A party celebrating precision—L.A.’s car-crazy celebs were treated to such an event thanks to New York-based EventQuest on Thursday night.
Some 400 guests including movie stars Mehki Phifer (“8 Mile”) and Brittany Murphy (“Uptown Girls”) braved rainy skies to visit Hangar 8 at Santa Monica Municipal Airport for the U.S. launch of the “Ingenieur AMG”—the name for both a new high-end watch from Swiss watchmaker IWC Schaffhausen and a limited edition CLS55 AMG four-door coupe from Germany’s Mercedes-Benz.
With the design of the instrument cluster of the car based on the Ingenieur watch face, the event featured dials galore. Circular salon areas ringed with sheer gray drapes suspended from above offered round white leather pedestal stools, high-back banquettes and gray velour ottomans. The cool gray color scheme, without a stem of floral, underscored the theme of titanium metal used in both the watch and car.
On a raised platform in the center of the hangar, oversize white “W” letters and faceless white plastic men stood sentry alongside videos explaining the history of both the watchmaker and automaker. Projections of quotations, emphasizing a commitment to quality engineering from the companies’ staffers, played across the statues’ faces.
More clockwork and branding projections splashed over a massive 144-foot cyc, a point of particular pride to EventQuest co-founder John Schwartz. "We took [the 180-degree projections] that the Europeans did and found a cost-effective way to have that huge impact," he tells Special Events Magazine.
L.A.’s Patina Group echoed the dial motif with buffets offering bread, biscuit and blini rounds ready to be topped with strips of smoked sturgeon, salmon and duck confit. Other menu items included lobster “martinis” with lemon crème fraiche, crab shooters with mango, pineapple and wasabi, zucchini-wrapped shrimp with orange mustard, Asian short ribs, and tuna tartare cones.
Along with DJ Paul Sevigny, sib of indie star Chloe, pumping “downtown rhythms,” the event’s program included Murphy handling the reveal of the new car, as well as presentations by IWC Worldwide CEO Georges Kern and Mercedes-AMG director of branding, marketing and sales Mario Spitzner. A bright red Ingenieur car was available right outside the hangar for dedicated drivers to test.
Schwartz notes his team's success in turning the "grandiose" space into a warm, inviting environment. "We were very sensitive to the client's marketing and design needs," he explains.
Photo at top courtesy EventQuest; center and bottom by Special Events Magazine.