Behind The Scenes at the Oscars® Governors Ball: Juggling Luxury, Comfort and Star Quality
Lux Lounge EFR Creates a Magical Setting with Spectacular Custom-Designed Furniture
As the red carpet rolls out at this year’s Oscars® on February 24th , the world will watch as honored guests arrive in striking ensembles and lavish accessories, but cameras will not capture the most impressive inclusion of the night, the stunning custom-designed furniture inside the Governors Ball.
They shine bright like a diamond, but don’t be fooled; after sitting in auditorium seats for three + hours, Hollywood’s most elite stars cannot wait for the delectable hors d’oeuvres, crisp champagne and most importantly, the comfortable lounge furniture awaiting them inside the decked-out banquet hall above the Dolby Theatre. Once again, highly acclaimed Lux Lounge EFR has assigned its team of talented designers to create the grand dame of luxury furniture for Hollywood’s most elite occasion. Reflecting the glamour and prestige that epitomizes the Oscars, each cushioned piece was handcrafted with utmost precision before undergoing six rounds of inspection, while keeping details most people never think about in mind such as seated posture and gown room. Lux Lounge EFR’s design team worked to create a visual modality that artistically and conceptually interprets the inspired vision of the Governors Ball Producer, Cheryl Cecchetto, “It is no question that this year’s design theme and color collaborations will make for the most spectacular showcase yet,” according to designer, Marco Fonseca.
Every posh piece designed by Lux Lounge EFR, from lighted fixtures to hand-stitched seams, are sure to delight guests, but on February 24th it will be those very pieces that make the Oscars® Governors Ball truly unforgettable. “When creating furniture that will stage the ambiance for Oscar winners, nominees and presenters on Hollywood’s most important evening, design and comfort must embody that same star quality,” explains Fonseca.
Highlighting its new collection, Lux Lounge EFR will unveil an array of Twist cocktail tables at this year’s Ball; each piece sporting a custom oval, round or square glass top. Adding to the splendor, Vanity dining chairs of chartreuse silk, a set of Tiffany bars (each 18 feet in length) as well as 267 Fancy bar stools and luxury pillows (embellished with fabrics of champagne crushed velvet and silver) will be among the 547 pieces of elegance Lux Lounge EFR will carefully deliver to the ball. It took 30 to 40 skilled craftsmen working for 45 to 55 days to create the collection. Each piece will see more than their 15 minutes of fame because Lux Lounge EFR re-purposes and re-uses hardware and fabrics from every collection whenever possible.
Lux Lounge Event Furniture Rentals, established in 2004, is a Los Angeles based company specializing in lounge furniture rentals at public and private event venues. The rapidly growing company serves major entertainment brands, corporate clients, lifestyle publications, event planners and individuals.
Lux Lounge EFR takes special pride when their furniture collections appear at events staged by leading production companies, entertainment event producers, media companies and trade show exhibitors. From custom concepts to classic pieces, all are individually designed and selected for each unique occasion. Lux Lounge EFR’s superior design and innovation is coupled with adhering to the highest standards of customer service in the industry. Please visit Lux Lounge EFR at www.luxloungeefr.com
The Invention of Glory: Afonso V and the Pastrana Tapestries
Monumental in scale and meticulous in construction, the Pastrana Tapestries are among the finest surviving Gothic textiles in existence. Each measuring nearly 36-feet-long, these renowned Belgian tapestries will soon be on view at the Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) as part of a rare North American exhibition tour. Organized by the National Gallery of Art, Washington, and the Fundación Carlos de Amberes, Madrid, The Invention of Glory: Afonso V and the Pastrana Tapestries unfurls a vibrant tableau of Portugal’s 15th-century military victories woven in glorious hues of wool and silk. The four tapestries were recently restored to their finest condition in centuries, and will be presented at PEM as an immersive, two-gallery experience before returning to Spain.
“PEM is honored to present this astonishing group of tapestries. The complex narrative program, vibrant colors, and artistic accomplishment of these works make for a dramatic and fascinating gallery experience,” said Karina Corrigan, coordinating curator and PEM’s H.A. Crosby Forbes Curator of Asian Export Art. “Viewing the Pastrana Tapestries is a singular event, and the presentation here at PEM will be the final opportunity for the U.S. public to see these exquisite works of art.”
