Even people living under a rock has heard of Taylor Swift, the pop star who is by far burning the brightest in the Hollywood sky for all the right reasons. Her hit album “1989” has garnered her thousands of fans around the world and a following that would probably win in a “Bad Blood” style battle. Not only are her songs the catchy type that get stuck in your head super easily, but her music videos give her props of epic proportions every time.
One of my favourite of her music videos has to be the stylised African meets glittering Hollywood themed video for one of her 2015 singles “Wildest Dreams”. It copped a lot of flak for glamourizing a time in Africa’s history that was whitewashed and all about the white dominated colonisation of Africa, but many statements from Swift’s camp informed the world that while the music video is set on an African movie set in the middle of the golden Hollywood era, it is about romanticism and even uses a remixed version of Taylor Swift’s own heartbeat as the music’s base.
This colonisation of Africa was certainly a dark time in Africa’s history, but the in watching productions such as “Wildest Dreams” and even stories such as “Tarzan” brings a plethora of inspiration. It was a beautiful time, and mixing the cultural combinations of both the African plains, jungles and wild animals such as lions and giraffes, and the English devices such as brown streaked maps and globes, tan cargo pants and canvas tents, you can’t help but realise it is more than just interesting inspiration, but that it would make a decadent theme for a party or event.
So to follow on with my current party focus, I thought I would give you some inspirational tips for throwing your own “Wildest Dreams” or “Tarzan” style party.
Photo from Phyllis Eig Associates
In order to pull this off, get your head into the African plain! You can find inspiration from some of my other posts such as African Party and African Safari Style, but ultimately you want greenery, dry grass and heaps and heaps of animals! Get stuffed toys, put up posters or switch on movies from the African plains on your TV to play in the background, and even hire a petting zoo or a zookeeper to introduce your guests to some furry friends. Use different animal prints on your dessert table, and base your overall colour theme around champagne or tan colours, brown and black to get the atmosphere going. You can even lay out vases of different bird feathers, such as fake ostrich feathers or peacock feathers, to create a flower-free table centrepiece.
One of my favourite set designs for your venue is to set up the entrance with canvas in the shape of a canvas tent. Tie black rope around the outside and place some potted palm trees out the front to welcome your guests to your African masterpiece!
Photo as found on Apartment Therapy
Once you have your African pieces put together, it’s time to add in some more Western pieces. You want the extra items to come from a vintage England style era, so things like ageing globes and ripped maps work perfectly! Use heaps of canvas, and get in some extra tools such as rusted compasses, gas cylinder lanterns and notepad and pens to tie the whole event together. Leave them in spaces along the “camp” of your venue, sitting atop of leather bound books and giving the idea of a research colony.
To add to the event, you should have guests dress in either one of the style of costumes available: in classic African attire, or in a classic explorer’s outfit complete with safari hat, canvas shorts and binoculars. Safari hats should definitely be given out at the event if you can source some according to your budget.
The idea behind “Wildest Dreams” is that the whole African setting was in reality just a sound stage, with African background as a pre-production element. The whole vision ends at the glittering Hollywood premiere, complete with red carpet, flashing neon lights, beautiful sweeping gowns and tuxedos and confetti raining down from the heavens. To make this party a true “Wildest Dreams” themed party, make sure you include this element into your design.
You could have a red carpet leading you down to the canvas tent entrance, leading your guests into their African dream world. You can set up red velvet ropes, “paparazzi” and fans along the outline, and get neon light bulb framed signs spelling out the name of your movie. Don’t forget to get some of your guests to go all and out and dress for a premiere, making sure to rub shoulders with every influence!
Whether you love or hate Taylor Swift and her portrayal of romanticism in “Wildest Dreams”, it’s hard not to see how kick ass a party this themed event will be! Let me know if you decide to put together a party like this on your own and don’t forget to send me photos and leave me the comments in the comment section below!
Now in the words of Taylor, “Let’s get out of this place…”