Monday, February 1, 2010

A recap from Preston Bailey's Celebrations Launch Party

Last Thursday were were incredibly fortunate to have attended Preston Bailey's own Celebrations book launch party at the Armory in NYC.
Of course, we can't just show you photos - we wanted to share more of the experience (and man, what an experience it was!).
The Armory is a renowned space in Manhattan and (having seen the pre-event photos) was completely transformed by Preston Bailey's team and Marcy Blum. When we walked up the front steps we were delighted at the incredible illuminated floral "shadows" that followed us. It's so important to surprise guests with unexpected details and if Preston Bailey has taught us anything over the years, it's this.
Once we made our way up the stairs, a magically draped corridor greeted us, having us really wonder what was in store. These absolutely amazing "trees" dripped crystals and anchored the entrance and were so incredibly unique and whimsical. An enormous runway lay ahead, complete with a revolving "conveyor belt" of photos of Preston's work. Words can't quite explain, so here are some photos of this:

Guests were greeted by Preston and waiters with wine and hors d' oeuvres upon entrance (a must, in our opinion).

If you ever have the honor of meeting Preston Bailey, you'll quickly realize why he is so amazing at what he does. He's just too kind, humble, and incredibly sweet. Nick + I were thrilled at the chance to chat with him a couple of times and tell him what an inspiration he is to us. We were also impressed (when out of a room of so many) that he embraced us and recognized us as the husband and wife team he'd invited. His work truly is just outstanding and his attitude is the icing on the cake!
Naturally, we brought a congratulatory gift to the host and he was so kind and appreciative (we were happy to see this photo by Lisa Barr at the NY Examiner posted the next morning!).
Of course, Preston's party was chock-full of a supporting cast of A-list celebrities in the design, wedding, and entertainment world. Preston's work has long been admired by the elite.

We noshed on some delicious hors d' oeuvres like rosemary-speared lamb, Philly cheese steak bites, braised short ribs with celery root puree, edamame on seaweed crisps, and so much more. In our opinion, it's not much fun to attend a party and not experience everything, including the food. Preston had two oversized square bars topped with statues of him (covered in gilded leaves - amazing!), and scrumptious dessert displays. I am a sucker for macaroons and these were the best I've had! Preston's signature drink was a Leblon Specialty Caipirinha that was sexy, tasty, and fun.

Possibly the most amazing element of the party was the lighting. Nick and I agreed that the lighting made us feel like we were in a different world as it was "textured" and there were layers upon layers of different visual aspects.

These visually stunning orchid and ribbon trees were amazing and had this whimsical glow.
Once Preston had a chance to graciously greet each and every guest, the music (an awesome fusion of a DJ playing eclectic world music and a band playing instrumentals) swelled and all eyes turned to the runway. Four sexy models walked to catwalk, dressed only in Preston's fabric flowers! They really left us all wondering what was to come.

Preston gave a lovely speech thanking those who support him - and then Martha Washington was introduced and belted out "Everybody Dance Now" - awesome! Gloria Gaynor took the stage and had everyone singing along to "I Will Survive!" This was all just so cool!

The color of the lighting changed with the mood and by the end of the night we were treated to electric blue, amber, and rosy pink lighting that made for a fun and lighthearted mood.

The larger-than-life arrangements were beautiful

Enormous chandeliers flanked stunning oversized fabric floral arrangements (these flowers were accented throughout the party and were featured in his book) and enormous "globes" with LED ice cubes anchored the runway and added architectural interest.

The party continued with guests taking to the illuminated catwalk and dancing into the night. We had so much fun sitting back and watching!

We also had the chance to chat with the infamous (and oh-so sweet) Sylvia Weinstock. We have admired her amazing cakes for so long so it was really fabulous visiting with her! Sylvia is a joy and, might I add, is quite hilarious!Marcy Blum is absolutely lovely and such a talent. She played an important role in helping Preston with the party and Nick and I were sure to thank her for helping to make it such a smashing success.

Guests were given a thoughtful parting gift; a gorgeous handmade crystal-studded pouch containing a thank you note from Preston and his partner, Theo Blackman's, beautiful CD.

Thank you so much, Preston, for doing what you do and doing it so well and, of course, for inviting us. Truly a night we'll always remember!


kristin said...

that is pretty damm cool

Aleah + Nick Valley said...

Thank you! We had a really outstanding time!

jenny said...

looks amazing!!! so cool.


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