By Susie Perelman
Today’s events are built on lines that criss and cross
While some of us might experience a few blurred lines towards the end of a long night at a booze-fueled soirée, today’s events are blurring the lines for guests without the assistance of a few cocktails. No, we’re not talking about new mind-altering substances. Today’s event designers are blowing minds with unexpected pairings of food, décor, and ambiance as they create what can only be described as an “experiential mash up” for guests.
For instance, in the eighties, shabby chic, a look that combines purposefully relaxed sensibilities with more classic forms, turned the industry upside down with is novel juxtaposition of seemingly incompatible elements. This trend has again become popular in home decor and at upscale events in recent years. Indeed, design concepts that couple burlap with lace and farm tables with crystal chandeliers have turned many heads in the entertainment industry.
The most recent innovations, however, push these boundaries even further, extending the impact of unexpected pairings beyond the realm of décor alone.
Ballrooms and country clubs can certainly be transformed into exciting spaces. But consider something outside the box for your next venue such as an airport hangar, a raw warehouse space or even a barn.
This milestone event was housed in a barn. While the client originally requested a “glitter and grit” concept, Mosaic convinced them that a combination of bold colors that pop, and geometric prints juxtaposed with painted chandeliers, animal skins, beanbag chairs and architecturally shaped topiaries would be a more contemporary take on unexpected partnering in design. The end result was an outstanding, fresh and original look that was both irreverent and festive.
Food and Beverage
Clients have become more food savvy than ever. To keep up with them, caterers are taking cues from chefs who merge unexpected flavors to create novel dishes. Celebrated chef David Chang of Momofuku in New York has a cult-like following for his philosophy of subverting traditional recipes with unexpected tastes. And over at Momofuku Milk Bar, the bakery-inspired dessert branch of Chang’s restaurant group, chef/owner and founder Christina Tosi (and 2012 James Beard Rising Star Chef of the Year) makes insanely good cookies infused with – yes, you are reading this right — milk soaked in Cap’n Crunch, Fruity Pebbles and Corn Flakes.
When asked about these flavor combinations, Chang says, “It’s all about in-your-face flavor. We rarely make anything that is soft, gentle or quiet. It is almost always loud food.” Amen!
Yotum Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi
And in another mashup of cultures and food, London based chefs of the critically acclaimed books Plenty and Jerusalem have put aside the historic animosity of their respective Israeli and Palestinian cultural backgrounds to merge flavors found in both Middle Eastern heritages. Together, they explore the cuisine of their home city, Jerusalem, in a quest to unite the flavors of the Arab east and Jewish west sections of the city. The end result?
Mouth watering courses such as Burnt Eggplant with Buttermilk sauce, Na’ama’s Fattoush (a.k.a Arab salad/Israeli chop salad), soba noodles with eggplant and mango (interesting combo), and Asparagus, fennel and beets with Vergus.
What about cocktails? Mixology has become sine qua non at bars and now at events. Having an on-site interactive bartender (such as the one in the photo from Liquid Flair Entertainment below) stirring, shaking and juggling for guests makes anyone thirsty.
Taking it one step further, mixologists study the chemistry of alcohol, enabling them to create signature drinks that incorporate such novel ingredients as egg foam, cayenne pepper, fresh ground herbs, nectar and fruit pulp. Who would have thought that clove, star anise, cinnamon, lavender, and thyme would be making appearances at the trendiest soirees in town?
While you can’t go wrong with a live band of talented musicians, today’s entertainment has a calling for DJ’s who incorporate new instrumentals and video mash ups into their mix. Adding live sax, bongos and even a violin to covers from Beyonce or Shakira can really get guests groovin’ on the dance floor.
Video DJ’s such as DJ RoonieG mash images from the Brady Bunch with Eminem tunes, and update feel-good classics from Grease with the hard edges of Snoop Dog’s rap. Known for his unique and creative blends of audio and visual content, Roonie’s sets encompass popular music videos, iconic film footage, custom graphics and comedy shorts delivering multi-sensory stimulation like no other. Attendees are inundated with remixes that entice the soul and encourage dancing to the biggest, baddest mashups ever created. Listen to your favorite LMFAO tune while watching NBA players shoot hoops and images of fireworks blast behind Big Ben in London. Roonie’s magic seems to defy logic, but book this Master VJ and his ginormous surround sound screens and watch your guests be mesmerized by his brilliant nonsensical blends at your next event. Talk about blurred lines!
All by way of saying — at your next event, push the limits. Pull together disparate components that may not necessarily seem like they would readily combine upon first glance. As the ever-shrinking world gives us access to a panoply of global influencers, anything goes! Exposing your guests to a giant mash up of sensations creates unexpected interactive experiences that are sure to blow the minds of even the most jaded party-goer. Why not be a trend setter and embrace the mash up head on? Astound guests when they walk into your event built upon the blurred lines of today’s world.
Credits for the barn shot:
Design: Mosaic and Bill Chisnell Productions
Floral: Bill Chisnell Productions
Rentals: Mosaic and All Occasions Party Rental
Photographer: Adam Milliron Photography