And so I arrived at Gotham Hall, a stunning former bank building on Broadway in New York City, for the launch of Bentley Meeker's new book Light X Design: 20 Years of Lighting.
What did I expect from a party orchestrated by Bentley Meeker Lighting & Staging, the firm that has created the lighting design of countless celebrity weddings, charity concerts and luxury brand events? I expected to walk into extravagant fireworks, an over-the-top light show that would knock me out.
Instead, I stepped into the glow of candlelight. Soft rings of fire encircled the room, hundreds of candles and candelabras flickered amber. At the far end of the space, lines of votives twinkling in a Plexiglas box seemed to lead down an endless path, drawing you into the center of the room, where, oh, maybe 350 people had gathered beneath a soaring dome 100 feet high. And yet, because of those candles the effect was one of an intimate dinner party. You instantly felt the workday melt away and relaxed easily into cocktails and conversation.
And then, about an hour into the party Meeker flipped the switch and transformed the space into the cover of the book.
Magenta, gold and cerulean washed the walls with dappled light; and from that point on the light was like some living thing, changing color, moving, but so subtly that it didn't distract or make you feel you were at a Planetarium light show. Instead it just made you feel ...
The delights continued: fantastic elements like floating buffets of exquisite hors d'ouevres, some served in edible pressed corn wonton soup spoons; a never-ending supply of hand rolled sushi arrayed on sprawling bonsai tree stands; a top-shelf bar; a hot deejay.
Had I stayed a bit longer I might have bumped into Sylvia Weinstock (Queen of Wedding Cakes), Jay McInerney (Bright Lights, Big City author) and Patricia Fields (Sex & The City's costume designer), and maybe had a chance to chat about food, fiction and fashion. As it was, I departed with memories of light dancing in my head, and a promise from Bentley to share some of his secrets with you, dear Style Maniac Readers, so you can create some of this magic yourselves.
p.s. Here are 8 other ways Bentley Meeker Lighting & Staging have transformed Gotham Hall:
UP NEXT: Practical Magic, Bentley Meeker's easy, inexpensive tips for lighting your home and parties.
"Use the good china for breakfast."