We had the honour of being the chosen event planners for a very special Air France KLM evening, held for their high-profile customers in London. Our brief was to create a London event that would express how valued Air France KLM find their customers, and an opportunity for HQ representatives to gain personal feedback about the brand. From the start the aim was to create a memorable journey for the guests, whilst creating a brand storyline throughout the event
Wednesday 21 November 2018
The Detail Makes the Journey
Where else than iconic Wallace Collection?
Nestled amongst the stylish boutiques and chic bistros of Marylebone, the Wallace Collection is an exquisite setting. At the heart of high-society in the 18th century, Hertford House played host to the great and the good of London’s elite for over 200 years. It was the perfect venue to bring the level of elegance and exclusivity necessary for this event as well as tying in the client’s French and Dutch links by choosing the galleries that focused on art from those countries. The Wallace Collection owns one of the finest collections of French eighteenth and nineteenth-century paintings outside of France, including works by Watteau, Boucher, Fragonard, Delacroix and Delaroche - artists whose paintings are barely represented elsewhere in British national collections.
The whole evening was tied together with the recurring motifs of air travel and the client’s top destinations, and the stationary was no exception. Working with Cutture we created a sky line design and story line for the event that we used across the stationary for the event. It was these fine details that tied the whole event together. We created bespoke invitations, tent-fold place cards and table-name cards that captured the essence of travel. Each table, named after and decorated in the style of a top destination, had its own unique double-sided laser cut landmark table name card. These were tied together to create a skyline of destinations which we used on the invitations. Place cards featured a laser cut aeroplane against a sky of clouds with guest names scribed by a calligrapher that matched the invitations.
The Journey takes Flight
The sun had already set as the AirFrance KLM guests arrived at the Wallace Collection. The building was lit in the company’s brand colours, and storm lanterns lined the drive way guiding guests into the venue. At the entrance guests were welcomed and registered online via ipads by our host team dressed in the Air France and KLM uniforms.
Once inside guests made their way up the grand staircase, which was decorated either side with oversized floral displays, and made their way up to the gilt adorned landing to the drawing rooms for the reception. Here guests were welcomed on the landing by a glass of champagne and the beautiful music of our violinist Sally who played a traditional set with her classical violin.
The pre-reception took place in the drawing room suites. We chose this suite of six as the recently refurbished rooms possess an intimacy of scale, but also because they are beautifully decorated with French silk wall coverings and curtains. Many of the most famous French paintings in the Collection are displayed here, thus paying tribute to the client’s French roots.
For balance guests were then invited to experience the Dutch galleries. The collection of Dutch paintings displayed in these galleries is considered one of the finest in the country represented by the likes of Rembrandt, Rubens and Jan Steen. With Champagne and Canapés flowing, art and music consumed, it was time to move on to the Great Gallery.
The Great Gallery
This unique, awe-inspiring space has walls adorned with romantic works by Ruben and Canaletto. Rich and sumptuous in red and gold, we dressed this room with high poseur tables clothed in urbane Pearl Grey linen and Red solitaire lamps. Here we served guests their standing starter tasting menu created by Alison Price which featured bespoke French and Dutch themed specialty canapés. These included miniature tarts of French Roquefort and Dutch Appelstroop, Steak with Crispy Pomme Parisienne and Béarnaise sauce, miniature brown butter roll with Lobster and Apple Remoulade salad, and Crispy Pork Bitterballen with Dijon mustard
The Eye of the Beholder
Whilst guests mingled, they also had the opportunity to experience Eye Con Art - an interactive installation using bespoke camera adapters manned by skilled photographers who captured an ultra-high resolution photograph of the guest’s eye. Within each eye is a fascinating galaxy of pattern and colour, completely unique to each person. With specialist image editing software they isolate the iris and enhance its detail, creating a stunning piece of art for the guests to keep. Each guest was able to take away their individual piece of Eye art in a beautiful Air France KLM laser cut wallet.
Contemporary Courtyard Soiree
Following the standing starter course we invited the guests to the contrasting contemporary central glazed Courtyard. With its soaring glass roof and marble floor, the courtyard is a perfect blank canvas allowing us to personalise the space for our client. The perimeter was beautifully uplit to complement the internal décor and stonework. The south wall was washed in the client’s brand colour which also emphasised the architecture and added depth to the room. Here, Sally returned to perform with a contemporary twist - an LED electric violin, this time accompanied by our Saxman, Andre.
Bringing destinations to life with flowers and shadows
We adorned each table with breathtaking floristry provided by Wild about Flowers, that individually represented Air France KLM’s top destinations. Highlights were:
Cape Town Table
Wooden crates stacked with planted herbs and flowers in beautiful berry red tones, ranging from burgundy to plums to more vivid red and green tones. Surrounding were a few South African wine bottles filled with individual stems of flowers, foliage’s and fruit.
Black glass vases with textured and structured flowers and foliage which included orchids, red hydrangea and gingers with folded palms snake grass in Chinese oriental vases. The vases were surrounded by black candles, short stemmed bamboo, Chinese lanterns and red t-lights giving a clean modern and structural feel to the design
Clusters of cylinders with small white stones at their base, one filled with water and accompanied by an elegant floating candle. The other cylinders featured beautiful silk cherry blossom, which gave the effect of bursting out of the top of the cylinders.
Alison Price & Co offered guests a delicious dinner with a choice on the night of either Shorthorn Beef rump fillet or Butter-roasted Hake followed by Blackberry Eton Mess or Chocolate Fondant Brownie with a Pecan crust and Marmalade ice-cream.
Following dinner, the finale was performed in the Courtyard provided by Connect, a shadow show which brought to life the client’s top destinations. Dancers cleverly used shadows and movement to create everything from aeroplane’s gliding through the air to elephants being hand-fed. The performance encompassed the idea of “journey” which had been a motif throughout the event. The awe inspiring performance received an enthusiastic standing ovation from the guests and was the perfect way to bring the evening to a close.
Photo credit: Noah Goodrich, Two by Two