I always feel a little blue right after Christmas, packing away the decorations until next December and marveling at how quickly the season passed by. But then I remember: New Year’s Eve! And all the sparkle, glitz, fun and decadence that awaits on this one last chance of the year to party! I’ll never forget my favorite NYE… Adam and I had gotten engaged just a few days before and taken off on a whirlwind trip to London. We rang in the new year with plenty of champagne and a breathtaking view of fireworks over the Thames. Just because we’re home for the holidays this year doesn’t mean our night should be any less magical, and I teamed up with kate spade new york to create a glitzy soirée brimming with steal-worthy inspiration. Click through for all the details shot by Buff Strickland, and be sure to pop on over and check out the rest of our Style in Spades celebration series if you haven’t already. Cheers to a brand new year… hope it’s the best yet!
Pop Fizz Clink.
First things first: a bubbly bar stocked with champagne and mixers becomes a showstopping centerpiece of the entire event.
Pomegranate juice, chambord and gin (for classic french 75’s!) make the champagne bar an interactive experience by letting guests experiment with creating new concoctions. Dress up liquor bottles with candy-colored jules point bottle stoppers to make them party-ready.
Rock candy stir sticks add whimsy and decadence to flutes of champagne…this is one night when nothing should be taken too seriously!
kate spade new york larabee dot flutes
The finishing touches.
After the overflowing buffets of Christmas dinners, I like to keep my party menu modern and sleek with small bites that pack a major flavor punch. Duck canapés get a last-minute addition of plum compote and fennel fronds before I tray them up and pass around the party.
It really is possible to serve luxe ingredients without breaking the bank. Instead of serving a chilled display of lobster and shrimp on ice, why not make mini lobster rolls for a much cheekier (and less expensive) way to serve the good stuff? A little creativity goes a long way…
kate spade new york “say the word” rectangular dish
Decking out a party space for a New Year’s fête is actually quite simple. Choose a palette (mine was silver, gold, black & white), then pile on the glitter and sparkle. Loads of confetti and bling-y disco balls do the trick, and a scattering of silver street “roll of the die” decision makers double as party entertainment and luxe favors for guests to tote home. The general rule-of-thumb here? More is definitely more.
kate spade “two of a kind” ice bucket
Raise a glass.
kate spade new york larabee dot flutes
Hey, Mr. Deejay.
Nothing gets the party started like beats made for dancing. I love to surprise guests by hiring a DJ to play at a house party, but a carefully thought-out playlist on your iPod can do the trick just as well. I start the evening with something lounge-y and chill as guests arrive, then move into more energetic beats like hip hop or even 80’s dance music, depending on the crowd.
DJ Johnny Bravvo’s fave beats to get guests on the dance floor.
1. Michael Jackson – Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough (Gigamesh remix)
2. Loon Lake – Cherry Lips (Dcup remix)
3. Icona Pop – I Love It (Cobra Starship remix)
4. Journey – Don’t Stop Believing (DJ Megaman & Panic City remix)
5. DJ Tripp – I Know You Want To Bomb Me (Pitbull VS Bucketheads)
Caviar, meet vodka.
Nothing’s more decadent than caviar, and it’s an unexpected touch at parties these days. Top blini (aka tiny pancakes – I like this recipe) with creme fraiche and caviar, and serve with chilled vodka shots for an hors d’oeuvres that’s made for celebration.
kate spade new york larabee road platinum tidbit plates.
Lay the snack down.
Pommes Frites (that’s french fries, for all you non-francophiles) get a decidedly grown-up twist when tossed with fried parsley and truffle oil. I’m a big fan of any appetizer that turns a junk food favorite into something sophisticated.
Give it a whirl.
We created our own “spin” on a classic Twister board…just in case an impromptu game broke out! Glittery patterned circles set on a black background are a glam take on this kitschy favorite.
Twist & shout.
It’s the quickest way for strangers to get to know each other, and who knows what kinds of new friendship or even love connections just might result when guests get tangled up in this retro classic?
Sparkle & shine.
Colorful tights and glittering heels are must-have accessories at this fête, and can transform a simple LBD into a surprisingly festive ensemble.
kate spade new york corinne heels
Take your best shot.
I’ve never encountered a party guest who doesn’t love a milkshake… especially when it’s spiked and served in diminutive shot glasses. These “white russian” versions are made with tiny scoops of vanilla ice cream topped with vodka, kahlua and a dash of cream.
kate spade new york library lane platinum plate.
Oh, what a night.
As a type A personality who cringes at messes, trust me on this one: it’s worth it to let loose and watch the confetti fly (and think about clean-up tomorrow!) If you can work it into the budget, have a cleaning person stop by the morning after so you can meet up with the girls for a bacon-egg-and-cheese New Year’s Day brunch to dish on the previous night’s revelry.
We created a glittery 2013 using gold tinsel mounted onto foam board cut into the shapes of numbers, and it made the perfect mantel topper and photo backdrop in one. We all raised our glass as the countdown began…
Balloons, party blowers, confetti, champagne, great friends, laughter and yes, a celebratory kiss at midnight, are all the makings of a New Year’s Eve to remember. Hope that yours is full of all these things and more – and that your 2013 is equally unforgettable!
photos by Buff Strickland, food by Word of Mouth and styled by Jess Simpson, flowers by The Byrd Collective, calligraphy by Kathryn Murray, music by dj johnny bravvo, and all dishes, glassware and flatware by kate spade new york.
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