Giant Pagoda, Geishas Fill TV Guide Party

For its sixth annual Emmy after-party, TV Guide riffed on the Kress's eastern Asian-inspired look.

By Rosalba Curiel September 22, 2008, 4:22 PM EDT

A giant pagoda-like structure sat at the foot of the tent. 

Photo: Nadine Froger Photography

TV Guide's Emmy After-Party
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The Emmy Awards may have moved deeper into the heart of downtown Los Angeles this year, taking the broadcast to the Nokia Theatre, but TV Guide continued its tradition of tapping a notable Hollywood venue for its Emmy after-party (past locations include Social Hollywood and Les Deux) by turning to fairly new nightspot the Kress for its sixth annual bash last night. “We’re known to be a Hollywood party, and that’s the way we want to stay,” said John Geiger, the publication’s vice president of consumer marketing and business development. “People may go to other parties, but we want to be the end-of-the-night destination, where people come and stay to enjoy the music and atmosphere—not just a party where people stop by.”

For the sixth consecutive year Geiger and team turned to Event Eleven’s Tony Schubert to create the environment. Schubert took his design cue from what he identified as the Kress’ Japanese-influenced look, transforming close to 150,000 square feet of parking lot behind the club into a  garden-like haven dotted with cherry blossoms, Japanese maple trees, more than 75 bonsai trees, and some 50 bamboo stalks. Furthering the theme were 20 alternating images measuring 55-feet tall and 140-feet wide that featured scenes such as snow-covered volcanoes or lines of Japanese calligraphy.

Even event sponsors’ presence within the party fit the theme. Schubert incorporated Nabisco Toasted Chips into a 10-foot-tall Japanese pagoda adorned with 15,000 chips. And the Oil of Olay brand was represented as a six-foot-tall ice sculpture in the shape of one the company’s product bottles at a wine and saki bar.

Guests gathered under a tent draped with some 150,000 yards of red taipei silk to watch bands the Bravery and MGMT perform. “We look for fresh, hot music, and in this case we decided to go with more of a festival feel versus a big headliner like Kanye West was last year,” Geiger said. “We just wanted a different feel, but we still wanted it to be current, contemporary and something that young Hollywood would be attracted to.” The performance certainly had a festival vibe, with more than one guest falling at the foot of the stage after what looked like perhaps a little too much time at the wine and saki bar. Sam Endicott, lead singer of the Bravery, invited Emmy winners to join him onstage for a sing-along, but no statuette-clutching attendees stepped forward.

For those celebrities who were in attendance sans an award, like John Krasinski and nominee Sandra Oh, perhaps the swarm of 1,000 origami paper cranes that hung from the center of the tent will bring them better luck next year, as legend has it that anyone who sees that many cranes at once receives great prosperity.

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