What do you get when you mix two of the loveliest institutions in New York City? A fantastical night sure to bring out some of the most glamorous of high society–and that is exactly what happened this Thursday evening at the Plaza Hotel to celebrate the opening of the New York Botanical Garden’s 18th annual Orchid Show.
Over 350 guests attended the floral extravaganza starting the night off with a cocktail hour where party-goers were invited to circle through the grand ballroom viewing individually designed tablescapes created by some of the city’s most sought after designers, florists, and architects. Some highlights included a stunning pagoda completely covered in white orchids and a towering tropical creation imagined by designer Elizabeth Sutton and Birch Event Design. Another star centerpiece was created by the man of the hour himself, Jeff Leatham, who also guest-designed this year’s exhibit. Featuring an artful arrangement of violet-hued orchids mixed with black calla lilies, which he poignantly revealed was his father’s favorite flower, gave just a taste of what viewers can expect of the stunning show itself.
Amongst the flowing cocktails and canapes, guests were able to scoop up some of their own botanical beauties during a silent auction that featured some of the rare orchids found within the exhibit. Sitting down to a lovely multi-course meal provided by The Plaza, followed by an eclectic array of tunes by DJ Mad Marj that had everyone hitting the dance floor, the night was a resounding success for the NYBG which was able to raise over $550,000 to benefit its research programs.
If you are regretting missing out on the event or are just an avid floral enthusiast fear not you can catch the show itself which will be running at the garden from February 15th through April 19th. Inspired by color, the exhibition is a dramatic display of multi-hued botanicals, light fixtures, and graphic installations. On the design, Leatham says “People have seen the interiors of the Conservatory already, but with this exhibition, I want them to look through them like never before.”
Several events are also centered around the exhibit including an over 21 night where guests can experience a night of music, drinks, light bites, and a performance by Princess Lockeroo, one of today’s leading voguing choreographers. As well as a lecture by Jeff Leatham himself on the creation of the exhibit.