Expertly woven in Belgium’s Tournai workshops in the late 1400s, the Pastrana Tapestries are highly unusual in their depiction of a contemporary subject: the military victories of Portugal’s King Afonso V (1432-1481) in North Africa. Through vibrantly colored wool and silk threads, a complex scene of military pomp and conquest emerges –– knights in full regalia raise their swords to the sky, royal trumpeters sound their advance, ship masts punctuate the horizon and scenes of battle teem with valor and might. The tapestries are the most important surviving representation of 15th century armor, weapons, and artillery in any art form.
Commissioned by King Afonso V to celebrate his overseas conquests, the Pastrana Tapestries represent the height of artistic accomplishment in the 15th century. Textures of stone, metal, skin, and cloth are rendered with a vibrating realism that conveys weight, movement, and subtleties of light and shadow. Detailed facial expressions reveal individuality amongst the hundreds of figures depicted.
THE CONQUER OF ASILAH AND TANGIER
Seeking to extend Portugal’s military and commercial influence in North Africa and to expand the Catholic Church’s realm, King Afonso V led his troops to battle in 1471, conquering the Moroccan cities of Asilah and Tangier, strategically located near the entrance to the Strait of Gibraltar.
The deadly and protracted battle of Asilah is detailed in three panels, tracing the military progress of landing, assault, and siege. The scenes of war are multilayered and intensely compressed. King Afonso V is featured prominently in armor atop a fantastically decorated horse while the scenes of battle swirl densely around him. Military banners woven throughout the tapestries create a unified visual rhythm and echo the great movement and energy of the scene.
Having learned of the crushing defeat of Asilah –– over 2,000 dead and 5,000 captured –– the residents of Tangier surrendered to the Portuguese rather than suffer the same fate as their neighbors in Asilah. The stone walls of the city and the choppy waters surrounding Tangier dominate the fourth tapestry. Retreating residents are depicted stoically leaving the city with bundled belongings on their backs and children in tow.
The Invention of Glory: Afonso V and the Pastrana Tapestries, 2012, 104 pages, Hardcover, $65, available at the PEM Shop or online at www.pemshop.com
Installation view from the exhibition, Invention of Glory: Afonso V and the Pastrana Tapestries. Photo by Rob Shelley, © 2011 National Gallery of Art, Washington.
The exhibition is organized by the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., and the Fundación Carlos de Amberes, Madrid, in association with the Embassy of Spain, the Spain-USA Foundation and the Embassy of Portugal, and with the cooperation of the Embassy of Belgium and the Embassy of Morocco in Washington, D.C., as well as the Diocese of Sigüenza-Guadalajara and Church of Our Lady of the Assumption, Pastrana, Spain. Support provided by the East India Marine Associates of the Peabody Essex Museum.
ABOUT THE PEABODY ESSEX MUSEUM
The Peabody Essex Museum presents art and culture from New England and around the world. The museum’s collections are among the finest of their kind, showcasing an unrivaled spectrum of American art and architecture (including four National Historic Landmark buildings) and outstanding Asian, Asian Export, Native American, African, Oceanic, Maritime and Photography collections. In addition to its vast collections, the museum offers a vibrant schedule of changing exhibitions and a hands‐on education center. The museum campus features numerous parks, period gardens and 22 historic properties, including Yin Yu Tang, a 200‐year‐old house that is the only example of Chinese domestic architecture on display in the United States.
HOURS: Open Tuesday‐Sunday and holiday Mondays, 10 am‐5 pm. Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day.
ADMISSION: Adults $15; seniors $13; students $11. Additional admission to Yin Yu Tang: $5. Members, youth 16 and under and residents of Salem enjoy free general admission and free admission to Yin Yu Tang.
Gonzalez Goodale Architects Designs Permanent Sustainable Supportive Housing for Homeless
Palo Verde Apartments, in Sun Valley, California, opened to residents in early 2012 on the site of a former self-serve car wash facility. Developed by L.A. Family Housing of North Hollywood with a design by Gonzalez Goodale Architects, the new infill project provides safe and affordable housing for previously homeless single adults living with mental illness.
The 60-unit complex embodies the concept of permanent supportive housing, an approach that provides the requisite atmosphere of stability with the goal of fostering socialization among the residents and openness to support and treatment. The development includes offices, community and program space where residents can access social and recreational, counseling, recovery and employment services.
