Fabulous Fifties

Fabulous Fifties

  • September 01, 2017

We love it when we have the opportunity to develop a new set and we were so excited when our client came to us with the theme for the annual ball of Fabulous Fifties!

The brief was to create different zones within the room that each took on a different element.  These zones were to be immersive and were to be spaces within the room that people could retreat to during the event.  The client wanted I to be elegant, fun and a nod to the era, with guests encouraged to come in fifties fancy dress.

The venue was two Pavilions at the Perth Exhibition and Convention Centre and there were 1400 people attending for a sit down dinner.

After a creative brainstorming meeting we settled on three zones – A Diner, Drive-In and a 50s Cocktail Bar.  The venue is a huge sprawling space with soaring ceilings, so we needed to look at large sets that would fill the space.


To us the iconic elements of a 50s Diner was a large counter, jukebox, black and white floor and booths for guests to relax in.  We custom designed and printed a huge 12m wide x 5m high backdrop of a Diner setting.  In creating the design we made sure that it had a 3D look to it so once hung it would give them impression a being in a real space.  To add to this life like feel, we worked with AV Partners to project a moving, flashing Diner Sign on to the backdrop.  In front of the backdrop we set a long counter that had an illuminated top and a design on the front that matched the backdrop to bring it to life.  The venue used this as a drinks service bar later in the evening.  We laid a black and white checked floor to define the space and give it that authentic Diner feel.  Opposite the counter we designed and built three booths that had bench seating with stripes, custom made record tables and records on the wall.  In the centre of the space we set retro red couches with white strips and low coffee tables.  Every Diner has a Jukebox so we finished the look with an authentic Wurlitzer!


A favourite on social media with the attendees, the Drive-In was a completely interactive space designed to feel like the real thing!  We started by designing and printing fascia’s of the back of 50s cars that were set in front of a huge screen playing old movies.  In front of each of these fascias we set sofas so guests to sit, mingle and enjoy the films if they wanted to!  We sourced authentic drive-in speakers from the US that we shipped in and made into portable pieces that were set in-between each of the car settings.  A star cloth was hung on the walls behind this area to give the feeling of a starry night and huge 4m palm trees lined either side of the space.  We designed and custom built a giant flashing Drive In sign that could be seen across the whole room pointing to the space.  Given the size of the venue and easy access, we were lucky enough to be able to bring in two vintage cars – a Cadillac and a Studebaker - that were parked either side and gave it that perfect finishing touch and a great photo opportunity for the guests.


This space was set at the back of the room and was designed to be a place where guests could escape some of the hustle and bustle and order their favourite cocktail or spirit.  We took inspiration of the bars of the time which we were lush and decadent.  We lined the area with red velvet drapes and set a huge central gold pressed tin bar with rear shelving.  We locally sourced a range of spirit bottles to dress the shelves and the venue stored their own spirits and glassware on it to give it an authentic feel.  In front of the bar we set two luxe lounge areas of orange velvet sofas that each had lamp shades suspended overhead. Through the centre of the area were our brand new hi bar tables and stools with gold detail that matched in perfectly!  We added 1950’s posters, an atomic clock and palm trees to finish the look and the whole space was bollarded off so it felt separate and exclusive.


For the table centre pieces we divided the room into three sections, each matching the nearest set.  For the Diner we custom made giant milkshakes with cherries on top! In the Drive-In area we used tall vases to replicate a popcorn holder that you could get at the movies and the Cocktail bar area had huge oversized martini glasses filled with crystals and a lemon wedge on the side!  Each centre piece was illuminated from within and gave a gorgeous glow across the room.


Over the dance floor we suspended a huge display consisting of a central giant mirror ball surrounded by a varying sized smaller mirror balls to give that real 50s party feel.  This was perfectly complimented by an amazing LED screen stage set with custom designed graphics by the team at AV Partners that scrolled all night long.

Our client loved the whole look and we are so pleased with how it all turned out!  The theme was so much fun for the guests to dress up to and the music and entertainment on the night brought it all together.

Thanks to our friends at The Scene Team for all these wonderful pictures and see our gallery for more.  

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