Family affairs are the bread and butter of party styling in Israel, where large, joyous celebrations are woven into the fabric of life. At À la Mode, we design the classic weddings, bar and bat mitzvahs, and corporate events, but we also take on lesser known, yet no less joyful events, like simchat bats and, most recently, an upsherin.
The upsherin is a charming life-cycle event celebrating a young Jewish boy’s first haircut. In Israel, it’s often practiced by Sephardic Jews, who call the ceremony by the Arabic name, ḥalāqah, while back in the US, its generally known by the Yiddish word for shearing. The upsherin is a deeply traditional event, recalling memories of pre-war Europe and childhood innocence. Of course our house-style is mod – even “post-mod.”
What are two design divas to do?
After an intensive brainstorming session, we realized that the best way forward would be to embrace the upsherin‘s old-school appeal. As it was, the party location – a magical rooftop overlooking the Western Wall – could not have been more appropriately traditional . So we decided to go all the way. A real (and impossibly heavy) barber-shop chair was brought in, we constructed a red and white barber-pole, inviting guests to the salon, while a board presenting a playful “price-list” of the different services available was set up. Above it all was an immense banner that incorporated shears and other tools of the trade. And of course the colors and shapes of the decadent candy table corresponded with the design theme and colors. The guests were thoroughly charmed, no one more so than the the center of the party – the three year old boy, now sporting his first haircut…in high style!