Event Insider: Marie Antoinette’s secret garden brought to life in Sydney’s CBD

In this new semi-regular feature, Mumbrella goes behind the scenes of the most spectacular launches and activations in Australia, to get the nitty gritty details of truly memorable events.

Throwing a party for an iconic luxury candle brand inside a venue that doesn’t permit the actual lighting of candles is a risky move, to say the least.

But for Élysée Collective founder and director Alice Moore, the two Paintings Rooms at the State Library of NSW was too special a location to go past.

Élysée Collective's event to celebrate 380 years of Trudon.

Something of a hidden treasure in Sydney, the spaces played host to a decadent celebration of Trudon’s 380th birthday and the Australian launch of its new Marie Antoinette-inspired Tuileries collection.

“The exceptional mix of heritage location, ornate decoration, fine cuisine, impeccable service and captivating dance performances – punctuated by the elegance of Trudon’s fragrance – culminated to create a unique and unexpected event,” Moore said.

“Brought to life by opulent decorations and soundtracked by evocative melodies from Marie Antoinette’s era, the occasion forged itself as a memorable occasion for all who attended.”

What was the client brief?

Inspiration for the event was to be drawn from the French launch of the Tuileries collection luxury wax candles and a room diffuser – and the 380th celebrations held in Paris earlier this year.

Élysée Collective's event to celebrate 380 years of Trudon.

What was the theme?

The Tuileries fragrance was conceived as an homage to the rose, the Queen’s favourite flower throughout her lifetime.

To reflect this tribute, the Red Paintings Room, the first room guests entered, formed the backdrop to a secret 1700s provincial rose garden adorned with forest-like floral installations and Trudon candles en masse. Additionally, faux rose petals infused with the Tuileries scent were scattered across the room by performers in 18th-century royal garb.

Élysée Collective's event to celebrate 380 years of Trudon.

Élysée Collective's event to celebrate 380 years of Trudon.

To honour Marie Antoinette’s love for Rococo style and transport guests to the 18th century, the second room guests were ushered into, the Blue Paintings Room, was filled with pastel-toned florals and baroque decorations including gold-embellished charger plates, grand candelabras, crystal coupes and Trudon pillar candles strewn across a single, grand dining table.

Why did you choose the space?

The two Paintings Rooms, accessed via the hand-carved sandstone facade of the State Library of NSW, were selected for their heritage features and romantic collection of European-inspired artworks, displayed in ornate, oversized and antique gilt frames.

A hidden treasure among Sydney’s bustling streets, the peaceful gallery space aligned with the heritage-steeped messaging of the Trudon brand and mirrored the grandeur of the location at which the 380th party was held in Paris.

Élysée Collective's event to celebrate 380 years of Trudon.

What was the entertainment concept?

As guests mingled – enjoying couples of Perrier-Jouet Grand Brut Champagne and French canapes – a harpist in 18th century regalia played melodies from the era.

Between entrée and main courses, guests were enlightened with a dance performance choreographed by the talented James Beck. Marie Antoinette’s ‘ladies in waiting’ cheekily interacted with guests, sipping their champagne, and tussling their hair before taking a deep curtsy ahead of welcoming addresses by Isabella Svartstein, chief executive officer of Trudon, and Michael Marzano of Agence de Parfum.

Were there any challenging logistics?

Navigating with our event production team how to celebrate light in a space where we cannot light candles, being a heritage building.

How many people attended? How do you describe the guest list?

The event was attended by 60 of Sydney’s most influential socialites and creatives, including Steve Cordony, Michael Lo Sordo, Deborah Symond-O’Neil, Eva Galambos and Louise O’Neil, Daimon Downey, alongside editors and journalists from top-tier publications.

Élysée Collective's event to celebrate 380 years of Trudon.

Élysée Collective's event to celebrate 380 years of Trudon.

Esteemed publications from which editors attended include Vogue Australia, Harper’s BAZAAR, Belle, Forbes, T Magazine, The Australian, Travel + Luxury and Life & Leisure. Journalists attended from digital platforms such as GRITTY Pretty, GQ, Man of Many, ICON, Esquire and Robb Report.

What was the client’s feedback?

In attendance was Isabelle Svartstein, CEO Trudon, who was thoroughly impressed by the evening, from the venue, styling and guest list to the wonderfully choreographed dance performances.

Her relaxed, informative and interactive speech on the night reflected this feedback, and she paid tribute to all who were involved in the realisation of the event.

She also thanked those in attendance who continue to support Trudon and contribute to the brand’s impressive growth in the Australian market.


Photography: Si Kirk / @si.kirk

Event production and styling: The Bespoke Boys / @the_bespokeboys

PR/Front of house: Élysée Collective / @elyseecollective

Performance conception/choreography: James Beck / @beck_jcb

Catering: Laissez Faire Catering


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