Sporting top hats, fake moustaches and coattails, Steven South, president of the IIDA NY Chapter, and Brian Bates, co-chair of the Color Invasion committee, dressed to the “Witness the Spectacular” theme for the 11th-annual Color Invasion event, inspired by vintage French circuses.
Founded as a way to bring New York’s design industry together after the tragedy of 9/11, this year’s event literally started with a bang as South and Bates fired confetti into the crowd of waiting guests outside Center 548 in Manhattan.
Stilt walkers and mimes greeted guests as they entered the second floor, which was lined with tables of themed party gifts from the event’s sponsors. Guests could stop at the beauty bar to don an animal mask, face paint or clown nose.
The third floor or “great lawn” was a picture of hay bales, carnival games and a variety of circus themed hors d'oeuvres including popcorn, cotton candy, French fries and gourmet pretzel sandwiches.
The fourth floor was home to the “Big Top” tent, and featured a “ring master” DJ who played modern music intertwined with vintage carnival tunes.
The Pajama Program was also set up on the second floor, and collected pajamas and books to donate to children of all ages. A portion of the proceeds from this year’s Color Invasion will be donated to The Pajama Program, to honor Ellen Kushman, former executive director of the IIDA NY Chapter.
“The event increased awareness for the IIDA NY Chapter in the industry,” said South. “There was such excitement built up around Color Invasion, everyone was enthusiastic and had a great time.”
“This year was the most immersive Color Invasion we’ve ever had,” said Alan Goodin, executive director of the IIDA NY Chapter. “We saw many more people dressed to theme than we have in years past.”
“This Color Invasion was truly spectacular,” said Bates. “Rather than just a theme party, it was a theatrical event and experience.”