"There's a Party in That!"

One day I was in the Los Angeles Fabric District with one of my staff, looking for the perfect fabric to make custom table cloths for an event design.  I saw this fabulous --  if a bit over-the-top -- faux leopard fabric and said, "There's a Party in That!" 

I realized I had said this many times seeing just one element: a beautiful flower, a couture dress, a vase, a photograph, a piece of fabric.  There are endless points of inspiration in the world around us for design. 


I thought it would be fun to create a series of blogs called "There's a Party in That" to share with you the process I use to create a design for an event -- what better place to start then the fabric that inspired the idea? 

Where to Start?

Guests and clients have often asked me, "How do you create new designs all the time?"  "How are they so fresh and never duplicated?" The answer is, I always design newly in a new unit of time. AND I always start from the unique "message" of each design.

By "message" I mean, "what effect is to be created?" What do you want the viewer -- the client or guest -- to think about the event? What should be the emotional and visual impact that it has on them?  There are many ways to approach this, such as through themes like "Pirate", "Art Deco", "Sailing", "Marvel Comic"... the choices are endless.  However, there are messages that are unique to each wedding, party, corporate event that are not necessarily "themed".  

So, lets pretend I have been asked to create A Black and White Ball for a Society Fundraiser. I work with the client to create the message and then use adjectives to fully define it.  In this case it would be: A Black and White Ball that is:

“Wild, sophisticated, chic and fun.”

Wild = uncontrolled or unrestrained, especially in pursuit of pleasure.

Sophisticated = revealing, or proceeding from a great deal of worldly experience and knowledge of fashion and culture.

Chic = stylishly, fashionable.

Fun = a source of enjoyment or pleasure, amusing.

I then begin the process of selecting all the "table decor" elements that could integrate with this message. In this case, I'm cheating, because I started with the leopard fabric; however, here are flatware, glassware, china, floral concepts I found that could be used to create a total picture and feeling of the "message". There are many, many more details on a table, such as menu, napkin fold, guest gifts, etc.  Below are just a few of the key items that would create the design:

Design Elements  

The leopard fabrics would alternate throughout the ballroom. Each of the fabulous chairs would have a black and white feather boa draped over the back. The flatware, china and glassware would carry the message and theme, and the centerpieces would be a fantastic, sophisticated design of white calla lilies and black feathers. And there you have it: "Wild, Sophisticated, Chic and FUN!"

I hope you have enjoyed the beginning of this blog Series.  Next: A TEA PARTY!

Pat Frey




Pat Frey