When did first birthdays get too cute for words??? The credit for this fantastic theme goes to mom, Mia Cenzon, who had a complete mood board all prepared when we started to discuss Arie’s party! :)
Chinoiserie is actually a French word which describes a decorative style based on Chinese-inspired elements. And I was quite excited to translate the mom’s initial ideas into a fun and modern party set-up fit for the cute little birthday girl.
Again, special thanks to Karen Ilagan for allowing me to use her wonderful photos from that afternoon.
The piece de resistance of our setup — a metal tree filled with bright pink paper lanterns which we positioned at the center of the room. The kids’ tables were placed directly under this structure to give them the impression of sitting underneath a larger-than-life cherry blossom tree. Plus, the stark fuchsia colors proved to be very attractive even for the toddlers!
Ghost chairs supplied by my good friend, Florence Chan (of Olive Tree Philippines), gave the setup a very modern twist and kept it from feeling too “old-worldly”. These chairs definitely added a real flair to the party :) Versatile enough for any theme or occasion, these ghost chairs are available for rent through her. E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com for inquiries.
Centerpieces were composed of flowers in gilded birdcages and sakura branches in golden pots, complete with perched green birds which were 100% handmade by the Alice’s Wonderland team. I take pride in the fact that there’s almost always something handmade in each of our parties :) DIY elements give our setups a very quaint edge to them, which I’m happy a lot of people appreciate and enjoy.
Arie’s Special Table — a buffet of sweets for the absolute sweetest guests! Plus Chinese take-out boxes with treats for the kids (courtesy of Arie’s grandmother).
Angela Colet of Swell Sweets wows us with another cake masterpiece. I heard Arie’s dad even had to drive out of town to purchase the porcelain celadon birds that topped off Gel’s creation. Mommy Mia shared that the gas and toll fees were even more expensive than the birds themselves. Now, that’s what you call commitment to your little girl’s first birthday! :)
Even supermarket wafer sticks looked awesome on the dessert table together with cookie lollipops made by Gel Colet of Swell Sweets.
More detail shots of our dessert table, plus mini cupcakes also by Gel Colet.
A sakura tree greeted the guests at the entrance, plus photos and special anecdotes from Arie’s first 12 months were displayed on the dessert table as well. These “precious moments” were endearing reads for the guests during the party.
Mommy Mia got a Chinese calligrapher for the party as an added activity for the guests. We printed Arie’s birthday logo on the parchment papers and displayed rows of them ala clothesline style :)
Each kid got a paper lantern as they arrived which they were free to decorate and stylize. All strung up, this little corner showcased these little masterpieces by the children.
So, are you feeling the whole Chinoiserie movement? :)
During my research for this party, I stumbled upon www.chinoiseriechic.blogspot.com — lovely ideas on how to incorporate a bit of this fancy, Asian vibe into your home and your life. I also have this book called Domino: The Book of Decorating that features the most adorable Chinoiserie cover artwork. I was actually drawn to the book because of the cover, and was happy to find that it was such a great read too! It’s one of my favorite design books to date and has helped me with my own little home makeover projects. You too can grab the most inspired ideas from its pages!
Catch you next time as I share with you more works by Alice’s Wonderland! :)