Reverie by the Sea

Posted online: October 2015

Screen Shot 2015-08-19 at 2.53.34 PMScreen Shot 2015-08-19 at 2.54.17 PMBy Gina Tolleson and Jennifer Blaise Kramer, Photographs by Blue Caleel, Stephen Simons, and Dougal Brownlie 

On a June summer’s night, the BACARA RESORT & SPA lit up like Gatsby’s lawn. White lights twinkled above the sparkling pool, palm trees soared above, and swanlike ballerinas greeted 400 well-heeled guests, from locals to socialites to celebrities and former cover subjects, all clinking champagne flutes to toast Santa Barbara Magazine’s 40th anniversary. Our festive affair was imagined by YIFAT OREN & ASSOCIATES, mastermind party planners to the stars—the likes of Cameron Diaz, Reese Witherspoon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Drew Barrymore, Kevin Costner, and most recently was tapped by Jennifer Aniston for her stealth nuptials— who dreamed up a Venetian Carnivale-style soiree with a Santa Barbara spin. “The location was perfect and quite unexpected, as we transformed the Bacara Resort & Spa’s Spanish Colonial-style pool deck into a masquerade party with magical entertainment elements provided by Elan Artists such as jugglers, contortionists, strolling ballerinas, and two shows in the pool by Aqualillies,” recalls Stefanie Cove, partner in Yifat Oren & Associates.

Throughout the evening, guests were mesmerized by the mystical mood along with the backdrop sets created by REVELRY EVENT DESIGN, pausing often to don a mask for a photo. Partygoers lingered over small bites from chef ROBBIE WILSON of Mattei’s Tavern paired with TERROIR SELECTIONS’ Sandhi and Qupé wines, indulged in the decadent KOLIKOF CAVIAR & SALMON iced bar, and sipped special cocktails—the 40 Strong and Venetian Casanova—by TEQUILA CASA DRAGONES and YACHT CLUB VODKA. The night sequenced to an even more magical mode when synchronized swimmers appeared on the pool deck in throwback black-and-white swimsuits and dove into the water to perform while DJ MICHAEL SMITH of Playlist Generation entranced the crowd and light balls playfully illuminated the pool. Afterparty spirit ensued upstairs in the Rotunda with more music, dancing, stargazing, Tequila Casa Dragones Joven, and Beau Joie Champagne.

A pop-up photo shoot by LA CHAMBRE PHOTOGRAPHIQUE captured faces who have helped shape the magazine while the final rallying guests continued to toast the city on its past, present, and future. “Santa Barbara is just the best of California. Most people think of it as a relaxed, serene town, but we wanted to throw a real party…a worthy celebration of the magazine’s 40th anniversary!” says event expert Yifat Oren. “A little Santa Barbara meets Ibiza, so to speak. Hence, Reverie by the Sea, mixed in with a bit of Venetian Carnivale. It was spectacular!”

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Mattei’s Tavern chef Robbie Wilson

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Elan Artist’s jugglers

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DJ Michael Smith

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Passed delicacies by Mattei’s Tavern

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Sutton Stracke

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Delfina Blaquier and Nacho Figueras




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LEFT TO RIGHT: Caroline and Steve Thompson, Anne and Dave Elcon, David Cameron and Kendall Conrad, Kai Linz and Laura Macker Johnston, Stephanie Nicks and Daryl Stegall, Kim and Michael Hayes, Chris Blair and Heidi Bassett-Blair

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LEFT TO RIGHT FROM TOP: Leo Basica, Amelia Fleetwood, Chris Keener, Nancy Neil, Nic George, Shadi Beccai, Chris Sewell, Bianca Roe, Taiana Giefer, and Channon Roe. Tintype by Lindsay Ross of La Chambre Photographique.

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FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: Erin Foster, Jamie Schneider, Masha Gordon, and Carlos Eric Lopez



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