BIG birthday bashes for people are de rigueur for the party scene, but what happens when a champagne house turns 130 years old? It celebrates loudly all over the world to let people know that it's not only alive and kicking, but stronger than ever as well.
This July, Veuve Cliquot threw the first of its so-called Starlight Yellow birthday parties in New York, to much pomp and fanfare. Hong Kong was next, in October, and last Friday, the birthday celebrations came here to the Red Dot Traffic building for a star-studded night of canapes, charity auctions and, of course, an endless flow of Veuve Cliquot Yellow Label champagne.
Bruno Yvon, Veuve Cliquot's regional marketing director, explains why the company decided to make this particular birthday such a special one. 'The concept behind this is a tribute to the flagship of our portfolio, the Yellow Label, which made our reputation,' he explains. 'Starlight Yellow is a tribute to the brand and to the yellow colour, which represents the trust between our faithful consumers and our brand.'
Guests were asked to include a bit of yellow in their outfits, and most complied sportingly, so the crowd was studded with yellow ties, shoes, and handbags.
Part of the party involved small Yellow Portrait exhibits from artists Donna Ong and Justin Lee, actresses Nadya Hutagalung and Andrea Fonseka, photographer Mark Law, film-maker Anthony Chen, fashion designer Jo Soh and celebrity plastic surgeon Woffles Wu.
Each of these personalities picked one of eight adjectives associated with Veuve Cliquot - vibrant, mystical, mysterious, prestigious, powerful, paradoxical, iconoclastic and noble - and created a small installation art piece.
These were spread out in chest-high transparent plastic cases, which party guests amusingly used as tables for canapes and drinks before they realised what was inside.
Party-goers who like having their pictures taken enjoyed Yellow Photography, which involved a booth area where several cameras were placed to get a 360-degree view, which captured everyone's good side and, well, bad side too.
There was also a silent auction for three bottles of limited-edition Yellowboam champagne, the bottles of which show the extent the colour yellow is identified with Veuve Cliquot. There's no writing on the yellow labels, which are made from exotic skins like ray, ostrich and alligator. 'Even when you remove all the writing, you still know it's Veuve Cliquot,' says Mr Yvon.
Plenty of well-known faces were spotted at Starlight Yellow party, including bar owner Michel Lu, celebrity couple Allan Wu and Wong Li Lin, and Howard Shaw from the Singapore Environment Council, which seems in line with Veuve Cliquot's emphasis on its customers enjoying themselves.
'We are looking at the consumer - the person not the place,' he says. 'As in every luxury house, we try to remain true to the direction our founder has given. The form of our message may change, but the message itself remains the same. We are about quality and heritage, but also about modernity, and luxury and pleasure.'
The music was a bit too loud and there was practically zero seating, which was tough on those women shod in 41/2-inch heels, but if luxury and pleasure mean lots of good champagne, then Starlight Yellow was spot on.