Hilary Duff sure knows how to throw a good party. On Thursday night, the Younger star co-hosted a chic get-together with Stella Artois, to kick off their "Host One to Remember” campaign, and it was pretty clear that she has a passion for entertaining.
The event, which featured bites from culinary experimentalists Bompas & Parr and music by violinist Caitlin Moe and DJ Mia Moretti, began in the tree-lined courtyard of N.Y.C.’s High Line Hotel, so naturally the actress channeled a garden party vibe for her hostess outfit. "I got so excited when I saw this dress,” said Duff, who chose a silk boho maxi by Veronica Beard ($795; veronicabeard.com) that she paired with Schutz block-heel sandals ($190; saksfifthavenue.com). "It’s such a great, summery print and I loved that it was long, but didn’t feel too dressy. Plus, it was the first thing I put on, so that’s always amazing!”
The 28-year-old was hands-on when it came to the décor of the party too, making sure to include some of her own festive go-tos. "I have so much fun planning all the details of a celebration, even when it’s on a smaller scale with just my friends and family,” she says. One of her signature touches? Bringing in vintage bath tubs and filling them with ice, so they can serve as an eclectic-looking cooler for your drinks. "My tubs are a little smaller and originally from France, but I found them in a vintage store in L.A.," she says. "They’re a little rusty and look so cool in a backyard.”
The star also incorporated arrangements of fresh lavender, one of her favorite flowers, around the space. "I live in Laurel Canyon, so I have an abundance of lavender all around my house,” she says. "So when I have a party, I often put potted plants at each person’s seat with their name on it. They make the table settings look pretty and then guests can take them home at the end of the night, too.”
And as for the all-important party playlist? Duff says she doesn't stress too much about it. "The last time I did a playlist was for my sister Haylie's baby shower and I’ve kind of given up on it since then,” she adds, laughing. "I only had four hours of music prepared for a party that lasted seven hours! Now I just use Spotify. Any '90s hip-hop will get a party going."
Duff, who is also a proud mom to 4-year-old Luca (below), still goes all out when it comes to parties for her son. "For Luca's first three birthdays, I went the whole nine yards—petting zoo, face painters, and balloon people—but I think he was so surprised to have all of that happening at his house, he wasn’t really himself,” she says. "So this year, we did it a place that has these huge bounce houses. They order the pizza and handle everything but the cake. He had the best time."
When she’s not on mommy duty, Duff is busy working on her music (she teased a new song on Snapchat last month) and filming season three of her TV Land hit, Younger. "At the beginning of this season, my character Kelsey is grieving because of Thad’s death, but it doesn’t last too long because she gets on some dating apps,” she says. "I think she will meet a great guy, but it might be a little too much, too soon for her.” Duff says she has seen the power of dating apps in real life too. "I know someone who is about to get married to someone that they met on an app,” she says. "So it can happen!”