Crystal Carson stylist, media darling, event consultant is as in-demand as it gets in Vancouvers competitive and intimate fashion scene. We asked her for a window into her whirlwind life, especially in the lead up to the most lavish date on the social calendar: New Years Eve.
How did you get to this point?
My mother had a catering and event management company, so I have been in the event business since I was 15 years old. That evolved to include being a founding partner of Social Concierge. But, in 2007, my brother passed away and my family began experiencing financial difficulty. It was not the right time for me to be involved in a start-up, and I decided to take a break from the industry to help look after my family.
My current focus is creative direction, crowd sourcing, sponsorship coordination and hosting. I will only take on a coordinator role for small private parties of 150-200 people. I am known for thinking of every detail, so you literally just show up in the right outfit, and enjoy the ride.
Even though I put my career on hold, I have always kept myself in the game. Since 2011, I have started to get a lot more serious about my direct involvement in the event industry, social scene, and travel. I have become the go-to girl for friends and people around the world on where to go, what to do and with who. This is finally going to become a business; I plan to launch Global Glitterati in 2014!
What are some of the pressure points?
Everything is about timing; you have to keep on track! Organizing peoples leisure activities may be my priority but not always theirs. And then there is effective communication management. Coordinating and hosting an event or a party is a juggling act. If you drop one ball everything can fall apart in seconds.
What do you look for in a party?
It all comes down to the people and the energy you surround yourself with to create F.U.N. Fabulous, Unique, Nostalgic. I always look for a unique experience, such as Deighton Cup or Diner en Blanc. I often refer to Deighton Cup as my NYE as it is my favourite annual event in Vancouver. Also, an amazing theme with a dress up element seems to get people in the spirit before the event.
Where will you be going on NYE?
My current first choice is Extravaganza at the Vancouver Club for members and their guests. They have hidden rooms, incredible cocktails and a shoe valet, which means I am SOLD. Oddly, NYE is the one day of the year that I pull a typical Vancouverite move and make plans at the last minute. My main concern on NYE is who I am with rather than where I am. Although, I have been known to hop on a plane and take off to another part of the world.
How will you be getting around this year?
A limo bus for 25 people, so we can have a moving dance party between locations the party does not have to stop, and no one has to drive.
Most memorable NYE?
During the 2010 games I became friends with a number of the IOC and I was invited to celebrate NYE in Verbier at a chalet there. The Swiss alps are incredible. You can sled into one of the bars, DJs set up in the middle of Village Square. Homes on the mountainside stage four-hour firework battles and the village is filled with people dancing and drinking champagne. Oh, and it rains champagne for 20 minutes at midnight. Literally... You need to bring an umbrella! You can see it in the video here:
</p><p><strong>What is your pre-party checklist?</strong></p><p>For a stylist, getting ready is half the fun! As an attendee rather than a coordinator, I do the following:</p><p> Morning of party, confirm all details with the host, as I am usually contributing in some capacity.</p><p> Blast out all details of timing, transportation, schedule of events for the evening, attire and any other details needed for attendance to my wingers.</p><p> Pick up my dress/outfit. <a href="http://blushoccasions.com/" target="_blank">Blush Occasions</a> and <a href="http://www.mineandyours.co/" target="_blank">Mine &amp; Yours</a> sponsor me for my event attire.</p><p> Go home to pair all of my accessories to complete my look.</p><p> Then the transition from my day to evening look begins. Shower, apply tanning products, blow dry hair, makeup, get dressed.