Thursday, May 16, 2013

Spectacular Gala with an Oscar de la Renta Flair

Recently I had the great privilege to plan a fundraising Gala in honor of the 120th anniversary of the White Plains Hospital.  I had worked on the Hospital Gala years ago, before opening my own company, and was honored when they approached me late last year to take over as the planner for this event.  

I was especially excited to plan this Gala as it was not to be the typical seated dinner with speeches.  For this  anniversary the Hospital had partnered with Oscar de la Renta to put on a fashion show as the centerpiece of the event.  I love a challenge and creating a totally unique event around the show was right up my alley!

There were so many elements that had to be put together to make this evening a success.  To tell the story let me start with the basics, the venue.  Formerly the headquarters for General Foods, the site at 800 Westchester Avenue in Rye Brook, New York resembles a giant spaceship as you approach.  The owners of the building donated use of their massive atrium to become the setting for our event.

With the venue and date in place it was time to send out Save the Date cards and start designing the collateral materials.  For this task I turned to the team at Alpine Creative Group to pull together the look for all of the printed materials.  The result was a sharp, classic design that everyone loved.

Given that we had the space confirmed, and knew that the fashion show would be the focus of the event, our next task was to find the right staging company to create the environment and handle all sound and lighting.  To accomplish this task I contacted Richard Tatum and L & M Lighting and Sound.  Having work with Richard for many years I was confident he could pull together all of the elements to make the event a success and I was right.  To help L & M the services of Dynamic Drape and Decor were enlisted to create the set and the backstage areas along with helping us create some great posters of historic photos of the hospital.

To round out the vendors behind the event I brought is Vali Entertainment who supplied, Martin, an amazing DJ and the electric violists we used to set the stage as guests were entering the atrium for the Gala.

Of course every Gala needs amazing food.  For the White Plains Hospital Gala we chose the in house caterer at 800 Westchester Avenue, The Gourmet Taste, to handle all of the food and beverage for the event.  As this was not a sit down dinner the guests were treated to numerous themed food stations and a variety of passed hors d'oeuvres.  The guests raved about the food.  I have to say that Robin and her staff outdid themselves to make the guests happy.

Of course, I was there to design the room and provide floral and decor.  For this event it was all about the fashion.  Also,the room and staging were modern and sleek so I did not want anything over the top.  All of the tables were drapes with sleek silver, crinkle taffeta linens.  I used simple blue and white floral in stainless steel containers to tie into the Hospital's logo colors. It was simple and beautiful.

But, of course, the real star of the night were the amazing fashions from Oscar de la Renta.  I would be remiss if I did not give you a taste of the fashions that guests were treated to at the Gala.  I hope you enjoy.

It was a very special evening a a successful fundraiser for a great cause.  I a proud and grateful for the opportunity to work with the amazing staff and volunteers at White Plains Hospital.  I also want to thank Sniffen Pictures for production of the wonderful video shown at the event, Red Oak Transportation for safely transporting all of our models, Advanced Parking Concepts for handling the rush of guests needing valet service and Fifth Avenue Digital for providing the great photographers who captured all of the great images shown on this blog.

Here's to the next great Gala!