Joffrey Ballet Event Gets Film Noir-Meets-South Beach Theme—and Lots of Sponsor Perks

September 29, 2010
Jenny Berg


The Joffrey Ballet's Couture and Cocktails benefit offers precisely what it advertises. This year, the reception and fashion show took place at the W Chicago City Center on Friday and included specialty Ciroc vodka cocktails and a Carmen Marc Valvo runway show.

Last year's event had a loose New York-inspired theme; this year, co-chairs Marci Holzer and Kristina McGrath went for two separate vibes. Inspired by the "red lips, coiffed hair, and elegant silhouettes" of the fashion show, the co-chairs said in a collaborative email that the runway component had a "film noir theme" with moody blue lighting. For the cocktail reception and after-party, producers used miniature palm trees and cabana-like lounges to channel "the funky, edgy vibe of South Beach nightlife."

New sponsorship options included the so-called "Carmen's Angel V.I.P. Package." Priced at $10,000, the package included hair-and-makeup styling for the event, an overnight suite at the downtown hotel, and cabana seating with a private server during the after-party. All guests who contributed $1,000 or more were invited to a brunch with the designer on Saturday.

Corporate sponsors included McGrath Imports, Neiman Marcus, United Airlines, MAC cosmetics, Michigan Avenue magazine, and Lester Lampert jewelers.