jars are great for any aesthetic, Emily describing them “simple and organic.” though not too trendy, so they’ll last season after season. (She also offered up the tip of removing the lid and using them as planters.) She also loves the vases. “They have the perfect combination of being handmade with a simple shape, so they feel fairly special.” As for the pieces that you should scoop up before they sell out? The neutral, textural pillows. (Noted!)

Even though she works with Target, she’s still a huge fan. “Everybody in America loves Target. And everybody in America can get to a Target,” she gushed. “I love the fact that it’s so approachable and affordable and everywhere and good… it just makes my job really easy,” Emily said. “And there’s constantly new collections and new pieces. Even I get that jolt of serotonin when I walk into the new rows.”

Finally, we sat down with Camille Styles. In her new role as the Target Entertaining Expert, Camille hopes to “demystify entertaining, and make it accessible for everyone.” A gal after our own heart! She explained, “It’s always been my passion to show people that you don’t have to be expert or super experienced to invited people into your home and create these wonderful memories. Just knowing a few simple tips to help make the process easier, and having a few great pieces in your collection, [will make] your entertaining really special.” Camille expressed excitement for the returning trend of bold color. (As you’ll see in the slideshow, blues, greens, and pops of orange set the table, while natural texture added a bohemian element.) The piece Camille told us is sure to be a hit? She mirrored Emily’s response — the stamped vases! “I think they look so expensive,” Camille told us.

As for those tips she mentioned? “When I’m designing a table, I always start with the color palette. I try to keep it pretty limited — two or three shades that are used throughout the centerpieces and place settings and the menu,” she explained. “Also, one thing that I’ve noticed — people are really returning to a more casual style of entertaining. I love to serve food family style, which makes things way easier on the host! I love filling the center of the table with big platters of food, and another added bonus is it really gets guests interacting with each other, enjoying that shared experience.”  Camille’s expertise alongside Target’s beautiful wares? Talk about a dream team!

Start the slideshow for a closer look, and to shop some of the standout pieces of the day.