Tag Archives: Local Cocktails Delivered

Studio 54 Reimagined

Early October Highlife was tapped by Interview Magazine and the Mavenry Agency to bring to life the 50th anniversary of Interview Magazine and the one and only Michael Kors gracing the cover. The iconic magazine by Andy Warhol has been inextricably linked to Studio 54 since day one. Democracy on the Floor: Warhol at Studio 54. “Dictatorship at the Door, Democracy on the Floor”: That’s how Andy Warhol famously described Studio 54. So we set out with this mission statement to re-create those decadent times.

A frequent guest of Studio 54 Andy was scene as a beacon of the artistic movement in downtown NYC. Notice the wheatpasted Interview Magazine covers seen in the BG. Taking this identity we re-imagined this look and feel for a modern day step & repeat where the NYC style of advertisements juxtaposed with the Interview Magazine cover.

The Infamous White Horse

“It was a beautiful white horse that reminded me of mine,” she writes, “and I made the foolish decision to get on it for a few minutes … No doubt you will agree with me that it is one thing to, on the spur of the moment, to get on a horse in a nightclub, but it is quite another to ride in on one. As an environmentalist and an animal rights defender I find the insinuation that I would ride a horse into a nightclub offensive … I hope that you can understand the difference between ‘coming in’ on a horse and getting on one.”

Oh Bianca. You know what they say “if you see a white horse you have to get on it” it was the custom in Studio 54 for the guests to indulge in many things that are ‘white’ perhaps riding a horse in a club. not the best idea. But for this imagery, we re-imagined it as an instagrammable moment. This new approach allowed people to get up close and take a photo with the model decked in MKC and also the brilliant white steed!

DANCE, DANCE, DANCE

The dancing in the club was probably what everyone came for. They sex, drugs, and debauchery was what everyone stayed for. To encourage this care-free act of inclusiveness the Studio 54 Dancers were decked in Silver with choreographed movements that would make Diana Ross Blush 🙂 Then Adding in the roller girls brought everything full circle.

Dancers

Finally, it wouldn’t be a disco without the disco balls. Reimagined as a platform stage in the space, this provided not only a stage for the dancers put a branded moment for photos and more.

A preliminary rendering shown here and then the branded UV-Light logo added for a more dynamic moment. This providing more than just a stage to dance on, but an interactive instagrammable vision.

Mirrorball Stage

Finally, a good time would not happen without the people involved. Kudos to the team at Michael Kors, Interview Magazine, The Mavenry, and HighLife Productions.

The People

Disco

Never

Dies

Disco Never Dies

HighLife Productions

WRITTEN BY

HighLife Productions

Michael Kors Collection x Interview Magazine

Disco Never Dies.

This is especially the case when Interview Magazine taps HighLife to re-imagine the Fleur Room as the iconic Studio 54. In collaboration with The Mavenry Agency the HL team brought together various instagrammable moments as mini WOW factors. Like the custom wheat-pasted step & repeat, the branded mirrorball stage, 54 dancers, disco roller girls, and who could forget the iconic white horse.

Below you can find some before and after images. 

Groovy. Very Groovy.

Services provided: Creative Direction, Event Production, Event Design, Event Staffing, Talent management, Talent Negotiation, Vendor Sourcing, Costume and wardrobe design, fabrication and builds

How to make a Mint Julep or How to make a Margarita

Derby Day or Cinco de Mayo??

HighLife Productions April 24, 2019

Mint Julep

Next week the perfect storm. Whether you are from the south or the way south (Mexico) Derby Day and Cinco De Mayo back-to-back. The Mint Julep or the Margarita? Pick your horse and place your bets. No matted which side of the bar you are on these classic cocktails have stood the test of time for a reason.

