By Susan O'Neill Posted December 14, 2010, 1:20 PM EST
TORONTO Peacock feathers, paper parasols, statues of camels, and hundreds of origami cranes filled Capital C's loft-style offices on Thursday for a holiday party with an Asian twist. Event planner Mary Pallattella, creative director of Capital C Live Events, worked with Visions Display Inc. to transform the firm's King Street East office space with a look suited to its “FantASIA” theme.
“FantASIA is a celebration and meshing of the wonderful places on the Silk Road, twisted with a contemporary spin, plus a touch of holiday. As our invite says, 'The Exotic Far East meets festive King East,'” Pallattella said of the event, which drew 350 guests. “We look forward to celebrating with our clients and employees every year. This is Capital C's way of saying thank you.”
When guests stepped off the elevator and into the firm's fifth-floor space, they walked through a moon gate and past a lush garden, complete with a small pond and a red bridge with the Capital C logo painted on the posts. Greeters wearing traditional Mandarin dresses served warm arrack and offered shooters filled with popcorn miso soup created by chef Domenic Chiaromonte of CaterTrendz by TLV.
A tall Christmas tree, decorated with peacock feathers and fans, sat atop a cabinet, towering over the reception area. “This inspired the party. That's what it started with. I wanted a peacock tree,” said Pallattella, who covered the walls along the office corridor with custom black and red graphics that included elements of Chinese culture mixed with holiday references like images of candy canes and Santa Claus.
For the bar area, one of three rooms used for the event, Pallattella hung a giant red dragon kite from the ceiling and used a Chinese pagoda as a backdrop. Servers from the Martini Club—dressed in T-shirts bearing the phrase “Joy to the World” (with Chinese lettering for the word “joy")—offered custom drinks with names like the Kublai Khan, Geisha's Pleasure, Cin Sin, and Jal Jeera Magic.
DJ Eric Ling spun tunes in a space inspired by a Tokyo love hotel. Paper parasol umbrellas hung from the ceiling above the dance floor and a giant Hello Kitty-inspired decal adorned the wall. In the third room, inspired by the Byzantine Empire, Pallattella erected a fabric tent and filled the space with plush cushions, palm leaves, lanterns, tapestries, and statues of camels.
Event organizers scattered about 200 red origami cranes—and four golden cranes—throughout the party venue. Guests had to find one of the four gold cranes to win one of four gift bags filled with items donated by Warner Brothers. Guests also received fans as a takeaway, and the company is sending a holiday video to attendees.
The party is the eighth themed holiday soiree Pallattella has planned for the marketing and promotional agency. Past themes have included the Orient Express in 2008 and an op art and fairy-tale-inspired party in 2009.