By Alesandra Dubin Posted January 17, 2011, 2:45 PM EST
LOS ANGELES On a night where six star-studded parties all swarm a single hotel, In Style's Golden Globes party with Warner Brothers at the Beverly Hilton may be known as the requisite stop, equivalent to Vanity Fair's coveted Oscar-night bash. With that reputation, the party—which made its 12th annual appearance at the Hilton's Oasis Courtyard on Sunday night, overseen by the magazine's manager for creative development, Kelly Austing, and designed by Thomas Ford—has got to deliver on top decor and entertainment.
“With this party, what we try to do is make it better and better every year,” said Austing. “Our way of competing in the masses for one night is, we always have a band, and stations upon stations of food. It's a place where you can kick up your heels and stay all night.”
For what Austing described as the evening's “sexy library look,” Ford was inspired by a luxury penthouse, and constructed a tent over the hotel pool to transform the space, creating the feel of a dark library with custom black leather tufted couches and 3,000 wrapped books on elaborate bookshelves, along with flashes of steel, silver, and burgundy. Mirrors and modern art pieces accented the room, and Scandinavian chrome and LED light fixtures completed the look.
Ford hand-wrapped the faux books for shelves into which the screens for the viewing dinner were built. “You can't have real books or it would topple over, so he created them out of foam and them wrapped them with different textures. And he put a bunch of glass accessories so that you would feel like you're in someone's den or a library,” Austing said. “He pays attention to every detail, whether it's an insert in the carpet or books on the shelves.”
The menu included 3,000 pieces of jumbo shrimp, a carving station with beef tenderloin and roast turkey, and other savory dishes, with Smartwater helping guests stay hydrated through the long night. Appealing to their sweet tooths was the signature Godiva chocolate lounge at the end of the red carpet, where guests could sample all manner of indulgences, including liquid ones like signature cocktails made with the new Godiva chocolate-infused vodka. This year's lounge, created by Larry Abel and Raymond McCallister of the newly renamed Abel McCallister De-signs (formerly Larry Abel De-Signs), was adorned with flowers made entirely of chocolate inspired by artist Dale Chihuly's glass flower display in the lobby of Las Vegas's Bellagio.
“What always stands out to me and especially this year is that people don't realize that this is not a room—this is [a temporary space] we built,” said Austing. “People come off the press line, and they think the Godiva space is the party. They don't realize that you haven't even entered the party yet. Guests are in amazement. If people are to talk about the event, it's always, 'Did you see that room?' To see the momentum build is pretty exciting.”