What an amazing evening. A fantastic buzz in the air the whole night. I’m on cloud nine and still floating. Where to begin? It felt like one of those events where right from the start, everything was going to work, and everyone would end up being friends – a great atmosphere throughout. It could not have gone better. The live makeup and hair styling demonstrations were a huge success, with Aušra delivering a number of phenomenal make-overs, (a style created especially for the launch evening by yours truly in consultation with Aušra) on the gorgeous Kristida, who just happens to be a superb photographer, makeup artist as well as the perfect model. And talented hairstylist Kasia, tirelessly working to produce classic hair styles, one after the other.
One model actually drew a gasp from the attentive audience, as she ‘became’ Marilyn Monroe before our eyes, as each carefully placed hair pin was removed. But that wasn’t all. In-between collecting invaluable make-up tips, the guests were treated to a sizzling catwalk fashion show within the studio. With imagination and will anything is possible in a studio, right?! BOA (Bridal Occasion Accessories) Boutique, had provided numerous gowns, dresses and outfits, ranging from stunning beaded gowns, evoking Gatsby, to stylish outfits perfect for Ascot, ritzy functions or simply having fun, dressing up and hitting the town.
The finale to the show was a bridal gown in blush pink that was spell-binding. The BOA boutique is simply a must visit, where I challenge anyone not to be wowed by the sumptuous, exquisitely designed gowns and day to evening wear dresses by national and international designers on display.
One of the most satisfying aspects of the evening was the complementary touches that came off, including Bianca Márton’s hand made vegan chocolate truffles to die for, with their mmm, minus-calorific(?) delicious content, the can-I-have-another canapés from The Alberts local deli, accompanied by only the finest, keenly priced champagne darling; the award-winning DJ Mark, of Mighty Fine DJs, who knew exactly the right chilled-out classics (think Café Del Mar).
And the fact that the launch had the support of local Richmond companies giving a truly local, community feel; including Swarovski crystal hand-made head pieces by Donna Crain, (worn by all the models on the night) beautiful flowers and arrangements from Bramble & Moss; a gorgeous event styling touch by Ishari De Silva, not to mention the one-stop pampering that was available all under one roof, comprising: Paris Moses’ organic hair colouring (and her genius in inviting me to set up my studio in her salon of course!); the facial treatment services from Maria of Be You Beauty‘ ; Natalia’s manicure and pedicure services and to top it off, literally at the top of our wonderfully charming Georgian building, were Nicolette and Claire from Richmond Osteopaths , on hand to remedy any form of excessive xmas shopping bag muscular relief my guests might have been suffering from – why look any further for a truly complete service in one fabulous setting! I will I am sure be capitalising on this unique combination of complementary services for all our clients in 2014.
Paul, the launch PR and head of Cross Platform Events did a sterling job, managing the entire event and sponsor relationships. As host he kept the evening’s tight schedule flowing seamlessly, the information updates light and to the point, announcing each of the fashion show’s dress designs with flair, and the prize draw from the generous sponsors with good comic timing. On a couple of occasions I needed to remind him he had to also hand over the prize to the prize winner when they came up, not just congratulate them heartily and stare at them. Details.
Anne, one of the models, still in her amazing blush pink BOA bridal gown drew the winners names from a mirrored make-up box (naturally) and I could not have been happier to witness, as if by magic, many of my brides-to-be clients not only won prizes, but ones that could be translated immediately into wedding or bridal benefits. Perfecto!
The quality of donated prizes was pretty spectacular, and to borrow an expression, used by Jennifer in her write up of the studio for Richmond Resident magazine, I was ‘gob-smacked’ by the generosity. Sean Gannon, award-winning photographer, provide a free £450 studio photo-shoot; Arbonne cosmetics provide £100 worth of botanically based skincare products; a bespoke song from Angela Blacklaw worth £500 – a really cool, unique gift to receive I think; a valuable discounted event styling fee from Ishari De Silva; a full ‘colour analysis’, valued at £150 from Mandy Lehto, Executive Coach and Image Consultant of ‘Colour Me Beautiful’.
And closer to home, a free haircut by Vidal Sassoon-trained Paris Moses in her salon; free special occasion hair styling by Kasia Fortuna, and yours truly who threw in a couple of make overs or make up training sessions to two extremely fortunate winners. Well, I’m bound to say that! And of course, the haunt of Richmond’s fashionista crowd, the stylish Bingham Hotel, offered afternoon tea and sandwiches for two to keep the occasion English. If I’m going to fess up to anything, most of what were not consumed of Bianca’s fab chocs, might have er, made their way home with me for safe keeping.
From what I could tell, most of my guests stayed to the end of the night – always a great sign you are enjoying the party. Now I can’t wait to do the next event, assuming I climb back down from my cloud long enough to apply some light mascara-based organisational touches. Don’t think anything is going to stop this happy train rolling down the track any time soon!
A huge thanks to everyone who supported and gave their time for my studio launch; my amazingly talented team of Aušra, Kristida and Kasia, Saci, who has been filming, a reportage style look at how this all came about, with tributes to the great people around me displaying their amazing talents; the generosity of spirit and wisdom of Paris Moses, to allow the launch; Nikoleta, my dear friend and a fellow-makeup artist, who flew in from Barcelona just to help – you are a darling; my brother Marius who has a culinary event catering business inside him waiting to come out! And most, most especially my amazing husband, Algis, there for me and with me every step of the way on this journey, including being Mr meet and greet on the night and dustpan and brush man at 1am. Without him this would so not have been possible. You are the best.
Anyone not mentioned here, I have not forgotten in my heart, just my overflowing euphoric head. Words can’t express how ecstatic I am seeing the launch of the studio and its success and truly appreciate you all being there on my special night. I hope you enjoyed this the first of my event parties with many more to come!
Hotel, Restaurant & Wedding Venue: The Bingham www.thebingham.co.uk
Hair Salon: Paris Moses Hairdressing www.parismoses.co.uk
PR, Marketing & Business Development: Paul Markevičius at Cross Platform Events www.crossplatformevents.com
DJ: Mighty Fine Entertainment mfent.co.uk
Fashion: BOA Boutique www.boa-boutique.co.uk
Hair Stylist: Kasia Fortuna kristinagasperas.com/kasia
Spa: Be You Beauty www.beyou-beauty.co.uk/
Photography: Sean Gannon at Gannon Studios www.gannonstudios.co.uk
Flowers: Bramble & Moss www.brambleandmoss.co.uk
Makeup & Cosmetics: Lucy Cracknell at Arbonne International www.arbonneinternational.co.uk
Event Stylist: Ishari De Silva Weddings isharidesilvaweddings.wordpress.com
Personal Stylist: Mandy Lehto mandylehto.com
Handmade Organic Truffles: Bianca Márton www.biancamarton.com
Bespoke Song Writing: Angela Blacklaw www.angelablacklaw.co.uk
Headpieces & Accessories: Donna Crain donnacrain.com
Bespoke Stationery: Dovilė Butvilaite at Karamelė www.karamele.co.uk
Wedding Cakes: Roma Finlinson at Sweetness Online www.sweetnessonline.co.uk