Time Travel: 90s DTLA Design Challenge- WIPA SoCal
The Southern California chapter of Wedding International Professionals Association (WIPA) hosted a design challenge that evoked the 1920s, 1940s, 1950s, 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s.
Check out more about this event on Biz Bash: https://www.bizbash.com/social-events/media-gallery/21069989/wedding-and-event-design-ideas-from-every-decade
“As the lines continue to blur between event design for weddings and corporate gatherings, more and more inspiration can be found in the stylish world of wedding vendors. Case in point: the Southern California chapter of the Wedding International Professional Association’s (WIPA) annual Design Challenge, which was full of smart, eye-catching design ideas for all types of events.” – Biz Bash
“The venue used to be the original produce market in Los Angeles in the early 1900s,” said the venue’s director of sales Kari Mendez, who also serves as the chapter’s director of communications.”
“About five years ago, a developer came in and really started to revitalize the space. Choosing a theme that would really go in line with the venue and capture its essence, we came up with Decades of Glam to showcase the designers’ interpretation of the different decades within a space that’s been around for 10 decades now.” – Biz Bash
As an LA native myself, growing up in this crazy city, I wanted to capture the 90s Angeleno spirit of my L.A. youth.
City Market Social House, with its industrial floors, glass rolling doors, and 100-year-old brick, was the ideal framework to time travel back to one of the most controversial decades in Los Angeles. I was inspired by the bones of the building itself. That was my starting off point.
I have a wanted to incorporate this specific graffiti-style linen from BBJ Linen into a design for years! This was the opportunity to let this linen shine. The warm, gold chairs served as a pop of color against the cool grey tone of the cement floor.
Los Angeles gets a bad wrap most of the time. It can be dirty, crowded, and overwhelming is what is most often said. Indeed, LA has it’s ‘quirks’ but what makes LA great are its natives. Los Angeles is a melting pot of people that make Los Angeles so unique, vibrant, and exciting.
One such amazing LA native is graffiti artist, ODDER. ODDER created this huge, 90s LA-inspired art piece just hours before this event began. Without a plan, sketch, or even much prep ODDER jumped in an brought to life the spirit of this city through spray paint. LA natives are the good ones!
Diversity is a huge part of why L.A. is so compelling and what makes L.A. so special. The menu and place cards showcase names and cuisines of Korean, African-American, Hispanic, Vietnamese, and Armenian cultures; all crucial in the makeup of our city and sadly, rarely showcased in mainstream wedding publications. Roseville Designs brought to life the 90s inspired menus, street signage, and place cards.
The through line in anything I design is always my trinity- color, texture, and shape. To me, those three elements are key. The esthetic of the 90s parallels.
Guests are drawn in by the bright colors, their senses are engaged with the textures and their minds try to translate the shapes. Take all the and throw it into a blender and you have what the 90s looked like!
Coming from a theater stage manager background, ‘setting the stage’ is an important concept to consider when designing anything. I could have just done a tablescape, but I wanted to build out the allotted 30×20 ft space to give the audience the illusion of being outside on a basketball court in DTLA circa the 90s.
Am am a talented sports ball athlete. Can’t you tell?
You know you work with talented vendors when you call up owner, David Santiago of La Piñata Party Rentals and ask him if they can make you an indoor basketball court and he responds, “YES, let’s do some creative, shit”!
All over LA, especially after the riots of the early 90s, you see tennis shoes hanging from electric wires. Legend has it that gang members use this to create an informal memorial at the spot where a friend lost his/her life using their shoes. Judging by my shoes, it would be a hardcore glitter gang.
Whit Hazen is a floral creative genius! Centerpieces don’t always have to be in the center of a table but rather in the center of a court. This 90s basketball floral installation reached new heights!
It wouldn’t be truly L.A. in the 90 without including graffiti artwork, basketball, chain link, concrete, brick, palm fronds, street signs, and a little bling.
I am NOT a DIY planner, but every now an then you have to get creative with unique projects. Incorporating metal chains into the design was crucial. Real metal chains, however, would have been too heavy to be hung, so as always, I improvised. I spray painted, lighter, plastic chains to look metal in silver and gold.
And yes, your eyes do not deceive you, those are picnic food covers and a metal closet rack holding it all up!
Signs of Our Lives hand painted this acrylic 90s LA sign that hung proudly from the ceiling. A perfect pairing to the palms in the hanging floral installation.
Cake is a must for me, always! Nika Yazdani, of Sugar Studio, brought to life what it means to ‘Live and Die in LA’ in this multi-layered Los Angeles inspired sugar creation.
Each tier showcases a part of the city. The bottom, looks like the pavement we walk on, the middle tier is the brick we live in, and the top is the skyline that shows us we are home.
Oh, and the LA gold chain, just because who doesn’t love a little bling!
Our 1990s-inspired space took home the Panelists’ Choice award! Thank you to WIPA SoCal for including us in this incredible design challenge.
City Market Social House @citymarketsocialhouse
WIPA SoCal @wipasocal
Anything But Gray Events @anythingbutgrayevents
Whit McClure Floral Design @whit_hazen
Premiere Party Rentals @premiere_rents
La Pinata Party Rentals @lapinataparty
Vox Productions @voxproductions
Jenny Quicksall @jennyquicksall
Marshall Camera Wedding Films @marshallcameraweddingfilms
BBJ Linen @bbjlinen
Roseville Designs @rosevilledesigns
Signs of Our Lives@signsofourlives
Sugar Studio @sugarstudiola
TGIS Catering @tgiscatering
Fundamental LA @fundamentalla
Dash Entertainment: @dashentertainment