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LOS ANGELES Though this year marked the 10th anniversary of the Hollywood Film Festival awards—known to insiders as the first step in the road to the Oscars—it was only the first time the awards show included an after-party, sponsored by movie network Starz. Though most people know it as the old Griff’s space, the event was held at the new Circa 55, which launched only a few days earlier and was named for the year the famous hotel opened its doors.
To produce the party, Starz director of trade and sales communications Allyson Taylor tapped Ikus & Company, which annually produces large-scale events like the In Style Golden Globes after-party and People and the Screen Actor’s Guild gala after-party. Starz incorporated vintage and modern decor elements throughout the venue, which also flowed through the new C55 Lounge and the remodeled Aqua Star pool.
While DJ Gavin O’Connor (aka “Gawk1”) spun tunes on a floating island in the middle of the pool, guests sipped specialty drinks and experienced a taste of the 1950’s everywhere they went. Suites and cabanas around the pool area featured a poker room by West L.A. Poker complete with custom-made Starz poker chips; a suite featured single malt scotch, a cabana offered beauty touch-ups by Stila and Prive, and there was an area where El Beso Cigars provided authentic hand-rolled cigars. Lavish tables featured buckets made out of ice to hold water, as well as food and desert spreads including sushi, California cuisine, and homemade ice cream.
The decor throughout the party was inspired by the famous Hollywood actor-turned-designer William Haines and featured chocolate velvet couches, zebra print pillows, leather shag rugs, and gnarled Manzanita wood designs on tables along with flower arrangements—all a throwback to 1950’s glamour with modern touches. Bobby Trendy designed other specialty suites around the pool and incorporated zebra patterns, rich chocolate colors, and plush couches.
Special touches included a side room set up as a screening room, complete with a concession stand and authentic 1950’s movie seats. And Tribute Entertainment provided cigarette girls, dressed appropriately in 1950’s replica costumes, down to their sequins hats and fishnet stockings, a reminder of a far off time when people were actually allowed—even encouraged—to smoke in Los Angeles.
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