There’s no party like a theme party! Bachelorettes, cocktails, birthdays, anniversaries – everything is double the fun when you get to dress in costume. If you’re planning on hosting one, then visualise a setting that will compel your guests to slip into character. A detailed décor plan is the key, and what is a better finishing touch than innovative floral arrangements? Not everything needs to be sweet and pretty; flowers can also have a saucy alternate avatar. We’re lending you a helping hand and making a few suggestions. The rest is up to you: remember, imagination is your only constraint.
The Epic Bachelorette
Vedas, not Vegas. Our mythology has a lot of tongue-in-cheek content that can make us, the 21st century lot, blush a deep pink. Pick your favourite tale and make a sensual yet fun translation for your bestie. The colour code: ivory, silver and gold, of course. Mulmul drapery, low seating, bubbly in earthen cups, mood lighting with diyas and the heady fragrances of mogra, parijat and tuberose, with vibrant accents of marigold and ashok. Think vessels instead of vases; create floats with petals and tea-lights. Just make sure that there’s plenty all around. The Vedic vixens celebrate their sister’s last night of maidenhood. As they say, the rest is history.
The Mad Sundowner
The end of the year means a kinder sun, which in turn means – yes, lawn parties! Recreate an all-time favourite scene from Lewis Carrol’s classic, but with an intoxicating twist. High tea becomes a kooky sundowner over a large banquet table, with cocktails served in fine china from quaint teapots, and some surreal touches to the décor. Speaking of which, what is a lawn party without some flora? Create myriad arrangements, make offbeat assortments. Use anything but conventional vases to place your floral mish mash: quirky crockery, platters, cocktail glasses and jugs are perfect. So is a book-shaped vase – it gets more interesting after a few drinks. A couple of hookahs on the table can hold a bunch of stems, as your wry reference to the wise Caterpillar. Most importantly, don’t forget to wear hats.
The Decadent Anniversary
‘Let them eat cake!’ Marie Antoinette may not have been the most sensitive of monarchs, but the dame did have style. If minimalism has never been your thing, then a French period-themed decadent dinner party is the perfect celebration of your tenth wedding anniversary (so rare these days!). Velvet drapes, a black-tie dress code, lace handfans for the ladies, liveried servers, a lavish banquet complete with exotic fruits, full bodied reds served in Murano goblets, candelabras – a rather opulent picture. Tell your florist to go all out with velvety roses, peonies, orchids, birds of paradise and anything ‘statement’ that will draw gasps. Bring out the antique vases to rub it in – the Bohemian pair, the hand-cut lead-free crystal, the hand-blown Venetian masterpiece – and set these installations everywhere. The envy is almost palpable.
F&C Osler Vase from Taherally's: Rs 2,50,000 /- & Pair of bohemian Vases from Taherally's: 2,63,000/-
Pair of Handpainted Spanish Vases from Essajees: Price on request & Pair of Black Marble Vases from Essajees: Rs 1,38,500/-
The Dapper Birthday
Strictly prohibition! We all know that the other side of embargo is excess: behind closed doors, of course. The 1920s were proof of that. A grown up birthday party may not need balloons, but what about confetti, tinsel and some razzmatazz? A dapper gentleman needs a Gatsby-esque celebration. Starched shirts, bow ties, some flapper-chic for the girls and a new jazz band (which will inevitably switch to Bollywood after the guests down those gallons). Take a cue from Art Nouveau; select glassware with delicate etchings, ornate patterns and authentic shapes from the decade. Long stems like calla lilies look great with gardenias and astilbe, with inserts of fern leaves. Your floral selections can be accented with crystals and long plumes for additional glamour. Wear a tux that starkly contrasts the sparkle; the ladies will love it.
The Perfect Brunch
If you are a true, spirited, good ol' fashioned homemaker, then your 50s themed garden brunches are surely the stuff of legends – the kind that has a waiting list. You are always the impeccable hostess in your creaseless Lanvins. There is not one little detail that is ever out of place: the table linen is the right shade of ivory, the placemats are edged with luxe hand crochet; even the lettuce has the perfect crunch! Your table settings are classic but immaculate. Pansies, violets and hydrangeas are your favourites, and would look ever-so-lovely in old-school porcelain vases. Opalescent glass and tinted hand-blown crystal pieces are also elegantly feminine choices for outdoor gatherings. Circular or dome-shaped arrangements give that essential retro touch. They also go well with your Mikimoto pearls.