The prestigious Academy Awards is always chock full of glitz and glamour. For movie fans the suspense of waiting to find out if their favorite film or actress takes home a coveted Oscar statuette can be torture. If you’ve ever wondered what goes into an Oscar ceremony, more specifically the Oscar envelopes and winner cards, you’ve come to the right place.
World renowned invitation designer Marc Friedland (of Marc Friedland Couture Communications) who is widely known as the “godfather of the invitation” is in his third year creating the custom designed Oscar envelopes and Oscar winners announcement cards, and in his first year designing the invitations for all five Oscar related events this award season. Friedland who is the Chief Style Director with Postmark has teamed up with Evite Postmark to create the Oscar Collection by Marc Friedland, which allows those of us who will be throwing award show party’s in the comfort of our own homes the chance to celebrate the posh award show with friends and family with exclusive invitations.
Marc was kind enough to join me this week to dish on everything Oscar related, and discuss how you can throw an Oscar party you and and your guests are sure to adore!
Candace Rose: As the designer of the 2013 Academy Award winners envelope and invitations for all Oscar events, can you tell us about the design process and what inspired this year’s design?
Marc Friedland: “Sure, this is the first year that we’ve been tapped to do the invitations. I came up with the new winners envelope three years ago, so this has been a nice extension of all of that. Most people think of the Oscars as what they see on TV which is the Sunday night awards; one of the things that’s kind of shifted this year was an initiative from the Academy to really think about the Oscars more inclusively. It’s always been a very exclusive ‘Inside Hollywood,’ obviously it’s their biggest night. But with the change to calling it the Oscars, I think it signaled that this is for everyone.
And what goes along with just the Oscar awards (or the Academy Awards), the whole series of celebrations and events throughout the season, so there’s a nominees luncheon, there’s the Scientific & Technical Awards, the Foreign Language Reception, the Governors Awards. We took a look at all of those, and in the past they’ve all been very individual events and we took a look at the Oscar season and much like a fashion collection said let’s brand the entire season and come up with a palette of colors that really kind of defined each and every event. So all of the invitations are all very consistent, they’ve been inspired by the winners’ envelope. So if you think of the hierarchy of the work that we’ve done, the winners’ envelope is the most ultra-exclusive because is only touched by 26 presenters and 26 recipients. It’s very ultra-exclusive, and yet it’s seen around the world by a billion people. The invitations are a little less exclusive, it’s still by invitation only but it’s what we’ve used to invite everyone to the Academy Awards, to all these special events.
And then the third tier, taking what I’ve done with the envelope and some of my other work created the only Academy sanctioned online collection of Oscar invitations that individuals can use for their own Oscar parties. It’s the only one online that can feature the statuette, that can say Oscar party.”
Candace Rose: Can you tell us a little bit more about the Oscar invitation color palettes?
Marc Friedland: “We went with some really nice jewel tones. Each of them has their own signature color. The Governors Awards, which actually takes place at the end of December is what kicks off the season, and that was kind of a black diamond color. The awards themselves are this burgundy ruby red. The nominees luncheon is a sapphire.”
Candace Rose: Can you tell us more about your Evite Postmark Oscar invitations?
Marc Friedland: “This is the second time that I’ve done this collection, and it’s called the Oscar Collection by Marc Friedland. There are ten beautiful designs and it gives the at-home viewer an opportunity to really be a completely well-placed Oscar host.
If you like Old Glamour Hollywood, there’s some really great styles from that. There’s the actual winners’ envelope, and a replication of that if you want to use that for your party. Plus we’ve done some very modern contemporary inspired ones. There’s something for everyone.”
Candace Rose: What’s the secret to throwing a great Oscar party?
Marc Friedland: “I think the Oscars is a great time. After Super Bowl Sunday, this becomes the next big great fun pop culture event to get people together. What I love about it is that everybody loves the movies. There’s a lot of opportunity for a lot of fun- from the red carpet arrivals to the actual awards. And I think the awards this year with Seth MacFarlane hosting is going to get a much different tone than it has in the past. I think the idea behind a really great Oscar party is to really use it as the inspiration to have a really fun get-together. Even if you’re watching it just with one friend or a few friends, rather than just calling them up that day I think the opportunity to send one of my invitations through Postmark is really just a fun way to commemorate it. So even if you’re having three people, we’re making the invitations available for free and it adds a little more ceremony to it.
There’s a lot of fun things you can do. We came up with this really fun thing called Red Carpet Bingo, and that’s something that you can also download from Postmark where people can play along at home during the arrivals. It has really fun things like- ‘Who came with their mother’ or ‘Who has a new tattoo’ or ‘Who’s pregnant’ or ‘Is their an animal on the red carpet.’ It gives people the opportunity to kind of play along and interact a little bit which I think is really fun.
But then I think there are also things you can do- there’s a company online we suggest called Flor.com and they sell really amazing carpet tiles. It’s really clever and one of the things I’ve been suggesting is go order some red carpet tiles so you can have your own red carpet arrivals and that would be a really easy thing. Maybe get a really ornate wooden hanger, spray paint it gold and you can have contests and give somebody the gold hanger award, best dressed, and things like that.
I think you can also do things like come dressed as your favorite nominee or inspired by the best film nominees or inspired by the best film nominee, and things like that. I think there’s a lot of fun things you can do just depending on how far you want to take it.”
Candace Rose: How far in advance should hosts and hostesses send out their Oscar invitations?
Marc Friedland: “It really depends on the size of your party and if you’re part of a social group and competing for your time; they’re available now so I always feel that a well informed guest is a happy guest. But then at the same time it makes it very easy that if you decide to do something at the very last minute, you can do something the day before too. There’s no better time than doing that right now.”
Candace Rose: Do you have any suggestions when it comes to Oscar party food?
Marc Friedland: “I think Wolfgang who has always been the chef of the Governors Ball is going to be coming up with some recipes; but certainly champagne. Maybe there are some foods that are inspired by the different movies that could be fun. I think to make it easy for your guests, hopefully people are going to be engaged in watching and not chitchatting instead of watching. I think foods that aren’t that noisy are good. Certainly you can do flavored popcorn, but I think there are a lot of good opportunities to upscale it a little bit without costing a lot of money.”
Candace Rose: Do you have any additional tips or information you’d like to share?
Marc Friedland: “Just have a good time. This is such a great opportunity to get people together. It’s a great opportunity to have a birds eye view of Hollywood and all the pomp and circumstance that goes along with the Academy Awards. Every great party really just begins with great invitations, so really be inspired. A lot of times people get intimidated about what are they supposed to say or the social etiquette. My overarching rule on etiquette is really make your guests feel comfortable. You as a host want to have a good time. Maybe it would be fun to throw it with a friend or something like that.
I think more than anything people just want to have fun, and don’t take it all too seriously. I really hope people mark the moment and take those individual moments and times and really try to make them special and create memories. At the end of the day you might forget what you ate or what you wore, but you’ll have a memory of having a great time. Through these pieces that we create they really become physical markers and keepsakes of that moment. That’s really what we’re all about at Marc Friedland Couture Communications, is really marking that moment.”
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