Spring has barely arrived but, looking back on the events we’ve produced in the first months of the year and ahead at our bookings for the rest of 2013, there are definitely some discernible trends emerging.
Herbs: Fresh herbs, infusions and cordials have been on our radar for a while now. Our gin tasting events, where guests get to play around with botanicals displayed in beautiful apothecary jars, have been really popular since 2012 but this year we are also creating a number of really beautiful living herb bars and installations. For one upcoming event in particular we are using masses of edible English country garden herbs to make internal living herb walls and have worked with a mixologist to create bespoke cocktails made entirely of fresh herbs, which will be picked from the installations and put into the guests’ drinks. People want bespoke drinks which taste amazing and have the potential to boost their health and well-being too.
Boutique, more targeted, events: Clients are investing in events again, but we have seen a shift in our corporate clients, from wanting to throw large, impressive but somewhat impersonal parties and dinners, to creating bespoke, beautiful and intimate events which display imagination and really engage their target audience. Clients are focused on getting a genuine return on investment. Far from being a limitation from event design perspective, it really opens up the possibilities – I adore getting under the skin of a brand or event brief, and finding really gorgeous, innovative ways to bring that story to life in the details. For example, I am ever so slightly obsessed with chairs, and at an event for 800 it’s very hard to avoid using quite standard ‘event chairs’, but at a smaller dinner event you can really go to town; I once hand painted 30 old wooden chairs in white with decoupage for an event – a labour of love that I could not have done 800 times!
Monochrome: Black and white will always be classic ‘go-tos’ for event designers, but this year monochrome is being given a textured twist. Palettes of varied tones of white on white, white lace & leather, white laser-cut paper and flower garlands are all big trends, and interesting uses of black – in food, candles, objects and balloon installations – will be beautiful this Autumn.
Artisan skills and crafts: In tandem with the growing interest that we have seen in the provenance of the ingredients in food and drink, is a desire to get back to basics with learning to make and do. At a party or event, this may translate into having an organic cocktail bar where the guests can get involved in mixing their own drinks, or having food stations where canapés are prepared from simple, high-quality ingredients in front of the guests. In terms of our corporate hospitality offering, we are seeing an increase in corporate groups wanting to get together to learn cheese or sausage-making, hand-print their own wallpaper or make their own organic natural beauty products.
The decadent past: We have some lovely parties with vintage themes coming up this Spring and Summer; The release of The Great Gatsby has prompted a wave of interest in the 1920s. Darling Events has styled events with silver julep cups full of masses of white blooms, authentic 1920s cocktail menus, peacock feather print wallpapers and beautiful gilded vases and objets. We are also creating a 1940s party on The Golden Hinde in August, where guests will be drinking dandelion and burdock from milk bottles and we will be creating a fabulous installation with vintage doilies. I am a huge fan of vintage doilies, much to my husband’s dismay; I am sure he will be delighted when a couple of hundred arrive at the office next month.
Andie Devlin Ball started the company with her husband, Charlie Beall, combining her passion for design with an abiding love of military organisation and spreadsheets. Darling Events produce unique corporate activities with style, and inject glamour and energy into parties and events.
Any comments? Email email@example.com