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David Stark Gala Decorating Tips

David Stark Designs a Gala Inspired by Cinema Paradiso and Good Night Moon

Here's a post from designer guest writer David Stark.

New Yorkers for Children always kicks off the Fall gala season with their very chic evening each September, and we have had the honor of collaborating with them for many years now. It’s always been important for the evening to be glamorous, but in recent years, it has been critical to infuse beauty with meaning. How do we do that, you might ask?

We look for metaphor. When we sit down with the committee in the early spring for our first brainstorm on the gala, the goal is to find an overarching message. We literally banter around the table, tossing out words and phrases that inspire, try to peg our words to images, and search for a statement that feels like a call to arms, that is proactive, rather than something that is merely a statement. We look for a phrase that can both inspire and encapsulate the meaning of what the evening is about.

Case in point, the gang at New Yorkers brilliantly provides the resources and support necessary for foster kids to make the dream of a college education a reality (and so much more!), so our evening’s theme, “Launch a Star,” is both visually rich and conceptually strong. We looked to books like The Little Prince and Good Night Moon for visual inspiration as well as the romantic street scenes of the film Cinema Paradiso, and we turned Cipriani 42nd Street into a moonlit garden with a million twinkling stars, strings of vintage glowing bulbs festooned above, a grand entry moment with clouds, stars and a symbolic ladder to climb up, up, and up, and plush gardens of the most perfect blooms everywhere.

Our sincere congratulations to our friends at New Yorkers for Children for an amazing evening — we love our partnership with you and are honored to keep growing creatively each year together.

For more photographs, check out David Stark's blog.

Photos courtesy Susie Montagna

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