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Gentleman's Club | Luke's 30th Birthday

Taya Paparone - Tuesday, August 02, 2016

What a treat it is to have a client like Erlyn. Formidably fussy, she knows her taste and could easily style and plan her own amazing party if not for that niggling career thing that makes her extremely time poor and in need of a planner. Intimidating as it can be to have a client with a hawk’s eye for detail, it’s also a blessing when you find yourself on the same wavelength as that person and they give over the stylistic reins in trust.

Erlyn came to me when she realised it would be physically impossible for her to plan and style her boyfriend Luke’s 30th birthday between work trips and her demanding day-to-day. We threw around ideas and settled on a venue party with a masculine, sophisticated gentleman’s club theme. Luke and Erlyn are fortunate enough to live just a stone’s throw away from HangOut on 20 Preston, a little jazz enthusiasts dream of tapas and cocktails that just happens to adjoin with a gelato joint.

The styling evolved to include a gothic edge and an air of secret society. I wanted guests to feel they had entered the inner sanctum of an exclusive ivy league fraternity. I used skulls, leather bound books, matte black, deep foliage and blood red roses accented in crystal and mixed metals to achieve the look. The dark but glimmering background of HangOut was a perfect canvas for the rich colours and glowing tealights.

HangOut served their cocktail menu, the bourbon pork belly was a highlight, and we included some edamame share bowls for nibbling. A deep berry sorbet and sparkling cocktail was a hit, and I selected a traditional whiskey sour to stay in theme. Vanessa Makes Cakes produced a beautiful, creamy, butterscotch dripping masterpiece for dessert.

Thirtieth birthdays are a firm favourite of mine. Fun and boozy but often decadent and full of guests who have been friends for years. This dynamic is made even better by clients with impeccable taste and a genuine love of entertaining, food and style.

© Taya Paparone T/As Partaya 2016

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