Preston Bailey’s butterfly effect
Paper Edition | Page: 3
Bringing fairy-tale image to life brings joy not only to people of all ages but also to Preston Bailey.
“Most of inspirations for my works come from nature,” says the high-flying event organizer of his works recently on display at a Jakarta’s upscale shopping mall, which also marked his first-ever exhibit in a Southeast Asia shopping mall.
At that time, he used a total of 248,574 butterfly replicas for the “Dreams Come True” installation, with 127,787 additional pieces adorning the mall’s 589-kilogram chandelier.
It took more than 327 hours and 170 professional workers from local florists and event organizers to put together the installation, showcasing rabbles of butterflies fluttering around the center stage in the main lobby, and flying up way high until they nearly reach the top of the mall’s atrium.
A unicorn, made of 400 peonies, gracefully stood tall in the kaleidoscope of beautiful insects.
Butterflies and a unicorn pretty much mirror Bailey’s love for the beauty of nature, or supernature, which he infuses to his imaginative creations.
He said that he feels blessed being able to work with a talented group of people who brought the installation to life, adding that the process took about six months to prepare and a month to install.
Born and raised in Panama, the young Bailey came to New York City to begin his design career as a fashion model before running a men’s clothing boutique and becoming an event organizer.
Been 30 years in the business, his work has inspired many people across the globe.
Due to his ability to create magnificent and memorable events, he has developed a client base that includes royalty, socialites and celebrities, such as Donald Trump, Oprah Winfrey, Joan Rivers, Donna Karan, Liza Minnelli, Bill Cosby, Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones, Uma Thurman and Ivanka Trump, among others.
He has shared his passion and experience with readers through his five books – Inspirations, Fantasy Weddings, Design for Entertaining, Celebrations and Flowers.
A new book will be launched in January 2013, followed by another flower book very shortly.
Bailey explains that the book he will launch in January is more for the industry -- for people to learn how the event industry works and how to be successful in the industry. He has also collaborated with Wedding Planning Institute to create online courses.
Having been bringing people’s dreams to life, what are exactly his dreams?
“I would love to come to Jakarta and build an event space, a space that would change depending on the clients’ taste,” he says.
“I have been in the business for 30 years and I learned by making mistakes. I concentrate on guiding people not to make the same mistakes I did, and to use their own creativity.”
Bailey thinks that the market has changed tremendously as it expands and people are becoming much more savvy about flowers and decorations.
“Wedding parties here are amazing! Everyone wants their own show and I think we teach people how to realize that.”
In developing his business, Bailey personally selects the students who come to work with him.
“Everyone who works for me needs to teach me something. Just that simple. The people who work around me are very strong and talented and it is important to me that they bring themselves to the table and combine with what I have to create something new,” he says.
“I’m not really into creating another me. You don’t want another me around. I think that’s important, as a teacher, I have learned to develop people from who they are into what they can be.”