Life | Launch This!

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Launch This!
Text by Nasrin Modak
Published: Volume 18, Issue 12, December, 2010

Boring, dramatic and staged launch parties are passé…it’s time for some over-the-top, informal ways to start something new and create a buzz

The line has finally been drawn, thankfully! Post almost a decade of mind-numbing, uninteresting, dramatised launch parties, luxe is now the latest entrant into the launch party circuit and is certainly more than welcome. Opulent ideas in a chic and comfortable atmosphere are here to stay, we expect!

So be it art, books or product launches, everyone’s going avant-garde these days. And when there are exotic delicacies like caviar gol-guppas, lobster paella and foie gras on the menu, it’s difficult to ignore an invite. Besides, our sassy urban partygoers anyway have an innate flair (inherited perhaps) to pep up the action quotient. All this, when the sun goes down, makes launch parties a fiesta post dusk for an extremely interesting, cosmopolitan gaggle.

Where’s the party?
From the regular ballrooms and sea-front terraces to the more innovative bookshops, delis, brand stores and conventional art galleries, organisers are more than willing to experiment with unconventional locations. Call it inspiring interiors (or constrained budgets), it cannot be denied that nouveau spaces add to the vitality of classic conventions — the more chic, the better.

Even as art and artists get quirkier, dull clichés are taking a backseat and wacky yet sophisticated elegance is coming to the forefront. And it isn’t taking time for the social set to develop a taste for such aesthetics.

Book launches have a staple supply of the most anxious-looking lot. Add to that the fact that nowadays Bollywood actors and directors are launching books; this way, it is probably easier for them to obtain roles and scripts, respectively. But here’s a question: whose autograph are you then supposed to take on the copy of the book you just bought — the author’s or the actor/director’s?

High on style!
Launch parties are the place for society watch. First, there is the A-list (consisting of a mix of forever young and heavily botoxed) and then there is the nouveau A-list. The latter presents picture-perfect figures, dressed in haute styles. A little hug here, a few pecks there, the elegant, waif-like invitees stride in with their personal air of unabashed confidence, intellect no bar. Sequins, pleats and tucks, you’ll find the best in fashion all under one roof. Now depending on the way you carry yourself, you can either look poised in pink or like a dim-witted bouquet. So it’s best to blend tiny black dresses with fine cocktail jewellery, and never be found sans make-up. Punk and eccentric get the limelight, especially if it’s an art or product launch.

On a brand high?
But glitches can occur, anywhere. At a perfume launch recently, the PR of the event held back perfume bottles that were meant for the media, saying they were over. Later, she was caught (on camera) with a bagful of perfumes as her shoulder sack fell on the floor when she was just about to board a cab.

Conversation points
Master the art of savoir faire, you’ll need it. As you wait (endlessly and patiently) for the party showstopper or celebrity to turn up, utilise this time to strengthen your ties. Network, make small talk, be sharp and don’t forget that firm handshake. Of course, keep your glasses filled at all times.

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