Tuesday, March 11, 2008
National Press Club Lunch for Hillary Clinton
Here are a couple of more photos of Hillary Clinton taken at an event I designed for her at The National Press Club in 1993. It was a luncheon, followed by a broadcast on C-SPAN, sponsored by Conde Nast's SELF magazine. The topic of that day, of THE day was health care. Just think how things might be better for so many of us had Hillary's Universal Health Care Plan become a reality, instead of being bashed to pieces by the good ol' boys.
The National Press Club is a dreary old place, stale and un-fresh. My crew and I traveled by truckload of flowers, linens, and props from my studio in NYC to DC, to "paint" the hum drum dining room with the colors the First Lady loved. We left in the middle of the night, to do an early morning load-in. With just a scant couple of hours to transform and clean up the room, we pulled off an English country house setting, hoping to make it look as if Hillary had opened her own home to her guests for lunch.
Chintz tablecloths with coordinating stripe napkins tied with French wired ribbon, gilded bamboo regency style chairs, and chock full centerpieces, replaced the club's daily routine. We also rented a better grade of china and glassware for the table top.
Super huge bouquets in urns on pedestals were placed around the room, along with a few perfect ficus trees in rustic baskets, to add fresh oxygen to the space.
Flower choices included several varieties of English garden roses, dahlias, hydrangea, Gloriosa lilies, euphorbia, and Laura lilies. The centerpieces were placed in large containers that looked like moss covered bird's nests. Place cards from Mrs. Strong with hand calligraphy done by my then assistant, Michael Pelkey added a personal touch for the 100 lucky lunch guests.
After lunch, everyone moved to another room that we set up as an interview stage. A large bouquet of white Dendrobium orchids graced the coffee table on the set.
Mrs. Clinton loved it, and made sure to let me and my crew know this, with a handshake and a few personal words for each of us.