THE MINT JULEP (MAY 4th)

The classic Mint Julep looks a little like this… beaded silver cup, crushed ice, sprig of mint and the bourbon…. Ahhh, can you hear the horses getting ready. Maybe its the excitement of the race or the festivities of the hats (oh derby hats) but a lot of ceremony surrounds one drink. The julep first got its start as a medicinal concoction used to settle the stomach. As a cocktail, it blossomed in the American South in the late 1700s, with a decidedly elite air, because not everyone had access to ice nor the silver or pewter cup in which the drink is served. Known as the unofficial drink of the South, the Mint Julep became the official drink of the Kentucky Derby in 1938. Nearly 120,000 Mint Juleps have been sold at the race every year since. That’s a lot of silver cups (which people at the race used to steal, so now they sell them instead).

So if on Saturday, you are tuning in to watch the race, enjoy Derby Day with friends be sure to have the iconic, perennial, best in breed Mint Juleps on hand for if your event/party does that you will always be sure to win, place, or show!

THE HIGHLIFE MINT JULEP

The Recipe
8 mint leaves + 1 mint sprig for garnish
1/4 ounce simple syrup (Best made ahead of time)
2 ounces bourbon, such as Rebel Yell or Ezra Brooks, 
Crushed ice, Mint Bitters

Gently muddle mint leaves and simple syrup in the bottom of a julep cup, then add the bourbon and pack with ice. Swirl it all around in the cup so that it gets frosty, then add more ice to the top. Garnish with the mint sprig and dash of mint bitters.

CINCO DE MAYO — Sunday May 5th

If the all day drinking of bourbon on Derby Day didn’t wear you out then the quickly following of Cinco de Mayo certainly will. Cinco de Mayo is not a celebration of Mexico’s Independence (which is actually September 16th), but rather a celebration of Mexico’s victory in the battle at Puebla on May 5th, 1862 during the Franco-Mexican war. An unlikely victory but thank god they did or we all might be drinking French 75s instead of the classic Margarita!

One of the earliest stories is of the Margarita being invented in 1938 by Carlos “Danny” Herrera at his restaurant Rancho La Gloria, halfway between Tijuana and Rosarito, Baja California, created for customer and former Ziegfeld dancer Marjorie King, who was allergic to many spirits, but not to tequila. So its understandable that the limited ways to disguise the tequila existed. But how did the Margarita become so famous. Synonymous with spring break, Mexico, and wild nights dancing on the table. Why did the Margarita get cast into super stardom? It’s a perfectly balanced cocktail, and like the Mint Julep has its own glass! There are few other tequila cocktails as well known nor do they have as many variations. Spicy jalapeño, Cucumber, Prickly Pear, Strawberry, skinny… the variations are endless. Which is why we are going to pick just one to highlight today.

HIGHLIFE MARGARITA

INGREDIENTS

ounces blanco tequila

4 Ounces of homemade mix (thats lime juice, lemon juice, sugar, and water to taste) err on the side of less sweet here

2 ounces of prickly pear syrup (this is the best because it adds a level of sweetness without being cloying)

Salt for rim (optional)

Lime wedge, for garnish….

VIVA LA MEXICO

No matter which side of the border you are on. There is a cocktail for you. Next weekend is one of the most exciting times to be in NYC and one of the most delicious. So wear that sear sucker and derby hat on Saturday and drink that Mint Julep! Then get up bright and early on Sunday and celebrate with sombreros and Margaritas in the streets even if you don’t speak Spanish, we all speak the language of great cocktails.

XOXO

HIGHLIFE PRODUCTIONS

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Groomzilla

HighLife Productions February 9, 2019

Groomzilla: Breaking the mystique that a straight male groom cannot plan a wedding in 2019″ one event producer’s story on breaking gender norms.

By

Tyler Hollinger

Did you ever notice that in the movies the wedding planner is always gay? Or Female? Who could forget Martin Short’s charismatic turn as the effervescent Franck Eggelhoffer. Or the seminal classic The Wedding Planner staring an Oscar worthy performance from JLO and McLo (that’s McConaughey when he plays opposite Jennifer Lopez). In fact I have been planning and producing events for almost 10yrs now and out of all the wedding planners I know. I cannot name a single straight male. Is it because straight men generally aren’t detailed orientated, they don’t know the finer points of floral design, they can’t comprehend intelligent lighting or various levels of invitation card stock?

