A little while back, I was lucky enough to be sent a ticket to the Museum of Modern Art's biannual gala fundraiser, The Modern Ball. The event, which took place on Wednesday night, was absolutely spectacular. When I spoke to event planner Stanlee Gatti, he explained how he sees the world vibrantly through colors and it was wonderful to see his words transformed into reality. Gatti transformed the bottom floor of the museum (and part of Minna Street) into a lush playground perfect for a party. The entry room was lux and gracious with its billowing red curtains and plush velvet ottomans. Another room was green with astroturf covering every surface and artistic black and white photographs patterned on the walls. The third room was wallpapered in a shiny silver foil a la Andy Warhol's factory, with specially crafted Campbell soup cans as centerpieces.
Yesterday I introduced you to San Francisco's most innovative event planner, Stanlee Gatti who I had the delightful pleasure of interviewing last week. He has an amazingly positive visual outlook on life that he applies to parties. On the day that I chatted with Stanlee, he had to rush off on his shiny purple vespa to the Fairmont Hotel to check on the progress of a dinner he was designing that night for the San Francisco Opera. To my sheer and utter joy, he invited me over to the hotel's Gold Room to take a few insider pictures. Everything was done in shades of gold, cream, and white - creating a hazy, warm, glowing feel to the space. Long rectangular tables with fruit and floral (roses and pears) arrangements ran down the tables, along with strategically placed gold pillars and white candles in hurricane lamp glasses. The place settings were elegantly simple: white with gold trim and the table was covered in a delicate gold lace. The room itself greatly added to the decor and I advise following Gatti's lead by examining the location of your party or wedding reception before you conceptualize the theme. A man after my own heart, Stanlee was full of interesting fun facts during our conversation.
For his fun facts and a large gallery of images from the set up of the opera dinner, read more
If you live in San Francisco, have an indispensable budget, and are looking to throw a super memorable party, there is one man and one man only who is capable of getting the job done: event planner super star extraordinaire, Mr. Stanlee Gatti. Stan has spent more than 20 years envisioning the decor of countless high society events with a sense of style that is utterly unique and breath-taking - including the Black & White Ball and several major floral art exhibitions such as the recent ONE at the Conservatory of Flowers. Last week I had the extreme pleasure (seriously I was so nervous he is like one of my idols and there is a character in my novel loosely based off of him) of sitting down with Mr. Gatti in his beautifully light, airy studio in SOMA. When I walked through the front door I was worried I had the address wrong as upstairs is Stanlee's office and downstairs is where the production of designing the look for an event takes place.
Downstairs is totally urban with an industrial feel and upstairs is warm and chic - the walls practically oozed luscious creativity. When I asked Gatti about the upcoming trends in party decor, his answer was that of pure confidence and utter genius: I do not know what the trends are because I set the trends. I never look at what everyone else is doing. He only borrows from himself by delving deeper into his history to discover a new way of doing things. A tried and true trendsetter, Gatti sees the world through rose colored glasses literally as he was born with the gift to visually glimpse the world in colors.
His infectiously positive outlook, incredible will to translate his ideas from vision into reality, and fun loving attitude make him not only one of the best event planners in the nation, but an ideal human too. For more on Stanlee's way of life and my interview, read more