Stay Inspired with Event Design Ideas From This 'Mulan'-Theme Dinner
Houston-based Event Sociétal designed a dark and moody event setting for a recent photo shoot.
Photo: AMA by Aisha
HOUSTON—The magic of Disney has always served as a source of inspiration for Arin Segall, founder and creative director of Event Sociétal. (She even interned at Walt Disney World during college.)
So when the movie studio announced it was releasing a live-action version of Mulan, originally slated to be in theaters on March 27, Segall knew she needed to design an event inspired by the film—even if she didn’t have a client.
“A lot of the time in the corporate sector, your clients don’t always necessarily let you tap into your full creative potential, so it can be fun to do photo shoots like this based on a theme that may not otherwise ever be pitched.”
Segall’s Houston-based event planning company—which also serves Atlanta, Las Vegas, Miami, Nashville, and Orlando—teamed up with a roster of other event professionals to create the concept of a grown-up party based around the story of a young girl who becomes a warrior.
“The biggest takeaway is that there is a way to elegantly highlight a beautiful culture, one that is a big part of the makeup of Houston, using a beloved childhood character as a muse and it doesn’t have to end up looking like a kitschy kid’s party,” Segall explained. “And it’s the perfect example of not necessarily reinventing the wheel, just improving on it.”
Segall said that during the shoot, which took place at the Asia Society Texas Center on March 11, right as news started breaking about coronavirus shutdowns, “everyone was getting calls from clients about canceling their events… that same afternoon, the city announced that the world-famous Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, for the first time in its 88-year history, was being canceled. I think it was at that moment when we all looked at each other in disbelief and the reality began to sink in.”
But the theme of the shoot and the movie, which is now set to be released July 24, became more apropos than ever. “At eight years old, a quote from Mulan such as ‘the flower that blooms in adversity is the most rare and beautiful of all’ may fall on deaf ears—but as an adult, that messaging resonates with you,” Segall said. “And now, in these uncertain times, hearing words like that are a reminder that something that beautiful can come from all of the pain we are all experiencing.”
Calligraphy: So Crafty Studio
Cake: Sweet Nation
Catering & Food Styling: David & Michael Cordua Events
Creative Direction: Arin Segall of Event Sociétal
Floral Design: Andy Hopper of H‑E‑B Blooms Shops
Paper Goods: Presutti Design
Photography: AMA by Aisha
Public Relations: Kristin Weissman
Social Media: Bea Connected
Tableware Rentals: Swift + Company
Trussing: 360 AV Design
Venue: Asia Society Texas Center