In the current marital landscape it is widely agreed that it is “her day.” I rarely hear brides to be talking about their wedding being ‘their day’ or even a non-gender normative “day of love.” Perhaps it’s the social media pressure heaped on females in our society to live their BEST LIFE, or showcase only the GREATEST MOMENTS, when in reality the pressure to always look your best, be your best, and show the world that your wedding is better than all of your “friends” whom you don’t really like that much anyway, is far too much responsibility for one day. Remember getting out of bed to put make up on and then getting back in bed and take a photo of yourself — yea everyone knows that’s fake. Or maybe “her day” is an archaic vestige left from a pre-#meetoo era where the wedding constituted a sumptuous dowry that went along with the bride. Wouldn’t that be nice for all us grooms out there.

It is my opinion that the role of “wedding planner” has always been played by a gay man or a woman because the bride would not feel comfortable with a straight man planning “her day”. Would a straight male planner be able to adjust the bust of a wedding gown on the fly, gab & joke with the bridal party, or supply emergency tampons?

There is so much more that goes into planning what many consider to be the 2nd most important day of your life (I’m giving the benefit of the doubt to the inevitable birth of a child…)? Not only is marriage permanent (right?), it’s a celebration of love with all your closest friends and family, and ultimately, in most cases, the most expensive party of your life. It is a culmination of your adulthood, a pronouncement to live your life for someone else, an invitation to defining what is important in your life and a chance for you to brag about how much money you have.

Florals by Brenton Wolf

This brings me back to my movie metaphor. Did you see Crazy Rich Asians? For what reason is the entire wedding sitting in neck high field grass during the ceremony. To talk about over-the-top wedding celebrations for a moment; this pressure to show people how happy, successful, wealthy, you are has obscured the point of the whole affair. Marriage is a celebration of love and a chance for both families to converge and have a great time. Comparing your marriage, your life, your decisions to others is a death blow that only leads to unhappiness. After all comparison is the thief of joy; I think Kylie Jenner said that. Oh, and thank you Instagram for making it so easy for us to visually compare ourselves to each other before I’ve even had my morning coffee.

Florals by Brenton Wolf

So why can’t I plan our wedding? Is it toxic masculinity for me to assume that a straight man could do this? Am I mansplaining to much what my design vision, detailed floor plans, and seating arrangements are? Are my color schemes to masculine on a date that in the history of the world has been regarded with adjectives like blush, whimsical, airy, delicate and gentle. Are men not capable of these adjectives or is it everyone around us who assumes this. You know what happens when you assume right? Good thing my fiancé don’t care what others think.

This much hyped day is fraught with so many unrealistic expectations that every Bride should have a talented planner and a best friend behind them. Good thing I am both. Talented planners not only come up with the overall vision, the design schematics, the vendor negotiations, but they also offer the gray hairs of experience that only time can provide (my greys are actually natural blond highlights). Smart planning does not require big budgets. It requires thoughtful moments that are budget optimized for exponential impact. Spending money on the best bang for your buck and on your priorities. If having a dope AF oyster bar with 9 different kinds of regional oysters, giant Alaskan crab legs, and cockles that would that would make your mother-in-law blush is a priority for you; then go for it. (And invite me!) If you are more discerning in your budget spends then finding artful ways to achieve your vision is how you maximize your dollar. Did you realize that white carnations are making a comeback and white roses are significantly over priced (and a cliché). Since I have a wealth of experience in the events industry I am able to call upon favors from my favorite vendors. That’s just an “inside perk”. Here’s another secret. Every vendor wants to do your wedding and if you give them a budget they will tell you what you can get as opposed to them telling you what it will cost. Managing expectations is often times the hardest of mountains to overcome. That and explaining to your bride to be that the venue only holds 150ppl and your mother’s cousins cousin might have to get left of the list!

