Theme: My daughter, Charlotte, requested yet another princess party this year, so I decided to put a haute couture spin on the royal theme.We watch Project Runway together each week and she has emerged with quite the eye for fashion, starting to recognize fabrics and gown silhouettes.It’s not every day you hear a four year old point out an ombre ballgown or color-blocked tunic.So, when I suggested Charlotte’s Royal Project Runway Fashion Show I had her attention… when I told her the ‘challenge’ would be to create a look inspired by a princess to walk the runway… I had the judge’s approval!
Décor:Auntie and Grandma agreed to transform our bridal boutique into the venue for one special day.I truly wanted everything to be very authentic from the TV series including the designers’ workroom and break room, the famous ‘Accessory Wall’, make-up studio, and of course, the runway!Adding a little Disney-inspired princess magic was easy.I decorated with evening gowns designed by Tony Bowls to set the scene highlighting gowns that could be ‘a look’ inspired by one of the ten fashionable princesses and added their iconic fashion elements into each detail of the desserts.A splash of pink from paper rosettes from Mary Grace, Sweet Things tulle table skirt, and some DIY tulle poms set the stage for fashion and fun!The most glamorous photographers I know, Taylor and Kacey, from About Love Inspired Photography captured the event.
The Workroom: As the mini designers entered the party, they found a sketch book (DIY coloring book) with colored pencils at their individual work stations to begin their inspiration. In my best ‘supermodel’host introduction, I welcomed the designers and gave them their design challenge. Of course, the first step was to visit Mood (the fabric store on the show) to select and purchase their materials for their custom princess attire. Luckily, each girl found a perfect paper purse created by Dez at Papercandee, filled with a candy watch and chocolate coins labeled, “You will have ten minutes and three gold coins to spend at Mood”! During their visit to Mood, each designer met with Julie and her design team from JuJu’s Tutus to select the custom ribbons, flowers and bows to adorn the tutu that was created and adorned at the celebration. While Julie was busy customizing each tutu, each designer received a plain t-shirt and a ‘princess-specific’ box of decorative accessories to take back to their station and design. The t-shirts were prepared in advance by Grandma by sewing three clear snaps at the neckline… in addition, all the decorative goodies in the felt box (felt rosettes, tulle poms, necklace gems, bows) had been finished with the coordinating snaps. This genius idea (envisioned by my sister) allowed each girl to ‘design’ and ‘redesign’ their own shirt without any help from an adult, a glue-gun, or any messy crafting supplies. The end products were truly amazing outfits completely designed and created by the mini designers. Juju’s Tutus really made this party from cute to couture!
The Break Room: After all the hard work, the designers were rewarded with cookies, cake pops, and cupcakes displayed in the most fashionable and fabulous way. Serving as the party’s centerpiece and dessert table, the ‘Accessory Wall’ displayed all edible accessories inspired by the outfits worn by Disney princesses. Edible Details created the most amazing fondant necklaces, molding hundreds of individual beads. From Ariel’s shell necklace to Belle’s string of pearls, the girls found them more alluring and delicious than diamonds. Casey’s Confections baked and decorated the most dapper and delicious stiletto heel cupcakes, handbag cookies, and cookie crowns fit for any royal event. Each of her creations was color-coordinated perfectly for each storybook diva and adorned with glitter, sugar gems, and the royal icing touches that only Casey can do! Sugarlily Cookie Company accessorized each princess with sunglasses to match her ensemble. Some placed on sticks, the mini designers enjoyed the chic and sweet treats. Ring pop cupcakes by InPockets bakery disappeared quickly… probably because of the extra ‘bling’ created by the rock candy coating. Even the mannequins were accessorized with details created with dot candy rolls and Bubble Tape gum. PixieStix wands saying,“Make It Work,” and episodes of the series on the flat screen completed the look. Across the room, sat the equally alluringLoreal make-up station. Once again, all the goodies were intended to look realistic and be tasty and trendy. Cake Pop My Heart outdid herself with cake pop lips, nail polish cake balls, and molded cake make-up tubs. Looking almost too realistic to eat, these were a party favorite by the designers’ moms. Sweet Temptations created a rainbow variety of chocolate covered Oreos that were placed on individual compact mirrors. You should have seen the mini designers checking out their smiles after finishing a delicious treat. French macarons from Nicole Lee Fine Chocolates and store-bought mini-cinni’s sat perfectly on makeup palettes with blush and powder brushes sitting nearby. A black patent make up case held candy lipsticks and cinnamon roll pudding placed inside push pop containers and labeled “Make-Up Mousse”. The beverage station displayed only the finest of refreshments for the designers… Voss water, Perrier, Pelligino, and lemonade juice boxes. All adorned with paper straws and sugar lips from HeyYoYo.
