Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Francesca turns 13 with Heidi Klum, Tim Gunn, and Friends

Whew! What a party! We just finished celebrating Francesca's 13th birthday. The last girls walked out our front door at 11 am on Sunday after a nearly 24-hour long celebration. Seven girls slept over (though I doubt that anyone actually spent much time sleeping) and dined on chocolate chip birthday breakfast pancakes when they awoke.

Francesca’s guests arrived on Saturday afternoon to participate in 43rd Street Runway based on the hit TV show Project Runway. (We named the party “43rd Street Runway” after the street we live on.) Each girl brought three items of clothes from home to create a runway look.

My older daughter Alessandra was in charge of the judging. She recruited two friends to play Tim Gunn and a guest judge from London named Ling Ling. Alessandra played Heidi Klum. Once everyone had arrived, the judges presented the girls with a “challenge:” to create three distinct runway looks based on the film of their choice. The girls then drew numbers one by one choose 4 additional items from the abundantly stocked 43rd Street Runway Dressing Room. After they chose their new items, the girls split in to groups to create their looks, and walked the runway half an hour later.

The fashion show was hysterical. The girls were very creative and presented some great looks.

I was also very impressed with the judges’ ability to stay in character and channel the haute couture attitude of the fashion world. The girls and the judges alike really “made it work.”

No birthday party at our house would be complete with out a matching table design. I started with Rosanna Dauphine Candlesticks in black to create an edgy fashion look. I arranged the homemade red velvet cupcakes on our matching Rococo Noir Cake Pedestals, and made a surprisingly cool-looking tablecloth out of pages torn from Harper's Bazaar.

The day’s entertainment didn’t stop with the fashion show. Not many people know this, but Tim Gunn is also a magician (at least he was at this party) and wowed all of us by levitating a table and transforming a paper flower into a real one with a flash of fire.

After the cupcakes had been devoured and presents torn open, the girls retired to the basement to play-- what else?-- Band Hero Featuring Taylor Swift on the Wii. Various parents dropped by as the day wore on to watch the fashion show video footage. Heidi, Tim Gunn, and Ling Ling also stayed on for a pizza party. It was a great day and great fun.

I have to admit that putting 43rd Street Runway together was hard work. It required attending to many details and called for a few strategic planning session. But all of us, the 13 year-olds, 21 year-olds, and 50-some year-olds, had a wonderful time together. That fact alone made it all well worth the work.
auf Wiedersehen,


*the invitation for Cesca's party at the top of the post was created by Trista, one of our talented graphic designers


  1. WHAT A COOL IDEA! Alessandra is a very lucky young lady.

  2. Thank you! We've always tried to do creative birthday parties in our family. Hopefully both of my daughters will look back fondly on these memories when they grow up!

  3. Sarah (Blog Guidebook) BradfordJanuary 30, 2010 at 7:55 AM

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    We love cupcakes too!

  4. Hi Rosanna,
    Beautiful ideas thanks for sharing, God bless your daughter. Bought some of your collection from London and love it. I am following you on twitter wish you could follow me.
    Rowaida Flayhan