It's no small feat to throw an impressive bash in Tinseltown. It's either been done before, or it's about to be. And let's face it, Angeleos are as jaded as they come; a "star-studded event" is as common as a double iced latte and a fat-free muffin around here. For me, there really isn't anything more pleasing than an event that trumps any A-list celebrity in attendance -- and I can say The Donald's Dubai soiree didn't disappoint in that department.
Let me go ahead and say this out of the gate: Donald and His Excellency Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem threw down some serious cash-o-la for this 'lil "Desert Storm Comes to the City of Angels" shindig. The team at Dan Klores Communications did a stellar job of bringing this majestic event to life. The party was in honor of the launch of their new Dubai venture, the Palm Trump International Hotel and Tower. For those who have been living on Mars the past year, that would be the much-discussed palm tree-shaped man-made islands. Yep, they really took the whole build-it-and-they-will-come concept and super-sized it. I'm not so sure what will happen with erosion and global warming and such, but the palm tree design situation is awe-inspiring, and that is just the point. We can address carbon footprint at a later date -- for now I need to irresponsibly revel in the dazzle of my trip to Dubai.
After being in lockdown with bronchitis the past week, this was my little coming out party. I made the effort, put on the extra pretty, and left my zip code behind to party with the Sultan and get a peek at all this "Dubai is the greatest spawn of globalization" hype.
What I love about Trump is not his lack of humility, but rather his vision and desire to be extraordinary. He believes ordinary is for other people, and I have to agree. As outlandish and self-important as he may seem eighty percent of the time (which I think is just this thing he does to get people going), he is a visionary. And I love a good visionary. I will throw on five-inch heels to celebrate great vision.
Upon arrival to the party location, which was an estate in Bel Air, we were welcomed by the savvy team from KPR, and shuffled from the blue carpet by a troupe of stilt walkers into the giant domed tent. The tent was at least 50-60 feet in diameter and glowed blue. It was as if we were entering the Olympic Water Cube in Beijing, only it was a circle -- think Epcot center and replace the Disney characters with lots of sexy, fabulous people of varied ages featuring bling, Balenciaga and a little accessory I call booze.
Inside the blue-lit dome, pretty flowed aplenty. Orlando Bloom and his purple dress girlfriend stole my seat and somehow I didn't need to kick their asses, because I was pleasantly distracted by the 360-degree projection of seamless images of Dubai playing on the dome theater ceiling.
The images displayed the Dubai skyline, alluring shopping opportunities, sleek interiors, as well as ominous water visuals which actually made me kind of want to go pee, but nonetheless, I was distracted enough to let Orlando and his girl get away with stealing my seat. Rule number one: when I look pretty, I act pretty.
The IMAX-esque projected images really made me feel as if I took a quickie trip to the golden streets of Dubai sans my passport and the $2,200 flight. Dubai seems very clean, sleek, sumptuous, modern, busy, rich and the kind of place with no warm memories or reality, but a very futuristic ride into another world which people most certainly will want to run away to. P.S. Dubai takes AMEX black or gold bullion and I don't think anything else.
I settled my seating issue by squishing on a corner of a seat next to this older woman dressed to the nines, and I swear she was wearing a rock so big I almost asked if I could pay rent and live there right on her finger while I saved up for my airline ticket to Dubai.
In the party's backroom was a massive, electronically equipped model of Trump's new property in Dubai. We're talking full sized, with blinking lights audio and visuals to boot. Somehow, before I even seem to even get to enjoy the mass creativity of the project, I go straight to wondering just how much it must have cost to transport this monstrous model, which I know lives in Dubai, because, I overheard Ivanka Trump say how surprised she was that it was here. It cost a lot.
This whole air-conditioned, model-in-motion demo section was the most impressive part of the evening, it truly was a production to get that baby stateside and I like to see that team Trump went the distance. I guess when the Sultan is paying for gas, it doesn't much matter how many trips it takes to bring the mountain to Muhammad.
And by the way, I know you all want to hate Ivanka because: 1) She's stunning, 2) She's brilliant, and 3) She's rich. She is very much all of that and on top of it I hate to report she's also delightfully nice, polite and humble. This isn't just a tonight kind of thing, I have interviewed her before and this is Ivanka. She was very sweet and introduced her sister Tiffany to me and said, "It looks like Tiffany will be the tallest Trump girl after all." Again, nice and endearing too.
As we slid out to the main area, we were presented with yet double the extravagance -- ice sculptures, overflowing caviar, Middle-Eastern inspired eats catered by Wolfgang Puck, fully stocked bars and gorgeous servers sprinkled about. Oh, and did I mention the glamorous Miss Christina Aguilera stepped on stage to perform a few songs? She also said she loved me -- okay, she said she loved us all, and we love her right back. My friend Andrew and I slow-danced to her rendition of Etta James' "At Last." When was the last time you experienced a live performance by Christina right there in front of you, in such an intimate space? Exactly, not so often. So don't worry, I embraced the moment for us all.
After all the drinking, dancing, sweet desserts and delicious eye candy, it was time for Cinderella to head back to the beach. Upon departure, in true Trump fashion, each guest was handed a black attaché case also known as "the gift bag." As we boarded the shuttle back to the car, feeling very Apprentice-like with attaché in hand... Suddenly, the same images I had seen projected in the blue dome appeared in a small cut out rectangle in my case, there was a video playing, I turned to my friend Karen and whispered, "Why is my case showing video?" She checked hers, in moments her case also glowed.
It turns out, The Donald trumped even himself in the closing ceremonies of his event. Each guest was given an Apple iPod Touch, which had the Trump Dubai video pre-downloaded. Yes, Karen and I were like giddy kids leaving the prom, not so much for the gift itself, but for the wow factor.
This is the kind of take away I like, a very well thought out and creative campaign, one that leaves a lasting impression, literally. Whoever was in charge of that decision, if you are single, let's get hitched.
The Donald delivered a wondrous evening of decadence, a perfectly mixed crowd of young, old, culture, comfort, and style -- but most of all, he had us so intoxicated with wonder each step of the way that his event also trumped all of Tinseltown's regular party hoppers who were present at the party. No one seemed to care that Adrien Grenier, Hilary Swank, and Pete Wentz were a few feet away. That kind of Celeb overshadow is worth the flight alone in this town.
Overall yes, this party was over the top, extravagant, dazzling and dare we say ostentatious? That is Trump's brand, it's who he is and what he is about. While I certainly want to know what the eco version of Trump looks like, I'll have to address that when I see him next. For now, he swooped me off to Dubai, without having to pack a bag and I have a new gadget to remind me often, that ordinary really is for others.
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