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NEW YORK It was hot, and It was sticky, but everyone seemed to think It was fun, too. Entertainment Weekly threw a rollicking, overheated party to promote its annual It Listbilled as “The 100 Most Creative People in Entertainment” (ah, lists!)that filled the vast Milk Studios with sweaty advertising and media types and a smattering of celebrities. With a funky, lively performance from Macy Gray, DJ sets from Cameron Douglas and superstar DJ John Digweed, and the muggy, hot atmosphere, the event was more like an outdoor summer concert than a typical chardonnay-and-crabcakes magazine party.
Mark Musters of Musters & Company gave the party a spare, colorful look, using different brightly hued color schemes in each of the vast venue's three large spaces. In the biggest room (which hosted the stage), paper lanterns in green, mauve and violet hung over three large royal blue ottomans, with smaller seats scattered around the room. Another area had a pink look, with patterned tapestries hanging over pink ottomans and books mentioned in the issue stacked on shelves. And the third room had a blue and orange look, with a wall of flat-screen monitors flashing cover images from past It List issues above a long blue seating area. Scharff Weisberg's brightly colored lighting matched each room's decor and added to the fun feel (as well as the heat).
The coolest decor touch: To keep guests' minds on their hosts, pillows scattered around the rooms were printed with the It List issue's cover and sections of the magazine.
Musters also found some fun ways to promote the event's sponsors. An ice bar incorporated the logos of both the magazine and the bar's sponsor, Belvedere vodka. For a bar serving bottles of Lipton iced tea, Musters put hundreds of bottle caps inside a clear plastic box on top of the bar. And long metal tables had troughs of ice in the center filled with chilled bottles of Miller Lite, and its stools had covers branded with the beer's logo.
Caterer Tentation put out a pretty summer spread, with lots of colorful vegetables and tiny wraps and fun foods like shoestring potatoes and BBQ beef short ribs on brioche rolls. One fitting treat in the heat: Grand Marnier popsicles.
The party was especially challenging for Jacqueline Stiles, EW's director of event marketing, and her staff, who were charged with putting on the event during the magazine's annual sales meeting, which was held in New York this year at the Hudson Hotel. Having the party when the mag's salespeople were all in town allowed them to meet with clients and enjoy the party, but it also left the event staff putting together two of their biggest events of the year at the same time.
Celebrity wrangler Lori Levine of Flying Television Productions brought in famous faces including Lara Flynn Boyle, It List 2000 cover girl Heather Graham, Monica Lewinsky, Moby and Molly Shannon. Many of the celebs watched Gray's performance from a makeshift V.I.P. area that was roped-off after It List 2001 coverboy Hayden Christensen requested a reprieve from the swooning young women swarming him. Evidently, he had had It.
See the cool invitation to this event...
Read our coverage of Entertainment Weekly's Oscar party...