Ella’s Cath Kidston Affair



If I’ve been remiss on blogging lately, I have the perfect excuse: I’ve been away travelling! More specifically, I’ve been travelling to one of my most favorite places in the world, New Zealand:


A breathtaking view of Queenstown, New Zealand (taken by yours truly)

New Zealand is rather misrepresented as that peculiar place where there are more sheep than man. I think it is one of the more underrated and underrepresented places for tourism and leisure. If you are the type who loves the outdoors, smog-free air so fresh you could almost taste it, and (literally) endless skies, then NZ is the place to be.

A typical day would involve a relaxing stroll by the lake, feeding ducks, which is exactly what I did with my 2 kids:

duck lake at queenstown

It doesn’t seem like it, but this picture was just taken by my smartphone. Talk about picture perfect!

I think travel is food for the soul; there is something inexplicably magical with exploring and discovering new places and people. This is the feeling that I strive to achieve with Party Magic’s events as well – that for a precious few hours, guests feel that they were magically transported to a different place, much like travelling.


Now, on to business: I’m so excited to show you a party I did some time ago:

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Ella Janine’s Cath Kidston Affair. Photos by photographer extraodinaire, Den Llanos Dee!

The reason for this excitement is because this is my first time doing a theme based on a personal hero of mine, Cath Kidston!

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Ella’s daintily designed cake by Jennie Rose Chua. I’m totally crushing on the colors and that huge bow!

Cath Kidston once said that her brand incited a “marmite reaction” – “People either love it and want a little bit of it very much, or want to stab us“. Suffice it to say that I belong to the first camp. I think Cath’s brand incites such colorful creativity in people, that in my case, comes in the form of a rush of dopamine to my head. I just feel happy looking at these patterns and colors!

Below is a more dramatic angle, this time capturing a “waterfall” of ceiling drops:

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Just for the fun of it, I decided to include a few strings of cupcake liners since it was so cute and captured the Cath Kidston spirit so precisely:

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For me, styling is not just about the big things, but also about the little things. It’s those little details that people recognize that make it all truly special. Here are some adornments we made to the stage:

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For me, a sign of a good stylist is someone who can transform a venue so much that you can barely recognize it anymore. Part of the trick is to work with the venue, and not against it.

For this specific party, it was held in….

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Tadaaa. Century Seafood Restaurant. This photo is a dead giveaway (take a look at the wall design and the carpet). I hope that before this it wasn’t entirely clear to you where the venue was, because if it were, then I didn’t do my job well.

Strategically speaking, CSR works well with shades of red, because it matches with their traditional linens and some parts of their carpet. Cath Kidston is known for a lot of bright colors and patterns, but I chose to zoom in on red and light blue as the main colors of the party exactly for this reason.

Our photo area is a sight to behold, because we made a literal facade of a house!

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Ella’s Cottage. Take a look at that mailbox to the left! They don’t make them like that anymore.


The tricky part about getting that genuine, Cath Kidston look is nailing that exact shade of red (which I call Cath Kidston red) that brings all the design to life before your eyes. It’s not standard red, or ferrari red, bright red, maroon, nor dark red – it should be this sort of brash, punchy red with a hint of candy in it, like the color of the lampposts in the photo area below:

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This sort of red also blends well with lighter shades such as light pink, which can be found scattered throughout the centerpieces:

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In the end, Ella’s most special day was sort of my special day too, because it was such a treat to design for this wonderful family, and more importantly, to have the chance to bring out that inner Cath Kidston in me, too!

A most wonderful celebration to you little Ella!

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Next up in the blog: A Lilly Pulitzer Party! (cue screech with joy)



About the author

Michelle Lao


By Michelle Lao

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