Ah, compromise. The cornerstone of our relationship. It is this aspect of teamwork and compromise I wish on all newlywed couples. Having the self-awareness to realize who is better suited for what tasks, is an important lesson that allows us to divide and conquer. Planning a wedding is part of the journey to getting married, it is a test of your relationship and a solid foundation for a lifetime of marriage. Patience is another virtue. I am still working on this one.

Tyler Hollinger

Lauren Maffettone

Wedding Date: 9/14/2019

Stone Harbor, NJ

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How to Plan a Bridal Shower

Bridal Showers Bring May Flowers and what do May Flowers bring… Weddings

HighLife Productions September 11, 2017

A Bridal Shower is an important tradition filled with excitement and fun. An excuse to get together with all of your besties and throw down. Here our chef RAPT took things to a whole nother level with some innovative farm-to-bar cocktails and delicious eats. A tropical themed escape in NYC that featured a Fig & Honey infused coconut water rum cocktail served in a coconut, a watermelon and vodka collins with grilled rose petals and finally the “Bea-llini” with sparkling rose’, green market peach, and lavender. Delish.

But most importantly here are 5 tips and tricks from the pros on how you can have a killer bridal shower without breaking the bank

  1. LADIES ONLY — this is a time to celebrate and tell debaucherous stories from the bachelorette party. This is a time to gather with a small group of friends during the day-preferably Sunday and relax. This is not a time to throw on the heavy EDM music, do tequila shots and take that last chance at flirting as your single life comes to a close. Fresh food and drinks are a requirement and if you are inviting 30 of your closest friends and family — don’t forget the mother of the groom! Then it’s important to keep it classy San Diego.

2. Decor and Design- The best events are those that you can call your own. This does not include renting out the back room of the local irish pub where the normal brunch crowd sips bellini’s and mimosa. FIND A PRIVATE SPACE. There are tons of great, effective, inexpensive ways to do this. Splacer.co is a great resource as well as peerspace.com and breather. All of these online space sharing/finding sites are like airbnb but for the hour. Hell! We have even done pop-up parties IN airbnb’s just go online and reserve the place for the day. Another fantastic resource would be a friends building with an event space. Like the one pictured here. If you have a wonderful space you won’t need need much in the way of decor. A few classy balloons. Some fun bridal toys and you are set!

3. FOOD & DRINK — As this is mainly a brunch type event the food should be light not filling. This is not considered a full sit down meal. But an opportunity to get together with friends and enjoy some company. The same goes for the drinks. they should be seasonal and light. NO LONG ISLAND ICE TEA’s. As much as you like them, now is not the time. Save that for the bachelor party. Pictured below one of our cocktails served in a coconut. FUN RIGHT!

4. THE FUN — Games and toasts and gifts. Bridal showers are perfect opportunities for gift giving and for games that involve the bride and the baby to come and all the fun of getting married. This is precisely the time to make it happen! The best stories come out between friends with cocktails!

5. THE BRIDE — At the end of the afternoon this whole shebang is all about the bride. This is where you need a dedicated team of bridesmaids to swing into action and take the burden of decorating, hiring the caterer, finding the venue, and deciding on the menus and games. Here is where the bridesmaids step up and take control.

Message us on Instagram or hit us up via email and we can give you more tips and tricks to help make sure this ever important event goes off just right 🙂

xoxo

HighLife Productions & RAPT

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HighLife Model Staffing division was selected by Instagram to support their annual summer event. Over 150 top Instagram executives including the founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger gave keynote speeches to the invited audience in one of Brooklyn’s most sought after waterfront rooftops. Delectable bites prepared by celeb chef Ashton Keefe and HighLife bar support paired local brews and vineyards for any incredible evening under the moon. The Empire State Building even lit up purple and orange!

Services provided: NYC Model Event Staffing, NYC Event Design, NYC Event Production.