• Menaka Sampath

“Signs” of a Good Party

Updated: Dec 4, 2020

[Excerpt from the invitation of Princess Grace’s Legendary Fete des Scorpions]

Princess Grace loved a costume party, especially in celebration of her birthday. As hers landed squarely in Scorpio territory (Nov. 12, 1929), she celebrated her 40th birthday by hosting a Scorpion-themed party.

Proclaiming herself “High Scorpia,” the event of the season was held at L’Hermitage in Monte-Carlo, where attendees were reminded to heed the colors of the sign (red, black or white only) and dinner jackets were considered favorable for gentlemen. The guest list included her closest Scorpio friends, with exceptions made for those with Scorpio spouses (Elizabeth Taylor made the cut because her husband Richard Burton was a Scorpio).

We were so inspired by this legendary fête, we couldn’t help imagining how one might recreate it, at least in part. For those similarly inclined, we devised a short list of zodiac party ideas, some borrowed from Princess Grace herself. Just don’t forget to send us an invitation.

Show you’re in good company.

To complete the Scorpion theme and celebrate her famous fellow Scorpios, the ballroom at L’Hermitage was decorated with portraits of famous Scorpio individuals, such as Edgar Allan Poe, Queen Marie Antoinette, and the famous French sculptor Auguste Rodin. While we love the idea of framed portraits, busy party planners may find digitally printed cocktail napkins or dinner menus more convenient feats. If you’re looking for a more subtle homage, consider printing clever and inspiring quotes from notable sign-sharers on your birthday collateral.

You are what you eat (and drink).

No birthday party is complete without cake, and Princess Grace’s party was no exception. The centerpiece of this party was, of course, a Scorpio-themed 166-pound birthday cake, topped with a golden scorpion. According to a 1969 article in The Australian Woman’s Weekly, the cake had to be cut in half by the chefs before it could reach the party because it was too big to go through the hotel door.

But don’t despair if colossal pastries are a bit out of scope for your own festivities. Fortunately, there are plenty of other ways to keep your fare on-theme. Pisces and Cancer will find fresh seafood to be a crowd pleaser. Daring Leos may opt for signature cocktails set aflame for dramatic effect. Earth signs, like Capricorn, Taurus, and Virgo, can delight in plant-based options that are both colorful and nourishing. Geminis can offer hors d’oeuvres served in matching pairs, and so forth. There’s no need to be too literal with this, and Pinterest has a wealth of Zodiac-themed recipes to serve as inspiration.

Dress the part.

Princess Grace embraced the Scorpio color palette, wearing a full-length and slightly off-the-shoulder black velvet Balenciaga gown adorned with two ruby cabochon and diamond brooches. These spectacular brooches were detachable pieces from her Cartier Monegasque Bains de Mer tiara. To complete the outfit, she paired a matching ruby ring with the brooches and a pair of one-of-a-kind Van Cleef & Arpels diamond drop earrings that were an anniversary gift from Prince Rainier III.

Fortunately, every zodiac sign has an associated color, or colors, making your sartorial options endless, with bonus points for accessorizing with your birthstone. Definitely follow Princess Grace’s suit by encouraging your guests to dress in theme as well. Trust us, the visual impact (and the photographs to follow) will be worth the ask.

Make it star studded.

Regardless of whether your guest list includes Hollywood A-Listers, you can still dazzle attendees by incorporating constellations in your party decor. Use strategically perforated lanterns, or set up a ceiling projector for a more dramatic effect. At the very least, a string of fairy lights never fails to set an ethereal mood.

Read into everything.

Who doesn’t love a little self-indulgence, especially after a cocktail or two? If time permits, hire an astrological expert to offer individual star chart readings to your guests. Cynics and believers alike will be eager to share their findings in conversations throughout the night. Best of all, your party will be an unforgettable experience for all involved.

Credits: Ruby and B, Princess Grace Foundation-USA, Trove, Best Trendy Deal

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