Hollywood Event Planners on What "Soft Sensuality" Could Mean at Trump's Inauguration
Velvet tablecloths? Baby's breath? Kenny G?
In case you haven't heard, Donald Trump's presidential inauguration on Jan. 20 will have a "soft sensuality" to it. At least, that's how the president-elect's inauguration chairman, Tom Barrack, described the upcoming event.
"So what we've done, instead of trying to surround him with what people consider A-listers, is we are going to surround him with the soft sensuality of the place," Barrack told reporters Tuesday at Trump Tower. "It's a much more poetic cadence than having a circuslike celebration that's a coronation. It will be beautiful. The cadence of it is going to be, 'Let me get back to work.' "
Since then, the internet has been quick to latch onto Barrack's obscure use of "soft sensuality" to describe the event, which will include the daytime swearing-in ceremony and three nighttime balls, which presumably are what the L.A.-based real estate investor and Trump power broker is describing.
Trump's advisor says the Inauguration will have a "soft sensuality." I look forward to seeing the pole dancing on the White House columns.— Paula Poundstone (@paulapoundstone) January 12, 2017
This is how I imagine the Trump inauguration's "soft sensuality" will play out: pic.twitter.com/dGQ4abb5T7— Chris Cillizza (@TheFix) January 10, 2017
Given what we know about Trump's extravagant preferences at Trump Tower (gilded furniture, candelabras, cherubs and Louis XIV everything), we have some idea of what "soft sensuality" could look like.
But to get a better sense of how that could apply to a party, Pret-a-Reporter spoke with a few Hollywood event planners.
"I imagine he is using this term to inspire design elements, lighting and decor," says April Luca of Gold Sky Productions, whose event agency worked on the American Horror Story: Hotel premiere and The Hollywood Reporter's Next Gen 20th anniversary gala. "I think it could be interesting, depending on its visual translation at the event and the space."
L.A.-based event planner David Rodgers, whose eponymous creative agency specializes in full-service event production, suggested that Barrack's description could be setting a new tone for what's to come in the administration.
"I think that maybe he was just looking back at the campaign and how intense it was, and maybe it's a good direction to bring a softness back to Washington and to set a nice tone for the next four years," says Rodgers. However, he does note that "soft sensuality" is "a strange combination of words to use for this."
"It seems a little too sexy," adds Rodgers, whose company has organized events for a number of fashion brands including Michael Kors, Christian Louboutin and Diane von Furstenberg, as well as entertainment events like Breaking Bad's season-four premiere. "What comes to mind is cream- and blush-colored pink roses, Egyptian cotton sheets, candlelight and the sound of two hearts beating as one."
Bryan Rabin, producer of Giorgio's at The Standard in West Hollywood — the nightclub that has attracted A-listers Leonardo DiCaprio, Mick Jagger and Naomi Campbell — finds the description to be "an extremely inappropriate [...] visual." He added: "I can't speak to Tom Barrack, I don't know the man or what kind of clients he's worked with before, but personally, it's the most important job in the world, and [the event] should be restrained, chic and to the point."
Rabin noted that the term "isn't part of my professional vernacular." However, he prefers using the word "sexy" when working with "sexy brands" like Coco de Mer and Agent Provocateur. "My job is [focused on] how to create community and an experience," says Rabin.
As to how a soft, sensual experience might translate to a D.C. party, Luca pictures "rich fabrics and bronze highlights mixed with an airy feel created by soft lighting." Rabin, on the other hand, stated: "I shudder to think what that might involve."
Either way, it looks like we'll find out soon enough.