By Anna Sekula Posted December 8, 2008, 12:26 PM EST
NEW YORK In a bid to create an elegant ballroom that didn't look like it was inside a tent, the New York Botanical Garden obscured structural details with strategically placed fabric at its annual Winter Wonderland ball on Friday night. The 360-person event, which took place at the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory and an adjacent tent, employed a black and white color scheme and advanced lighting technology to hide poles and even the peaked ceiling.
Inspired by Chanel—the French fashion house's fine jewelry division was the evening's sponsor—designer Ron Wendt devised a simple and wintry look that also highlighted the camellia, the label's signature flower. In turn, Frost added colorful video to the room by projecting images onto a scrim that formed the roof of the space. Overseeing the planning of the event for the garden was its vice president for individual giving and special events, Jennifer Rominiecki.
Reminiscent of Chanel's iconic handbag, white quilted cloths covered the square tables of the dinner tent. Each was topped with glossy black lacquer squares and short arrangements of white peonies. To complete the setting, tailored white curtains with black borders cloaked the walls of the tent, white Italian felt covered the floor, more glossy black squares shaped the dance area.
However, the focal point of the room was Frost's digital projections. Instead of using trusses and other unsightly equipment, the company mounted eight projectors to the ceiling of the tent and projected a smattering of video and graphic images onto a scrim that formed the ceiling of the room. Using a Hippotizer V3 media server to progressively change the projections based on the music and tone during the four-hour event, Frost shone a variety of moving patterns, including falling snow and camellias.
The event, which supports children's education programs at the garden, raised $250,000.