According to Ali Barar, principal-in-charge, Gonzalez Goodale Architects, a foremost concern was planning the building so that it respected the individual’s need for privacy while also fostering a larger community of support.
“Decentralizing the organization of supportive services at nodes designed for routine everyday activities, such as checking mail, doing laundry or walking the corridors, turns interactions with other residents, building operators, service providers and case managers into chance encounters for people to connect, reducing isolation and contributing to a sense of community,” says Barar.
The 35,000-square-foot U-shaped complex takes its architectural cues from the surrounding Mediterranean-style neighborhood, reinvigorating it with a contemporary character. The front elevation features projecting bay windows and balconies that animate the façade and offer generous views of the neighborhood, creating an inviting atmosphere.
Another key component of the project design and construction was environmental sustainability. Palo Verde surpasses the State of California standards for energy efficiency by 37% and is aiming for a LEED for Homes Gold rating. Green features include solar panels that generate approximately 41% of the building’s electrical needs, Energy Star appliances, high-efficiency mechanical equipment, water-saving plumbing fixtures and drought-tolerant landscaping.
According to Stephanie Klasky-Gamer, president of L. A. Family Housing, Palo Verde was designed with the community and its future residents in mind. Indeed, each element of Palo Verde’s design – its composition, scale, and access to light and open space – conveys a message of quality, care and value.
“We believe that permanent supportive housing is not just about providing stability; it is about welcoming people back into the community by giving them
comfortable living spaces in which they can feel pride,” says Klasky-Gamer. “We are pleased that the design, look and feel of Palo Verde will allow it also to blend comfortably with its neighbors in the Sun Valley community.”
Spotlight on Hotel Art & Landscape
The Florida sun is shining its light on a smart new lodging option for travelers, with the opening of Element Miami International Airport. Element, the trailblazing eco-wise brand of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc., brings a fresh update to the Miami hotel scene with 209 guest rooms and suites built green from the ground up.
Element Miami International Airport typifies the “balance” that Starwood’s Element brand offers to business and leisure travelers. The hotel’s strategic location puts it at the doorstep of one of the world’s busiest air-travel hubs – Miami International Airport – and just two blocks from the long anticipated Miami Central Station, a world-class transportation hub that will transform options for travelers in several phases starting in spring 2012. The new facility includes Airport Link Metrorail service, providing a direct rail connection to Downtown Miami. For those needing a car during their travels, the transportation hub includes a brand new rental car facility that unites 16 rental car companies in a stunning new 6,500 vehicle facility.
“With its own combination of beautiful natural elements and singular style, Miami is a perfect fit for the Element brand,” said Brian McGuinness, Senior Vice President of Specialty Select Brands for Starwood. “Element offers guests a bright, energizing environment that’s conducive to both work and play, all while affording easy access to the city and to the airport.”
The Element brand made history with its 2008 launch. It is the first major hotel brand to mandate that all properties pursue the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification for high-performance buildings.
The Element Miami International Airport features all the brand’s signatures, including:
- Rise, Element’s hearty and healthy complimentary breakfast
- Motion, a state-of-the-art, 24-hour fitness center
- Relax, complimentary evening receptions
- Restore, a gourmet food pantry
- Dynamic gathering spaces, from a lobby flooded with natural light to a multi-storied window wall and from an outdoor fire pit, to water features and a barbecue
- Light filled guest rooms with a fluid design of modular furniture, swiveling flat-screen televisions, large desks with open shelving, and custom-designed closets
- The signature Heavenly® Bed
- Spa-inspired bathrooms with an invigorating rain-shower and dual-flush toilet
- Fully equipped kitchens featuring filtered water, ENERGY STAR-rated appliances and utensils to prepare a gourmet meal
- A 791-square-foot meeting room with modular furnishings, flexible layout and state-of-the-art technology that can be customized to meet and business or social needs
ChargePoint electric vehicle charging station
“We’re very excited to bring Element’s fusion of style, personal wellbeing and sustainability to Miami, and we think guests will appreciate having a fresh option so close to MIA,” said Lew Wiens, President of True North Hotel Group, the hotel’s management company. “Our location adjacent to such a key transportation hub makes Element Miami unbeatable for business and leisure travelers alike.”