NO: DELENG / 2017 / 70663
How St-Germain Translates A Spirit Into A Lifestyle
Team Sea and Coast | 28/06/2018

"St-Germain has always been about more than just a drink. It's also a lifestyle and an experience," global brand ambassador Camille Vidal says. "How can we take people from one place and drop them into the world of St-Germain, so they can be in Paris in the 1920's?"

Last week, the brand threw its second annual Maison St-Germain, a floral-centric party held at the Battery Gardens in lower Manhattan. Stylist Kate Young was tapped to bring the summer party to life with whimsical touches that included a living portrait gallery, with models dressed in Saint Laurent and Fendi.

Inspired by the idea that elderflowers bloom once a year and need to be gathered by hand, Young set out to create an ambiance that celebrated the ephemeral.  "It's this instant, this fleeting moment. I wanted tonight to feel like that," she says. "It's a little bit strange, maybe crazy. It makes you want to seize the moment and enjoy life a little bit more than you usually would."

Nearly 600 hundred party goers attended on the opening night party on June 21; about 700 arrived the following night.

Guests entered a quirky floral world inspired by 1920's German Expressionist art as well as the surreal dinners of Salvador Dali. A DJ booth, manned by MGMT's Andrew VanWyngarden, was covered in mirrors and crystals. Delicate white flowers with illuminated centers lit up a path in the grass. Oracles answered questions via an improvised dance. In one corner, guests were treated to delicate floral temporary tattoos that were accented with glitter and color by make up artists. The wallpaper in the "parlor" echoed the floral tattoos.

"People think of  the 1920s and they think of flappers," Kate Young says. "But that felt too easy, it's obvious. But the 20's also had this occult side. There was a strange tattoo thing. Man-Ray photos. Think about the surrealist thing with Salvador Dali."

Part of the party decor owes a debt to Dali's cookbooks and videos of the strange dinners he used to throw, Young says. "They served a tower of crayfish made to look like a woman," Young explains. "Everything is bizarre. He had this dinner where [his wife Gala] sat on a golden bed with their pet tiger. When the meal was served, they picked up the silver cloche and live frogs hopped around the table. All the guests ran away."

"The whole thing was fantastic and crazy," she adds.

In a nod to Dali's over the top dinners, Young placed a golden and mirrored bed center stage, making for social media-ready photo opps. Behind the boudoir, guests could linger in a small sitting area with luxe velvet couches. The throw pillows were silky replicas of the St-Germain bottle caps.

Because it's a cocktail party thrown by a spirits brand, drinks were served of course. On offer: Original drinks such as the Gloria, a gold dust-flecked take on the Champagne cocktail, with an unexpected hint of gentian. A gin martini was amplified with fortified wine, coconut water-infused St-Germain and celery bitters. "It looks like a gin martini but you take one sip and it's like, What was that?," Vidal says.

Between cocktails and mood, Maison St-Germain aims to celebrate a certain joie de vivre, Vidal says. "To bring back the 1920's, not so much in the look and feel but more the celebration of it."

Maison St-Germain travels next to Los Angeles in July.