Just recently, I accepted a project on styling a Hollywood glamour-themed debut (my sister’s events company, Pink Sunshine Events, did the events coordination for it). The budget was pretty tight as the debutante had only decided to hire an events stylist a few weeks before the big day. She basically asked me to improve on the decor included in her hotel package, and make it a little more glamour-themed.
I went to Divisoria to source some of the materials we were to use. Thank goodness that place now has Lucky Chinatown Mall. We (I went with my brother in law, who helped me execute my designs) parked our car there, then just exited through the mall entrance where Bread Talk is—and you walk straight into Tabora Street.
We bought a lot of ostrich feathers that we were to add to the floral centerpieces. I didn’t realize how expensive those things are! They retailed for P250-300 a piece at Carolina’s. At Tabora, we were able to haggle for P120 per feather, which still made me go a bit beyond my budget. I also had to cut down the number of feathers I had initially planned on buying. We then bought around 10 bundles of white chicken feathers to supplement my ostrich feather plumes, in case I needed my centerpieces to look much fuller.
We also bought yards upon yards of red velvet and white tulle, as I wanted to put up a red velvet curtain on the doorway. We then rented a gold throne chair from a supplier I had found on OLX, since the hotel didn’t have one (they only had a red throne chair, which my debutante didn’t want to use, as her gown was red). I also rented gold stanchions, also found on OLX. Hopefully if I keep at this events styling thing, I could develop relationships with more suppliers and be able to get really good rates for my future clients.
Here are the red velvet curtains at the entrance to the ballroom, which my brother in law put up on a metal-bracket frame. They were held in place by sandbags, to ensure that it doesn’t topple over for the duration of the event. We also placed two halogen spotlights in front, and extended the red carpet a bit, to really give guests the Hollywood treatment. This is also where the debutante made her grand entrance.
We placed the registration table, which the hotel initially covered in green tablecloth, to the side of the door. We changed the tablecloth to black, to really reinforce the Hollywood black&white with standout red palette. The hotel’s florist apparently didn’t receive our request for floral centerpieces for the registration (arghhh), so I had to improvise, got flowers from the buffet table centerpiece, and created a small arrangement for registration.
The white lamp is actually my mom’s, which she bought from Dapitan Arcade, then outfitted with sampaguita glass and an electric bulb. The debutante had an Instagram contest for her guests, so we had to put up signs on the registration table. I initially wanted to make a clapboard sign for this, but she took it out due to budget contraints. The gold frames were also rented. I used the RIESLING font for all event signage, which gave off an old Hollywood/art deco vibe.
Inside, the chairs were all covered in black, while the table were the opposite, in white. The chairs were also alternately tied with silver ribbon. The debutante initially requested gold ribbons, but then I asked to change them to white so that the red would really pop out. Unfortunately, the hotel didn’t have white ribbons, and silver was the closest we could get.
I topped the tall floral centerpieces with ostrich feathers, and covered the base with white chicken feathers. I also changed the hotel’s generic table numbers with number cards using the Riesling font.
It’s a good thing that I gave the font to the debutante, because she changed her birthday logo to use a similar-looking, art deco-style font, which was flashed onscreen while guests were waiting for the program to start.
For the stage, we had to make do with the hotel’s provided panels. But since the debutante wanted to change the look a bit so it doesn’t look generic, I covered each panel with white tulle and strung white fairy lights over it and make the stage glow a bit more. I also placed ostrich feathers over the floral arrangements that were wired to the top of each panel. The big KATE letters were provided by the debutante (I would have wanted to use the Riesling font for this, but she’d already had them customized before we’d even met). Next to the debutante’s gold throne was the message box, where her 18 Candles and 18 Treasures placed their messages.
I would have also wanted to extend the red carpet to the stage, and even cover the entire stage floor with a gold tapestry rug. But we had to change the design a bit and prioritize the more necessary elements to fit the budget.
That’s it for my first event as a stylist. Simple and with plenty of improvisations, but I think the client was happy with it. And that’s what’s important, isn’t it?
I’m quite liking this whole events styling thing, and I think I could do more of this. In fact, I have an upcoming project that would let me do both interiors and events styling. I’m pretty excited about that one, and will post about it as soon as it’s done!