EVENT REVIEW: THE GOLDEN GLOBES
THERE ISN'T A PLACE ON EARTH THAT LOVES, OR HAS MORE EVENTS PER YEAR THAN LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA. MOST NOTABLY, HOLLYWOOD-CENTRIC EVENTS THAT GET BROADCAST ACROSS THE WORLD, LIKE LAST NIGHT'S GOLDEN GLOBE AWARDS. SERIOUSLY--THERE ARE AT LEAST TWENTY (20!)-PLUS RELATED EVENTS BEFORE AND AFTER JUST THE GOLDEN GLOBE AWARDS. THAT'S A BUSY WEEKEND FOR EVENT COMPANIES IN LA LA LAND. WE GAVE YOU A RUN-DOWN OF THE EMMYS LAST YEAR AND WE THOUGHT IT WOULD BE FUN TO LOOK IN DEPTH AT THE GOLDEN GLOBES, TOO. MOST REPORTAGE WILL FOCUS ON THE NOMINEES AND WINNERS, THE FASHION AND STYLE, AND THE MERIT OF THE ENTERTAINMENT. HERE, HOWEVER, WE LIKE TO GEEK OUT ON THE THINGS THAT MATTER MOST: LIGHTING ELEMENTS, MENUS, THEMES, STAGE DESIGN, AND SO MUCH MORE.
A WINNING MENU
What do 800 lbs of chilean sea bass, 4,000 lbs of vegetables and 125+ cases of Moet & Chandon champagne have in common? They were all served for dinner at the Golden Globes last night. Award show menus either set trends in the event industry, or, as they did in this case, they adhere closely to well-loved classics prepared with an inventive twist. Chef Alberico Nunziata prepared an indulgent two course Italian-inspired meal of beet and arugula salad and a surf and turf entree (sea bass and filet mignon) with mushroom risotto and broccolini. The dessert was a charming trio of flavors from pastry chef Thomas Henzi--a reinvention of tiramisu with hazelnut flavors, an almond cake with orange mascarpone cream and orange basil gelee, and a classic Italian profiterole. The meal was a blend of solid skill from an Italian master chef with unique touches throughout. In your own events, keeping things simple can sometimes mean that the quality is really the highlight--instead of trying to get crazy with novelty, stick to what your vendor loves and does best.
ROLLING WITH THE PUNCHES
Even if you didn't see Mariah Carey's televised near-midnight meltdown at New Year's Rockin' Eve, you still may have heard it was a good example of what NOT to do when a technical glitch gets you down. Even seasoned performers, like Golden Globes host Jimmy Fallon, usually an improvisational genius, can get caught off guard when reality doesn't match with expectations. Fallon faced an immediate challenge when his teleprompters were not functioning and he found himself scrambling to say...anything. He suffered a bit of a stumble, tried to pass the buck for help to his comedy cohort Justin Timberlake, and then he recovered quickly with a political joke and a few impressions before getting a new monitor. The point is, he didn't let it stop him in his tracks, throw a fit, or later blame the entire production team (If you didn't catch any video documentation of Mariah's unfortunate moment, here it is). He just went with it--and in the end it was fine. Any time you are facing an unexpected upset at your event, try to get beyond it with all the humor and grace you can muster--and if need be, make a joke about someone else who has recently suffered a similar fate. After the first commercial, Fallon zinged, “I just got off the phone with Mariah Carey and she thinks that Dick Clark Productions sabotaged my monologue. We had to talk.”
In Hollywood, we all know the motto is "go big or go home" and where floral design is concerned, this award show did not disappoint. Mark's Garden, arguably the florist for Hollywood events, designed a palette of pinks, corals, and oranges to compliment the luminous gold tones of the set and the award itself. In keeping with a classic simplicity of the menu, the blooms were all and only roses flown in from Holland and balmy South America. The ombre coloring of the blooms from light orange to a deep citrusy orange made the arrangements feel modern and inventive. When you're planning table design and flowers for your event--even if you're not having to make considerations for upwards of 2,000 place settings--think of small details that will delight (like the late evening macarons that match the flowers). Sometimes it's the little things.