The Runway: After a little happy birthday serenade to the birthday girl, each designer changed into her creation and lined up to walk the runway. The entry to the bridal shop was lined with Louis Ghost chairs and a pink runway. The audience of family and friends cheered as each little lady proudly pranced, shyly sauntered, or delightfully danced down the ‘pink carpet’! Each designer was a big hit!
The Reason: Once again this year, we wanted to honor the charities, hospitals, and foundations that have and will continue to play such an important part in our lives as Charlotte grows more beautiful everyday as a child born with a cleft lip and palate. Almost four years ago, Charlotte underwent her first repair surgery and will again in a few months. Each year, party-goers bring donations instead of gifts and we continue to spread awareness and support for the most common birth defect in America, affecting 1 in every 600 births, including our sweet Charlotte. This year’s festivities raised $2000 for several worthy causes including Operation Smile, Cleft Palate Foundation, Barrow’s Cleft and Cranio Center at St. Joseph’s Hospital, and Craniofacial Foundation of Arizona. Charlotte thanked each guest personally for attending with custom‘Cotton Candy’ (get it? Cotton… like the fabric) favors by Dolly’s Sweet Dreams Cotton Candy.
Like they say in fashion, “One day you’re three, and the next you’re four”!
Styling: Million Dollar $mile Celebrations – http://www.facebook.com/pages/Million-Dollar-mile-Celebrations/200083890075471?ref=tn_tnmn
Photography: About Love Inspired Photography - http://www.aboutlovestudio.com
Tutu Party Hostess: JuJu’s Tutus - www.jujustutus.etsy.com
Paper Purse Favors: PaperCandee - http://www.papercandee.com
Cake Pops: Cake Pop My Heart - http://www.cakepopmyheart.com
Cupcake heels, Handbag cookies, Crown cookies: Casey’s Confections - http://www.caseysconfections.com
Fondant Necklaces: Edible Details - http://www.edibledetails.com
Cotton Candy favors: Dolly’s Sweet Dreams Cotton Candy - http://www.dollyscottoncandy.com
Macarons: Nicole Lee Fine Chocolates -http://www.nicoleleefinechocolates.com/
Chocolate Covered Oreos: Sweet Temptations - http://www.sweettemptations.me
Paper Rosettes: Designs by Mary Grace - http://www.etsy.com/shop/designsbymarygrace
Sunglass cookies: Sugarlily Cookie Company - http://www.sugarlilycookie.blogspot.com
RingPop cupcakes: InPockets Bakery - http://inpockets.com
Party goods: HeyYoYo and Smidge & Pinch - http://www.heyyoyo.etsy.com & http://www.artfire.com/ext/shop/studio/cute
Tulle Table cloth: Sweet Things – www.sweetthingskids.com
Evening gowns: Tony Bowls – www.tonybowls.com
Charities: Operation Smile – www.operationsmile.org
Cleft Palate Foundation – www.cleftline.org
Barrow’s Cleft & Craniofacial Center - http://www.stjosephs- phx.org/Medical_Services/Pediatrics/187660
Craniofacial Foundation of Arizona – www.azcranio.com