The YGL party is one of the most popular events in town and it keeps getting better each year.
By Michael M. Clements
This year, we decided to make the fifth annual The Young and The Guest List (YGL) party all about a return glamour while paying homage to the famous salons, which have made the Dupont Circle area famous for bringing diverse thinkers and leaders together to debate and cross-pollinate ideas and issues over cocktails in an intimate and rarified setting. We were ecstatic when the executive board of The Washington Club finally gave into our wooing and allowed us to host our annual soiree there. Our YGL planning team had been diligently scouting locations with our highly-acclaimed event planner Andre Wells for months before setting foot in the historic Patterson mansion. Once we set foot in the marble entrance way, we knew, this had to be the pace.
After choosing an industrial tabla rosa in the up and coming NOMA district last year, The Washington Club in the Patterson mansion offered a complete 180 degree turn with regard to aesthetic that we were hoping for. Plus, besides its grand décor – and floor plan which was built for salon hosting – we were drawn to the Mansion’s storied history. The Washington Club was founded in 1891 for “literary purposes, mutual improvement and the promotion of social intercourse.” (Sounds like a YGL party to me!) It was built in 1900-1902 by Chicago Tribune Editor Cissy Medill Patterson of Chicago, the daughter of Joseph Medill, owner of the Chicago Tribune and progenitor of the Medill/Patterson/McCormick newspaper dynasty. (Hey! We’re in publishing too!) Historic citations granted to the property include “District of Columbia Historic Site” (1964), “National Register of Historic Places” (1972), and the “1974 Massachusetts Avenue Historic District.” (WL was founded in 1991…we’re not as historic, but, hey, we’re no newbie either!)
A YGL invite is one of the toughest and most coveted tickets in Washington. This year, we teamed up with event management company CVENT in order to develop a custom online registration system. Invitees were pre-registered in YGL RSVP site. All they had to do was enter their name and email, and they were granted access to a fullymulti-media website where they could RSVP and learn more about the venue, the sponsors, their fellow YGL listees.
The echoes of power salons past reverberated in my head as I past the smiling and bow-tie wearing ladies of Velvet Keys Valet and uber-professional and calm On Point Security team and entered the building. I couldn’t help but wonder what the young and powerful of a century ago might think had they walked into the venue and saw what Andre Wells had transformed the space into. Wells’ look always emphasizes swank, sophistication, and the fabulous life. For each of the past five years Wells has brought fresh ideas and surprises to the YGL event, always assuring everything will be positively glamorous.
This year, he transformed the classic interior of the Club with modern lounge furnishings from event production company Syzygy (who also provided the furniture and accoutrements, which created the dynamic look of last year’s event). Wells strategically and seamlessly interwove this South Beach chic look with the venue’s Classical Revival style – a mix that could easily go wrong if not handle with high-end products and a discerning eye. Elegant flowers in every shade of luscious red, from the incomparable Janet Flowers Wedding and Event Design, added to a crucial design element. They delicately decorated candlelit tables and creating grand statements. Notably artistic arrangements included a towering assemblage of pink and red roses. Meanwhile, once again, the genius of Frost Lighting’s designs complemented the party’s overall atmosphere, providing a “glamorous glow” in which guests could mingle. Frost Lighting also bathed the marble and terra-cotta exterior of the Club in an oh-so-very-glamorous Hollywood way.
But the YGL party doesn’t live on looks alone! Dancing and socializing were the theme of the evening, no one could keep away from the delectable and visually pleasing hors d’oeuvres catered by one of Washington’s top caterers, Design Cuisine, who chose an Asian-inspired menu. Many of the writer, who attended the event spoke glowingly of the food in their coverage – we agree! Other sweet treats came from Georgetown Cupcake, which provided its notoriously delicious cupcakes packaged in individual frosting pink boxes.
The popular candlelit bars kept the good times flowing all night with a combination of wine and spirits from Sugar Leaf Vineyard, Stella Artois, Ketel One Vodka, Prosecco, and Red Bull beverages. As they sipped custom cocktails from Design Cuisine’s mixologist, D.C.’s 40 and under power set was entertained by some of the area’s best Dj’s, including Adrian Loving, DJ I:Wah, DJ Fabiana, and DJ Cassidy. For live music, Time for a Change – brought in from Virginia Beach via East Coast Entertainment –played ripping soul tunes that brought the President’s Auditorium to life. None of the music would have been possible without audio equipment from VSG Solutions.
Each year, the luxury product laden YGL gift bag gets as much attention as the VIP guest list. This year, we reached out to Dannia Hakki and Sherry Moeller of boutique public relations firm MoKi Media to handle assembling the party’s unofficial top VIP. They responded by producing a gift bag overflowing with glamorous goodies from local boutiques and restaurants, among other fabulous treats! (see sidebar for contents!). We
were also lucky to have interior designer extraordinaire Christopher Boutilier design the actual gift bag! (We loved the leather handles Christopher!)
Oh, and then there was the fashion. Once again, our fabulous gathering of D.C.’s top young movers and shakers totally brought it. But our fashion start of the evening was sponsor Karen Millen, who made sure that the ladies from the Washington Life looked even more lovely than usual in Millen’s sophisticated yet sexy “glamorous cocktail” attire. I was given the Italian treatment, thanks to the awesome team at Ermenegildo Zegna of Tysons Galleria. They took the time to find the perfect suit for the occasion. You can see managing editor Karin Tanabe’s Karen Millen and my Zegna as well as the entire party in our WLTV coverage online!
Dressed to impress and ready to continue the epic night, nocturnal guests moved the festivities to the YGL after-party at the chic Darlington House restaurant, mere steps from The Washington Club, where they celebrated until the wee hours with cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, and late night sounds by the resident DJ.
The buzz around this year’s list was louder than ever, due in part to the sheer number of new gatekeepers in Washington that attended. Each year, the YGL party gets better and hotter, and we have Washington’s dynamic under-40 set to thank for that. We’re already planning for next year, and we can’t wait.
This year Washington Life partnered with Dannia Hakki and Sherry Moeller of boutique public relations firm MoKi Media, who did an outstanding job producing the highly anticipated gift bag.
Badgley Mischka Signature Replica (mini) fragrance and Badgley Mischka Couture fragrance Vial Cards
Luxxery Beta Enzyme Cleanser
Luxxery Cosmetic Medical Boutique Signature “Keep-it-Snappy” Facial $60 Gift Certificate
Chris Boutlier Interior Designer Signature Candles
Adeler Jewelers Sterling Silver Charms
Lebanese Taverna $25 Gift Card
Robert Andrew Salon and Spa Redken Shampoo and Color Extend
Cibu Pho Finish Workable Finishing Hair Spray
Alchimie Forever $50 Coupon
Maker’s Mark Mini Bottles
Design Army Notecard Set
Queen B Designs Faceted Beaded Earrings
Karen Millen Crystal Square Stud Earrings
Stella Artois Chalice Glasses
Sahara Dance Free Belly Dancing Lesson,
Fresh of Georgetown $25 Gift Certificate
Darlington House $45 Gift Certificate
Virtual Golf Girl Golf Towels
Pevonia Botanica Skin Care Products
Park Hyatt Cookies