GILDED SET DESIGN
Since all anyone seems to care about after awards shows are the dresses and the winners, we had to dig around a little to discover some details about the set design for this year's show. In keeping with what seems to be a kind of classic-modern theme, the set (as pictured above behind Jimmy Fallon) was a subtle hue-enhanced gold geometric patterning. This varied stage to stage to stage by color and shape and even the addition of some occasional sparkle. It was an understated, cool, undulating blue behind Meryl Streep as she accepted her Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award and interlocking squares of dusty rose-gold and bronze behind Ryan Gosling as he accepted his Best Actor Award. The continuity was the mid-century modern feel with a lot of back and uplighting behind gilded graphic elements. It was a strong nod to a vintage-feeling Hollywood aesthetic, somewhat in keeping with the presiding era of many of the nominated films and series. When you are designing your own set, taking cues from the context of your event can be a great way not just to decide on a theme but to establish all of the other elements, as well.
THE MOET DIAMOND
In a lovely cohesion between the sponsoring company, Moet & Chandon, and the event itself, a custom cocktail was created for the celebration. We know, we know, we keep going on about these custom cocktails. But there is a reason everyone is doing this (or should be). It's fun, it invites integration between the food, sponsors, venue, event theme, and other elements. The cocktail in question for last night was dubbed the "Moet Diamond." More than 50 bartenders whipped up more than 1,500 of these champagne cocktails featuring orange liqueur, cherry bitters, and Moet Imperial Champagne topped with an orange twist and a diamond-esque rock candy swizzle. Simple, classic, light and a little chi-chi. Here's the recipe in case you feel inclined to make one yourself.
THE MOËT DIAMOND
3 oz Moët Imperial Brut Champagne
.5 oz orange liqueur
2 dashes cherry bitters
1 rock candy stick
Preparation: Pour orange liqueur into champagne flute and add dash of cherry bitters. Gently pour chilled champagne. Garnish with rock candy stick.
Served: Straight up; without ice
Garnish: Rock candy stick and orange zest
Glass: Champagne flute
THE JOY OF NOT TAKING YOURSELF TOO SERIOUSLY
Events like this invite moments of tremendous emotion and celebration from winners and often evoke tearful speeches and impassioned pleas for political or social beliefs that are close to the winner's heart. Sometimes they make the audience cry, too. Also, these events are really long. Mix a lot of emotion with a lot of booze in an enclosed space where almost everyone female is wearing Spanx and uncomfortable, beautiful shoes and you get...humor! Jimmy Fallon was tasked with keeping that ball rolling last night but a few others carried the torch. Be sure that when you are planning your event, no matter how serious the subject matter, there is a little happiness built in (or a lot) so that your event is FUN. Really, no matter how touched people may become by certain elements of your gala, conference, or other event, what they ultimately want to feel was that the event was worth it and that worth often comes from a feeling that your attendees enjoyed themselves. Sure, it's fun to get out and get dressed up, get a babysitter, escape for the weekend--whatever--but the event itself has to have that inherent balance of gravity and levity to really feel special in a lasting way. Watch (above) the funniest moment of the night as comedy masters Kristin Wiig and Steve Carrell present the award for Best Animated Feature.
WELP, NOW ALL THAT'S LEFT TO DO IS CRITICIZE ALL THE INCREDIBLY EXPENSIVE DRESSES WORN BY RIDICULOUSLY BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE. BUT THAT IS NOT OUR JOB--SO WE WILL JUST LEAVE YOU WITH THIS, OUR FAVORITE MEME OF THE NIGHT. WE ARE LOOKING FORWARD TO THE OSCARS, AS WELL, AND ALREADY PLANNING FOR SOME FUN INSIGHTS INTO HOLLYWOOD'S BIGGEST NIGHT OF SELF-CONGRATULATORY INDULGENCE (THAT WE, OF COURSE, LOVE). STAY TUNED!