- Catering, Venue Rainbow Room
- Cover Blowup Better Mousetrap LLC
- DJ On the Move Events & Entertainment
- Event Design, Production Preston Bailey Designs Inc.
- Event Management Marcy Blum Associates Inc.
- Invitation Design Lehr & Black
- Linens Cloth Connection
- PR Magrino Agency
- Staffing (Models) Shiraz Creative
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NEW YORK Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. And sometimes a cigar is part of an event theme, as it was at the launch party for event designer Preston Bailey’s second book, Fantasy Weddings. It started with the invitation, which came in the form of a birth announcement. (“It is with great joy Preston Bailey announces his new arrival,” the card said, along with an illustration of Bailey pushing a baby carriage, the natural progression after so many weddings, we suppose—“First comes love…” and all.) And when guests made their way up to the Rainbow Room, they found male models in white satin diapers offering them candy cigars. (Speaking of Freud…well, maybe we’d better not.)
The baby stuff ended inside the party, though, where Bailey decorated Reem Acra dresses with real flowers, including one modeled by drag queen Brini Maxwell, who usually favors Donna Reed-style getups. But the dominant visual was the romantic, dramatic decor Bailey is known for. He hung hundreds of votives and decorations made from hand-sewn silk flower petals from large, barren white branches. And a huge blowup of the book’s cover from Better Mouse Trap decorated a stage, where On the Move Events coordinated an array of funk, soul, and jazz performances. The highlight: Jennifer Holiday belted her trademark, “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going” from Dreamgirls. (How many times do you think she has sung that one?)
Although big-name Bailey brides Liza Minelli and Melania Trump didn’t show, Joan Rivers did (the designer did daughter Melissa’s wedding), and the party was packed with 750 well-wishers—people love this guy—making it difficult to navigate. But for those willing to try, there was plenty of food, from long buffets of the Tuscan-style fare often found in the Cipriani Group’s grand venues to smaller stations with Asian dumplings and raw bar offerings.
Bailey’s staff coordinated the event with help from Marcy Blum; Scott Currie at the Susan Magrino Agency; and Matthew Ballast, Jill Cohen, and Claire Greenspan from Bailey’s publisher, Bullfinch Press.