</p><p> Ask my mom how I look.</p><p> Take a selfie so I can remember not to wear the exact same look again. And then its go time!</p><p><strong>Essentials when you leave the house?</strong></p><p>Phone and phone charger, credit card and ID, lip gloss and gum. I am actually quite low maintenance once I leave the house.</p><p><strong>NYE drink of choice?</strong></p><p>Champagne!! I know it sounds cliché but its actually my drink of choice all the time.</p><p><strong>Tell us what kind of looks well be seeing?</strong></p><p>Shiny things!!! This season both men and women can wear shiny lush fabrications. I actually styled a James Bond holiday look for one of my TV segments. Dolce &amp; Gabbana made a killer oxblood velvet deconstructed blazer and tuxedo pants with a bow tie. For girls, sequins and metallic party dresses in all different silhouettes are a go.</p><p><strong>Advice for the perfect coat?</strong></p><p>Well, to be honest, I have a collection of vintage fur coats. I tend to go to thrift stores out in the suburbs to source them. Outside of that, my advice is going for length, and a great big collar on your jacket, mens and womens. Also, jackets that draw in at the waist look slimmer while bundled up.</p><p><strong>Which hotel do you recommend for an overnight?</strong></p><p>Fairmont Pacific Rim the amenities will be useful in the morning, and The Lobby Lounge will be a party before you head out to your first destination. This is the first year they are throwing a non-ticketed NYE Suit &amp; Tie party in <a href="http://www.fairmont.com/pacific-rim-vancouver/dining/lobbyloungeandterrace/" target="_blank">The Lobby Lounge</a>.</p><p><img alt="" height="1025" src="http://raven.b-it.ca/portals/uploads/westender/.DIR288/crystal1.jpg" style="float: left; border: 0; margin: 5px;" width="700"/></p><p><strong>Something that surprises people about you? </strong></p><p>I didnt really have friends growing up; I was bullied a lot and extremely shy. I was always teased for being ugly, overweight and a geek. I only had a couple friends from kindergarten to Grade 12.</p><p>It wasnt until I was about 19 that things started to change, which is why I try to always be open minded and gracious with everyone I meet. Until you have gotten to know someone with firsthand knowledge of who they are on the inside, you have no right to draw any conclusions. I try to include everyone and pay extra attention to those who may not be as outgoing.</p><p><strong>Will you kiss the person next to you when the clock strikes 12?</strong></p><p>Hopefully. I am currently single, so this is definitely going to be a last-minute decision.</p><p><strong>Crystal Carson's Top 5 <a href="http://www.wevancouver.com/news/235473271.html" target="_blank">NYE parties</a>:</strong></p><p>1) Vancouver Clubs inaugural <a href="http://vancouverclub.ca/" target="_blank">2014 NYE Extravaganza</a> (members + their guests only)</p><p>2) Rosewood Hotel Georgia <a href="http://www.ticketstonight.ca/includes/events/index.cfm?action=displayDetail&amp;eventid=8999" target="_blank">GATSBY NYE LOBBY PARTY</a></p><p>3) Cabana Lounge &amp; Sidecar Supper Club <a href="http://www.clubzone.com/c/79326/cabana-lounge-vancouver-new-years-eve" target="_blank">NYE 2014</a></p><p>4) Arabian Nights <a href="http://www.shangri-la.com/vancouver/shangrila/dining/bars-lounges/xi-shi-lounge/" target="_blank">NYE party at the Xi Shi lounge</a> (Shangri-la Hotel)</p><p>5) <a href="http://electricowl.ca/event/nye-2014/" target="_blank">NYE 2014 with PILLOWTALK</a> at the Electric Owl</p><p><strong> Credits:</strong></p><p> Interview: <a href="https://twitter.com/kelseyklassen" target="_blank">Kelsey Klassen</a></p><p> Photography: <a href="https://twitter.com/lizzrosa" target="_blank">Liz Rosa</a></p><p> Makeup: <a href="https://twitter.com/AllisonGiroday" target="_blank">Allison Giroday</a></p><p> Hair: <a href="https://twitter.com/cjhunter30" target="_blank">Curtis Hunter</a></p><p> Clothing: <a href="https://twitter.com/Blush_Bridal" target="_blank">Blush Occasions</a></p><p> Jewelry: <a href="https://twitter.com/CavalierGastown" target="_blank">Cavalier</a></p>