A Party Girl's Legendary Birthday
by Katerin on July 20, 2013
VIVE Katerin met recently with Libby Keatinge, author of “Beverly Hills Tutor” and professional party promoter/hostess at her Legend of the Maharani birthday event at the Theater Bar in Tribeca. The invitation only private party was Indian themed, complete with a henna artist, belly dancers, a sitar player, ice sculptures of Hindu gods and even a live elephant. Colorful and flowing silk décor carried the theme throughout the room. The Indian theme also influenced whimsically named specialty drinks from Bacardi Limited including the Snake Charmer, Magic Carpet, The Elephant in the Room and The Bollywood Star. (Check out my blog for the recipes)
When asked about how she got her start in designing, promoting and hosting parties, Libby informed VIVE Katerin that after moving to New York City with a journalism degree from UCLA, she worked as a reporter for the New York Post’s Page 6 and later for VH1 – in both cases covering celebrity events and parties. Libby enjoyed the NYC party culture so much that she decided to try her hand at promoting parties of her own, drawing on the experience and contacts she gained in her journalistic endeavors. Perhaps though, it may have been inspiration from her earlier days that started Libby on this new career pursuit. She shared with VIVE Katerin that while living in the pool-house at her mother's house outside Pasadena, CA at age 14, she would host themed parties (usually centered around football or cheerleading) for up to 80 of her closest high school friends – all without her mom’s knowledge. From her beginnings decorating the pool-house to her now elaborate and sophisticated themes and designs, Libby focuses on making the partygoer feel welcome and special. Particularly in New York where there are so many competing clubs and parties, Libby strives to make everyone of her guests feel like a VIP by creating an atmosphere that is glamorous and chic, but allows for a personalized experience.
Asked about her book, Libby said that some have compared “Beverly Hills Tutor” (influenced by her actual experience as a tutor during college) to “The Devil Wears Prada”. She dismissed this notion saying that really, she was fascinated by the people she worked for, rather than being jealous or resentful of them. Libby has also lent her writing skills to Albert Trummer (owner of Theater Bar) upcoming cocktail book.
Be on the lookout for Albert & Libby’s new book (which features the cocktails mentioned above as well as hundreds more) and look for Libby’s parties in the New York City area. If you’re lucky, you may even find yourself on the guest list!
Photography credit: Sunny Norton Photography www.sunnynorton.com
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